The main hallmark of diabetic nephropathy is elevation in urinary albumin excretion. We performed a genome-wide linkage scan in 63 extended families with multiple members with type II diabetes. Urinary albumin excretion, measured as
the albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR), was determined in 426 diabetic and 431 nondiabetic relatives who were genotyped for 383 markers. The data were analyzed using variance components linkage analysis. Heritability (h2) of ACR was
significant in diabetic (h2=0.23, P=0.0007), and nondiabetic (h2=0.39, P=0.0001) relatives. There was no significant difference in genetic variance of ACR between diabetic and nondiabetic relatives (P=0.16), and the genetic correlation
(rG=0.64) for ACR between these two groups was not different from 1 (P=0.12).
These results suggested that similar genes contribute to variation in ACR in diabetic and nondiabetic relatives. This hypothesis was supported further by the linkage results.