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The first discovery of genetic factors that influence fasting blood sugar, blood lipid concentration, liver enzyme, and kidney function

  • Date : 2011-10-14
  • Hit : 3981

The first discovery of genetic factors that influence fasting blood sugar, blood lipid concentration, liver enzyme, and kidney function

- This research finding is to be published in the 2011 October issue of Nature Genetics (IF 34.28), the world's most prestigious academic journal-

□ The Korea National Institute of Health (Director General: Myong-chan Cho), part of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Director: Byong-yul Jeon) under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, discovered ten genetic indicators that affect blood test results such as blood sugar (fasting blood sugar), blood lipid concentration (HDLC, LDLC, and neutral fat), kidney function indicators (albumin and blood urea nitrogen), and liver enzyme (ALT, AST, and GGT). Findings of this discovery will be published in the 2011 October issue of Nature Genetics (IF 34.28), the world's most prestigious academic journal.

The research analyzed data gathered from the "Korea Genome and Epidemiology Study" and the "Comprehensive Genome Data" of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Findings of this research have been verified and confirmed by RIKEN, a research institute in Japan, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.

Led by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the study of 30,000 Asians involved research institutes of Japan and China. This project discovered that the blood test results related to endocrine and metabolic diseases (fasting blood sugar, blood lipid, kidney function, and liver enzymes) are affected not only by the environment and lifestyle, but also by genes. (See Appendix 1)

This research has reconfirmed past research on Europeans that showed influence of genetic indicators on blood test results: the same has been proven to be true of the Koreans. The study also confirmed that there are differences in genetic influences between Europeans and Asians.

○ The influence of a single genetic factors discovered on a number of blood test results was similar to other nations' previous findings. In order to understand the overall impact of genetic factors , the institute will continue to search for genetic factors that have yet to be discovered.

The Korea National Institute of Health (NIH) under the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been conducting the Korea Genome and Epidemiology Study and the Korean Association Resource (KARE) since 2001. Based on these two long-term projects, the NIH carried out research on the genome and accomplished the following:

○ The NIH discovered genetic indicators related to anthropometric measurement (height, obesity indicator, pulse, bone strength, etc.) in 2009; and it published "Discovery of Genetic Indicators Related to Blood Pressure" in Nature Genetics in May this year. The discovery of genetic indicators affecting blood test results of Asians is the institute's third major accomplishment.

Blood test results collected through physical examinations, etc. serve as an indicator upon which to evaluate a person's health. They are used to find diabetes, hyperlipidemia, heart diseases, liver diseases, and kidney diseases during diagnosis.

○ This research has provided a possibility to utilize the discovered genetic factors to evaluate an individual's genetic traits to find out what might affect the blood test results and to predict the individual's susceptibility to certain diseases.

○ Prediction of disease susceptibility is expected in the near future to enable each individual to actively control environmental factors even when one is healthy, thereby making it possible to prevent diseases and to extend healthy life span .

○ Furthermore, the genetic indicators discovered in this research are expected to be of significant use in that an individual's genetic information can be employed to give customized treatments for complex diseases.

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