In a new study published today in PLoS Medicine, Eric Brunner from the Royal Free and University College London Medical School, London, and colleagues, examine the association between levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood, and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Previous research has suggested that raised levels of this marker are linked with an increased risk of diabetes but to date it has not been clear whether C-reactive protein actually causes the condition. Brunner and colleagues use a technique called Mendelian randomization to control for the effect of other variables (such as obesity, blood pressure, and socio-economic position) which might play a role in the development of diabetes. The researchers show that levels of C-reactive protein in the blood are not likely to cause diabetes.
In a related Perspective, Bernard Keavney from the University of Newcastle – who was not involved in the research – discusses the significance of the findings, commenting that technical advances in gene sequencing will, in future, make it easier to carry out such studies.
Citation: Brunner EJ, Kivimäki M, Witte DR, Lawlor DA, Davey Smith G, et al. (2008) Inflammation, insulin resistance and diabetes—Mendelian randomization using CRP haplotypes points upstream. PLoS Med 5(7): e155.
IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050155
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-08-brunner.pdf
Dr. Eric Brunner
University College London
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
1-19 Torrington Place
London, WC1E 6BT
+44(0)20 7679 1689
+44(0)20 7813 0242 (fax)
Related PLoS Medicine Perspective:
Citation: Keavney B (2008) More evidence against a causal association between C-reactive protein and diabetes. PLoS Med 5(8): e174.
IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050174
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-08-keavney.pdf
Professor Bernard Keavney
University of Newcastle
Institute of Human Genetics
0191 241 8615
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