HealthDay News – Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)-lowering genetic variants are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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

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

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

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


Lotta LA, Sharp SJ, Burgess S, et al. Association between low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-lowering genetic variants and risk of type 2 diabetes. A meta-analysis. JAMA. 2016 Oct 4;316(13):1383-1391. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14568 [Epub ahead of print].