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A genetic marker for diabetes?


Narrator:            This is Science Today. About 26 million Americans have diabetes, and an estimated 79 million people have pre-diabetes. Now, a multinational study that was validated by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, has found that a single gene mutation in Caucasians is responsible for type 2 diabetes in about 10 percent of patients. UCSF's Ira Goldfine led the U.S. arm of this study and says these findings could lead to better detection and prevention.

Goldfine:            Screening to find out if you have type 2 diabetes requires just simple blood testing. What a person could do is get tested and see if they have this genetic defect. Then if they do and they're not diabetic, they could take precautions that could prevent the diabetes from occurring.

Narrator:            So far these studies have only been conducted in people with white European ancestry.

Goldfine:            So, we don't know about Asians or Hispanics or African Americans; the latter two populations have about twice as much diabetes as European Americans, so more studies need to be done on this gene and other ethnic groups.

Narrator:            For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.