Article

Diabetologia

, Volume 52, Issue 8, pp 1528-1536

Strong association of socioeconomic status with genetic ancestry in Latinos: implications for admixture studies of type 2 diabetes

  • J. C. FlorezAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolProgram in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute of Harvard and MITDiabetes Research Center (Diabetes Unit), Massachusetts General HospitalCenter for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital Email author 
  • , A. L. PriceAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public HealthDepartment of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health
  • , D. CampbellAffiliated withThe Galton Laboratory, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London
  • , L. RibaAffiliated withUnidad de Biología Molecular y Medicina Genómica, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán
  • , M. V. ParraAffiliated withLaboratorio de Genética Molecular, Universidad de Antioquía
  • , F. YuAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolProgram in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute of Harvard and MITHuman Genome Sequencing Center, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine
  • , C. DuqueAffiliated withLaboratorio de Genética Molecular, Universidad de Antioquía
  • , R. SaxenaAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolProgram in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute of Harvard and MITCenter for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General HospitalDepartment of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
  • , N. GallegoAffiliated withLaboratorio de Genética Molecular, Universidad de Antioquía
    • , M. Tello-RuizAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolCold Spring Harbor Laboratory
    • , L. FrancoAffiliated withLaboratorio de Genética Molecular, Universidad de Antioquía
    • , M. Rodríguez-TorresAffiliated withUnidad de Biología Molecular y Medicina Genómica, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán
    • , A. VillegasAffiliated withLaboratorio de Genética Molecular, Universidad de Antioquía
    • , G. BedoyaAffiliated withLaboratorio de Genética Molecular, Universidad de Antioquía
    • , C. A. Aguilar-SalinasAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolDepartamento de Endocrinología y Metabolismo, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán
    • , M. T. Tusié-LunaAffiliated withUnidad de Biología Molecular y Medicina Genómica, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán Email author 
    • , A. Ruiz-LinaresAffiliated withThe Galton Laboratory, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College LondonLaboratorio de Genética Molecular, Universidad de Antioquía Email author 
    • , D. ReichAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolProgram in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute of Harvard and MITDepartment of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in US American minority populations of African or Native American descent than it is in European Americans. However, the proportion of this epidemiological difference that can be ascribed to genetic or environmental factors is unknown. To determine whether genetic ancestry is correlated with diabetes risk in Latinos, we estimated the proportion of European ancestry in case–control samples from Mexico and Colombia in whom socioeconomic status had been carefully ascertained.

Methods

We genotyped 67 ancestry-informative markers in 499 participants with type 2 diabetes and 197 controls from Medellín (Colombia), as well as in 163 participants with type 2 diabetes and 72 controls from central Mexico. Each participant was assigned a socioeconomic status scale via various measures.

Results

Although European ancestry was associated with lower diabetes risk in Mexicans (OR [95% CI] 0.06 [0.02–0.21], p = 2.0 × 10−5) and Colombians (OR 0.26 [0.08–0.78], p = 0.02), adjustment for socioeconomic status eliminated the association in the Colombian sample (OR 0.64 [0.19–2.12], p = 0.46) and significantly attenuated it in the Mexican sample (OR 0.17 [0.04–0.71], p = 0.02). Adjustment for BMI did not change the results.

Conclusions/interpretation

The proportion of non-European ancestry is associated with both type 2 diabetes and lower socioeconomic status in admixed Latino populations from North and South America. We conclude that ancestry-directed search for genetic markers associated with type 2 diabetes in Latinos may benefit from information involving social factors, as these factors have a quantitatively important effect on type 2 diabetes risk relative to ancestry effects.

Keywords

Genetic admixture Genetic association Latinos Socioeconomic status Type 2 diabetes