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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Aug;14(8):1454-61.

BMI modifies associations of IL-6 genotypes with insulin resistance: the Framingham Study.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Genomics, Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA.



The -174 interleukin (IL)-6 gene polymorphism has been proposed as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but data are conflicting. Because white fat is a major source of IL-6 in resting individuals, we tested the hypothesis that BMI modifies the association among the IL-6 genotype, insulin resistance (IR) (measured using the homeostasis model), and risk of diabetes.


Outcomes were assessed in a community-based cohort study of 1525 adults (mean age, 55.6 years; 753 men), who participated in the Framingham Offspring Study during the 1991 to 1995 examinations.


We found a significant interaction between IL-6 genotype and BMI on levels of IR in men (p < 0.0001), with obese homozygotes for the minor C allele being most resistant. The IL-6-BMI interaction was not significant (p = 0.46) in women. Among men with the CC genotype, increasing BMI was associated with increased prevalence of diabetes [odds ratio (OR) per unit increase in BMI, 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.11 to 1.50] but not among those with the GG (OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.98 to 1.22) or GC genotype (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.97 to 1.14).


The -174 IL-6 promoter polymorphism modifies the association of obesity with IR and diabetes risk in men. Weight loss regimens targeted at reducing the risk of diabetes may be of particular benefit for men with a -174 IL-6 CC genotype.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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