Determining the risk of life-threatening complications using epigenetic markers – healing practice

Increased risk of heart attacks and strokes

There is epigenetic differences in people with Typ-2-Diabetes, which are associated with different risks for the development of strokes, heart attacks and kidney diseases. An appropriately oriented one individual treatment could offer clear advantages here.

In a new study involving experts from Lund University in Sweden it was investigated whether the DNA methylation distinguishes between subgroups of people with type 2 diabetes and whether so-called subgroup-specific methylation risk scores (MRS) can be used to predict diabetic complications.

The corresponding study results were published in the English-language journal “Diabetes Care”.

Epigenetic differences in diabetes

A study by researchers at Lund University Diabetes Centre (LUDC), published back in 2018, showed that people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes in five subgroups with different course of the disease and risk of diabetic complications.

In November 2021, the same researchers published another study that genetic differences between the four subgroups of type 2 diabetes, suggesting different causes of the disease.

What are the subgroups of type 2 diabetes?

These groups included severe insulin-deficiency diabetes (SIDD), severe insulin-resistant diabetes (SIRD), mild obesity-related diabetes (MOD) and mild age-related diabetes (MARD), the team reports.

In the current study, 533 people with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes from two population-based cohorts in Sweden. The experts assumed the DNA methylations in the blood 800,000 places in the genome at all participants.

What is DNA methylation?

At the so-called DNA methylation The researchers explain that this is a chemical process in which methyl groups attach themselves to the DNA molecule and influence the function of genes.

It turned out that the four subgroups of people with type 2 diabetes 4,465 digits had different degrees of DNA methylation.

Epigenetic markers indicate health risks

We show that there are clear epigenetic differences between subgroups of patients with type 2 diabetes. The epigenetic markers are associated with different risks for developing common complications of diabetes such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease‘” said the study author Professorin Charlotte Ling.

Tailored treatment for people with type 2 diabetes

These epigenetic markers could be used to predict common complications of type 2 diabeteswhat a customized treatment of the data subjects would allow.

Many patients with type 2 diabetes are offered standard treatments by the healthcare system, but there is increasing evidence that these patients require tailored treatments‘ explains Professor Ling in a press release.

The new study shows that it is clinically relevant to subgroup patients with type 2 diabetes to allow for more individualized treatment.

Team developed epigenetic risk assessment

Based on the results epigenetic risk scores developed with the help of which frequent complications in type 2 diabetes can be reliably predicted.

For example, epigenetic markers associated with two of the subgroups could increase the risk of developing heart attacks, strokes and kidney diseases predict.

Heart attack and stroke are responsible for most deaths in patients with type 2 diabetes. Kidney disease causes great suffering and is very costly to society as many patients require dialysis treatment“, so Professorin Ling.

Preventive measures could avoid many deaths

An epigenetic biomarker that can predict complications at an early stage would enable preventive measures‘ adds the expert.

In the future, the team plans to verify the results obtained in other population-based cohorts. In addition, the DNA methylation in tissues such as muscle, adipose tissue, liver and pancreas will be analyzed in the four subgroups of people with type 2 diabetes. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of medical specialist literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.


  • Silja Schrader, Alexander Perfilyev, Emma Ahlqvist, Leif Groop, Allan Vaag, et al.: Novel Subgroups of Type 2 Diabetes Display Different Epigenetic Patterns, Which Associate With Future Diabetic Complications; in: Diabetes Care (veröffentlicht 24.05.2022), Diabetes Care
  • Lund University: Epigenetic markers predict complications in patients with type 2 diabetes (veröffentlicht 25.05.2022), Lund University
  • Emma Ahlqvist, Petter Storm, Annemari Käräjämäki, Mats Martinell, Mozhgan Dorkhan, Annelie Carlsson, et al.: Novel subgroups of adult-onset diabetes and their association with outcomes: a data-driven cluster analysis of six variables; in: The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology (veröffentlicht 01.05.2022),

Important NOTE:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.



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