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Association Of Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number With Prevalent And Incident Type 2 Diabetes In Women: A Population-based Follow-up Study

Ashfaque A. Memon, Jan Sundquist, Anna Hedelius, Karolina Palmér, Xiao Wang, Kristina Sundquist

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AbstractMitochondrial dysfunction is an important factor of the aging process and may play a key role in various diseases. Mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN) is an indirect measure of mitochondrial dysfunction and is associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM); however, whether mtDNA-CN can predict the risk of developing T2DM is not well-known. We quantified absolute mtDNA-CN in both prevalent and incident T2DM by well-optimized droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) method in a population-based follow-up study of middle aged (50–59 years) Swedish women (n = 2387). The median follow-up period was 17 years. Compared to those who were free of T2DM, mtDNA-CN was significantly lower in both prevalent T2DM and in women who developed T2DM during the follow-up period. Mitochondrial DNA-copy number was also associated with glucose intolerance, systolic blood pressure, smoking status and education. In multivariable Cox regression analysis, lower baseline mtDNA-CN was prospectively associated with a higher risk of T2DM, independent of age, BMI, education, smoking status and physical activity. Moreover, interaction term analysis showed that smoking increased the effect of low mtDNA-CN at baseline on the risk of incident T2DM. Mitochondrial DNA-copy number may be a risk factor of T2DM in women. The clinical usefulness of mtDNA-CN to predict the future risk of T2DM warrants further investigation.