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Diabetes Care. 2013 Oct;36(10):3121-7. doi: 10.2337/dc12-2323. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Genetically elevated fetuin-A levels, fasting glucose levels, and risk of type 2 diabetes: the cardiovascular health study.

Author information

1
Corresponding author: Majken K. Jensen, mkjensen@hsph.harvard.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Fetuin-A levels are associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes, but it is unknown if the association is causal. We investigated common (>5%) genetic variants in the fetuin-A gene (AHSG) fetuin-A levels, fasting glucose, and risk of type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

Genetic variation, fetuin-A levels, and fasting glucose were assessed in 2,893 Caucasian and 542 African American community-living individuals 65 years of age or older in 1992-1993.

RESULTS:

Common AHSG variants (rs4917 and rs2248690) were strongly associated with fetuin-A concentrations (P<0.0001). In analyses of 259 incident cases of type 2 diabetes, the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were not associated with diabetes risk during follow-up and similar null associations were observed when 579 prevalent cases were included. As expected, higher fetuin-A levels were associated with higher fasting glucose concentrations (1.9 mg/dL [95% CI, 1.2-2.7] higher per SD in Caucasians), but Mendelian randomization analyses using both SNPs as unbiased proxies for measured fetuin-A did not support an association between genetically predicted fetuin-A levels and fasting glucose (-0.3 mg/dL [95% CI, -1.9 to 1.3] lower per SD in Caucasians). The difference between the associations of fasting glucose with actual and genetically predicted fetuin-A level was statistically significant (P=0.001). Results among the smaller sample of African Americans trended in similar directions but were statistically insignificant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Common variants in the AHSG gene are strongly associated with plasma fetuin-A concentrations, but not with risk of type 2 diabetes or glucose concentrations, raising the possibility that the association between fetuin-A and type 2 diabetes may not be causal.

PMID:
23801724
PMCID:
PMC3781539
DOI:
10.2337/dc12-2323
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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