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Raised Triglyceride Levels Do Not Cause Type 2 Diabetes

Genetically raised triglyceride levels do not raise fasting glucose or insulin levels

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Genetically raised circulating triglyceride levels do not increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, or raise fasting glucose or insulin levels, according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes.

N. Maneka G. De Silva, M.D., from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and colleagues determined whether raised circulating triglyceride levels causally influence the risk of type 2 diabetes using Mendelian randomization. Ten common genetic variants associated with circulating triglyceride levels were assessed in 5,637 patients with type 2 diabetes and in 6,860 controls. Genetic variants were also assessed in four continuous outcomes measuring glycemia and hepatic insulin resistance in 8,271 individuals without diabetes.

The investigators found that there were increased circulating triglyceride levels in individuals with elevated numbers of triglyceride-raising alleles. Having an increased number of triglyceride-raising alleles was not associated with a risk of type 2 diabetes. In individuals without diabetes, having an increased number of triglyceride-raising alleles was not associated with increased fasting insulin or glucose levels. Genetically elevated circulating triglyceride levels were not correlated with increased diabetes risk, fasting glucose, or fasting insulin, and they offered mild protection from diabetes.

"One explanation for our results is that raised circulating triglycerides are predominantly secondary to the diabetes disease process, rather than causal," the authors write.

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