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PLoS One. 2014 May 14;9(5):e97545. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097545. eCollection 2014.

Age- and sex-dependent association between FTO rs9939609 and obesity-related traits in Chinese children and adolescents.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing, China; Graduate School, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing, China.
  • 3Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, United States of America.
  • 4Department of Maternal and Child Health Care, School of Public Health, Shandong University, Jinan, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The associations between common variants in the fat mass- and obesity-associated (FTO) gene and obesity-related traits may be age-dependent and may differ by sex. The present study aimed to assess the association of FTO rs9939609 with body mass index (BMI) and the risk of obesity from childhood to adolescence, and to determine the age at which the association becomes evident.

METHODS:

Totally 757 obese and 2,746 non-obese Chinese children aged 6-18 years were genotyped for FTO rs9939609. Of these, a young sub-cohort (n = 777) aged 6-11 years was reexamined 6 years later. Obesity was defined using the sex- and age-specific BMI cut-offs recommended by the International Obesity Task Force.

RESULTS:

The associations of FTO rs9939609 with BMI and obesity did not appear until children reached 12-14 years. The variant was associated with an increased BMI in boys (β = 1.50, P = 0.004) and girls (β = 0.97, P = 0.018), respectively. Thereafter, the magnitude of association increased in girls at ages 15-18 years (β = 2.02, P<0.001), but not boys (β = 0.10, P>0.05). Age was found to interact with the variant on BMI (P<0.001) and obesity (P = 0.042) only in girls. In the sub-cohort, the associations of FTO rs9939609 with BMI (β = 1.07, P = 0.008) and obesity (OR = 2.09, 95% CI: 1.12, 3.91) were only observed 6 years later (ages 12-18 years) in girls, even after adjusting for baseline BMI.

CONCLUSIONS:

The association between FTO rs9939609 and obesity-related traits may change from childhood to adolescence in Chinese individuals, and the association may start as early as age 12 years, especially in girls.

PMID:
24827155
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4020831
Free PMC Article
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