Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a common disease which results from various causes including genetic and environmental factors. Glutathione S-Transferase M1 (GSTM1) and Glutathione S-Transferase T1 (GSTT1) genes are polymorphic in human and the null genotypes lead to the absence of enzyme function. Many studies assessed the associations between GSTM1/GSTT1 null genotypes and DM risk but reported conflicting results. In order to get a more precise estimate of the associations of GSTM1/GSTT1 null genotypes with DM risk, we performed this meta-analysis. Published literature from PubMed, Embase and China Biology Medicine (CBM) databases was searched for eligible studies. Pooled odds ratios (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated using a fixed- or random-effects model. 11 publications (a total of 2577 cases and 4572 controls) were finally included into this meta-analysis. Meta-analyses indicated that null genotypes of GSTM1/GSTT1 and dual null genotype of GSTM1-GSTT1 were all associated with increased risk of DM (GSTM1: OR random-effects=1.60, 95%CI 1.10-2.34, POR=0.014; GSTT1: OR random-effects=1.47, 95%CI 1.12-1.92, POR=0.005; GSTM1-GSTT1: OR fixed-effects=1.83, 95%CI 1.30-2.59, POR=0.001). Subgroup by ethnicity suggested significant associations between null genotypes of GSTM1 and GSTT1 and DM risk among Asians (GSTM1: OR random-effects=1.77, 95%CI 1.24-2.53, POR=0.002; GSTT1: OR random-effects=1.58, 95%CI 1.09-2.27, POR=0.015). This meta-analysis suggests null genotypes of GSTM1/GSTT1 and dual null genotype of GSTM1-GSTT1 are all associated with increased risk of DM, and null genotypes of GSTM1/GSTT1 and dual null genotype of GSTM1-GSTT1 are potential biomarkers of DM.
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