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Gene Variants Linked to High Fasting Glucose Levels

Risk of high fasting glucose and hyperglycemia increases with number of gene variants

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of certain gene variants controlling fasting levels of glucose can help identify children at risk for hyperglycemia with the risk increasing the more variants they have, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes.

Clara Kelliny, of the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland, and colleagues studied 2,025 healthy children, genotyping single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MTNR1B, G6PC2, and GCK. The researchers studied associations of the SNPs with fasting glucose level, insulin, insulin resistance and homeostasis. The researchers included in their analysis known type 2 diabetes genetic variants (CDKN2A/B, IGF2BP2, CDKAL1, SLC30A8, HHEX-IDE, and Chr 11p12) to compare the effect sizes between the loci for type 2 diabetes and those for fasting glucose.

The researchers found that associations were strongest for G6PC2 and MTNR1B, which produced mean fasting glucose levels 0.084 mmol/L, and 0.069 mmol/L higher per risk allele copy, respectively, while GCK produced levels 0.028 mmol/L higher per risk allele copy. Among type 2 diabetes variants, only SLC30A8 was associated with higher fasting glucose, producing levels 0.033 mmol/L higher per risk allele copy. Glucose levels were successively higher as the number of risk alleles accumulated.

"Whether early differences in fasting glucose levels due to genetic susceptibility translate into an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and related metabolic and cardiovascular disorders and whether or how these are modified by environmental risk factors remain to be investigated," the authors write.

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