Home Type 2 Findings in type 2 diabetes are ‘just a piece of the puzzle,’ says epidemiologist at University of Massachusetts Amherst

Findings in type 2 diabetes are ‘just a piece of the puzzle,’ says epidemiologist at University of Massachusetts Amherst

by Jill Kaufman
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In the largest genome-wide association study of type 2 diabetes to date, an international team of researchers co-led by a genetic epidemiologist Cassandra SpracklenResearchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst had already identified 1,289 genetic markers associated with type 2 diabetes. Recently, 145 new cases were confirmed.

The study results were published in February. “Nature” magazine.

“This study seeks to understand diabetes from a genetic perspective,” Professor Spracklen said, trying to understand what makes people more susceptible to type 2 diabetes and what makes them less likely. “But what’s really important still is to know that this is only part of the puzzle.”

Other studies pointing to links between disease and lifestyle and behavioral factors are just as important, if not more important than genetics, as Spracklen said, but there is no interaction between the two. There may be.

When it comes to this kind of research, he says, “No matter what traits we’re looking at, part of the next step is figuring out how those DNA variants act to influence diabetes risk.” That’s what we do,” Spracklen said.

Researchers are looking at DNA variants to see whether they act directly on certain proteins and whether having too much or too little of that protein increases the risk of diabetes, Spracklen said. Stated.

“Could changing how the body processes glucose and sugar affect insulin?” she added.

One method researchers use is to take identified DNA mutations and create clusters of them, Spracklen said. “We show that they are also associated with other traits. So, for example, we have eight clusters of these diabetes variants. One cluster is also associated with obesity.” “Variations may work in some way through BMI, weight, and body composition to influence diabetes risk,” Spracklen said.

Another example is variants associated with the liver and lipid metabolism, so a range of variants likely work through that type of mechanism, Spracklen explained.

global genetic ancestry groups

The 10-year study involved 2.5 million participants from around the world. Spracklen said the breakdown of “global genetic ancestry groups” includes Africans/African Americans (156,738 people or 6.2%), East Asians (427,504 people or 16.9%), and Europeans (1,812,017 people). or 71.0%), Hispanic (88,743 or 3.4%), and South Asian (50,599 or 2.0%).

People mainly Mr. Spracklen said, for example, East Asians/South Asians are from East Asian/South Asian countries, Hispanics are from Central and South America, and Europeans (“whites”) are from Europe and the United States. However, the population exists in different regions. For example, South Asians living in the United Kingdom, and Hispanics and African Americans living in the United States.

“We’re increasing the number of people participating in the research, and as a result we’ll be able to identify more of these genetic variations,” Spracklen said, adding that decades of genetic research has shown that more and more It added that it had sought to target people of non-white ancestry.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, type 2 diabetes affects more than 400 million adults worldwide and is sometimes debilitating.

Food Research in Western Massachusetts.

Across the United States, type 2 diabetes and other nutrition-related health conditions are a leading cause of death, illness, and health care costs.

“Food insecurity persists in low-income communities and poses a significant barrier to the health and well-being of families and individuals in Western Massachusetts,” said Lorraine Cordeiro, a nutrition professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In an article from the university’s Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Creating a prescription These are part of strategies to promote healthy eating habits, and researchers are studying how they affect diabetes and other diet-related health conditions.

“The Produce Prescription Program is a highly innovative way for hospitals, clinics and health centers to partner with local farmers and other organizations in the food supply chain to improve access to food and promote healthy eating habits. “It’s a great way to do that,” Cordeiro said.

According to Amherst College Faculty of Public Health and Health Sciences The COVID-19 pandemic has both exacerbated food insecurity and brought the issue of food insecurity to the fore.

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