The International Diabetes Federation estimates that approximately 246 million people around the world have diabetes. Of this number, around 90% are people with type 2 diabetes. The consequences for public health worldwide are devastating. The World Health Organization estimates that one in 20 deaths in the world is caused by diabetes, and that up to 15% of the annual budget for healthcare is devoted to the disease. Given the proliferation of sedentary lifestyles, foods that are increasingly rich in sugar and fats, and the ageing of the population, it is estimated that by 2025 there will be 380 million people affected by diabetes. But the factors driving this pandemic are not only related to environment and lifestyle; genetic factors influence people’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Yannick Farmer and Denise Avard report on the advances in our knowledge of the hereditary factors associated with the disease gained through a ground-breaking research project based in Canada and France.
DGDG, Diabetes Gene Discovery Group, genes, genetic