THURSDAY, April 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A healthy diet may lower the risk for type 2 diabetes across all levels of genetic risk, according to a study published online April 26 in PLOS Medicine.

Jordi Merino, Ph.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used data from 35,759 U.S. 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 type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that the relative risk for type 2 diabetes 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 percent increased risk for type 2 diabetes, 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 write. “Such knowledge can serve to inform and design future strategies to advance the prevention of type 2 diabetes.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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