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Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a multi-organ disease defined by hyperglycemia resulting from different disease mechanisms. Using clinical parameters measured at diagnosis (age, BMI, HbA1c, HOMA2-B, HOMA2-IR and GAD autoantibodies) adult patients with diabetes have been reproducibly clustered into five subtypes, that differed clinically with respect to disease progression and outcomes.1 In this study we use genetic information to investigate if these subtypes have distinct underlying genetic drivers. Methods: Genome-wide association (GWAS) and genetic risk score (GRS) analysis was performed in Swedish (N=12230) and Finnish (N=4631) cohorts. Family history was recorded by questionnaires. Results: Severe insulin-deficient diabetes (SIDD) and mild obesity-related diabetes (MOD) groups had the strongest family history of T2D. A GRS including known T2D loci was strongly associated with SIDD (OR per 1 SD increment [95% CI]=1.959 [1.814-2.118]), MOD (OR 1.726 [1.607-1.855]) and mild age-related diabetes (MARD) (OR 1.771 [1.671-1.879]), whereas it was less strongly associated with severe insulin-resistant diabetes (SIRD, OR 1.244 [1.157-1.337]), which was similar to severe autoimmune diabetes (SAID, OR 1.282 [1.160-1.418]). SAID showed strong association with the GRS for T1D, whereas the non-autoimmune subtype SIDD was most strongly associated with the GRS for insulin secretion rate (P<7.43x10-9). SIRD showed no association with variants in TCF7L2 or any GRS reflecting insulin secretion. Instead, only SIRD was associated with GRS for fasting insulin (P=3.10x10-8). Finally, a T2D locus, rs10824307 near the ZNF503 gene was uniquely associated with MOD (ORmeta=1.266 (1.170-1.369), P=4.3x10-9). Conclusions: New diabetes subtypes have partially different genetic backgrounds and subtype-specific risk loci can be identified. Especially the SIRD subtype stands out by having lower heritability and less involvement of beta-cell related pathways in its pathogenesis.

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