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DNA Methylation Analysis Enhances Prediction of Type 2 Diabetes Risk

A study by the University of Edinburgh has found that analyzing DNA methylation (changes to DNA in the blood) can improve the prediction of an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The research was conducted on almost 15,000 individuals from the Generation Scotland cohort to predict the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes years in advance of any symptoms appearing.

Research showed that including DNA methylation data significantly improved in predicting 10-year T2D incidence risk beyond standard risk factors. The best-performing model showed notable improvement in 10-year onset prediction beyond standard risk factors.

The study, published in the journal Nature Aging, could improve early prediction and intervention and alleviate the condition’s major health and economic burden.


  1. Cheng, Y., Gadd, D. A., Gieger, C., Zhang, Y., Berta, I., Stam, M. J., Szlachetka, N., Lobzaev, E., Wrobel, N., Murphy, L., Campbell, A., Nangle, C., Walker, R. M., Peters, A., Rathmann, W., Porteous, D. J., Evans, K. L., McIntosh, A. M., Cannings, T. I., . . . Marioni, R. E. (2023). Development and validation of DNA methylation scores in two European cohorts augment 10-year risk prediction of type 2 diabetes. Nature Aging, 1-9.

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