Gene variant could predict type 2 diabetes

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 11, 2005

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A polymorphism in a gene that plays a role in digesting starch and sugar may predispose people to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a paper published in the this month's Diabetes.

Authors suggest that this study might lead to predictive genetic testing that could indicate the need to make lifestyle changes to reduce the chance of developing the condition.

"The implication from our study is that if a person has this gene variation, then -- without waiting for the development of insulin resistance -- he or she should be encouraged to follow lifestyle changes that could help prevent the onset of diabetes," said Nicola Abate, MD, lead author and associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Researchers analyzed the genes of South Asians living in Chennai, India, as well as South Asians and Caucasians living in Dallas, Texas. Those with and without the disease were included in the study. Subjects with the ENPP1 K121Q gene polymorphism were 30% more likely to have diabetes.

Authors said this further confirmed the role that this gene has in the development of this disease but that more work was needed before it was used for predictive testing.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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