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Your socioeconomic status may determine risk of diabetes, depression, cancer

New Delhi, June 3: Your risk of diabetes, depression and cancer may depend on socioeconomic status, finds a study on Sunday. Those with lower socioeconomic status, determined by educational achievement and occupation, are more likely to develop complex diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

They also had a greater genetic susceptibility to developing many other complex diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lung cancer, depression, and alcohol use disorder. In contrast, people with a higher status are at increased risk of developing certain types of breast and prostate cancer, revealed the study by a team from the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Their findings based on genomics, socioeconomic status and health data of approximately 2,80,000 Finnish individuals were presented at the ongoing annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics in Germany. The study recommended that adding polygenic risk scores, which measure an individual’s risk of a particular disease based on genetic information, to the screening protocols can help detect multiple diseases.

“Understanding that the impact of polygenic scores on disease risk is context-dependent may lead to further stratified screening protocols,” said Fiona Hagenbeek, a postdoctoral researcher at the varsity’s Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM). The researchers noted that “to really move to personalised health, it will be essential to gauge both genetic and environmental risks.” 

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