Friday, July 21, 2006

Type 2 Diabetes Gene Ups Risks by 80 Percent

Type 2 Diabetes Gene Ups Risk by 80 Percent

Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Jose C. Florez, MD, PhD, and colleagues did genetic tests on 3,548 study participants. They looked for TCF7L2 gene variants recently linked to type 2 diabetes. They found that 1 in 10 of those with high blood sugar had two copies of the diabetes genes, and 4 in 10 had one copy. Study participants with two copies of the diabetes gene had an 81 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

However, the study also showed that a person can greatly reduce that risk through diet and lifestyle change. Study participants were able to lower their risk of type 2 diabetes if they lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight and exercised 30 minutes, five days a week.

"Even the participants at highest genetic risk benefited from healthy lifestyle changes as much as, or perhaps more than, those who did not inherit the variant," Florez said in a news release. "People at risk of diabetes, whether they're overweight, have elevated blood glucose levels, or have this particular gene variant, can benefit greatly by implementing a healthy lifestyle."

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