Putting the Genome in Context: Gene-Environment Interactions in Type 2 Diabetes
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The genome is often the conduit through which environmental exposures convey their effects on health and disease. Whilst not all diseases act by directly perturbing the genome, the phenotypic responses are often genetically determined. Hence, whilst diseases are often defined has having differing degrees of genetic determination, genetic and environmental factors are, with few exceptions, inseparable features of most diseases, not least type 2 diabetes. It follows that to optimize diabetes, prevention and treatment will require that the etiological roles of genetic and environmental risk factors be jointly considered. As we discuss here, studies focused on quantifying gene-environment and gene-treatment interactions are gathering momentum and may eventually yield data that helps guide health-related choices and medical interventions for type 2 diabetes and other complex diseases.
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