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Celiac disease, diabetes have genetic link

LONDON, March 4 (UPI) -- London researchers suggest celiac disease and diabetes may have common genetic origins.

David van Heel of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry demonstrated that of the nine celiac gene regions now known, four are also predisposing factors for type 1 diabetes.

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The team of researchers, which also include Irish and Dutch scientists and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, performed a genome-wide association study in celiac disease. Genetic markers across the genome were compared in celiac disease subjects versus healthy controls. The researchers identified seven new risk regions, six of which harbor important genes critical in the control of immune responses, highlighting their significance in the development of the disease.

Celiac disease, triggered by an intolerance to gluten -- a protein found in wheat, barley and rye can lead to anemia, poor bone health, fatigue and weight loss.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Genetics.

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