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The incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is increasing globally, and as a consequence, more patients are affected by microvascular complications such as diabetic retinopathy (DR). The aim of this study was to elucidate possible associations between diabetes-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and the development of DR. Three hundred and thirty-nine patients with T1DM from the Danish Cohort of Pediatric Diabetes 1987 (DCPD1987) went through an ophthalmic examination in 1995; 185 of these were reexamined in 2011. The development of DR was assessed by comparison of overall DR level between baseline and follow-up in the worst eye at baseline. Patients were graded on a modified version of the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) scale, and 20 SNPs were genotyped in 130 of the 185 patients. We found the CTSH/rs3825932 variant (C > T) was associated with reduced risk of progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) (OR [95 % CI] = 0.20 [0.07-0.56], p = 2.4 × 10(-3), padjust = 0.048) and ERBB3/rs2292239 variant (G > T) associated with increased risk of two-step progression (OR [95 % CI] = 2.76 [1.31-5.80], p = 7.5 × 10(-3), padjust = 0.15). The associations were independent of other known risk factors, such as HbA1c, sex, and diastolic blood pressure. In conclusion, CTSH/rs3825932 and ERBB3/rs2292239 SNPs were associated with reduced risk of progression to PDR and two-step progression of DR on the ETDRS scale accordingly. The variant CTSH remained statistically significant after adjusting for multiple testing. Our results suggest an overlap between genetic variants that confer risk of T1DM and progression of DR.


Steffen U Thorsen, Kristian Sandahl, Lotte B Nielsen, Rebecca Broe, Malin L Rasmussen, Tunde Peto, Jakob Grauslund, Marie L M Andersen, Henrik B Mortensen, Flemming Pociot, Birthe S Olsen, Caroline Brorsson. Polymorphisms in the CTSH gene may influence the progression of diabetic retinopathy: a candidate-gene study in the Danish Cohort of Pediatric Diabetes 1987 (DCPD1987). Graefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv für klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie. 2015 Nov;253(11):1959-65

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PMID: 26245339

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