Diabetes gene 'raises risk tenfold'
A genetic susceptibility that gives a tenfold increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes has been discovered.
The gene mutation, found in the population of Greenland, will give clues to the different causes of the condition, say Danish scientists.
The research, published in Nature, adds to evidence genetics plays a role in the chances of developing diabetes.
Other factors included lifestyle, with obesity and a bad diet increasing risks, said a diabetes charity.
Several susceptibility genes have been linked with diabetes, meaning that if an individual is carrying one of these genes they face a greater risk of developing diabetes.
Studies like this one help us understand the genetic factors that put people at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and work out what is going on inside the body when it developsRichard Elliott, Diabetes UK
Danish researchers say the new mutation is present in almost one in five of Greenlanders.
But Prof Torben Hansen, of the University of Copenhagen, said it was not found in other European, Chinese or African-American populations, suggesting type 2 diabetes has multiple causes.
The gene variation raised the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to ten times, he told BBC News.
"We have identified a new and novel type 2 diabetes gene with a huge increased risk due to insulin resistance in muscle," he added.
"Type 2 diabetes is not just one disease, it's many diseases."
In the long term, this kind of research could help provide new ways to prevent and treat the condition, said Richard Elliott, research communications manager at Diabetes UK.
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