These two factors combine to increase the risk of obesity and diabetes

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New research led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) suggests that socioeconomic and genetic factors likely act additively to impact people’s risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes.

These findings, published in Diabetes Care, highlight the potential of interventions to address socioeconomic disadvantage to reduce metabolic disease, particularly in those at high genetic risk.

Study design: Research into genetic and socioeconomic risks

Although it is known that both intrinsic (such as genetic factors) and extrinsic (such as socioeconomic conditions) factors can increase the risk of metabolic diseases, it is unclear what relative contribution each factor makes and how they interact.

Researchers examined the additive effects of genetic and socioeconomic risks in a large number of participants from the Mass General Brigham Biobank and the UK Biobank who were of both European and non-European genetic ancestry.

The team analyzed genetic data as well as socio-economic information on the participants’ education, income and employment.

Educational attainment was chosen as the primary measure of socioeconomic risk because it had the strongest correlation with type 2 diabetes and obesity among the socioeconomic factors considered.

Results: Significant interaction of genetic and socioeconomic risks

The results showed that people in the highest quintile had a seven-fold higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes and three-fold higher prevalence of obesity for both genetic and socioeconomic risk than people in the lowest-risk quintiles.

Importantly, there was a significant positive interaction between genetic and socioeconomic risk.

This means that people at higher genetic risk experienced greater increases in the prevalence of metabolic diseases when they were also exposed to unfavorable socioeconomic conditions.

For example, while socioeconomic risk was associated with an increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes across all genetic risk levels, the absolute increase in prevalence was greatest among those at highest genetic risk.

The combined impact of genetic and socioeconomic factors accounted for 13.2% and 16.7% of the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and obesity, respectively.

Implications and future research

Findings highlight the importance of a comprehensive approach to preventing metabolic disease, with public health interventions potentially having the greatest impact when targeted at individuals at increased genetic risk.

The next research phases include expanding the models to include other risk factors (e.g. lifestyle behaviors), improving models for individuals of non-European descent, studying the predictive value of area-level socioeconomic measures in different populations, and studying the interaction of genes and socioeconomic status in the relation to other results.

Overall, the study underscores the importance of considering both genetic and socioeconomic factors when assessing the risk of metabolic diseases.

It is also emphasized that genetic risk is not deterministic; People at high genetic risk living in low-risk socioeconomic regions showed similar rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity as people with low genetic risk in high-risk socioeconomic regions.

Further research is needed to investigate this aspect.

If you are interested in diabetes, please read studies proving the following The MIND diet may reduce the risk of vision loss diseaseAnd Vitamin D could benefit people with diabetic neuropathic pain.

For more information on diabetes, see current studies Vitamin E could help reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance in diabetesand results are displayed Eating eggs as part of a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.

The study was published in diabetes care.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.

Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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