TCF7L2 Variation Predicts Hyperglycemia Incidence in a French General Population Academic Article uri icon

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  • Recently, case-control studies demonstrated that a TCF7L2 (transcription factor 7–like 2 gene) noncoding variant (rs7903146 T at-risk allele) was strongly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the predictive value of this marker in a nonselected general population remains unknown. In this study, our aim was to assess the contribution of this variant to the prevalence and incidence of hyperglycemia (type 2 diabetes and impaired fasting glucose) and insulin regulation in a 9-year prospective study of 4,976 middle-aged participants in the French DESIR (Data from an Epidemiological Study on the Insulin Resistance Syndrome) cohort. Our data support previous studies associating the T at-risk allele with a higher prevalence of hyperglycemia at baseline (P = 0.049) and a higher incidence of hyperglycemia after 9 years of follow-up (P = 0.014). The population-attributable risk to develop hyperglycemia due to the T at-risk allele was estimated to be 10.4% at the end of the prospective study. The most likely inheritance model was found to be additive (P = 0.002) rather than deviating from linearity (P = 0.098). An increase in the incidence of hyperglycemia was confirmed by survival analyses among C/C, C/T, and T/T carriers during the 9 years of follow-up (P = 0.028 by log-rank test). Interestingly, in control individuals, there was weak evidence of association of the T at-risk allele with reduced fasting insulin levels and insulin secretion index (homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function) in control individuals. We conclude that the TCF7L2 T at-risk allele variation (rs7903146) predicts hyperglycemia incidence in a general French population, possibly through a deleterious effect on insulin secretion.


  • Cauchi, Stéphane
  • Meyre, David Jean-Claude
  • Choquet, Hélène
  • Dina, Christian
  • Born, Catherine
  • Marre, Michel
  • Balkau, Beverley
  • Froguel, Philippe

publication date

  • November 1, 2006