Genotypes of HLA, TCF7L2, and FTO as potential modifiers of the association between sweetened beverage consumption and risk of LADA and type 2 diabetes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Sweetened beverage consumption is associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and LADA. We investigated to what extent this association is mediated by BMI and whether it is modified by genotypes of HLA, TCF7L2 rs7903146, or FTO rs9939609. Methods: Swedish case–control data including incident cases of LADA (n = 386) and T2D (n = 1253) with matched population-based controls (n = 1545) was used. We estimated adjusted ORs of diabetes (95% CI) in relation to sweetened beverage intake (per daily 200 mL serving) and genotypes. The impact of BMI was estimated using causal mediation methodology. Associations with HOMA-IR and HOMA-B were explored through linear regression. Results: Sweetened beverage intake was associated with increased risk of LADA (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.03–1.29) and T2D (OR 1.21, 1.11–1.32). BMI was estimated to mediate 17% (LADA) and 56% (T2D) of the total risk. LADA was associated with risk variants of HLA (3.44, 2.63–4.50) and TCF7L2 (1.27, 1.00–1.61) but not FTO. Only among non-carriers of high-risk HLA genotypes was sweetened beverage intake associated with risk of LADA (OR 1.32, 1.06–1.56) and HOMA-IR (beta = 0.162, p = 0.0047). T2D was associated with TCF7L2 and FTO but not HLA, and the risk conferred by sweetened beverages appeared modified by FTO (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.21–1.73 in non-carriers). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that sweetened beverages are associated with LADA and T2D partly through mediation by excess weight, but possibly also through other mechanisms including adverse effects on insulin sensitivity. These effects seem more pronounced in individuals without genetic susceptibility.


External organisations
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Stockholm County Council
  • University of Helsinki
  • Helsinki University Central Hospital
  • Folkhälsan Research Center
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Autoimmune diabetes, BMI, Genotype, Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, Sweetened beverage, T2D
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number1
Early online date2019 Jan 17
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb
Publication categoryResearch