To date, there have been three population studies that examined the association of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) genotype with inheritance of diabetes. Here, we summarize the results by meta-analysis. The study 1 consisted of 212 type 2 diabetics who did not have renal failure. The study 2 consisted of 73 type 2 diabetics who had renal failure. The study 3 consisted of 230 type 1 diabetics. In total, 515 subjects were examined for the association of ALDH2 genotype with inheritance of diabetes. Out of 515 subjects, 307 (60%) had active ALDH2 (ALDH2*1/ALDH2*1) and 208 (40%) had inactive ALDH2 (175 had ALDH2*1/ALDH2 *2 and 33 had ALDH2*2/ALDH2 *2). As for family history, 25 subjects (8.1%) in the active ALDH2 group had a diabetic mother, compared with 43 (20.6%) in the inactive ALDH2 group. Twenty-nine subjects (9.4%) in the active ALDH2 group had a diabetic father, compared with 14 (6.7%) in the inactive ALDH2 group. The percentage of diabetic mother was higher in the inactive ALDH2 group, the differences were statistically significant (P < 0.0001). We hence speculate that diabetic patients with inactive ALDH2 genotype may have underlying background of mitochondria etiology, thereby showing maternal trait of diabetes inheritance. In conclusion, meta-analysis using three diabetes population studies strongly confirmed the association between ALDH2 inactivity and maternal inheritance.
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