Lipid Genetics Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Genetic predisposition to low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides associated with increased risk

MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who are genetically predisposed to have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Diabetes.

To examine the association between genetic predisposition to dyslipidemia (based on established loci for blood lipids) and the risk of type 2 diabetes, Qibin Qi, Ph.D., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,447 patients with type 2 diabetes from the Nurses' Health Study, and 3,052 control subjects free of diabetes from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Based on genotype scores for low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, the researchers found that only the HDL cholesterol and triglycerides scores were linearly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. For each point of the HDL cholesterol genotype score, there was a 3 percent increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and for each point on the triglyceride genotype score, the increase was 2 percent. Comparing the highest and lowest quartiles of genotype scores, the odds ratios for type 2 diabetes were 1.39 for HDL cholesterol and 1.19 for triglycerides.

"In conclusion, genetic predisposition to low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides is related to elevated type 2 diabetes risk," Qi and colleagues write.

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