Variant of Transcription Factor 7-Like 2 (TCF7L2) Gene and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Large Cohorts of U.S. Women and Men

  1. Cuilin Zhang1,
  2. Lu Qi1,
  3. David J. Hunter123,
  4. James B. Meigs4,
  5. JoAnn E. Manson235,
  6. Rob M. van Dam1 and
  7. Frank B. Hu123
  1. 1Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  2. 2Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  4. 4General Internal Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology Units, General Medicine Division, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  5. 5Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail: cuilin.zhang{at}channing.harvard.edu or frank.hu{at}channing.harvard.edu

Abstract

Emerging evidence indicates that variation in the transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene may play a role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. In a prospective, nested, case-control study (n = 3,520) within the Nurses’ Health Study (687 type 2 diabetic case and 1,051 control subjects) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (886 case and 896 control subjects), we examined the association of a common variant of the TCF7L2 gene (rs12255372 [T/G]) with type 2 diabetes risk among Caucasians. Frequencies of the T-allele were significantly higher among case than control subjects; each copy of the T-allele was associated with a 1.32-fold (P = 0.0002) and 1.53-fold (P < 0.0001) increased type 2 diabetes risk in women and men, respectively. The odds ratios (95% CI) associated with homozygous carriers of the T-allele were 1.86 (1.30–2.67) and 2.15 (1.48–3.13) in women and men, respectively. Population-attributable risks for diabetes associated with the T-allele were 14.8 and 22.3% for women and men, respectively. In a meta-analysis of 3,347 case and 3,947 control sujects, each copy of the T-allele was associated with a 1.48-fold increased risk (P < 10−16). Our findings confirm that the TCF7L2 gene represents an important locus for predicting inherited susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.

Footnotes

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    • Accepted June 13, 2006.
    • Received May 10, 2006.
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