, Volume 55, Issue 10, pp 2604-2612
Date: 11 Jul 2012

A genotype risk score predicts type 2 diabetes from young adulthood: the CARDIA study



Genotype does not change over the life course and may thus facilitate earlier identification of individuals at high risk for type 2 diabetes. We hypothesised that a genotype score predicts incident type 2 diabetes from young adulthood and improves diabetes prediction models based on clinical risk factors alone.


The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study followed young adults (aged 18–30 years, mean age 25) serially into middle adulthood. We used Cox regression to build nested prediction models for incident type 2 diabetes based on clinical risk factors assessed in young adulthood (age, sex, race, parental history of diabetes, BMI, mean arterial pressure, fasting glucose, HDL-cholesterol and triacylglyercol), without and with a 38-variant genotype score. Models were compared with C statistics and continuous net reclassification improvement indices (NRI).


Of 2,439 participants, 830 (34%) were black and 249 (10%) had a BMI ≥30 kg/m2 at baseline. Over a mean 23.9 years of follow-up, 215 (8.8%) participants developed type 2 diabetes. The genotype score significantly predicted incident diabetes in all models, with an HR of 1.08 per risk allele (95% CI 1.04, 1.13) in the full model. The addition of the score to the full model modestly improved reclassification (continuous NRI 0.285; 95% CI 0.126, 0.433) but not discrimination (C statistics 0.824 and 0.829 in full models with and without score). Race-stratified analyses were similar.


Knowledge of genotype predicts type 2 diabetes over 25 years in white and black young adults but may not improve prediction over routine clinical measurements.