London: Scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have identified seven new genetic regions associated with type 2 diabetes in the largest study to date of the genetic basis of the disease.

The study analysed DNA data brought together from more than 48,000 patients and 139,000 healthy controls from four different ethnic groups. The research was conducted by an international consortium of investigators from 20 countries on four continents, co-led by investigators from Oxford University’s Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics.  The majority of such ‘genome-wide association studies’ have been done in populations with European backgrounds. This research is notable for including DNA data from populations of Asian and Hispanic origin as well, researchers said.  The researchers said that, as more genetic data increasingly becomes available from populations of South Asian ancestry and, particularly, African descent, it will be possible to map genes implicated in type 2 diabetes ever more closely.

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