A natural variation of a gene called KLF14 affects body fat distribution in some women and significantly increases their risk for developing type 2 diabetes, suggests a study from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville. The variation, which affects diabetes risk in men much less, causes fat cells in the stomach area and hips to become larger and fewer in number.
According to the researchers, this genetic variant is one of the strongest inherited risk factors for type 2 diabetes in women. Genes inherited from the mother increase risk significantly more than those inherited from the father.
Research into the effects of this gene variation is ongoing. The researchers hope to one day develop new treatments to reduce its harmful effects. This study was published in Nature Genetics.
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