- At this time, genetic tests are not useful as predictors of onset of diabetes or its complications.
- Patients should be warned about the poor sensitivity of currently marketed diabetes risk tests and instead encouraged to enroll in clinical trials to better inform the field.
Why this matters
- Genetic risk tests are being marketed to clinicians and patients.
- Review of evidence for the ability of genetic tests to discriminate between people who will or who will not develop diabetes or its complications.
- Funding: Italian Ministry of Health.
- Genetic prediction of type 1 diabetes is feasible in families via diabetes-specific autoantibodies, but because there is currently no prevention approach, clinical usefulness is questionable.
- At present, the addition of genetic information to inexpensive and well-performing clinical prediction models does not result in any better prediction of type 2 diabetes (T2D) or cardiovascular disease in people with T2D.
- Information on the genetic background of other diabetic complications affecting kidney, eyes, and peripheral nervous system is currently insufficient to even try predicting their occurrence.
- Further discovery of yet unidentified predisposing genetic factors might importantly change the present scenario.