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To assess the burden of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and its genetic profile in endogamous populations of India given the paucity of data, we aimed to determine the prevalence of T2D and estimate its heritability using family-based cohorts from three distinct Endogamous Ethnic Groups (EEGs) representing Northern (Rajasthan [Agarwals: AG]) and Southern (Tamil Nadu [Chettiars: CH] and Andhra Pradesh [Reddys: RE]) states of India. For comparison, family-based data collected previously from another North Indian Punjabi Sikh (SI) EEG was used. In addition, we examined various T2D-related cardiometabolic traits and determined their heritabilities. These studies were conducted as part of the Indian Diabetes Genetic Studies in collaboration with US (INDIGENIUS) Consortium. The pedigree, demographic, phenotypic, covariate data and samples were collected from the CH, AG, and RE EEGs. The status of T2D was defined by ADA guidelines (fasting glucose ≥ 126 mg/dl or HbA1c ≥ 6.5% and/or use of diabetes medication/history). The prevalence of T2D in CH (N = 517, families = 21, mean age = 47y, mean BMI = 27), AG (N = 530, Families = 25, mean age = 43y, mean BMI = 27), and RE (N = 500, Families = 22, mean age = 46y, mean BMI = 27) was found to be 33%, 37%, and 36%, respectively, Also, the study participants from these EEGs were found to be at increased cardiometabolic risk (e.g., obesity and prediabetes). Similar characteristics for the SI EEG (N = 1,260, Families = 324, Age = 51y, BMI = 27, T2D = 75%) were obtained previously. We used the variance components approach to carry out genetic analyses after adjusting for covariate effects. The heritability (h2) estimates of T2D in the CH, RE, SI, and AG were found to be 30%, 46%, 54%, and 82% respectively, and statistically significant (P ≤ 0.05). Other T2D related traits (e.g., BMI, lipids, blood pressure) in AG, CH, and RE EEGs exhibited strong additive genetic influences (h2 range: 17% [triglycerides/AG and hs-CRP/RE] - 86% [glucose/non-T2D/AG]). Our findings highlight the high burden of T2D in Indian EEGs with significant and differential additive genetic influences on T2D and related traits.


© 2022 Venkatesan, Lopez-Alvarenga, Arya, Ramu, Koshy, Ravichandran, Ponnala, Sharma, Lodha, Sharma, Shaik, Resendez, Venugopal, R, Saju, Ezeilo, Bejar, Wander, Ralhan, Singh, Mehra, Vadlamudi, Almeida, Mummidi, Natesan, Blangero, Medicherla, Thanikachalam, Panchatcharam, Kandregula, Gupta, Sanghera, Duggirala and Paul.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Frontiers in Endocrinology



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Office of Human Genetics



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