Data from the Busselton Health Study has been used to identify new genetic links to diabetes which could help scientists map the biological cause of the condition.
Busselton residents were among 150,000 individuals worldwide to contribute to the research, which was published today in two papers in the online journal, Nature Genetics.
The researchers identified a number of new loci (the specific place on a chromosome where a gene is located) linked with glycemic traits and type 2 diabetes that had not been described previously.
They also concluded that genetic profiling had the potential to provide a useful risk assessment for developing the condition.
“We’ve included some of the data collected from the 1994 to 1995 health survey from Busselton people into this study,” co-author Jennie Hui from the University of Western Australia said.
“This research will provide a better understanding of the genes associated with glycemic control that may interact with environmental factors and trigger diabetes,”
The Busselton Health Study is one of the world’s longest running population health research programs, having contributed to an understanding of many common diseases and conditions since 1966.
Its database is compiled and managed by UWA’s School of Population Health.