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CONTEXT: Early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is crucial to reduce severe comorbidities and complications. Current screening recommendations for type 2 diabetes include traditional risk factors, primarily body mass index (BMI) and family history, however genetics also plays a key role in type 2 diabetes risk. It is important to understand whether genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes modifies the effect of these traditional factors on type 2 diabetes risk. OBJECTIVE: This work aimed to investigate whether genetic risk of type 2 diabetes modifies associations between BMI and first-degree family history of diabetes with 1) prevalent prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes; and 2) incident confirmed type 2 diabetes. METHODS: We included 431 658 individuals aged 40 to 69 years at baseline of multiethnic ancestry from the UK Biobank. We used a multiethnic polygenic risk score for type 2 diabetes (PRST2D) developed by Genomics PLC. Prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes was defined as baseline glycated hemoglobin greater than or equal to 42 mmol/mol (6.0%), and incident type 2 diabetes was derived from medical records. RESULTS: At baseline, 43 472 participants had prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes, and 17 259 developed type 2 diabetes over 15 years follow-up. Dose-response associations were observed for PRST2D with each outcome in each category of BMI or first-degree family history of diabetes. Those in the highest quintile of PRST2D with a normal BMI were at a similar risk as those in the middle quintile who were overweight. Participants who were in the highest quintile of PRST2D and did not have a first-degree family history of diabetes were at a similar risk as those with a family history who were in the middle category of PRST2D. CONCLUSION: Genetic risk of type 2 diabetes remains strongly associated with risk of prediabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, and future type 2 diabetes within categories of nongenetic risk factors. This could have important implications for identifying individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes for prevention and early diagnosis programs.

Original publication




Journal article


J Endocr Soc

Publication Date





BMI, family history, polygenic risk and diabetes