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In observational studies, type 2 diabetes is associated with two- to fourfold higher risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Using data from the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB), we examined associations of genetically predicted type 2 diabetes with CVD among ∼160,000 participants to assess whether these relationships are causal. A type 2 diabetes genetic risk score (comprising 48 established risk variants) was associated with the presence of carotid plaque (odds ratio 1.17 [95% CI 1.05, 1.29] per 1 unit higher log-odds of type 2 diabetes; n = 6,819) and elevated risk of ischemic stroke (IS) (1.08 [1.02, 1.14]; n = 17,097), nonlacunar IS (1.09 [1.03, 1.16]; n = 13,924), and major coronary event (1.12 [1.02, 1.23]; n = 5,081). There was no significant association with lacunar IS (1.03 [0.91, 1.16], n = 3,173) or intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) (1.01 [0.94, 1.10], n = 6,973), although effect estimates were imprecise. These associations were consistent with observational associations of type 2 diabetes with CVD in CKB (P for heterogeneity >0.3) and with the associations of type 2 diabetes with IS, ICH, and coronary heart disease in two-sample Mendelian randomization analyses based on summary statistics from European population genome-wide association studies (P for heterogeneity >0.2). In conclusion, among Chinese adults, genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes was associated with atherosclerotic CVD, consistent with a causal association.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2155 - 2164


Adult, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular Diseases, China, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genome-Wide Association Study, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Prevalence, Risk