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Hyderabad: Study decodes genetics could help diagnose diabetes in Indians

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A new publication by researchers at the KEM Hospital (Pune), CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (Hyderabad) and University of Exeter (UK) shows that a genetic risk score is effective in diagnosing Type 1 diabetes in Indians

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Hyderabad: According to a latest study, a new way of using genetics to diagnose diabetes could pave the way for better diagnosis and treatment in Indians. A new publication by researchers at the KEM Hospital, Pune, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad and the University of Exeter in the UK shows that a genetic risk score is effective in diagnosing Type 1 diabetes in Indians.

The genetic risk score developed by the University of Exeter considers detailed genetic information known to increase the chance of developing Type 1 diabetes. The score may be used at the time of diabetes diagnosis to help decide if someone has Type 1 diabetes.

Until now, bulk of research in this field has been conducted in European populations. Now, in a paper published in Scientific Reports, researchers have analysed whether the European risk score is effective in diagnosing Type 1 diabetes in Indians. The team studied people with diabetes from Pune, India. The team analysed 262 people with Type 1 diabetes, 352 people with Type 2 diabetes, and 334 people without diabetes. All were of Indian (Indo-European) ancestry.

Outcomes from the Indian population were compared with those of Europeans from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium study. The research found that the test is effective in diagnosing the right type of diabetes in Indians, even in its current form, which is based on European data. Authors also found genetic differences between the population of both countries which means the test could be further improved to enhance outcomes for Indian population.

Dr Richard Oram from the University of Exeter Medical School said, "Diagnosing the right diabetes type is an increasingly difficult challenge for clinicians, as we now know that Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age. This task is even harder in India, as more cases of Type 2 diabetes occur in people with low BMI."

Given the genetic diversity of the population of India, results of the study need to be validated in other ethnic groups of the country too. Dr Rakesh K Mishra, Director of the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) said, "Since more than 20 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes below 15 years of age are in India, developing a genetic test kit to reliably detect Type 1 from Type 2 diabetes holds a lot of significance for the country."

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