A new study has found that people who are genetically predisposed to reduced levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or a high level of triglycerides face a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The research, carried out at the Harvard School of Public Health and published in Diabetes, monitored information on nearly 2,500 patients with type 2 diabetes from the Nurses’ Health Study, as well as over 3,000 control subjects who did not suffer from the metabolic condition.
They assessed the link between a person’s genetic predisposition to dyslipidemia – abnormal amount of lipids in the bloodstream – and the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. On checking genotype scores for HDL cholesterol, and also low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, it was revealed that just the scores for HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
For each point in the score for the HDL cholesterol genotype, a 3 per cent increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was show, while each point on the triglyceride genotype score meant a rise of 2 per cent. When the highest and lowest quartiles of genotype scores were compared, the ratio for type 2 diabetes was 1.39 for HDL cholesterol and 1.19 for triglycerides.
The report stated that “genetic predisposition to low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides is related to elevated type 2 diabetes risk.”

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