Scientists identify potential genetic breakthrough in diabetes diagnosis

Apr 12, 2011

Research could indicate diabetes diagnosis breakthrough

People with a particular genetic marker may be more prone to contracting type 2 diabetes than those that don't have it, a study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association says.

The study was prompted, the researchers say, by the discovery of an active variant of the high-mobility group A1 protein in the DNA of two patients suffering from insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes. This, they hypothesized, interferes with the proper functioning of genes that regulate insulin reception.

According to the researchers, their analysis of the DNA of study subjects shows a significantly increased incidence of type 2 diabetes among those with active HMGA1 genes compared to a control group without that protein.

Life insurance companies could be among those receiving the news of this new genetic indicator of type 2 diabetes with interest. The condition has a marked effect on life expectancy and can be a strong statistical predictor of associated medical problems like heart disease, many of which can also prove to be a serious threat to a consumer's long-term health.

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