Diabetes Gene Common In Latinos Has Ancient Roots : Shots – Health News : NPR:
In summary (from this terrific NPR piece by Michaeleen Doucleff):
“To identify genes that contribute to Latinos’ high rate of Type 2 diabetes, Altshuler and his team analyzed DNA from over 8,000 Mexicans and other Latinos.
The team found many genes already known to be involved with diabetes, such as one related to insulin production. But a new one also popped up in the analysis: a gene that’s likely involved in fat metabolism.
Mutations in this gene increase a person’s risk of getting Type 2 diabetes by about a 20 percent, Altshuler and the team found. If the person has two copies of the mutations, one from each parent, the risk rises by about 40 percent.
So for Mexican Americans, their risk for Type 2 diabetes goes from about 13 percent to 19 percent if they inherit two copies of the mutations. For other Americans, the risk gets boosted to about 11 percent from 8 percent.”