What One of the Largest International Studies on Type 2 Diabetes Revealed

October 11th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized

There may be genetic influences to a person's risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a new international study. Here's what you need to know about these findings.

Type 2 diabetes affects millions of people across the world, and a new international study has gathered insight on the underlying genetic factors related to the disease. More than 300 different scientists across 22 countries contributed to research that was recently reported by the National Institutes of Health. These findings shine new light on an individual's predisposition to Type 2 diabetes, which generally develops later in life.

Understanding the data
Diabetes has long plagued scientists and health professionals, and until recently, it was difficult to pinpoint any ties between a person's genome and his or her vulnerability to the disease. By looking at an individual's DNA and other genetic information, the scientists in the study hoped to identify patterns. The genomes of 2,650 individuals were sequenced, half of whom had diabetes. This data was combined with the information of 123,548 other sequences, comprising one of the most robust data sets in diabetes research to date.

This data set yielded new relationships between diabetes and an individual's genetic makeup. For example, there were a dozen genes that were found to cause changes in specific proteins that may raise or lower a person's natural defense against the development of diabetes. Other genes specific to certain populations or known ailments were linked to an elevated risk of Type 2 diabetes. 

What's important to note is that these genetic variations do not mean a person is either immune to the disease or destined to develop  it. Rather, these genetic markers represent risk that can be passed down along family lines. The authors of the study concluded that this understanding is essential as Type 2 diabetes becomes more common in this country and beyond. At the same time, Forbes contributor David Shaywitz, chief medical officer of a company involved in personal genomics, reported that this could lead to more precise treatment of diabetes.

Mitigating personal risk
Whether or not you have a genetic predisposition to Type 2 diabetes, there are important steps to take to lower your risk. Eating well and exercising are among the chief ways to prevent the disease. A whole-foods diet with fruits, vegetables and other natural items is a good place to start. At the same time, be sure to cut out red meat, processed sugars and other items that can be difficult for the body to process.

Regular physical activity, meanwhile, promotes a strong body. More importantly, it also helps keep blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure levels in balance. This is important for mitigating possible risk, but also living with diabetes. The disease is not tied to age directly, the Mayo Clinic reported, but because many older adults gain weight and lose muscle mass later in life, there can be higher rates of diabetes among the elderly. Discuss with a primary care physician about positive changes you can make to lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Source: Sunrise Senior Living

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