Genetics are important in diabetes risk, but more research is needed

Genetic factors may play a large role in the development of obesity and, consequently, type 2 diabetes, but more research is needed to be able to turn this information into useful therapies, according to a new study from University of Oxford researchers.

For the study, investigators reviewed earlier research conducted throughout the previous decade. In their study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the team says that understanding the genetic factors that lead to these conditions could help doctors identify patients who are at the greatest risk.

The researchers said that studies have pinpointed between 30 and 40 genetic regions that may increase the risk of developing diabetes. While this information may help scientists in the future find a cure at the molecular levels, experts said that more studies are needed to turn the understanding of a genetic connection into practicable medicine.

"Both [obesity and type 2 diabetes] are strongly heritable conditions influenced by environmental factors, and advances in risk prediction, prevention, and therapy are sorely needed," W. Gregory Feero, co-editor of the journal, wrote in an accompanying editorial, according to MedScape.

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