Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a heterogeneous disease that develops through diverse pathophysiological processes. To characterise the genetic contribution to these processes across ancestry groups, we aggregate genome-wide association study (GWAS) data from 2,535,601 individuals (39.7% non-European ancestry), including 428,452 T2D cases. We identify 1,289 independent association signals at genome-wide significance (P<5×10-8) that map to 611 loci, of which 145 loci are previously unreported. We define eight non-overlapping clusters of T2D signals characterised by distinct profiles of cardiometabolic trait associations. These clusters are differentially enriched for cell-type specific regions of open chromatin, including pancreatic islets, adipocytes, endothelial, and enteroendocrine cells. We build cluster-specific partitioned genetic risk scores (GRS) in an additional 137,559 individuals of diverse ancestry, including 10,159 T2D cases, and test their association with T2D-related vascular outcomes. Cluster-specific partitioned GRS are more strongly associated with coronary artery disease and end-stage diabetic nephropathy than an overall T2D GRS across ancestry groups, highlighting the importance of obesity-related processes in the development of vascular outcomes. Our findings demonstrate the value of integrating multi-ancestry GWAS with single-cell epigenomics to disentangle the aetiological heterogeneity driving the development and progression of T2D, which may offer a route to optimise global access to genetically-informed diabetes care.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date