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Prevention of Non Communicable Diseases

Mediation effect of JAK2 methylation on the association between sitting time and abdominal obesity in rural adults



Sitting time may affect health by altering the methylation of certain genes. This research aimed to estimate the association of sitting time with abdominal obesity and the role of Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) methylation in the association among rural adults.


A total of 1062 rural adults from the Henan Rural Cohort Study were included. Whole blood was used to extract genomic DNA. JAK2 DNA methylation level was assessed by MethylTargetTM. The logistic regression model was utilized to assess the association of sitting time with abdominal obesity, and the possible effect of JAK2 DNA methylation on the association were conducted by using mediation analyses.


Average time of sitting of participants was 7.28 ± 3.37 h/d. For per 1 h increment in sitting time, the odd ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of abdominal obesity was 1.153 (1.095, 1.214) after controlling potential risk factors. Simultaneously, the methylation levels of Chr9: 4985407 site and Chr9: 4985238-4985455 region were negatively correlated with abdominal obesity (OR: 0.549, 95% CI: 0.394, 0.765; OR: 0.189, 95% CI: 0.056, 0.640, respectively). Moreover, Chr9: 4985407 site and Chr9: 4985238-4985455 region methylation levels mediated the association of sitting time with abdominal obesity, and the indirect effects account for 6.78% and 4.24%, respectively.


Longer sitting time was positively correlated with abdominal obesity in the rural population, and methylation level of JAK2 may be an underlying mediation of the effect.

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Fig. 1: Associations of sitting time with abdominal obesity.
Fig. 2: Mediation effect of methylation level of Chr9: 4985407 site and Chr9: 4985238-4985455 region on association of sitting time with abdominal obesity.

Data availability

The original contributions presented in the study are included in the paper/Supplementary Material; further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding authors.


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The authors are grateful to all the participants, research staff, and administrators for their supports in this study.


This work was supported by the Foundation of National Key Program of Research and Development of China (Grant NO: 2016YFC0900803), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant NO: 82003543, 81602925), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant NO: 2020M672297). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the paper.

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Authors and Affiliations



GC: Conceptualization, Investigation, Data curation, Methodology, Formal analysis, Visualization, Writing—original draft. YL: Investigation, Data curation, Formal analysis, Writing—review & editing. YJ: Investigation, Writing—review & editing. CW: Investigation, Writing—review & editing. XL: Conceptualization, Methodology, Investigation, Validation, Writing—review & editing. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xiaotian Liu.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethics approval

Ethics approval was obtained from the “Zhengzhou University Life Science Ethics Committee” (Ethic approval code: [2015] MEC (S128) and written informed consent was obtained from all participants before this study.

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Written informed consent has been obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

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Chang, G., Li, Y., Jiang, Y. et al. Mediation effect of JAK2 methylation on the association between sitting time and abdominal obesity in rural adults. Eur J Clin Nutr (2023).

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