An international scientific research group has discovered a common gene variation that appears to increase the risk of contracting the most serious form of diabetes.
Researchers in Iceland initially discovered the gene (designated TCF7L2) during a population study, and their findings were later confirmed in Denmark and the United States.
The lead author of the study - published in the journal "Nature Genetics" - says the discovery could lead to new testing methods to determine who is at risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.
Experts at a genetic research firm (deCode Genetic, in Reykjavik) say people carrying a single copy of the variant gene face a 45 percent greater risk of developing Type-2 diabetes, and the risk more than triples for those with two copies of this gene.
Type-2 diabetes prevents the body from properly using its own naturally-produced insulin to regulate the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. This could lead to kidney failure, blindness and amputation of limbs.
Some information for this report provided by AFP.