Diabetes’ Genetic Underpinnings Can Vary Based On Ethnic Background

Red Orbit: May 24, 2013

Ethnic background plays a surprisingly large role in how diabetes develops on a cellular level, according to two new studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The researchers reanalyzed disease data to demonstrate that the physiological pathways to diabetes vary between Africa and East Asia and that those differences are reflected in part by genetic differences. The studies will be published online simultaneously May 23 in the journals PLoS Genetics and Diabetes Care.

“We have new insights into the differences in diabetes across the world, just by this new perspective applied to older studies,” said Atul Butte, MD, PhD, senior author of the studies and chief of the Division of Systems Medicine and associate professor of pediatrics and of genetics. “There’s more still to learn about diabetes than we knew.”  Read more