A common variant in the FTO gene is associated with body mass index and predisposes to childhood and adult obesity by Frayling Timothy M, Timpson Nicholas J, Weedon Michael N, Zeggini Eleftheria, Freathy Rachel M, Lindgren Cecilia M, Perry John R B, Elliott Katherine S, Lango Hana, Rayner Nigel W, Shields Beverley, Harries Lorna W, Barrett Jeffrey C, Ellard Sian, Groves Christopher J, Knight Bridget, Patch Ann-Marie, Ness Andrew R, Ebrahim Shah, Lawlor Debbie A, Ring Susan M, Ben-Shlomo Yoav, Jarvelin Marjo-Riitta, Sovio Ulla, Bennett Amanda J, Melzer David, Ferrucci Luigi, Loos Ruth J F, Barroso InĂªs, Wareham Nicholas J, Karpe Fredrik, Owen Katharine R, Cardon Lon R, Walker Mark, Hitman Graham A, Palmer Colin N A, Doney Alex S F, Morris Andrew D, Smith George Davey, Hattersley Andrew T, McCarthy Mark I in Science (New York, N.Y.) (2007).

[PMID: 17434869] PubMed


Obesity is a serious international health problem that increases the risk of several common diseases. The genetic factors predisposing to obesity are poorly understood. A genome-wide search for type 2 diabetes-susceptibility genes identified a common variant in the FTO (fat mass and obesity associated) gene that predisposes to diabetes through an effect on body mass index (BMI). An additive association of the variant with BMI was replicated in 13 cohorts with 38,759 participants. The 16% of adults who are homozygous for the risk allele weighed about 3 kilograms more and had 1.67-fold increased odds of obesity when compared with those not inheriting a risk allele. This association was observed from age 7 years upward and reflects a specific increase in fat mass.

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