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General summary


The identification of genetic variants that interact with key lifestyle exposures to modify the risk of type 2 diabetes enhances the possibility of finding alternative therapeutic options or preventive strategies.


The realisation of these prospects following the InterAct project will require the translation of research knowledge into clinical practice. As a prelude to these activities, InterAct had a work package exploring how genetic information on risk could be used. This part of the project firstly aimed to increase our understanding of the effect of the provision of information about risk of type 2 diabetes on emotion, cognition, health behaviour and other outcomes such as use of health services. It assessed the extent to which the impact of the provision of risk information concerning type 2 diabetes is mediated by the method and content of the risk communication, for example genetic versus non-genetic risk information, and moderated by the socio-cultural context. Finally it explored the policy implications for key stakeholders such as the government, health service, food industry, scientific community and ethicists of the new knowledge concerning associations between genes and lifestyle factors and the risk of type 2 diabetes, in particular the potential responses to findings concerning the strength of associations and the population frequencies of genetic and behavioural risk factors.