A healthy diet may lower the risk for T2D across all levels of genetic risk, according to a study published in PLOS Medicine. Jordi Merino, PhD, and colleagues used data from 35,759 US men and women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study I (1986 to 2016) and II (1991 to 2017) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986 to 2016) to assess the joint associations of polygenic risk score, diet quality, and incident T2D. The relative risk was 1.29 per standard deviation increase in the global polygenic score and 1.13 per 10-unit decrease in the Alternate Healthy Eating Index. Low diet quality versus high diet quality was associated with an approximately 30% increased risk for T2D, irrespective of genetic risk. The combined association of low diet quality and increased genetic risk was comparable to the sum of the risk associated with each factor alone. “Our results underscore the value of genetic risk assessment to identify individuals at increased disease risk and their potential for risk stratification and surveillance,” the authors wrote.
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