-- Robert Preidt
SUNDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- New gene locations linked to
obesity have been pinpointed in a large study by an international
team of researchers.
The team examined data from more than 260,000 people and
identified seven new gene locations tied to overweight and obesity,
and four new gene locations associated with height.
In addition, most of the gene locations previously linked to
various body measurements were confirmed in the study published
online April 7 in the journal
The study authors said they also showed that the genetic
mechanisms that cause extreme obesity are similar to those that
cause milder forms of overweight and obesity.
"We know from experience that genetic factors are important for the emergence of both milder and more extreme forms of obesity, but how much overlap there is between genes that are involved in extreme obesity and normal or slightly elevated BMI [a measure of body fat] has not been examined systematically previously," study coordinator Erik Ingelsson, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden, said in a university news release.
He added that the results "suggest that extremely obese
individuals have a greater number of gene variants that increase
the risk of obesity, rather than completely different genes being
involved. In the long term, our findings may lead to new ways of
preventing and treating obesity, which is one of the greatest
global public health problems of our age."
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
overweight and obesity.
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