A Polygenic Score for Type 2 Diabetes Risk is Associated with Both the Acute and Sustained Response to Sulfonylureas

Josephine H. Li, Lukasz Szczerbinski, Adem Y. Dawed, Varinderpal Kaur, Jennifer N. Todd, Ewan R. Pearson, Jose C. Florez (Lead / Corresponding author)

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There is a limited understanding of how genetic loci associated with glycemic traits and type 2 diabetes (T2D) influence the response to anti-diabetes medications. Polygenic scores provide increasing power to detect patterns of disease predisposition that might benefit from a targeted pharmacologic intervention. In the Study to Understand the Genetics of the Acute Response to Metformin and Glipizide in Humans (SUGAR-MGH), we constructed weighted polygenic scores using known genome-wide significant associations for T2D, fasting glucose (FG), and fasting insulin (FI), comprised of 65, 43, and 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms, respectively. Multiple linear regression tested for associations between scores and glycemic traits as well as pharmacodynamic endpoints, adjusting for age, sex, race, and body mass index (BMI). A higher T2D score was nominally associated with a shorter time to insulin peak, greater glucose area over the curve, shorter time to glucose trough, and steeper slope to glucose trough after glipizide. In replication, a higher T2D score was associated with a greater 1-year HbA1c reduction to sulfonylureas in the Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research, Tayside and Scotland (GoDARTS) study (p=0.02). Our findings suggest that individuals with a higher genetic burden for T2D experience a greater acute and sustained response to sulfonylureas.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date26 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Oct 2020

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