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Genetic Research Focuses on Waist-Hip Ratio, BMI

In two studies, researchers review loci associated with waist-hip ratio, body mass index

TUESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- New findings shed light on how genetics may influence body fat distribution and body mass index, as detailed in two studies published online Oct. 10 in Nature Genetics.

In the first study, Iris M. Heid, Ph.D., of the Regensburg University Medical Center in Germany, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 32 genome-wide association studies for waist-hip ratio (WHR) adjusted for body mass index, with follow-up on 16 loci in another 29 studies. They found evidence for a number of loci that affect body fat distribution independent of overall adiposity, with substantial gene-by-sex interactions.

In the second study, Elizabeth K. Speliotes, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and colleagues assessed the relationship between BMI and roughly 2.8 million single nucleotide polymorphisms, following up on 42. The researchers confirmed 14 obesity susceptibility loci and identified 18 new ones linked to BMI. Some map near important hypothalamic energy balance regulators, and one is near an incretin receptor.

"Because current lifestyle interventions are largely ineffective in addressing the challenges of growing obesity, new insights into the biology of obesity are critically needed to guide the development and application of future therapies and interventions," write the authors of the second study.

Pharmaceutical companies provided some funding for the studies.

Abstract - Heid
Full Text - Heid (subscription or payment may be required)
Abstract - Speliotes
Full Text - Speliotes (subscription or payment may be required)

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