Gene–environment interactions in obesity: implication for future applications in preventive medicine

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Abstract

Obesity is associated with environmental factors; however, information about gene–environment interactions is lacking. We aimed to elucidate the effects of gene–environment interactions on obesity, specifically between genetic predisposition and various obesity-related lifestyle factors, using data from a population-based prospective cohort study. The genetic risk score (GRS) calculated from East Asian ancestry single-nucleotide polymorphisms was significantly associated with the body mass index (BMI) at baseline (P<0.001). Significant gene–environment interactions were observed for six nutritional factors, alcohol intake, metabolic equivalents-hour per day and the homeostasis model assessment ratio. The GRS altered the effects of lifestyle factors on BMI. Increases in the BMI at baseline per unit intake for each nutritional factor differed depending on the GRS. However, we did not observe significant correlations between the GRS and annual changes in BMI during the follow-up period. This study suggests that the effects of lifestyle factors on obesity differ depending on the genetic risk factors. The approach used to evaluate gene–environment interaction in this study may be applicable to the practice of preventive medicine.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by KAKENHI (Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research, grant no.: 25560363) to HN. We would like to thank Editage (www.editage.com) for English language editing.

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Correspondence to Hiroto Narimatsu.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Supplementary Information accompanies the paper on Journal of Human Genetics website

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