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Gene clue to Latin American risk for diabetes

Published on Dec 26, 2013 6:51 AM

PARIS (AFP) - Scientists on Wednesday said they had found a variant of a gene to explain why Latin Americans are at higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, and pointed to a possible DNA legacy from the Neanderthals.

The variant lies on a gene called SLC16A11, which plays a part in breaking down fatty molecules called lipids, they said in the journal Nature.

A research consortium called Sigma- for the Slim Initiative in Genomic Medicine for the Americans - sought to understand why Type 2 diabetes in Mexicans and other Latin American populations is roughly twice as great as among non-Hispanic whites in the United States.

They carried out a DNA comparison of 8,214 Mexicans and other Latin Americans, who were divided into diabetics and non-diabetics.

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