Lean diabetes patients 'have greater genetic predisposition to disease'
19 June 2012 16:36 in Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs
A new international study has discovered that lean people with type 2 diabetes may be more genetically predisposed to contracting the disease.
Led by the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter, researchers have discovered that variations associated with the LAMA1 gene appear to be associated with a higher diabetes risk among lean patients only.
This is the first time that it has been proven that thinner diabetes patients are more likely to have developed the condition due to genetic factors, as opposed to obese people, for whom lifestyle factors play a bigger part.
The reason why this gene only affects one subgroup of patients and not the other remains unclear to scientists and could open the door for further discoveries.
Dr John Perry, one of the lead authors of the study, said: "It could point to the fact that type 2 diabetes may not be one disease, but may represent a number of subgroups ... More work is required to prove this hypothesis."
NHS figures reveal that around 90 percent of the 2.8 million diabetes patients in the UK suffer from the type 2 variant.
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