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Dr. James S. Pankow works with the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota.
Q. What causes levels of fatty acids to rise?
A. Diet, of course, but some of it is related to genetics. Some people appear to have a natural capacity, which is not yet fully explained, to store more fat.
Q. What prompted the study of fatty acids?
A. In the context of obesity, many researchers noticed a rise in fatty acids, and then we made an attempt to see if it was part of the mechanism involved in the cause of diabetes.
Q. And the result?
A. The study appears to establish a correlation. We found patients with the highest level of measured fatty acids had a 68 percent greater risk of diabetes than a patient who ranked in the lower ranges.
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