Joint analysis of individual participants' data from 17 studies on the association of the IL6 variant-174GC with circulating glucose levels, interleukin-6 levels, and body mass index

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Background. Several studies have investigated associations between the -174GC single nucleotide polymorphism (rs1800795) of the IL6 gene and phenotypes related to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) but presented inconsistent results. Aims. This joint analysis aimed to clarify whether IL6 -174GC was associated with glucose and circulating interleukin-6 concentrations as well as body mass index (BMI). Methods. Individual-level data from all studies of the IL6-T2DM consortium on Caucasian subjects with available BMI were collected. As study-specific estimates did not show heterogeneity (P0.1), they were combined by using the inverse-variance fixed-effect model. Results. The main analysis included 9440, 7398, 24,117, or 5659 non-diabetic and manifest T2DM subjects for fasting glucose, 2-hour glucose, BMI, or circulating interleukin-6 levels, respectively. IL6 -174 C-allele carriers had significantly lower fasting glucose (-0.091 mmol/L, P=0.014). There was no evidence for association between IL6 -174GC and BMI or interleukin-6 levels, except in some subgroups. Conclusions. Our data suggest that C-allele carriers of the IL6 -174GC polymorphism have lower fasting glucose levels on average, which substantiates previous findings of decreased T2DM risk of these subjects.


  • Cornelia Huth
  • Thomas Illig
  • Christian Herder
  • Christian Gieger
  • Harald Grallert
  • Caren Vollmert
  • Wolfgang Rathmann
  • Yasmin H. Hamid
  • Oluf Pedersen
  • Torben Hansen
  • Barbara Thorand
  • Christa Meisinger
  • Angela Doering
  • Norman Klopp
  • Henning Gohlke
  • Wolfgang Lieb
  • Christian Hengstenberg
  • Valeriya Lyssenko
  • Helen Ireland
  • Jeffrey W. Stephens
  • Ingrid Wernstedt Asterholm
  • John-Olov Jansson
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Matthias Moehlig
  • Heather M. Stringham
  • Michael Boehnke
  • Jaakko Tuomilehto
  • Jose-Manuel Fernandez-Real
  • Abel Lopez-Bermejo
  • Luis Gallart
  • Joan Vendrell
  • Steve E. Humphries
  • Florian Kronenberg
  • H. -Erich Wichmann
  • Iris M. Heid
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • meta-analysis, molecular epidemiology, single nucleotide polymorphism, intermediate phenotype, interleukin-6, inflammation mediators, genes, diabetes mellitus type 2, Blood glucose, body mass index
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-138
JournalAnnals of Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch