Aims/hypothesis: Three recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with modest effects on diabetic retinopathy in Mexican-American and white patients with diabetes. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of these variants on diabetic retinopathy in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes.
Methods: A total of 1,972 patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited to this study, including 819 patients with diabetic retinopathy and 1,153 patients with diabetes of ≥5 years duration but without retinopathy. Forty SNPs associated with diabetic retinopathy in three GWAS were genotyped. Fundus photography was performed to diagnose and classify diabetic retinopathy.
Results: rs17684886 in ZNRF1 and rs599019 near COLEC12 were associated with diabetic retinopathy (OR 0.812, p = 0.0039 and OR 0.835, p = 0.0116, respectively) and with the severity of diabetic retinopathy (p = 0.0365 and p = 0.0252, respectively, for trend analysis). Sub-analysis in patients with diabetic retinopathy revealed that rs6427247 near SCYL1BP1 (also known as GORAB) and rs899036 near API5 were associated with severe diabetic retinopathy (OR 1.368, p = 0.0333 and OR 0.340, p = 0.0005, respectively). The associations between rs6427247 and rs899036 and severe diabetic retinopathy became more evident after a meta-analysis of published GWAS data (OR 1.577, p = 2.01 × 10(-4) for rs6427247; OR 0.330, p = 5.84 × 10(-7) for rs899036).
Conclusions/interpretation: We determined that rs17684886 and rs599019 are associated with diabetic retinopathy and that rs6427247 and rs899036 are associated with severe diabetic retinopathy in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes.