ASPPH logo


Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Identifies Genetic Determinants of Diabetes in African Americans

A new multi-ethnic study by an international team led by researchers from Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and Massachusetts General Hospital has found that African Americans and white share some genetic determinants of Type 2 diabetes, while also carrying some unique genetic loci.

The study, published online in the American Journal of Human Genetics, found that about half of gene variants identified in people of European ancestry were shared by African Americans, suggesting that “genetic determinants of human glucose regulation are more similar than different across human populations.”

The study also identified two new genetic variants, bringing to 56 the number of Type 2 diabetes fasting-glucose and fasting-insulin-associated loci.

Dr. Ching-Ti Liu, a lead author and associate professor of biostatistics at BUSPH, said the study is an important step to illuminating genetic variation underlying type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 400 million people globally.

“Racial and ethnic differences in diabetes have been understudied,” Dr. Liu said. “We feel strongly that the trans-ethnic approach, combined with the genomic annotation information we used, will lead the way forward to understand the implications of the genetic variations underlying type 2 diabetes and other complex disorders.”

To read more about the study, go to: