New findings suggest that high levels of genetically-elevated triglycerides are associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Triglycerides are stored in fat cells and are an important measure of your heart’s health. However, previous studies have linked having too many triglycerides to an increased risk of heart disease.
Researchers at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, found that alleles, which are different variations of the same gene, were associated with higher triglyceride levels.
Genetic variants
Triglyceride-associated genetic variants were assessed among 13,247 European and 3,238 African-American participants from three prospective cohort studies.

Researchers then conducted a triglycerides risk score (GRS) based on 31 validated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – the most common type of genetic variation.
The team, led by Yann Kilmentidis, assistant professor at Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, observed that while baseline levels of triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, alleles associated with higher triglyceride levels were linked to a reduced type 2 risk.
This trend was observed among all the participants, with confounding factors such as sex, age, BMI and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol all accounted for.
The researchers hope these findings can lead to further research into the relationship between triglyceride-associated genes and type 2 diabetes.

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