New research from Massachusetts General Hospital suggests that a combination of socioeconomic and genetic factors can increase the risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The study found that socioeconomic deprivation and genetic predisposition both contribute to metabolic diseases.
Researchers analyzed the genetic data of over 250,000 participants from the Mass General Brigham Biobank and the UK Biobank and assessed the participants’ education, income, and employment.
Educational attainment was the primary measure of socioeconomic risk, as it was found to be strongly linked to type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The team showed that people with both high genetic and socioeconomic risk had a seven-fold higher risk of type 2 diabetes and a three-fold higher risk of obesity compared to those with the lowest risk.
The research also found that socioeconomic risk had a greater effect on those with higher genetic risk than those with lower genetic risk.
In fact, those with the highest genetic risk had a much greater increase in metabolic disease risk due to negative socioeconomic risk compared to those with the lowest genetic risk.
The study suggests that public health interventions should help people with both high genetic and socioeconomic risk to prevent metabolic diseases.
The team emphasizes the importance of a whole-person approach to metabolic disease prevention, particularly targeting those with elevated genetic risk.
They highlight that while the genetic risk is not deterministic, individuals with both high genetic and socioeconomic risk have a higher prevalence of metabolic diseases.
Further research is needed to understand why people with high genetic risk living in low-risk socioeconomic regions have similar rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity as those with low genetic risk living in certain high-risk socioeconomic regions.
There is a strong link between obesity and type 2 diabetes. Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, and the risk increases as a person’s weight and body mass index (BMI) increase.
When a person is obese, their body has difficulty using insulin properly, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and eventually type 2 diabetes.
In addition, obesity can cause chronic low-grade inflammation in the body, which can also contribute to insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet is an important way to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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The study was conducted by Sara Cromer et al and published in Diabetes Care.
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