Heritability of Curve Patterns in Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

Christine Dalgård*, Soren Möller, Kirsten O. Kyvik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by both genetic and environmental factors, may be diagnosed using the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Recent studies demonstrated specific patterns in glucose curves during OGTT associated with cardiometabolic risk profiles. As the relative contribution of genetic and environmental influences on glucose curve patterns is unknown, we aimed to investigate the heritability of these patterns. We studied twins from the Danish GEMINAKAR cohort aged 18-67 years and free from diabetes at baseline during 1997-2000; glucose concentrations were measured three times during a 2-h OGTT. Heterogeneity of the glucose response during OGTT was examined with latent class mixed-effects models, evaluating goodness of fit by Bayes information criterion. The genetic influence on curve patterns was estimated using quantitative genetic modeling based on linear structural equations. Overall, 1455 twins (41% monozygotic) had valid glucose concentrations measured from the OGTT, and four latent classes with different glucose response patterns were identified. Statistical modeling demonstrated genetic influence for belonging to a specific class or not, with heritability estimated to be between 45% and 67%. During ∼12 years of follow-up, the four classes were each associated with different incidence of type 2 diabetes. Hence, glucose response curve patterns associated with type 2 diabetes risk appear to be moderately to highly heritable.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)39-44
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • genetic variation
  • latent class modeling
  • Oral glucose tolerance test
  • twins
  • type 2 diabetes

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