Genome-Wide Association Study of Body Fat Distribution identifies Novel Adiposity Loci and Sex-Specific Genetic Effects

Mathias Rask-Andersen, Torgny Karlsson, Weronica E Ek, Åsa Johansson

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Jul 30, 2018
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Received: 5th July 18

Body mass and body fat composition are of clinical interest due to their links to cardiovascular- and metabolic diseases. Fat stored in the trunk has been suggested as more pathogenic compared to fat stored in other compartments of the body. In this study, we performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for the proportion of body fat distributed to the arms, legs and trunk estimated from segmental bio-electrical impedance analysis (sBIA) for 362,499 individuals from the UK Biobank. A total of 97 loci, were identified to be associated with body fat distribution, 40 of which have not previously been associated with an anthropometric trait. A high degree of sex-heterogeneity was observed and associations were primarily observed in females, particularly for distribution of fat to the legs or trunk. Our findings also implicate that body fat distribution in females involves mesenchyme derived tissues and cell types, female endocrine tissues a well as several enzymatically active members of the ADAMTS family of metalloproteinases, which are involved in extracellular matrix maintenance and remodeling.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature

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