Link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease

5 November 2014

Two major conditions - type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) - may have more in common than previously thought, a new study has found.

As well as increasing risk factors like obesity, the pair could also share the same genetic underpinnings, which could influence future treatment.

To further investigate this, a team of scientists applied multiple layers of analysis to the genomics of more than 15,000 women. They found eight molecular pathways that are shared between both diseases, as well as a number of “key driver” genes that appear to influence the outer networks where the pathways connect and interact.

Using a technique called a Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS), the team also analysed the genetic differences of the female participants to better view the complex pathways in which genes and their protein products interact and affect health.

“Looking at genes one by one is standard,” said Dr Simin Liu, professor of epidemiology and medicine in the Brown University School of Public Health and a co-senior author of the study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics. “But ultimately, the interactions of biology are fundamentally organised in a pathway and network manner.”

Posted by Philip Briggs​

 

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