Genetic Counseling Doesn't Affect Pre-Diabetes Behavior

Doesn't significantly alter motivation, prevention program adherence for overweight at-risk adults

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Receiving genetic risk counseling does not significantly alter self-reported motivation or prevention program adherence for overweight individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Aug. 28 in Diabetes Care.

Richard W. Grant, M.D., M.P.H., from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial in which 108 overweight patients (mean age, 57.9 years) at increased phenotypic risk for type 2 diabetes were assigned to receive genetic testing or not. Thirty-six single nucleotide polymorphisms were used to assess genetic risk. Individual genetic counseling was provided to participants in the top (42 participants) and bottom (32 participants) score quartiles prior to being enrolled, together with 34 untested controls, in a 12-week validated diabetes prevention program. Middle-risk quartile participants were not included in the study.

The researchers found that participants attended 6.8 ± 4.3 group sessions and lost 8.5 ± 10.1 pounds, with 30.6 percent of participants losing ≥5 percent body weight. Comparing higher-risk recipients and lower-risk recipients with control subjects who did not receive counseling, there were few statistically significant differences in self-reported motivation, program attendance, or mean weight loss.

"In summary, a diabetes genetic risk assessment and counseling intervention for overweight individuals based on 36 single nucleotide polymorphisms neither improved nor substantially detracted from an evidence-based behavioral intervention to prevent diabetes," the authors write.

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