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BMC Med Genet. 2012 Feb 24;13:11. doi: 10.1186/1471-2350-13-11.

The combined effect of the T2DM susceptibility genes is an important risk factor for T2DM in non-obese Japanese: a population based case-control study.

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  • 1Laboratory of Human Genetics, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Graduate School of Nutritional and Environmental Sciences, Global COE Program, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka 422-8526, Japan.



Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a complex endocrine and metabolic disorder. Recently, several genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many novel susceptibility loci for T2DM, and indicated that there are common genetic causes contributing to the susceptibility to T2DM in multiple populations worldwide. In addition, clinical and epidemiological studies have indicated that obesity is a major risk factor for T2DM. However, the prevalence of obesity varies among the various ethnic groups. We aimed to determine the combined effects of these susceptibility loci and obesity/overweight for development of T2DM in the Japanese.


Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in or near 17 susceptibility loci for T2DM, identified through GWAS in Caucasian and Asian populations, were genotyped in 333 cases with T2DM and 417 control subjects.


We confirmed that the cumulative number of risk alleles based on 17 susceptibility loci for T2DM was an important risk factor in the development of T2DM in Japanese population (P<0.0001), although the effect of each risk allele was relatively small. In addition, the significant association between an increased number of risk alleles and an increased risk of T2DM was observed in the non-obese group (P<0.0001 for trend), but not in the obese/overweight group (P=0.88 for trend).


Our findings indicate that there is an etiological heterogeneity of T2DM between obese/overweight and non-obese subjects.

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