Can genetics help assess your diabetes risk?

A 2006 research study in New England Journal of Medicine had two interesting observations. One, a variation of the TCF7L2 gene is linked to prediabetes (blood sugar is high but below diabetes range) which indicates a higher likelihood of developing diabetes. Other data showed that changes in food habits and physical activity could reduce or stop disease development, even in people with disease-risk increasing genetic variants.

Every human cell contains a nucleus with chromosomes, that carry the ‘building block’ of life (or DNA) arranged in specific groups (or genes), which are responsible for all our biological characteristics. Often person-to-person genetic differences result from gene mutations (or changes) that may either directly cause disease (e.g. sickle cell anemia) or combine with dietary and environmental factors to increase the probability of disease occurrence (e.g. diabetes, obesity, heart disease and stroke).