(HealthDay News) — A genetic risk score can distinguish type 1 diabetes from type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.
Richard A. Oram, PhD, from the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom, and colleagues developed genetic risk scores from published type 1 diabetes- and type 2 diabetes-associated variants.
They tested the scores to see whether they could differentiate clinically defined type 1 and type 2 diabetes from 3887 participants from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC). They then examined whether type 1 diabetes genetic risk score (including 30 variants) could correctly classify young adults (aged 20 to 40 years) who progressed to severe insulin deficiency within 3 years of diagnosis (223 young adults).
The researchers found that type 1 diabetes genetic risk score was highly discriminative of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes in the WTCCC (area under the curve [AUC]=0.88; P<.0001) and that little discrimination was added with type 2 diabetes (AUC=0.89).
A GRS >0.280 had 5% sensitivity and 95% specificity for type 1 diabetes. A low type 1 diabetes genetic risk score (<0.234) had 53% sensitivity and 95% specificity for type 2 diabetes. Most of the discriminative ability came from 9 single nucleotide polymorphisms (AUC=0.87).
Type 1 diabetes genetic risk score alone predicted progression to insulin deficiency in young adults with diabetes (AUC=0.87).
“This will be an important addition to correctly classifying individuals with diabetes when clinical features and autoimmune markers are equivocal,” the researchers wrote.