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No apparent genetic association between vitamin D and obesity – Feb 2013

Genetic association analysis of vitamin D pathway with obesity traits.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2013.6.
Vimaleswaran KS, Cavadino A, Berry DJ; The Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium, Whittaker JC, Power C, Järvelin MR, Hyppönen E.
Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK.

Objective:Observational studies have examined the link between vitamin D deficiency and obesity traits. Some studies have reported associations between vitamin D pathway genes such as VDR, GC and CYP27B1 with body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC); however, the findings have been inconsistent. Therefore, we investigated the involvement of vitamin D metabolic pathway genes in obesity-related traits in a large population-based study.

Methods:We undertook a comprehensive analysis between 100 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (tagSNPs) in genes encoding for DHCR7, CYP2R1, VDBP, CYP27B1, CYP27A1, CYP24A1, VDR and RXRG, and obesity traits in 5224 participants (aged 45 years) in the 1958 British birth cohort (1958BC). We further extended our analyses to investigate the associations between SNPs and obesity traits using the summary statistics from the GIANT (Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits) consortium (n=123 865).

Results:In the 1958BC (n=5224), after Bonferroni correction, none of the tagSNPs were associated with obesity traits except for one tagSNP from CYP24A1 that was associated with waist-hip ratio (WHR) (rs2296239, P=0.001). However, the CYP24A1 SNP was not associated with BMI-adjusted WHR (WHRadj) in the 1958BC (rs2296239, P=1.00) and GIANT results (n=123 865, P=0.18). There was also no evidence for an interaction between the tagSNPs and obesity on BMI, WC, WHR and WHRadj in the 1958BC. In the GIANT consortium, none of the tagSNPs were associated with obesity traits.

Conclusions:Despite a very large study, our findings suggest that the vitamin D pathway genes are unlikely to have a major role in obesity-related traits in the general population.

PMID: 23381556

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