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Genetics of diabetes‑associated microvascular complications – published online 14/07/2023

Lyssenko graphical abstract

Valeriya Lyssenko, Allan Vaag

The diabetes epidemic has resulted in an epidemic of diabetes-associated complications. Systemic monitoring  of individuals with diabetes and new insights into biological mechanisms leading to the progression of complications are necessary to halt this escalation. In this issue, Lyssenko and Vaag ( summarise state-of-the-art discoveries in the genetic predisposition to kidney, eye and nerve damage in individuals with diabetes. They also provide a critical view on the existing gaps in the current clinical definitions of organ damage that might hinder discovery of genomic factors that trigger or cause associated disease. Knowledge about environmental perinatal exposures may shed light on adaptive changes responsible for the intrauterine programming of metabolic mechanisms that may underlie organ vulnerability. Profiling genetic susceptibility to diabetes-associated metabolic risk factors, including high blood glucose levels, impaired insulin secretion and action, obesity, hypertension, reduced liver function and dysregulated immune system, may aid in pathophysiology-based classification of complications and identification of individuals at high risk for these complications for early prevention in individuals with diabetes. The figure from this review is available as a downloadable slide

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