OBJECTIVE Fetuin-A levels are associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes, but it is unknown if the association is causal. We investigated common (.5%) genetic variants in the fetuin-A gene (AHSG) fetuin-A levels, fasting glucose, and risk of type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN ANDMETHODSdGenetic variation, fetuin-A levels, and fasting glucose were assessed in 2,893 Caucasian and 542 African American community-living individuals 65 years of age or older in 1992-1993. RESULTSdCommonAHSG variants (rs4917 and rs2248690) were strongly associated with fetuin- A concentrations (P , 0.0001). In analyses of 259 incident cases of type 2 diabetes, the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were not associatedwith diabetes risk during follow-up and similar null associationswere observed when 579 prevalent cases were included. As expected, higher fetuin-A levels were associated with higher fasting glucose concentrations (1.9 mg/dL [95%CI, 1.2-2.7] higher per SDin Caucasians), butMendelian randomization analyses using both SNPs as unbiased proxies for measured fetuin-A did not support an association between genetically predicted fetuin-A levels and fasting glucose (20.3 mg/dL [95% CI, 21.9 to 1.3] lower per SD in Caucasians). The difference between the associations of fasting glucose with actual and genetically predicted fetuin-A level was statistically significant (P = 0.001). Results among the smaller sample of African Americans trended in similar directions but were statistically insignificant. CONCLUSIONSdCommon variants in the AHSG gene are strongly associated with plasma fetuin-A concentrations, but not with risk of type 2 diabetes or glucose concentrations, raising the possibility that the association between fetuin-A and type 2 diabetes may not be causal.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing