Genetic Connection to Diabetes Risk Overestimated

The Physicians Committee

Genetic Connection to Diabetes Risk Overestimated

October 31, 2013

Genes are not as useful at determining type 2 diabetes risk as are traditional risk factors such as weight, age, and gender, according to a new review in this month’s issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers analyzed data from 23 studies and determined that genetic testing may have a place for some people, perhaps younger populations, but that compared with conventional risk factors, genetic testing is not as useful as some had previously thought.

Some traditional risk factors for diabetes are easily mitigated with dietary and other lifestyle interventions. See PCRM’s resources at

Bao W, Hu FB, Rong S, et al. Predicting risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus with genetic risk models on the basis of established genome-wide association markers: a systematic review. Am J Epidemiol. 2013;178:1197-1207.

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