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12 new genes linked to Type 2 diabetes

Twelve new genes linked to Type 2 diabetes have been identified in the largest study yet. This brings the total number of genes known to be associated with the condition to 38.

An international consortium of scientists from across the UK, Europe, USA and Canada compared the DNA of over 8,000 people with Type 2 diabetes with almost 40,000 people without the condition at almost 2.5 million locations across the genome. They then checked the genetic variations they found in another group including over 34,000 people with diabetes and almost 60,000 controls.

Greater understanding of the genetics

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: "This is strong research and adds to our knowledge of the genes that increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. As we continue to add more pieces to the jigsaw, our greater understanding of the genetics behind Type 2 diabetes could lead to new avenues of research into prevention and improving treatments.

"It is important to remember that Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to being overweight or obese. If we can tackle obesity then we can make real in-roads to fighting Type 2 diabetes and reducing the number of people developing the condition."

The research is published in the journal Nature Genetics.

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