Type 2 Diabetes Risk Higher With Exposure to LDL Cholesterol-Lowering Genetic Variants

HealthDay News — LDL cholesterol-lowering genetic variants are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Luca A. Lotta, MD, PhD, from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted meta-analyses of genetic association studies to examine the correlation of LDL cholesterol-lowering genetic variants with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD). Data were included for 50,775 individuals with type 2 diabetes and 270,269 controls and for 60,801 individuals with CAD and 123,504 controls.

The researchers observed an inverse correlation between LDL cholesterol-lowering genetic variants at NPC1L1 and CAD (odds ratio [OR] for a genetically predicted 1-mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, 0.61) and a direct correlation with type 2 diabetes (OR for a genetically predicted 1-mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, 2.42). Per 1-mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, the OR for type 2 diabetes was 1.19 for PCSK9 genetic variants. There was a similar reduction in CAD risk with genetic variants for a given reduction in LDL cholesterol; heterogeneous associations with type 2 diabetes were seen.

“In this meta-analysis, exposure to LDL cholesterol-lowering genetic variants in or near NPC1L1 and other genes was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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  1. Lotta LA, Sharp SJ, Burgess S. Association between low-density lipoprotein cholesterol–lowering genetic variants and risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 2016;316(13):1383-1391. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14568.