Scientists out of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine say that they’ve uncovered 16 new genetic risk factors for diabetes along with one new genetic risk factor for heart disease, shedding light on the onset of the two ailments.
The medical community is already saying that diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease but they’ve never really understood the biological pathways tying the two together.
Now, they’re suggesting that genes known to be tied to a higher diabetes risk are also linked to a higher risk of heart disease.
In eight of the 16 genes they zeroed in on, they found a specific gene variant that tampers with risk for both conditions.
What could these findings mean? The scientists say it could pave the way to treating both of the chronic diseases at the same time.
“Using evidence from human genetics, it should be possible to design drugs for Type 2 diabetes that have either beneficial or neutral effects on coronary heart disease risk,” [study co-author, Dr. Danish Saleheen, said in a university statement.]
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