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Diabetes, Heart Diseases Share Same Genes so Occur Same Time: Study

It is common that those suffering from the type 2 diabetes are also facing related other cardio-vascular diseases like high blood pressure or hypertension and often occur together. Now scientists have discovered that the two diseases may be related at the level of genes, proteins and fundamental physiology.

The two diseases share eight molecular pathways and several "key driver" genes appear to orchestrate the gene networks in which these pathways connect and interact, the latest research showed.

"These (key driver) genes represent central network genes which, when perturbed, can potentially affect a large number of genes involved in the CVD (cardio-vascular) and T2D (Type 2 diabetes) pathways and thus exert stronger impact on diseases," said co-author of the study Xia Yang of the University of California, Los Angeles in the US.

"We were able to derive novel mechanistic insights and identify potential therapeutic targets," the researchers said, stating that they gathered genetic and health information from more than 15,000 women.

The scientists began to look for individual genetic differences in women of three different ethnic groups, who had either one or both diabetes and hypertension compared to similar but healthy women – in a technique called Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS).

When they analyzed further, the team members realized that the women’s genetic differences showed up in the context of the complex pathways, where genes and their protein products interact to affect physiology and health of the overall body.

In comparing women with cardio-vascular diseases and and Type 2 diabetes to healthy women, the team found some key differences in 8 pathways regulating cell adhesion within tissues, calcium signalling (how cells communicate), axon guidance (how neurons find their paths to connect with target sites), extra-cellular matrix (structural support within tissue), and various forms of cardiomyopathy (heart muscle problems).

The study appeared in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics. The researchers hope that their study could lead to the common treatment for both diseases.

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