"This study is the first to use this emerging MR technique with a combination of genetic markers known to impact BMI, to assess the causal relationship of BMI and a comprehensive repertoire of traits," said Holmes. He added that, although the study showed that increasing BMI has an undesirable effect on cardiometabolic factors, interestingly, it did not show that higher BMI increased the risk of coronary heart disease.
Keating also co-led a second study, published Jan. 6 in Human Molecular Genetics, analyzing genes associated with central adiposity. Measures of central adiposity, or body fat, can be derived using waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio. "For assessing the influence of weight-related genes, central adiposity is preferable to BMI, because BMI also reflects the influence of genes affecting height," said Keating.
Keating's co-senior author was Kira C. Taylor, Ph.D., M.S., of the University of Louisville. The study team performed a meta-analysis in over 57,000 subjects of European ancestry, then validated their results in even larger numbers from independent studies.
This study discovered three novel genetic signals associated with central adiposity, in the genes TMCC1, HOXC10, and PEMT. In addition, the team found two more novel genetic signals, in the SHC1 and ATBDB4 genes, which were only observed in women. "Previous research has reported different gene variants operating between men and women related to adiposity," said Keating. "This gives us initial clues of the genes involved with sex-specific body shapes. Future research using these findings may yield insight into the actual biological mechanisms that dictate why males and females have different body distributions o
|Contact: John Ascenzi|
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia