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A Whole Genome Association Search for Type 2 Diabetes Genes in African Americans

Over 2.8 million African Americans have type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This represents approximately 13% of the African American population and a significant proportion of the 21 million Americans living with diabetes. On average, an African American individual is twice as likely to have T2DM as a European American peer. Our research group has been actively involved in the study of African American diabetes genetics for over 15 years. We hypothesize that genes contributing to the development of T2DM in African Americans exist and can be located using modern molecular genetic methods. With the exception of TCF7L2(Transcription factor 7-like 2) evidence to date suggests variants that contribute T2DM risk in European-derived populations are not significant contributors to African American T2DM risk. We have performed a SNP-based Whole Genome Association (WGA) analysis on the Affymetrix 6.0 in a case control population of over 1000 African American T2DM cases and over 1000 non-diabetic controls. The DNAs have been collected from participants using uniform criteria from North Carolina and neighboring states. Genotype data will be subjected to extensive genetic analysis with the goal of defining a priority list of SNPs for genotyping in independent populations for confirmation and further detailed analysis.