Background: The E23K variant of KCNJ11 has been associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in several but not all populations studied. Thus far, despite a high incidence of T2D, the role of this variant in Arabs has not been established.
Methods: We performed a case-control association study using 550 T2D Saudi patients (WHO criteria), and 335 controls (age>or=60; fasting plasma glucose<7 mmol/L). E23K genotyping was performed by using molecular beacon-based real time PCR assays.
Results: The difference in K or risk allele frequency of cases and controls was significant with an OR of 1.7 (p=0.0001). The K allele is more common among T2D patients (21%) than in the age and sex matched controls (13.6%). This was consistent with a likely eventual conversion to T2D of younger normoglycemic individuals as they grow older.
Conclusions: Our results report for the first time a positive association of the E23K variant with T2D in an Arab population. Confirmation by a larger study is indicated.
Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.