Is type 2 diabetes mellitus an inverse risk factor for the development of rheumatoid arthritis?


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are both chronic diseases. Although the link between metabolic abnormalities and dysregulated inflammation has received much attention, it is not known whether T2DM can be a risk for the development of RA. Also, observational studies have the disadvantage that the possibility of confounding factors, such as environmental factors, cannot be ruled out. Therefore, the current study performed the mendelian randomization (MR) analysis using recent large-scale genome-wide association studies datasets of T2DM and RA separately European and Asian ancestries. As a result, T2DM had an inverse causal effect on the risk of RA. This study proposed a novel hypothesis that a protective effect of T2DM for the risk of RA.

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Genetic datasets were obtained from Wellcome Trust Case Control. Consortium; Meta-Analyses of Glucose and Insulin-related traits Consortium. Investigators; Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits Consortium; Asian Genetic Epidemiology Network–Type 2 Diabetes Consortium; South Asian Type 2 Diabetes Consortium (Morris et al. Nat Genet. 2012;44:981–90.) and work done by Okada et al. [8]. I thank all investigators for sharing the data.

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Conceptualization, formal analysis, and writing: JI. Writing review and editing: YK and TT.

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Correspondence to Jun Inamo.

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Conflict of interest

TT has received research grants from Astellas Pharma Inc, Bristol-Myers KK, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, Teijin Pharma Ltd, AbbVie GK, Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Co, Pfizer Japan Inc, and Taisho Toyama Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, Eisai Co. Ltd, AYUMI Pharmaceutical Corporation, and Nipponkayaku Co. Ltd, and speaking fees from AbbVie GK, Bristol-Myers KK, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Co, Pfizer Japan Inc, and Astellas Pharma Inc, and Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd, and consultant fees from Astra Zeneca KK, Eli Lilly Japan KK, Novartis Pharma KK, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Co, Abbivie GK, Nipponkayaku Co. Ltd, Janssen Pharmaceutical KK, Astellas Pharma Inc, and Taiho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Inamo, J., Kochi, Y. & Takeuchi, T. Is type 2 diabetes mellitus an inverse risk factor for the development of rheumatoid arthritis?. J Hum Genet (2020).

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