Impact of Parental Relatedness on Type 2 Diabetes and Other Common Diseases Uncovered; Risk of Developing Several Complex Genetic Diseases May Be Increased by the Level of Consanguinity in Individuals, Scientists Find, Using a New Pioneering Approach That Removes Confounding by Sociocultural Factors

A new study finds that consanguinity--unions between close relatives--may increase the risk of common diseases such as type 2 diabetes and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators at Queen Mary University of London analyzed the genomic data of diverse groups to investigate the relationship between autozygosity--a measure of genetic relatedness between an individual’s parents--and the prevalence of common diseases, with a novel method that reduces confounding due to sociocultural factors. The scientists focused their analysis on the Genes & Health cohort, which consists of British individuals of Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent, as well as individuals of both European and South Asian descent from the UK Biobank. The Genes & Health Community Advisory Board worked with the researchers to produce a publicly accessible document aimed at the lay public, explaining the study's motivations, methodology, and findings1.

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