Genetics of Diabetic Kidney Disease: A Follow-Up Study in the Arab Population of the United Arab Emirates


Two genome-wide association studies in European and Japanese populations reported on new loci for diabetic kidney disease (DKD), including FTO. In this study, we have replicated these investigations on a cohort of 410 Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients of Arab origin from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


The cohort included 145 diabetic patients diagnosed with DKD and 265 diabetics free of the disease. In general, we were able to confirm the association between the FTO locus and DKD, as reported in the Japanese population. Specifically, there were significant associations with two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), namely rs1421086 (p = .013, OR = 1.52 depending on allele G, 95% CI: 1.09-2.11) and rs17817449 (p = .0088, OR = 1.55 depending on allele C, 95% CI: 1.12-2.14) of the FTO locus. Both SNPs were in linkage disequilibrium with rs56094641, also as reported in the Japanese population. While the alleles of both SNPs, which increase the risk of DKD, were associated with higher Body Mass Index (BMI), their associations with DKD were independent of the BMI effects.


This study confirms that FTO is a multiethnic locus for DKD which is independent from any influence of BMI and/or obesity.