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1.  Importance of family history in type 2 black South African diabetic patients 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2001;77(907):323-325.
OBJECTIVE—To assess the family history of diabetes in type 2 black South African diabetics with emphasis on the parental phenotype.
DESIGN—Prospective case-control study in which family histories were obtained from patients.
SETTING—Diabetic clinic of a provincial teaching hospital in the Transkei region of South Africa.
SUBJECTS—A total of 1111 type 2 diabetics attending the diabetic clinic and 687 controls.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—History of diabetes in parents, siblings, maternal and paternal grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
RESULTS—Altogether 27.3% of diabetic subjects had a family history of diabetes compared with 8.4% in the control group (p<0.01). Among the group with positive family history 82.6% reported only one diabetic family member, while 17.4% reported at least two relatives; 6.6% had a diabetic relative from both maternal and paternal sides, and 87.8% had first degree relative with diabetes. Among them there was a significant maternal aggregation with 64.7% of patients having a diabetic mother compared with 27% who had a diabetic father (p<0.01). No maternal effect was observed among the second and third degree relatives. Patients with positive family history had an earlier onset of diabetes than those without family history (p<0.01).
CONCLUSION—These data suggest that type 2 diabetes is heritable in black South African diabetics. It is also likely that maternal influences may play an important part.


Keywords: diabetes; family history
doi:10.1136/pmj.77.907.323
PMCID: PMC1742028  PMID: 11320276
2.  Familial aggregation and excess maternal transmission of type 2 diabetes in Tunisia 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2007;83(979):348-351.
Aim
To evaluate the degree of familial aggregation of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Tunisia and to investigate transmission patterns of the disease and their relationships with patients' clinical profiles.
Methods
Family history of diabetes and clinical data were collected for 132 unrelated type 2 diabetic Tunisian patients. Diabetes status was recorded for first degree relatives (parents, siblings) and second degree relatives (aunts and uncles from both maternal and paternal sides). Information about family history of diabetes was gathered for a total of 1767 individuals.
Results
Familial aggregation of type 2 diabetes was prominent and more important among first degree relatives than among second degree relatives (p = 0.01). Among studied subjects, 70% reported at least one relative with diabetes and 34% had at least one parent with diabetes. Diabetes was more frequent among mothers than fathers of probands (p = 0.03). This maternal effect extends to second degree relatives as diabetes was more common among maternal than paternal aunts and uncles (p = 0.01). There is no significant difference in clinical and metabolic profiles between patients according to transmission patterns of the disease.
Conclusion
These results suggest familial aggregation and excess maternal transmission of type 2 diabetes in the Tunisian studied population.
doi:10.1136/pgmj.2006.053744
PMCID: PMC2600082  PMID: 17488867
3.  Maternal Family History of Diabetes Is Associated With a Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Women With Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(7):1477-1483.
OBJECTIVE
To investigate whether parental family history of diabetes influences cardiovascular outcomes in type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We studied 1,294 type 2 diabetic patients (mean age 64.1 years, 51.2% female) recruited to a community-based cohort study from 1993 to 1996 and followed until mid-2006. A data linkage system assessed all-cause and cardiac mortality, incident myocardial infarction, and stroke. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to determine the influence of maternal or paternal family history on these outcomes.
RESULTS
A maternal family history of diabetes was reported by 20.4% of the cohort, 8.3% reported paternal family history, and 2.0% reported both parents affected. Maternal and paternal family history was associated with earlier age of diabetes onset, and maternal family history was associated with worse glycemic control. For all patients, maternal family history was significantly associated with reduced risk of all-cause mortality and cardiac mortality. When analyzed by sex, maternal family history had no effect on male patients, whereas female patients with diabetic mothers had significantly reduced hazard ratios for death from all causes (0.63 [95% CI 0.41–0.96]; P = 0.033), for death from cardiac causes (0.32 [0.14–0.72]; P = 0.006), and for first myocardial infarction (0.45 [0.26–0.76]; P = 0.003). Paternal family history status was not associated with these outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS
A maternal family history of diabetes confers relative protection against cardiovascular disease in female patients but not in male patients with type 2 diabetes. Paternal family history is associated with risks equivalent to those without a family history of diabetes. Some of the clinical heterogeneity of type 2 diabetes is related to maternal transmission effects with differential impact on male and female patients.
doi:10.2337/dc10-0147
PMCID: PMC2890344  PMID: 20368412
4.  Parental transmission of type 2 diabetes mellitus in a highly endogamous population 
World Journal of Diabetes  2013;4(2):40-46.
AIM: To determine the parental transmission of diabetes mellitus (DM) and evaluate its influence on the clinical characteristics.
METHODS: This was a cross sectional study. The survey was carried out in urban and semi-urban primary health care centers. Of the 2400 registered with diagnosed diabetes, 1980 agreed and gave their consent to take part in this study, thus giving a response rate of 82.5%. Face to face interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire followed by laboratory tests. DM was defined according to the World Health Organization expert group. A trained nurse performed physical examinations and measurements.
RESULTS: Of the study population, 72.9% reported a family history of DM. Family history of DM was significantly higher in females (54.2%; P = 0.04) and in the age group below 30 years (24%; P < 0.001). The prevalence of diabetes was higher among patients with a diabetic mother (25.4% vs 22.1%) and maternal aunts/uncles (31.2% vs 22.2%) compared to patients with a diabetic father and paternal aunts/uncles. Family history of DM was higher in patients of consanguineous parents (38.5%) than those of non-consanguineous parents (30.2%). The development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) complications was higher in patients with either a paternal or maternal history of DM than in those without. No significant difference was observed in the metabolic characteristics of patients with/without family history of DM except for hypertension. Complications were higher in diabetic patients with a family history of DM.
CONCLUSION: The present study found a significant maternal effect in transmission of T2DM. Family history is associated with the increased incidence of diabetes.
doi:10.4239/wjd.v4.i2.40
PMCID: PMC3629295  PMID: 23599872
Diabetes mellitus; Family history; Parental transmission; Genetic disorders; Consanguinity; Maternal transmission
5.  Familial Clustering of Type 2 Diabetes among Omanis 
Oman Medical Journal  2014;29(1):51-54.
Objective
The aim of this study was to screen Omani individuals for the familial aggregation of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Methods
A random cohort of 1182 Omani individuals visiting the Family Medicine Clinic at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH), Muscat, Oman, for regular medical checkup, aged ≥40 years, were sampled. Patients were categorized into three groups: (1) individuals who claim not to have diabetes and had no family history of diabetes; (2) individuals who claim not to have diabetes but had family history of diabetes; (3) individuals with diabetes. Only 16% of these Omani individuals had no diabetes and no family history of diabetes. Another separate random cohort of 234 Omani type 2 diabetes mellitus patients, from the Diabetes Clinic at SQUH, were interviewed and questioned about their family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Results
Ninety five percent of the patients had a family history of diabetes. Eighty percent had first degree relatives with diabetes and 46% had second degree relatives with diabetes. At least one parent with diabetes was reported among 55% of these diabetics, while maternal diabetes (55%) was found to be higher than paternal diabetes (47%). However, only 15% had both parents with diabetes. Furthermore, almost half of the 234 diabetics were having at least one of the following relatives with diabetes: brother, sister, aunt or an uncle.
Conclusion
The findings of this study confirm familial aggregation of diabetes among the Omani population. Compared to other populations, familial aggregation of type 2 diabetes mellitus among Omanis is relatively very high, and is perhaps due to the very high degree of consanguinity among Omanis. Since almost everyone seems to have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, the dramatic lifestyle changes over the past 25 years, could tip the population into an epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
doi:10.5001/omj.2014.11
PMCID: PMC3910414  PMID: 24498483
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Family clustering; Oman
6.  The potential impact of family history of metabolic syndrome and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: In a highly endogamous population 
Aim:
This study aims to determine the potential impact of positive family history of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) among two generations, on developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and the potential relation of consanguineous marriage among patients with MetS to the risk of developing T2DM among a sample of Qataris.
Design:
A cross-sectional study.
Setting:
Primary healthcare (PHC) centers.
Materials and Methods:
The survey and measurement were conducted from April 2011 to December 2012 among Qatari nationals above 20 years of age. Of the 2,182 subjects, who were approached to participate in the study, 1,552 (71%) gave their consent. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire followed by anthropometric measurements and laboratory tests. Metabolic syndrome was defined using the National Cholesterol Education Program-Third Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III) as well as International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
Results:
Overall, the prevalence of MetS was 26.2% according to ATP III and 36.9% according to IDF (P < 0.0001). The mean age of MetS patients with T2DM was significantly higher than those without T2DM (Mean 48 ± 9.9 vs. 42.5 ± 9.2; P < 0.001). The proportion of females was higher among MetS patients with T2DM as compared to those without T2DM (61% vs. 51%; P = 0.053). In addition, there were significant differences between MetS patients with and without DM in terms of co-morbidities of hypertension, coronary heart disease, and high cholesterol. The proportion of MetS patients with positive family history for MetS was significantly higher in MetS patients with T2DM as compared to those without T2DM (46.7% vs. 33.8%; P = 0.009). The proportion of positive family history of MetS among fathers (35% vs. 21.9%; P = 0.005), mothers (30.5% vs. 18.8%; P = 0.008), maternal aunt (18.3% vs. 11.2%; P = 0.055), and maternal grand father (19.5% vs. 10%; P = 0.010) were significantly higher in MetS patients with T2DM as compared to the counterpart. The proportion of consanguineous marriages was almost two times higher among MetS patients with T2DM as compared to those without T2DM (80.9% vs. 41.9%; P < 0.001). The proportion of MetS patients with T2DM was lower than MetS patients without DM below 45 years, but after 45 years, the proportion of MetS patients with T2DM remained higher than their counterparts.
Conclusion:
Family history of MetS among parents, maternal aunt, maternal grandfather, and consanguineous marriages among patients of MetS are significantly associated with the development of T2DM in Qatar. These results support the necessity of earlier screening for T2DM among MetS patients with positive family history of MetS.
doi:10.4103/2230-8210.129112
PMCID: PMC3987271  PMID: 24741517
Consanguinity; correlates; diabetes mellitus; genetics; metabolic syndrome; prevalence
7.  Familial associations between polycystic ovarian syndrome and common diseases 
Purpose
The goal of this study was focused on two subjects. First, to determine possible association between PCOS and family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, heart attack, thrombosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Second, to evaluate maternal and paternal transmission in PCOS patients with positive family history of a disease.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in 549 infertile women (273 with PCOS and 276 controls) in Arash hospital of Tehran, Iran, between 2007 and 2008 by using questionnaire.
Results
In this analysis, there were significantly increased number of women with the positive family history of diabetes among PCOS group (28.21% vs. 19.20%, p = 0.01). Meanwhile, four women in PCOS group had self history of diabetes while no one in the control group reported diabetes. A statistically significant positive family history of breast cancer was found among the control group (4.35% vs. 1.30%, p = 0.02). Endometrial cancer and diabetes were observed in mother or mother’s side of the family but heart attack and thrombosis manifested in father or father’s side of the family more. There were no statistically significant differences in a positive individual or family history of ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, heart attack, thrombosis and CVD between the two groups.
Conclusion
In the present study, women and their relatives with PCOS had an increased prevalence of diabetes and it is more common in mother’s side of the family.
doi:10.1007/s10815-009-9297-7
PMCID: PMC2654928  PMID: 19205868
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS); Family history; Diabetes; Breast Cancer; Endometrial Cancer; Heart attack; Thrombosis; Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
8.  The association between paternal prostate cancer and type 2 diabetes 
Objective
Increasing evidence indicates that type 2 diabetic patients are at elevated risk for developing different kinds of cancers. However, diabetes mellitus may be a protective factor for prostate cancer since both were found to be negatively associated. Based on the same genetic background, parents of diabetic patients might show similar risks concerning cancers.
Research design and methods
We conducted a case-control study, where familiy history of 794 type 2 diabetic cases and 775 non-diabetic controls was ascertained. Then, we expanded our study up to 801 type 2 diabetic cases and 1267 non-diabetic controls.
Results
Concerning the 794 type 2 diabetic patients and 775 controls, we observed that cancer of cervix uteri was elevated among mothers of controls (odds ratio (OR) 0.19; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.02 to 0.88; p = 0.033). Mothers of diabetic patients showed an increased history of cancers of the liver and biliary tract (OR 5.23; 95% CI 1.87 to 19.9; p = 0.0009) and stomach (OR 3.84; 95% CI 1.47 to 12.4; p = 0.0049). Pancreatic cancers were found to be elevated in fathers of diabetic patients (OR 4.92; 95% CI 1.07 to 46.7; p = 0.039). Most notably, a lower number of prostate cancers was observed in fathers of diabetic patients (OR 0.47; 95% CI 0.22 to 0.94; p = 0.032). Since diabetic patients were 14.3 years older than the controls, higher levels of cancer history among parents of diabetic patients would have been expected. Thus, the observed lower level of history of prostate cancer can be regarded as highly reliable.
The analysis of 801 type 2 diabetics and 1267 controls showed that cancer of stomach was elevated among mothers of controls (OR 2.67; p = 0.0106). In addition, stomach cancers were found to be elevated in fathers of diabetic patients (OR 2.10; p = 0.0141). In accordance with the previous investigation, we again obseved a lower number of prostate cancers in fathers of diabetic patients (OR 0.49; p = 0.0279).
However, the application of the statistical method of Mantel-Haenszel showed no significant result concerning any of the cancer histories.
Conclusion
Fathers of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes were diagnosed less frequently with prostate cancer compared to fathers of non-diabetic controls. As first-degree relatives, e.g. diabetic patients and their fathers, share 50% of their genes, it appears plausible that genetic factors may play an important role in the negative association between diabetes and prostate cancer. However, different statistic analyses showed controversial results concerning the effect of type 2 diabetes on prostate cancers.
doi:10.1186/1477-3163-6-14
PMCID: PMC2042980  PMID: 17897447
9.  Primary Prevention of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Large-for-Gestational-Age Newborns by Lifestyle Counseling: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1001036.
In a cluster-randomized trial, Riitta Luoto and colleagues find that counseling on diet and activity can reduce the birthweight of babies born to women at risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), but fail to find an effect on GDM.
Background
Our objective was to examine whether gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or newborns' high birthweight can be prevented by lifestyle counseling in pregnant women at high risk of GDM.
Method and Findings
We conducted a cluster-randomized trial, the NELLI study, in 14 municipalities in Finland, where 2,271 women were screened by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at 8–12 wk gestation. Euglycemic (n = 399) women with at least one GDM risk factor (body mass index [BMI] ≥25 kg/m2, glucose intolerance or newborn's macrosomia (≥4,500 g) in any earlier pregnancy, family history of diabetes, age ≥40 y) were included. The intervention included individual intensified counseling on physical activity and diet and weight gain at five antenatal visits. Primary outcomes were incidence of GDM as assessed by OGTT (maternal outcome) and newborns' birthweight adjusted for gestational age (neonatal outcome). Secondary outcomes were maternal weight gain and the need for insulin treatment during pregnancy. Adherence to the intervention was evaluated on the basis of changes in physical activity (weekly metabolic equivalent task (MET) minutes) and diet (intake of total fat, saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, saccharose, and fiber). Multilevel analyses took into account cluster, maternity clinic, and nurse level influences in addition to age, education, parity, and prepregnancy BMI. 15.8% (34/216) of women in the intervention group and 12.4% (22/179) in the usual care group developed GDM (absolute effect size 1.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.71–2.62, p = 0.36). Neonatal birthweight was lower in the intervention than in the usual care group (absolute effect size −133 g, 95% CI −231 to −35, p = 0.008) as was proportion of large-for-gestational-age (LGA) newborns (26/216, 12.1% versus 34/179, 19.7%, p = 0.042). Women in the intervention group increased their intake of dietary fiber (adjusted coefficient 1.83, 95% CI 0.30–3.25, p = 0.023) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (adjusted coefficient 0.37, 95% CI 0.16–0.57, p<0.001), decreased their intake of saturated fatty acids (adjusted coefficient −0.63, 95% CI −1.12 to −0.15, p = 0.01) and intake of saccharose (adjusted coefficient −0.83, 95% CI −1.55 to −0.11, p  =  0.023), and had a tendency to a smaller decrease in MET minutes/week for at least moderate intensity activity (adjusted coefficient 91, 95% CI −37 to 219, p = 0.17) than women in the usual care group. In subgroup analysis, adherent women in the intervention group (n = 55/229) had decreased risk of GDM (27.3% versus 33.0%, p = 0.43) and LGA newborns (7.3% versus 19.5%, p = 0.03) compared to women in the usual care group.
Conclusions
The intervention was effective in controlling birthweight of the newborns, but failed to have an effect on maternal GDM.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN33885819
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is diabetes that is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Like other types of diabetes, it is characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Blood-sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone that the pancreas releases when blood-sugar levels rise after meals. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and the baby's growth demands increase a pregnant woman's insulin needs and, if her pancreas cannot make enough insulin, GDM develops. Risk factors for GDM, which occurs in 2%–14% of pregnant women, include a high body-mass index (a measure of body fat), excessive weight gain or low physical activity during pregnancy, high dietary intake of polyunsaturated fats, glucose intolerance (an indicator of diabetes) or the birth of a large baby in a previous pregnancy, and a family history of diabetes. GDM is associated with an increased rate of cesarean sections, induced deliveries, birth complications, and large-for-gestational-age (LGA) babies (gestation is the time during which the baby develops within the mother). GDM, which can often be controlled by diet and exercise, usually disappears after pregnancy but increases a woman's subsequent risk of developing diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although lifestyle changes can be used to control GDM, it is not known whether similar changes can prevent GDM developing (“primary prevention”). In this cluster-randomized controlled trial, the researchers investigate whether individual intensified counseling on physical activity, diet, and weight gain integrated into routine maternity care visits can prevent the development of GDM and the occurrence of LGA babies among newborns. In a cluster-randomized controlled trial, groups of patients rather than individual patients are randomly assigned to receive alternative interventions, and the outcomes in different “clusters” are compared. In this trial, each cluster is a municipality in the Pirkanmaa region of Finland.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled 399 women, each of whom had a normal blood glucose level at 8–12 weeks gestation but at least one risk factor for GDM. Women in the intervention municipalities received intensified counseling on physical activity at 8–12 weeks' gestation, dietary counseling at 16–18 weeks' gestation, and further physical activity and dietary counseling at each subsequent antenatal visits. Women in the control municipalities received some dietary but little physical activity counseling as part of their usual care. 23.3% and 20.2% of women in the intervention and usual care groups, respectively, developed GDM, a nonstatistically significant difference (that is, a difference that could have occurred by chance). However, the average birthweight and the proportion of LGA babies were both significantly lower in the intervention group than in the usual care group. Food frequency questionnaires completed by the women indicated that, on average, those in the intervention group increased their intake of dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids and decreased their intake of saturated fatty acids and sucrose as instructed during counseling, The amount of moderate physical activity also tended to decrease less as pregnancy proceeded in the intervention group than in usual care group. Finally, compared to the usual care group, significantly fewer of the 24% of women in the intervention group who actually met dietary and physical activity targets (“adherent” women) developed GDM.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that intensified counseling on diet and physical activity is effective in controlling the birthweight of babies born to women at risk of developing GDM and encourages at least some of them to alter their lifestyle. However, the findings fail to show that the intervention reduces the risk of GDM because of the limited power of the study. The power of a study—the probability that it will achieve a statistically significant result—depends on the study's size and on the likely effect size of the intervention. Before starting this study, the researchers calculated that they would need 420 participants to see a statistically significant difference between the groups if their intervention reduced GDM incidence by 40%. This estimated effect size was probably optimistic and therefore the study lacked power. Nevertheless, the analyses performed among adherent women suggest that lifestyle changes might be a way to prevent GDM and so larger studies should now be undertaken to test this potential primary prevention intervention.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001036.
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information for patients on diabetes and on gestational diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides information for patients on diabetes and on gestational diabetes, including links to other useful resources
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has pages on diabetes and on gestational diabetes; MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources on diabetes and on gestational diabetes (in English and Spanish)
More information on this trial of primary prevention of GDM is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001036
PMCID: PMC3096610  PMID: 21610860
10.  Mendelian Randomization Study of B-Type Natriuretic Peptide and Type 2 Diabetes: Evidence of Causal Association from Population Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(10):e1001112.
Using mendelian randomization, Roman Pfister and colleagues demonstrate a potentially causal link between low levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), a hormone released by damaged hearts, and the development of type 2 diabetes.
Background
Genetic and epidemiological evidence suggests an inverse association between B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels in blood and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), but the prospective association of BNP with T2D is uncertain, and it is unclear whether the association is confounded.
Methods and Findings
We analysed the association between levels of the N-terminal fragment of pro-BNP (NT-pro-BNP) in blood and risk of incident T2D in a prospective case-cohort study and genotyped the variant rs198389 within the BNP locus in three T2D case-control studies. We combined our results with existing data in a meta-analysis of 11 case-control studies. Using a Mendelian randomization approach, we compared the observed association between rs198389 and T2D to that expected from the NT-pro-BNP level to T2D association and the NT-pro-BNP difference per C allele of rs198389. In participants of our case-cohort study who were free of T2D and cardiovascular disease at baseline, we observed a 21% (95% CI 3%–36%) decreased risk of incident T2D per one standard deviation (SD) higher log-transformed NT-pro-BNP levels in analysis adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, smoking, family history of T2D, history of hypertension, and levels of triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The association between rs198389 and T2D observed in case-control studies (odds ratio = 0.94 per C allele, 95% CI 0.91–0.97) was similar to that expected (0.96, 0.93–0.98) based on the pooled estimate for the log-NT-pro-BNP level to T2D association derived from a meta-analysis of our study and published data (hazard ratio = 0.82 per SD, 0.74–0.90) and the difference in NT-pro-BNP levels (0.22 SD, 0.15–0.29) per C allele of rs198389. No significant associations were observed between the rs198389 genotype and potential confounders.
Conclusions
Our results provide evidence for a potential causal role of the BNP system in the aetiology of T2D. Further studies are needed to investigate the mechanisms underlying this association and possibilities for preventive interventions.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, nearly 250 million people have diabetes, and this number is increasing rapidly. Diabetes is characterized by dangerous amounts of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone that the pancreas releases after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the most common form of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that usually respond to insulin by removing sugar from the blood become insulin resistant. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise, and with drugs that help the pancreas make more insulin or that make cells more sensitive to insulin. The long-term complications of diabetes, which include kidney failure and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about 10 years compared to people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Because the causes of type 2 diabetes are poorly understood, it is hard to devise ways to prevent the condition. Recently, B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP, a hormone released by damaged hearts) has been implicated in type 2 diabetes development in cross-sectional studies (investigations in which data are collected at a single time point from a population to look for associations between an illness and potential risk factors). Although these studies suggest that high levels of BNP may protect against type 2 diabetes, they cannot prove a causal link between BNP levels and diabetes because the study participants with low BNP levels may share some another unknown factor (a confounding factor) that is the real cause of both diabetes and altered BNP levels. Here, the researchers use an approach called “Mendelian randomization” to examine whether reduced BNP levels contribute to causing type 2 diabetes. It is known that a common genetic variant (rs198389) within the genome region that encodes BNP is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Because gene variants are inherited randomly, they are not subject to confounding. So, by investigating the association between BNP gene variants that alter NT-pro-BNP (a molecule created when BNP is being produced) levels and the development of type 2 diabetes, the researchers can discover whether BNP is causally involved in this chronic condition.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed the association between blood levels of NT-pro-BNP at baseline in 440 participants of the EPIC-Norfolk study (a prospective population-based study of lifestyle factors and the risk of chronic diseases) who subsequently developed diabetes and in 740 participants who did not develop diabetes. In this prospective case-cohort study, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was associated with lower NT-pro-BNP levels. They also genotyped (sequenced) rs198389 in the participants of three case-control studies of type 2 diabetes (studies in which potential risk factors for type 2 diabetes were examined in people with type 2 diabetes and matched controls living in the East of England), and combined these results with those of eight similar published case-control studies. Finally, the researchers showed that the association between rs198389 and type 2 diabetes measured in the case-control studies was similar to the expected association calculated from the association between NT-pro-BNP level and type 2 diabetes obtained from the prospective case-cohort study and the association between rs198389 and BNP levels obtained from the EPIC-Norfolk study and other published studies.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The results of this Mendelian randomization study provide evidence for a causal, protective role of the BNP hormone system in the development of type 2 diabetes. That is, these findings suggest that low levels of BNP are partly responsible for the development of type 2 diabetes. Because the participants in all the individual studies included in this analysis were of European descent, these findings may not be generalizable to other ethnicities. Moreover, they provide no explanation of how alterations in the BNP hormone system might affect the development of type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, the demonstration of a causal link between the BNP hormone system and type 2 diabetes suggests that BNP may be a potential target for interventions designed to prevent type 2 diabetes, particularly since the feasibility of altering BNP levels with drugs has already been proven in patients with cardiovascular disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001112.
The International Diabetes Federation provides information about all aspects of diabetes
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides detailed information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals, and the general public (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes and includes people's stories about diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has pages on BNP and on Mendelian randomization (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The charity Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes; the charity Diabetes UK has a further selection of stories from people with diabetes
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001112
PMCID: PMC3201934  PMID: 22039354
11.  Consequences of Gestational Diabetes in an Urban Hospital in Viet Nam: A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(7):e1001272.
Jane Hirst and colleagues determined the prevalence and outcome of gestational diabetes mellitus in urban Vietnam and found that choice of criteria greatly affected prevalence, and has implications for the ability of the health system to cope with the number of cases.
Background
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing and is a risk for type 2 diabetes. Evidence supporting screening comes mostly from high-income countries. We aimed to determine prevalence and outcomes in urban Viet Nam. We compared the proposed International Association of the Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) criterion, requiring one positive value on the 75-g glucose tolerance test, to the 2010 American Diabetes Association (ADA) criterion, requiring two positive values.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a prospective cohort study in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. Study participants were 2,772 women undergoing routine prenatal care who underwent a 75-g glucose tolerance test and interview around 28 (range 24–32) wk. GDM diagnosed by the ADA criterion was treated by local protocol. Women with GDM by the IADPSG criterion but not the ADA criterion were termed “borderline” and received standard care. 2,702 women (97.5% of cohort) were followed until discharge after delivery. GDM was diagnosed in 164 participants (6.1%) by the ADA criterion, 550 (20.3%) by the IADPSG criterion. Mean body mass index was 20.45 kg/m2 in women with out GDM, 21.10 in women with borderline GDM, and 21.81 in women with GDM, p<0.001. Women with GDM and borderline GDM were more likely to deliver preterm, with adjusted odds ratios (aORs) of 1.49 (95% CI 1.16–1.91) and 1.52 (1.03–2.24), respectively. They were more likely to have clinical neonatal hypoglycaemia, aORs of 4.94 (3.41–7.14) and 3.34 (1.41–7.89), respectively. For large for gestational age, the aORs were 1.16 (0.93–1.45) and 1.31 (0.96–1.79), respectively. There was no significant difference in large for gestational age, death, severe birth trauma, or maternal morbidity between the groups. Women with GDM underwent more labour inductions, aOR 1.51 (1.08–2.11).
Conclusions
Choice of criterion greatly affects GDM prevalence in Viet Nam. Women with GDM by the IADPSG criterion were at risk of preterm delivery and neonatal hypoglycaemia, although this criterion resulted in 20% of pregnant women being positive for GDM. The ability to cope with such a large number of cases and prevent associated adverse outcomes needs to be demonstrated before recommending widespread screening.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Editors' Summary
Background
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is diabetes that is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Like other types of diabetes, it is characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Blood-sugar levels are usually controlled by insulin, which is made by the pancreas. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and the baby's growth demands increase a pregnant woman's insulin needs, and if her pancreas cannot make enough insulin, GDM develops, usually in mid-pregnancy. Risk factors for GDM include a high body mass index (a measure of body fat), excessive weight gain or lack of physical activity during pregnancy, and glucose intolerance (an indicator of diabetes that is measured using the “oral glucose tolerance test”). GDM increases the risk of premature delivery, induced delivery, and having a large-for-gestational-age baby (gestation is the time during which the baby develops within the mother). It also increases the baby's risk of having low blood sugar (neonatal hypoglycemia). GDM, which can often be controlled by exercise and diet, usually disappears after pregnancy but increases the risk of diabetes developing later in both mother and baby.
Why Was This Study Done?
The prevalence (occurrence) of diabetes is increasing rapidly, particularly in low/middleincome countries as they become more affluent. Because GDM increases the subsequent risk of diabetes, some experts believe that screening for GDM should be included in prenatal care as part of diabetes preventative strategies. However, most of the evidence supporting GDM screening comes from high-income countries, so in this prospective cohort study (a study that analyses associations between the baseline characteristics of a group of patients and outcomes), the researchers investigate the prevalence of GDM (diagnosed using the oral glucose tolerance test) and the consequences of GDM among women attending an urban hospital in Viet Nam, a low/middle-income country. An oral glucose tolerance test measures a patient's blood-sugar level after an overnight fast, and one and two hours after consuming a sugary drink. The International Association of the Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines state, respectively, that one and two of these blood-sugar measurements must be abnormally high for a diagnosis of GDM. In this study, the researchers use both guidelines to diagnose GDM.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Nearly 3,000 women who attended the hospital for routine prenatal care had a glucose tolerance test at around 28 weeks' gestation and were followed until discharge after delivery. Women who had GDM diagnosed by the ADA criterion were referred for dietary advice and glucose monitoring. Those diagnosed by the IADPSG criterion only were described as having “borderline” GDM and received standard prenatal care. GDM was diagnosed in 6.1% and 20.3% of the women using the ADA and IADPSG criteria, respectively. After allowing for other factors that might have affected outcomes, compared to women without GDM, women with GDM or borderline GDM were more likely to deliver prematurely, and their babies were more likely to have neonatal hypoglycemia. Also, women with GDM (but not borderline GDM) were more likely to have their labor induced than women without GDM.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the criterion used to diagnose GDM markedly affected the prevalence of GDM among pregnant women attending this Vietnamese hospital—the use of the IADPSG criterion more than tripled the prevalence of GDM and meant that a fifth of the study participants were diagnosed as having GDM. Importantly, the findings also show that GDM diagnosed using the IADPSG criterion was associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery and neonatal hypoglycemia. Although these findings may not be generalizable to other settings within Viet Nam or to other countries, they highlight the need to demonstrate that sufficient resources are available to cope with an increased GDM burden before recommending widespread screening using the IADPSG criterion. Moreover, because the long-term significance of GDM diagnosed using the IADPSG criterion is not known, all the potential benefits and harms and the costs of screening and treating GDM in low-income settings need to be further investigated before any recommendation for “universal” GDM screening is made.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10. 1371/journal.pmed.1001272.
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information for patients on diabetes and on gestational diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides information for patients about diabetes and about gestational diabetes, including links to other useful resources
The American Diabetes Association also provides detailed information for patients and professionals about all aspects of diabetes, including gestational diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The International Association of the Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) 2010 recommendations on the diagnosis and classification of gestational diabetes are available
The charity Diabetes UK provides detailed information for patients and carers, including information on gestational diabetes; its blog includes a personal story about gestational diabetes, and its website includes a selection of other stories from people with diabetes; the charity Healthtalkonline also has an interview describing a personal experience of gestational diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources on diabetes and on gestational diabetes (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001272
PMCID: PMC3404117  PMID: 22911157
12.  Gene-Lifestyle Interaction and Type 2 Diabetes: The EPIC InterAct Case-Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(5):e1001647.
In this study, Wareham and colleagues quantified the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on risk of T2D in order to inform strategies for prevention. The authors found that the relative effect of a type 2 diabetes genetic risk score is greater in younger and leaner participants, and the high absolute risk associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Understanding of the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) has progressed rapidly, but the interactions between common genetic variants and lifestyle risk factors have not been systematically investigated in studies with adequate statistical power. Therefore, we aimed to quantify the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on risk of T2D in order to inform strategies for prevention.
Methods and Findings
The InterAct study includes 12,403 incident T2D cases and a representative sub-cohort of 16,154 individuals from a cohort of 340,234 European participants with 3.99 million person-years of follow-up. We studied the combined effects of an additive genetic T2D risk score and modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors using Prentice-weighted Cox regression and random effects meta-analysis methods. The effect of the genetic score was significantly greater in younger individuals (p for interaction  = 1.20×10−4). Relative genetic risk (per standard deviation [4.4 risk alleles]) was also larger in participants who were leaner, both in terms of body mass index (p for interaction  = 1.50×10−3) and waist circumference (p for interaction  = 7.49×10−9). Examination of absolute risks by strata showed the importance of obesity for T2D risk. The 10-y cumulative incidence of T2D rose from 0.25% to 0.89% across extreme quartiles of the genetic score in normal weight individuals, compared to 4.22% to 7.99% in obese individuals. We detected no significant interactions between the genetic score and sex, diabetes family history, physical activity, or dietary habits assessed by a Mediterranean diet score.
Conclusions
The relative effect of a T2D genetic risk score is greater in younger and leaner participants. However, this sub-group is at low absolute risk and would not be a logical target for preventive interventions. The high absolute risk associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, more than 380 million people currently have diabetes, and the condition is becoming increasingly common. Diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are usually controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest type of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin by removing excess sugar from the blood become less responsive to insulin. Type 2 diabetes can often initially be controlled with diet and exercise (lifestyle changes) and with antidiabetic drugs such as metformin and sulfonylureas, but patients may eventually need insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about ten years compared to people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Type 2 diabetes is thought to originate from the interplay between genetic and lifestyle factors. But although rapid progress is being made in understanding the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes, it is not known whether the consequences of adverse lifestyles (for example, being overweight and/or physically inactive) differ according to an individual's underlying genetic risk of diabetes. It is important to investigate this question to inform strategies for prevention. If, for example, obese individuals with a high level of genetic risk have a higher risk of developing diabetes than obese individuals with a low level of genetic risk, then preventative strategies that target lifestyle interventions to obese individuals with a high genetic risk would be more effective than strategies that target all obese individuals. In this case-cohort study, researchers from the InterAct consortium quantify the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on the risk of type 2 diabetes. A case-cohort study measures exposure to potential risk factors in a group (cohort) of people and compares the occurrence of these risk factors in people who later develop the disease with those who remain disease free.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The InterAct study involves 12,403 middle-aged individuals who developed type 2 diabetes after enrollment (incident cases) into the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and a sub-cohort of 16,154 EPIC participants. The researchers calculated a genetic type 2 diabetes risk score for most of these individuals by determining which of 49 gene variants associated with type 2 diabetes each person carried, and collected baseline information about exposure to lifestyle risk factors for type 2 diabetes. They then used various statistical approaches to examine the combined effects of the genetic risk score and lifestyle factors on diabetes development. The effect of the genetic score was greater in younger individuals than in older individuals and greater in leaner participants than in participants with larger amounts of body fat. The absolute risk of type 2 diabetes, expressed as the ten-year cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes (the percentage of participants who developed diabetes over a ten-year period) increased with increasing genetic score in normal weight individuals from 0.25% in people with the lowest genetic risk scores to 0.89% in those with the highest scores; in obese people, the ten-year cumulative incidence rose from 4.22% to 7.99% with increasing genetic risk score.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that in this middle-aged cohort, the relative association with type 2 diabetes of a genetic risk score comprised of a large number of gene variants is greatest in individuals who are younger and leaner at baseline. This finding may in part reflect the methods used to originally identify gene variants associated with type 2 diabetes, and future investigations that include other genetic variants, other lifestyle factors, and individuals living in other settings should be undertaken to confirm this finding. Importantly, however, this study shows that young, lean individuals with a high genetic risk score have a low absolute risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Thus, this sub-group of individuals is not a logical target for preventative interventions. Rather, suggest the researchers, the high absolute risk of type 2 diabetes associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001647.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals and the general public, including detailed information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes and about living with diabetes; it also provides people's stories about diabetes
The charity Diabetes UK provides detailed information for patients and carers in several languages, including information on healthy lifestyles for people with diabetes
The UK-based non-profit organization Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
The Genetic Landscape of Diabetes is published by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information
More information on the InterAct study is available
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001647
PMCID: PMC4028183  PMID: 24845081
13.  Importance of maternal history of non-insulin dependent diabetic patients. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1991;302(6786):1178-1180.
OBJECTIVE--To assess the family history of diabetes in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus with particular emphasis on parental phenotype. DESIGN--Family histories were obtained from an existing computerised database and supplemented by postal questionnaires. SETTING--Diabetic service of a provincial teaching hospital. SUBJECTS--A total of 1326 patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes who had been referred to diabetic clinics over the past 10 years and from whom data had been collected for inclusion in the database, of whom 347 had affected first degree relatives. Nineteen non-white patients were excluded because of the differential hereditability of the disease, and 230 (70%) patients with an affected first degree relative responded to the postal questionnaire. RESULTS--Mothers were implicated in significantly more cases than fathers in patients with a single affected parent: 125 mothers and 48 fathers from database; 82 mothers and 34 fathers from postal questionnaire; p less than 0.001 in both cases. CONCLUSIONS--Maternal influences seem to have an important role in the inheritance of non-insulin dependent diabetes.
PMCID: PMC1669871  PMID: 2043812
14.  Preeclampsia as a Risk Factor for Diabetes: A Population-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(4):e1001425.
Denice Feig and colleagues assess the association between gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preeclampsia and the development of future diabetes in a database analysis of pregnant women in Ontario, Canada.
Background
Women with preeclampsia (PEC) and gestational hypertension (GH) exhibit insulin resistance during pregnancy, independent of obesity and glucose intolerance. Our aim was to determine whether women with PEC or GH during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing diabetes after pregnancy, and whether the presence of PEC/GH in addition to gestational diabetes (GDM) increases the risk of future (postpartum) diabetes.
Methods and Findings
We performed a population-based, retrospective cohort study for 1,010,068 pregnant women who delivered in Ontario, Canada between April 1994 and March 2008. Women were categorized as having PEC alone (n = 22,933), GH alone (n = 27,605), GDM alone (n = 30,852), GDM+PEC (n = 1,476), GDM+GH (n = 2,100), or none of these conditions (n = 925,102). Our main outcome was a new diagnosis of diabetes postpartum in the following years, up until March 2011, based on new records in the Ontario Diabetes Database. The incidence rate of diabetes per 1,000 person-years was 6.47 for women with PEC and 5.26 for GH compared with 2.81 in women with neither of these conditions. In the multivariable analysis, both PEC alone (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.08; 95% CI 1.97–2.19) and GH alone (HR = 1.95; 95% CI 1.83–2.07) were risk factors for subsequent diabetes. Women with GDM alone were at elevated risk of developing diabetes postpartum (HR = 12.77; 95% CI 12.44–13.10); however, the co–presence of PEC or GH in addition to GDM further elevated this risk (HR = 15.75; 95% CI 14.52–17.07, and HR = 18.49; 95% CI 17.12–19.96, respectively). Data on obesity were not available.
Conclusions
Women with PEC/GH have a 2-fold increased risk of developing diabetes when followed up to 16.5 years after pregnancy, even in the absence of GDM. The presence of PEC/GH in the setting of GDM also raised the risk of diabetes significantly beyond that seen with GDM alone. A history of PEC/GH during pregnancy should alert clinicians to the need for preventative counseling and more vigilant screening for diabetes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar), known as type 1 diabetes, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces—type 2 diabetes. Raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious complications and even death. Worryingly, the global burden of type 2 diabetes is increasing worldwide, and the World Health Organization estimates that 90% of the 347 million people with diabetes currently have type 2 diabetes. Previous studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in high risk groups by a range of lifestyle and treatment interventions and so it is important to identify potential high risk groups to screen for type 2 diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Gestational diabetes (a form of diabetes that is related to pregnancy) is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, diabetes prevention strategies should target women with gestational diabetes. Likewise, other common disorders of pregnancy possibly associated with insulin resistance, such as preeclampsia (a condition in which affected women have high blood pressure, fluid retention, and protein in their urine) and gestational hypertension (high blood pressure associated with pregnancy), may lead to the future development of type 2 diabetes. So women with these conditions may also benefit from diabetes prevention strategies. Therefore, in this large database study from Ontario, Canada, the researchers examined whether pregnant women with preeclampsia or gestational hypertension had an increased risk of developing diabetes in the years following pregnancy even if they did not have gestational diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used a comprehensive Canadian health database to identify all women age 15 to 50 years of age who delivered in an Ontario hospital between April 1994 and March 2008. They then identified women who had preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, or gestational diabetes through hospital records and outpatient information. The researchers then used records from the Ontario Diabetes Database to record whether these women went on to develop diabetes in the period from 180 days after delivery until March 2011.
Using these methods, the researchers identified 1,010,068 pregnant women suitable for analysis, of whom 22,933 had only preeclampsia, 27,605 had only gestational hypertension, and 30,852 had only gestational diabetes: 2,100 women had both gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension and 1,476 women had gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Overall, 35,077 women developed diabetes (3.5%) in the follow-up period (median of 8.5 years) at a median age of 37 years. In a modeling analysis, the researchers found that women with gestational diabetes had a 15-fold increased rate of developing diabetes compared to women without gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preeclampsia, while women with gestational diabetes plus either preeclampsia or gestational hypertension had a 20- to 21-fold increased rate. These results were slightly reduced after adjusting for age, income quintile, hypertension prior to pregnancy, and co-morbidity, giving a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.95 for gestational hypertension alone, an HR of 2.08 for preeclampsia alone, an HR of 12.77 for gestational diabetes alone, an HR of 18.49 for gestational diabetes plus gestational hypertension and finally, an HR of 15.75 for gestational diabetes plus preeclampsia.
These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that both preeclampsia and gestational hypertension without gestational diabetes are associated with a 2-fold increased incidence of diabetes in the years following pregnancy after controlling for several important variables. When combined with gestational diabetes, these conditions were associated with a further elevation in diabetes incidence additional to the 13-fold increased incidence resulting from gestational diabetes alone. A limitation of this study was the lack of information on obesity and body mass index, factors which are also associated with increased risk of developing diabetes. Nevertheless, these findings highlight a possible new risk factor for diabetes, and suggest that clinicians should be aware of the need for preventative measures and vigilant screening for diabetes in women with a history of preeclampsia or gestational hypertension.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001425.
NHS Choices has information about preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and gestational hypertension
Living with diabetes is a useful resource for patients with diabetes
The Preeclampsia Foundation has more information about preeclampsia
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001425
PMCID: PMC3627640  PMID: 23610560
15.  Prevalence of diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors in an Iranian population with acute coronary syndrome 
Background
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in industrialized countries and most patients with diabetes die from complications of atherosclerosis. The objective of this study was to determine the presence of diabetes mellitus and other conventional coronary heart disease risk factors (cigarette smoking, hypertension and hyperlipidemia) in patients with acute coronary events in an Iranian population.
Methods
The study included 514 patients with unstable angina or myocardial infarction (MI) out of 720 patients admitted to CCU ward of a general hospital from March 2003 to March 2005. History of diabetes, hypertension and cigarette smoking, demographic indices, coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus treatment, myocardial enzymes, serum triglycerides (TG) and cholesterol and fasting and non fasting blood glucose levels and HbA1C of diabetics were recorded of admission sheets. The data were structured to appropriate one way ANOVA, T tests, and chi square test with SPSS 13 product for windows.
Results
Out of all patients 35.8% were female, 30% were diabetics (Duration 13.4 ± 8.7 years), 42% were smoker and 91% were hypertensive. Twenty four percent had MI and 76% had unstable angina. MI was significantly higher in diabetic patients (36.4% vs. 19.2%, P < 0.001). Location and extension of MI and myocardial enzymes did not differ between diabetics and non-diabetic patients. Diabetic patients were older than non diabetics (65 ± 11.6 vs. 59.7 ± 12.5 years, p < 0.05). Five (66.7%) out of 9 patients with fatal MI were diabetics (Odds Ratio = 2.98). Age, duration of diabetes and HbA1c levels, did not differ between diabetic patients with or without MI. Hypertension and current smoking was significantly higher in patients with MI compared to patients with unstable angina (p < 0.05). Serum TG, HDL-C, LDL-C and total cholesterol level did not differ between patients with MI and unstable angina. Diabetic patients compare to non diabetic patients were more hypertensive (96% vs. 88.7%, p < 0.005) and had higher serum triglyceride (TG over 200 mg/dl, 35.1% vs. 26.4, p <0.05). Diabetes was more frequent among women than men (36.4% vs. 26.4%, p < 0.05). Women were older than men (65 ± 11.6 vs. 59.2 ± 13 years, p < 0.005) and had higher total serum cholesterol (200 ± 41.8 vs. 192 ± 42.5 mg/dl, p < 0.05) and HDL-C levels (49.7 ± 22 vs. 40 ± 13 mg/dl, p < 0.005). Ninety seven percent of all patients had at least one of cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and low HDL-cholesterol levels).
Conclusion
In this study 19 out of 20 patients with acute coronary event have at least one of conventional cardiac risk factors. Diabetes and hypertension are leading risk factors, which may directly or indirectly interfere and predict more serious complications of coronary heart disease.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-5-15
PMCID: PMC1550715  PMID: 16842631
16.  Prevalence, risk factors and co-morbidities of diabetes among adults in rural Saskatchewan: the influence of farm residence and agriculture-related exposures 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:7.
Background
Although rural Canadians are reported to have higher rates of diabetes than others, little is known about the relative influence of known versus agriculture-related risk factors. The purpose of this research was to carry out a comprehensive study of prevalence, risk factors and co-morbidities of diabetes among adults in rural Saskatchewan and to determine possible differences between those living on and off farms.
Methods
In 2010, we conducted a baseline mail-out survey (Saskatchewan Rural Health Study) of 11,982 households located in the province′s four agricultural quadrants. In addition to self-reported physician-diagnosed diabetes, the questionnaire collected information from farm and small town cohorts on possible diabetes determinants including lifestyle, family history, early life factors and environmental/agricultural-related exposures. Clustering effect within households was adjusted using Generalized Estimating Equations approach.
Results
Responses were obtained from 4624 (42%) households comprising 8208 males and females aged 18 years or older and 7847 self-described Caucasian participants (7708 with complete information). The overall age-standardized diabetes prevalence for the latter was 6.35% but people whose primary residence was on farms had significantly lower diabetes prevalence than those living in non-farm locations (5.11% versus 7.33% respectively; p<0.0001). Diabetes risk increased with age and affected almost 17% of those older than 65 (OR 2.57; CI′ 1.63, 4.04 compared to those aged 18–45). Other known independent risk factors included family history of diabetes (OR 2.50 [CI′s 1.94, 3.23] if father; OR 3.11 [CI′s 2.44, 3.98] if mother), obesity (OR 2.66; CI′s 1.86, 3.78), as well as lower socioeconomic status, minimal/no alcohol intake and smoking. The most original finding was that exposure to insecticides conferred an increased risk for diabetes among males (OR 1.83; CI′s 1.15, 2.91). Finally, the co-morbidities with the strongest independent association with diabetes were heart disease and hypertension.
Conclusions
While known diabetes risk factors are important determinants of diabetes in the agricultural zones of Saskatchewan, on-farm residence is protective and appears related to increased outdoor activities. In contrast, we have now shown for the first time that exposure to insecticides is an independent risk factor for diabetes among men in rural Canada.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-7
PMCID: PMC3552674  PMID: 23289729
Diabetes; Rural; Agriculture; Insecticides; Farm; Exposures
17.  Association Between Maternal Diabetes in Utero and Age at Offspring's Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes  
Diabetes Care  2008;31(11):2126-2130.
OBJECTIVE—The purpose of this study was to examine age of diabetes diagnosis in youth who have a parent with diabetes by diabetes type and whether the parent's diabetes was diagnosed before or after the youth's birth.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—The cohort comprised SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study participants (diabetes diagnosis 2001–2005) with a diabetic parent. SEARCH is a multicenter survey of youth with diabetes diagnosed before age 20 years.
RESULTS—Youth with type 2 diabetes were more likely to have a parent with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes (mother 39.3%; father 21.2%) than youth with type 1 diabetes (5.3 and 6.7%, respectively, P < 0.001 for each). Type 2 diabetes was diagnosed 1.68 years earlier among those exposed to diabetes in utero (n = 174) than among those whose mothers’ diabetes was diagnosed later (P = 0.018, controlled for maternal diagnosis age, paternal diabetes, sex, and race/ethnicity). Age at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes for 269 youth with and without in utero exposure did not differ significantly (difference 0.96 year, P = 0.403 after adjustment). Controlled for the father's age of diagnosis, father's diabetes before the child's birth was not associated with age at diagnosis (P = 0.078 for type 1 diabetes; P = 0.140 for type 2 diabetes).
CONCLUSIONS—Type 2 diabetes was diagnosed at younger ages among those exposed to hyperglycemia in utero. Among youth with type 1 diabetes, the effect of the intrauterine exposure was not significant when controlled for mother's age of diagnosis. This study helps explain why other studies have found higher age-specific rates of type 2 diabetes among offspring of women with diabetes.
doi:10.2337/dc08-0769
PMCID: PMC2571061  PMID: 18694977
18.  Macrosomia and Hyperinsulinaemic Hypoglycaemia in Patients with Heterozygous Mutations in the HNF4A Gene 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(4):e118.
Background
Macrosomia is associated with considerable neonatal and maternal morbidity. Factors that predict macrosomia are poorly understood. The increased rate of macrosomia in the offspring of pregnant women with diabetes and in congenital hyperinsulinaemia is mediated by increased foetal insulin secretion. We assessed the in utero and neonatal role of two key regulators of pancreatic insulin secretion by studying birthweight and the incidence of neonatal hypoglycaemia in patients with heterozygous mutations in the maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) genes HNF4A (encoding HNF-4α) and HNF1A/TCF1 (encoding HNF-1α), and the effect of pancreatic deletion of Hnf4a on foetal and neonatal insulin secretion in mice.
Methods and Findings
We examined birthweight and hypoglycaemia in 108 patients from families with diabetes due to HNF4A mutations, and 134 patients from families with HNF1A mutations. Birthweight was increased by a median of 790 g in HNF4A-mutation carriers compared to non-mutation family members (p < 0.001); 56% (30/54) of HNF4A-mutation carriers were macrosomic compared with 13% (7/54) of non-mutation family members (p < 0.001). Transient hypoglycaemia was reported in 8/54 infants with heterozygous HNF4A mutations, but was reported in none of 54 non-mutation carriers (p = 0.003). There was documented hyperinsulinaemia in three cases. Birthweight and prevalence of neonatal hypoglycaemia were not increased in HNF1A-mutation carriers. Mice with pancreatic β-cell deletion of Hnf4a had hyperinsulinaemia in utero and hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia at birth.
Conclusions
HNF4A mutations are associated with a considerable increase in birthweight and macrosomia, and are a novel cause of neonatal hypoglycaemia. This study establishes a key role for HNF4A in determining foetal birthweight, and uncovers an unanticipated feature of the natural history of HNF4A-deficient diabetes, with hyperinsulinaemia at birth evolving to decreased insulin secretion and diabetes later in life.
HNF4A mutations were found to be associated with a considerable increase in birthweight and macrosomia, and were a cause of neonatal hypoglycaemia.
Editors' Summary
Background.
MODY, or maturity-onset diabetes of the young, is a particular subtype of diabetes; only a few percent of people with diabetes are thought to have this subtype. The condition comes about as a result of a mutation in one of six genes. Generally, people with MODY have high glucose (sugar) levels in the blood, and the typical symptoms of diabetes, such as increased thirst and urination, typically develop when the person is below the age of 25 y. Two of the genes that are known to cause MODY are mutant forms of HNF4A and HNF1A. The proteins that are encoded by these two genes control insulin levels produced by the pancreas; when these genes are mutated, not enough insulin is produced. Without enough insulin to control blood sugar, levels rise, leading to the symptoms of diabetes. However, MODY can be managed by many of the same interventions as other types of diabetes, such as diet, exercise, drug treatments, and insulin injections.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the evidence shows that individuals who carry mutations in HNF4A and HNF1A do not produce enough insulin and therefore have higher glucose levels in their blood, there were some tantalizing suggestions from mouse experiments that this might not be the whole story. Specifically, the researchers suspected that during embryonic development, mutations in HNF4A or HNF1A might actually cause higher insulin levels. Too much insulin during development of a fetus is known to cause it to gain weight, resulting in a baby that is larger than the average size for its age. Larger babies are risky for both the baby and the mother. The researchers doing this study wanted to understand more precisely what the links were between the forms of MODY caused by HNF4A and HNF1A mutations, and birth-weight and blood-sugar levels.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In this study, the researchers examined 15 families in which some family members had MODY caused by a mutation in HNF4A. They compared the birthweight for family members carrying the mutation (54 people) against the birthweight for those who did not (54 people). A similar comparison was done for 38 families in which some members had a different form of MODY, this time caused by a mutation in HNF1A. The results showed that the birthweight of family members who carried a mutation in HNF4A was, on average, 790 g higher than the birthweight of family members who didn't carry the mutation. Low blood-sugar levels at birth were also more common in people carrying the HNF4A mutation as compared to people who did not. However, the HNF1A mutation did not seem to be associated with greater birthweight or low blood-sugar levels at birth. Finally, in order to understand these findings further, the researchers created embryonic mice carrying mutations in the mouse equivalent of HNF4A. These embryos produced more insulin than normal mouse embryos and, after birth, were more likely to have low blood-sugar levels.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that there is a link between mutations in HNF4A, but not in HNF1A, and increased birthweight. The increase found in this study is quite substantial (a median weight of 4,660 g in the affected babies; a birthweight of more than 4,000 g is generally considered large). The results suggest that in human embryos with a mutated form of HNF4A, too much insulin is produced during development, causing faster growth and a higher chance of the baby being born with low blood-sugar levels. This is an unexpected finding, because later in life the HNF4A mutation causes lower insulin levels. Therefore, the biochemical pathways causing this type of MODY seem to be quite complicated, and further research will need to be done to fully understand them. Crucially, the research also suggests that pregnant women carrying HNF4A mutations should be closely followed to check their baby's growth and minimize the chance of complications. Doctors and families should also consider doing a genetic test for HNF4A if a baby has low blood-sugar levels and if there is a family history of diabetes; this would increase the chance of diagnosing MODY early.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed 0040118.
In a related Perspective in PLoS Medicine, Benjamin Glaser discusses causes of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the context of this study's findings
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has pages of information on different types of diabetes
Wikipedia has an entry on Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) (note that Wikipedia is an internet encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
Diabetes Research Department, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, UK provides information for patients and doctors on genetic types of diabetes; the website is maintained by the research group carrying out this study
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on diabetes and pregnancy
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040118
PMCID: PMC1845156  PMID: 17407387
19.  Correlates of Age Onset of Type 2 Diabetes Among Relatively Young Black and White Adults in a Community 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(6):1341-1346.
OBJECTIVE
The risk factors for middle-age onset of type 2 diabetes are well known. However, information is scant regarding the age onset of type 2 diabetes and its correlates in community-based black and white relatively young adults.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
This prospective cohort study consisted of normoglycemic (n = 2,459) and type 2 diabetic (n = 144) adults aged 18–50 years who were followed for an average of 16 years.
RESULTS
The incidence rate of the onset of type 2 diabetes was 1.6, 4.3, 3.9, and 3.4 per 1,000 person-years for age-groups 18–29, 30–39, and 40–50 and total sample, respectively. Incidences of diabetes increased with age by race and sex groups (P for trend ≤0.01); higher in black females versus white females and blacks versus whites in total sample (P < 0.05). In a multivariable Cox model, baseline parental diabetes (hazard ratio [HR] 5.24) and plasma insulin were significantly associated with diabetes incidence at the youngest age (18–29 years); black race, BMI, and glucose at age 30–39 years; female sex, parental diabetes (HR 2.44), BMI, ratio of triglycerides and HDL cholesterol (TG/HDL-C ratio), and glucose at age 40–50 years; and black race, parental diabetes (HR 2.44), BMI, TG/HDL-C ratio, and glucose in whole cohort. Further, patients with diabetes, regardless of age onset, displayed a significantly higher prevalence of maternal history of diabetes at baseline (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS
In relatively young adults, predictability of baseline cardiometabolic risk factors along with race, sex, and parental history of diabetes for the onset of type 2 diabetes varied by age-group. These findings have implications for early prevention and intervention in relatively young adults.
doi:10.2337/dc11-1818
PMCID: PMC3357227  PMID: 22399694
20.  Familial early onset of type-2 diabetes mellitus and its complications 
Background:
Globally, the prevalence of chronic, non-communicable diseases is increasing at an alarming rate. Furthermore, approximately 197 million people worldwide have impaired glucose tolerance. Consequently, diabetes is rapidly emerging as a global health problem that threatens to assume a pandemic level by 2030. In Indian population, genetic predisposition to trigger diabetes at an early age as compared to western counterpart has been focused very much.
Aim:
To gain further insight into the positive correlation between the diabetes and family history was the objective of this study.
Materials and Methods:
Patients attending the Diabetes Centre, K.L.E.S Dr. Prabhakar. Kore Hospital and Medical Research Centre; J. N. Medical College; KLE University Belgaum, Karnataka- India, were recruited, diagnosed and analyzed as per WHO criteria.
Results:
The prevalence of diabetes was higher among patients with diabetic mother (25.6%) compared to patients with diabetic father (21.2%) and there was early onset of type -2 diabetes among patients having both parents with diabetic when compared to other patients.
Conclusion:
Based on the present observation, it would be appropriate to emphasize again that a strong family history for diabetes, would signal at an early age, the onset of diabetes perhaps with its complications.
doi:10.4297/najms.2009.7377
PMCID: PMC3364686  PMID: 22666728
Family history; type-2 diabetes mellitus; retinopathy; nephropathy.
21.  Maternal history of diabetes is associated with increased cardiometabolic risk in Chinese 
Nutrition & Diabetes  2014;4(3):e112-.
Objective:
Positive family history is associated with increased type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk, and reflects both genetic and environmental risks. Several studies have suggested an excess maternal transmission of T2D, although the underlying mechanism is unknown. We aimed to examine the association between maternal diabetes and cardiometabolic risk in the offspring.
Methods:
Parental history of diabetes and clinical data including anthropometric traits, fasting plasma glucose and insulin (FPG, FPI), blood pressure and lipid profile were collected from 2581 unrelated Chinese offspring (2026 adolescents from a population-based school survey and 555 adults from a community-based health screening programme). A subset of subjects (n=834) underwent oral glucose tolerance test to measure the glucose and insulin concentrations at 0, 15, 30, 60 and 120 min for evaluation of the areas under the curve (AUC) of glucose and insulin at 0–120 min, homoeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and bell-cell function, insulinogenic index, insulin sensitivity index (ISI) and oral disposition index (DI).
Results:
A positive parental history of diabetes was associated with increased risk of obesity (odd ratios (OR) (95% confidence interval (CI))=1.48 (1.10–2.00)), central obesity (OR (95% CI)=1.67 (1.21–2.32)), higher FPI, HOMA-IR, 2-h insulin, AUC of glucose at 0–120 min, triglycerides, reduced ISI and DI. Compared with individuals without parental diabetes, offspring with diabetic mother had significantly increased risk of obesity (OR (95% CI)=1.59 (1.07–2.35)), central obesity (OR (95% CI)=1.88 (1.23–2.88)), higher glucose levels and BP, were more insulin resistant but also had impaired first-phase insulin response and worse lipid profile. However, paternal history of diabetes had no effect on any of the studied traits, except higher body mass index, waist circumference in females and FPG.
Conclusions:
Our findings suggested that maternal history of diabetes conferred increased risk of cardiometabolic abnormalities, and was associated with both insulin resistance and impaired first-phase insulin secretion. Further investigation into the mechanism of transgenerational diabetes is warranted.
doi:10.1038/nutd.2014.9
PMCID: PMC3974036  PMID: 24614663
22.  Muscle-Strengthening and Conditioning Activities and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Study in Two Cohorts of US Women 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(1):e1001587.
Anders Grøntved and colleagues examined whether women who perform muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities have an associated reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
It is well established that aerobic physical activity can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), but whether muscle-strengthening activities are beneficial for the prevention of T2D is unclear. This study examined the association of muscle-strengthening activities with the risk of T2D in women.
Methods and Findings
We prospectively followed up 99,316 middle-aged and older women for 8 years from the Nurses' Health Study ([NHS] aged 53–81 years, 2000–2008) and Nurses' Health Study II ([NHSII] aged 36–55 years, 2001–2009), who were free of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases at baseline. Participants reported weekly time spent on resistance exercise, lower intensity muscular conditioning exercises (yoga, stretching, toning), and aerobic moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at baseline and in 2004/2005. Cox regression with adjustment for major determinants for T2D was carried out to examine the influence of these types of activities on T2D risk. During 705,869 person years of follow-up, 3,491 incident T2D cases were documented. In multivariable adjusted models including aerobic MVPA, the pooled relative risk (RR) for T2D for women performing 1–29, 30–59, 60–150, and >150 min/week of total muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities was 0.83, 0.93, 0.75, and 0.60 compared to women reporting no muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities (p<0.001 for trend). Furthermore, resistance exercise and lower intensity muscular conditioning exercises were each independently associated with lower risk of T2D in pooled analyses. Women who engaged in at least 150 min/week of aerobic MVPA and at least 60 min/week of muscle-strengthening activities had substantial risk reduction compared with inactive women (pooled RR = 0.33 [95% CI 0.29–0.38]). Limitations to the study include that muscle-strengthening and conditioning activity and other types of physical activity were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire and that the study population consisted of registered nurses with mostly European ancestry.
Conclusions
Our study suggests that engagement in muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities (resistance exercise, yoga, stretching, toning) is associated with a lower risk of T2D. Engagement in both aerobic MVPA and muscle-strengthening type activity is associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of T2D in middle-aged and older women.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, more than 370 million people have diabetes mellitus, a disorder characterized by poor glycemic control—dangerously high amounts of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas. In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest form of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin by removing excess sugar from the blood become less responsive to insulin. Type 2 diabetes, which was previously known as adult-onset diabetes, can often initially be controlled with diet and exercise, and with antidiabetic drugs such as metformin and sulfonylureas. However, as the disease progresses, the pancreatic beta cells, which make insulin, become impaired and patients may eventually need insulin injections. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about 10 years compared to people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common worldwide so better preventative strategies are essential. It is well-established that regular aerobic exercise—physical activity in which the breathing and heart rate increase noticeably such as jogging, brisk walking, and swimming—lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. The World Health Organization currently recommends that adults should do at least 150 min/week of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic physical activity to reduce the risk of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases. It also recommends that adults should undertake muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities such as weight training and yoga on two or more days a week. However, although studies have shown that muscle-strengthening activity improves glycemic control in people who already have diabetes, it is unclear whether this form of exercise prevents diabetes. In this prospective cohort study (a study in which disease development is followed up over time in a group of people whose characteristics are recorded at baseline), the researchers investigated the association of muscle-strengthening activities with the risk of type 2 diabetes in women.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers followed up nearly 100,000 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and the Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII), two prospective US investigations into risk factors for chronic diseases in women, for 8 years. The women provided information on weekly participation in muscle-strengthening exercise (for example, weight training), lower intensity muscle-conditioning exercises (for example, yoga and toning), and aerobic moderate and vigorous physical activity (aerobic MVPA) at baseline and 4 years later. During the study 3,491 women developed diabetes. After allowing for major risk factors for type 2 diabetes (for example, diet and a family history of diabetes) and for aerobic MVPA, compared to women who did no muscle-strengthening or conditioning exercise, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes among women declined with increasing participation in muscle-strengthening and conditioning activity. Notably, women who did more than 150 min/week of these types of exercise had 40% lower risk of developing diabetes as women who did not exercise in this way at all. Muscle-strengthening and muscle-conditioning exercise were both independently associated with reduced diabetes risk, and women who engaged in at least 150 min/week of aerobic MVPA and at least 60 min/week of muscle-strengthening exercise were a third as likely to develop diabetes as inactive women.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, among the women enrolled in NHS and NHSII, engagement in muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes independent of aerobic MVPA. That is, non-aerobic exercise provided protection against diabetes in women who did no aerobic exercise. Importantly, they also show that doing both aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening exercise substantially reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes. Because nearly all the participants in NHS and NHSII were of European ancestry, these results may not be generalizable to women of other ethnic backgrounds. Moreover, the accuracy of these findings may be limited by the use of self-administered questionnaires to determine how much exercise the women undertook. Nevertheless, these findings support the inclusion of muscle-strengthening and conditioning exercises in strategies designed to prevent type 2 diabetes in women, a conclusion that is consistent with current guidelines for physical activity among adults.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001587.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals and the general public, including information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes and explains the benefits of regular physical activity
The World Health Organization provides information about diabetes and about physical activity and health (in several languages); its 2010 Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health are available in several languages
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on physical activity for different age groups; its Physical Activity for Everyone web pages include guidelines, instructional videos and personal success stories
More information about the Nurses Health Study and the Nurses Health Study II is available
The UK charity Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and about physical exercise and fitness (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001587
PMCID: PMC3891575  PMID: 24453948
23.  Prevalence and clinical characteristics of carotid atherosclerosis in newly diagnosed patients with ketosis-onset diabetes: a cross-sectional study 
Background
The features of carotid atherosclerosis in ketosis-onset diabetes have not been investigated. Our aim was to evaluate the prevalence and clinical characteristics of carotid atherosclerosis in newly diagnosed Chinese diabetic patients with ketosis but without islet-associated autoantibodies.
Methods
In total, 423 newly diagnosed Chinese patients with diabetes including 208 ketosis-onset diabetics without islet-associated autoantibodies, 215 non-ketotic type 2 diabetics and 79 control subjects without diabetes were studied. Carotid atherosclerosis was defined as the presence of atherosclerotic plaques in any of the carotid vessel segments. Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), carotid atherosclerotic plaque formation and stenosis were assessed and compared among the three groups based on Doppler ultrasound examination. The clinical features of carotid atherosclerotic lesions were analysed, and the risk factors associated with carotid atherosclerosis were evaluated using binary logistic regression in patients with diabetes.
Results
The prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis was significantly higher in the ketosis-onset diabetic group (30.80%) than in the control group (15.2%, p=0.020) after adjusting for age- and sex-related differences, but no significant difference was observed in comparison to the non-ketotic diabetic group (35.8%, p=0.487). The mean CIMT of the ketosis-onset diabetics (0.70±0.20 mm) was markedly higher than that of the control subjects (0.57±0.08 mm, p<0.001), but no significant difference was found compared with the non-ketotic type 2 diabetics (0.73±0.19 mm, p=0.582) after controlling for differences in age and sex. In both the ketosis-onset and the non-ketotic diabetes, the prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis was markedly increased with age (both p<0.001) after controlling for sex, but no sex difference was observed (p=0.479 and p=0.707, respectively) after controlling for age. In the ketosis-onset diabetics, the presence of carotid atherosclerosis was significantly associated with age, hypertension, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and mean CIMT.
Conclusions
The prevalence and risk of carotid atherosclerosis were significantly higher in the ketosis-onset diabetics than in the control subjects but similar to that in the non-ketotic type 2 diabetics. The characteristics of carotid atherosclerotic lesions in the ketosis-onset diabetics resembled those in the non-ketotic type 2 diabetics. Our findings support the classification of ketosis-onset diabetes as a subtype of type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-18
PMCID: PMC3583071  PMID: 23324539
Ketosis-prone diabetes; Type 2 diabetes; Atherosclerosis; Carotid arteries; Epidemiology
24.  Effect of Parental Type 2 Diabetes on Offspring With Type 1 Diabetes  
Diabetes Care  2009;32(1):63-68.
OBJECTIVE—The purpose of this study was to study the association between a parental history of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic profile as well as the presence of the metabolic syndrome and diabetes complications in patients with type 1 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—This was a cross-sectional study design in 1,860 patients with type 1 diabetes from the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy (FinnDiane) Study (620 patients with and 1,240 age-matched patients without a parental history of type 2 diabetes). Information on parental history was received from the type 1 diabetic offspring by a standardized questionnaire.
RESULTS—Patients with type 1 diabetes and a positive parental history of type 2 diabetes had a higher prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (44 vs. 38%; P = 0.013) and a metabolic profile related to insulin resistance (higher BMI, larger waist circumference, and higher triglycerides, A1C, and insulin dose per kilogram) and also had a later onset of type 1 diabetes (17.2 ± 9.2 vs. 16.1 ± 8.9 years; P = 0.008), which was also confirmed in the publicly available Diabetes Control and Complications Trial data set. In contrast, no association was observed with blood pressure, diabetes complications, or HLA genotype distribution. Parental history of type 2 diabetes was independently associated with age at onset of type 1 diabetes (odds ratio 1.02 [95% CI 1.01–1.03]), BMI (1.07 [1.02–1.12]), triglycerides (1.18 [1.03–1.35]), and insulin dose per kilogram (1.63 [1.04–2.54]).
CONCLUSIONS—Parental history of type 2 diabetes is associated with a later onset of type 1 diabetes, the metabolic syndrome, and a metabolic profile related to insulin resistance.
doi:10.2337/dc08-0472
PMCID: PMC2606832  PMID: 18835950
25.  Motor Vehicle Crashes in Diabetic Patients with Tight Glycemic Control: A Population-based Case Control Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(12):e1000192.
Using a population-based case control analysis, Donald Redelmeier and colleagues found that tighter glycemic control, as measured by the HbA1c, is associated with an increased risk of a motor vehicle crash.
Background
Complications from diabetes mellitus can compromise a driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, yet little is known about whether euglycemia predicts normal driving risks among adults with diabetes. We studied the association between glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and the risk of a motor vehicle crash using a population-based case control analysis.
Methods and Findings
We identified consecutive drivers reported to vehicle licensing authorities between January 1, 2005 to January 1, 2007 who had a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and a HbA1c documented. The risk of a crash was calculated taking into account potential confounders including blood glucose monitoring, complications, and treatments. A total of 57 patients were involved in a crash and 738 were not involved in a crash. The mean HbA1c was lower for those in a crash than controls (7.4% versus 7.9%, unpaired t-test, p = 0.019), equal to a 26% increase in the relative risk of a crash for each 1% reduction in HbA1c (odds ratio = 1.26, 95% confidence interval 1.03–1.54). The trend was evident across the range of HbA1c values and persisted after adjustment for measured confounders (odds ratio = 1.25, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.55). The two other significant risk factors for a crash were a history of severe hypoglycemia requiring outside assistance (odds ratio = 4.07, 95% confidence interval 2.35–7.04) and later age at diabetes diagnosis (odds ratio per decade = 1.29, 95% confidence interval 1.07–1.57).
Conclusions
In this selected population, tighter glycemic control, as measured by the HbA1c, is associated with an increased risk of a motor vehicle crash.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Around 8% of the US population has diabetes, a group of diseases in which the body cannot control levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It can lead to serious complications and premature death, but suitable treatment can control the disease and lower the risk of complications.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system prevents the production of insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose. It accounts for 5%–10% of diabetes cases in adults and the vast majority of cases in childhood. Patients with type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin to survive. Type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, lack of physical activity, and race/ethnicity. As obesity rates rise worldwide, it is expected that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will increase.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some complications of diabetes affect the ability to drive safely. Prolonged periods of high blood sugar levels can damage eyesight and nerves throughout the body, resulting in pain, tingling, and reduction of feeling or muscle control. Over time, some diabetics may become unaware of the early symptoms of an abnormally low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) that can cause confusion, clumsiness, or fainting. Severe hypoglycemia can result in seizures or a coma.
It is common for driver licensing authorities to require evidence that a diabetic person's condition is well controlled before they issue a driving license. One measure of this is the percentage of hemoglobin in their blood that has joined up with glucose, known as HbA1c. This provides a measure of average blood glucose levels over the previous 8–12 weeks. A lower reading is considered an indicator of good diabetic control, but conversely, a blood glucose level that is too low can cause hypoglycemia. Normal nondiabetic HbA1c is between 3.5% and 5.5%, but 6.5% is considered good for people with diabetes.
In this study the researchers tested whether blood glucose levels, as measured by levels of HbA1c, were statistically associated with the risk of a motor vehicle crash.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The authors studied 795 diabetic adults who had been in contact with the driver licensing authority in Ontario, Canada between January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2007 and for whom HbA1c levels were recorded. HbA1c levels varied between 4.4% and 14.7%.
Of the drivers considered, 57 were involved in a car crash and 738 were not. The authors found that lower HbA1c levels were associated with an increased risk of a motor vehicle crash, even when they took into account other factors such as time since diagnosis, treatment, age, age when diagnosed, and, if taking insulin, age insulin started.
The authors also found that the risk of a crash quadrupled when a driver had a history of severe hypoglycemia that required outside help and that there was an increase in risk when diabetes had first been diagnosed at an older age.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The authors conclude by emphasizing the difficulty in knowing whether someone with diabetes is fit to drive. They suggest that a patient's HbA1c level is neither necessary nor sufficient to determine whether a diabetic person is fit to drive and these results, which agree with some other studies, call into question the current legal framework of the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Holland, and Australia, which single out diabetic drivers for medical review.
The finding that lower HbA1c levels are associated with an increased risk of a crash is surprising, as it suggests that a driver is less safe if they control their diabetes well. However, a statistical link does not prove that one event causes another. Unknown social or medical factors might explain the results. In this case, the authors point out that a major drawback of their study is that it is not randomized and drivers have free will in choosing how tightly to control their diabetes and also how carefully they drive. The authors considered whether time spent driving might explain the results, but discounted this for several reasons. One more plausible explanation is that intensive treatment to attain a lower HbA1c level for better general health raises the risk of hypoglycemic episodes.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000192.
Wikipedia includes an article on diabetes (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The American Diabetes Association publishes information on diabetes in English and Spanish
The American Diabetes Association also publishes information on US states regulation of drivers with diabetes
The World Health Organization of the United Nations Diabetes Programme works to prevent diabetes, minimize complications, and maximize quality of life
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000192
PMCID: PMC2780354  PMID: 19997624

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