Genetics of cardiovascular and renal complications in diabetes

J Diabetes Investig. 2016 Mar;7(2):139-54. doi: 10.1111/jdi.12391. Epub 2015 Aug 26.


The development of debilitating complications represents a major healthcare burden associated with the treatment of diabetes. Despite advances in new therapies for controlling hyperglycemia, the burden associated with diabetic complications remains high, especially in relation to cardiovascular and renal complications. Furthermore, an increasing proportion of patients develop type 2 diabetes at a younger age, putting them at higher risk of developing complications as a result of the increased exposure to hyperglycemia. Diabetes has become the main contributing cause to end-stage renal disease in most countries. Although there has been important breakthroughs in our understanding of the genetics of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, bringing important insights towards the pathogenesis of diabetes, there has been comparatively less progress in our understanding of the genetic basis of diabetic complications. Genome-wide association studies are beginning to expand our understanding of the genetic architecture relating to diabetic complications. Improved understanding of the genetic basis of diabetic cardiorenal complications might provide an opportunity for improved risk prediction, as well as the development of new therapies.

Keywords: Diabetic complications; Diabetic kidney disease; Genetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / genetics
  • Coronary Disease / pathology
  • Diabetes Complications / genetics*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / complications
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / genetics
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / pathology
  • Epigenomics
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / genetics
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Vascular Diseases / complications
  • Vascular Diseases / genetics
  • Vascular Diseases / pathology