News & Analysis12th International Congress of Human Genetics

Diabetes Genes Decline Out of Africa

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Science  04 Nov 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6056, pp. 583
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6056.583

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A thorough analysis of all known genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes reveals that Africans face the highest known genetic risk from this epidemic, according to a new report at the meeting. In 2010, only 3% of sub-Saharan Africans had any kind of diabetes, compared with 12% of Americans, but type 2 diabetes has a big environmental component and is only now beginning to show up in African city dwellers who have adopted a Western diet and lifestyle. As that lifestyle spreads in the future, Africans may face a serious threat, according to a talk and poster.