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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 May;23(5):449-55.

Genetic and environmental influences on waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference in an older Swedish twin population.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biobehavioral Health and Center for Developmental and Health Genetics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802, USA. tnelson@sph.unc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the genetic and environmental influences on waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist circumference (WC) measurements in males and females.

DESIGN:

Measurements taken from 1989-1991 as part of The Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA) were used for analysis. The SATSA sample contains both twins reared together as well as twins reared apart.

SUBJECTS:

322 pairs of twins (50 identical, 82 fraternal male pairs and 67 identical, 123 fraternal female pairs); age range: 45-85y (average age, 65y).

MEASUREMENTS:

Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI).

RESULTS:

In males, additive genetic effects were found to account for 28% of the variance in WHR and 46% of the variance in WC. In females, additive genetic effects were found to account for 48% of the variance in WHR and 66% of the variance in WC. The remaining variance in males was attributed to unique environmental effects (WHR, 72%; WC, 54%) and in females the remaining variance was attributed to unique environmental effects (WHR, 46%; WC, 34%) and age (WHR, 6%). When BMI was added into these models it accounted for a portion of the genetic and environmental variance in WHR, and over half of the genetic and environmental variance in WC.

CONCLUSION:

There are both genetic and environmental influences on WHR and WC, independent of BMI in both males and females, and the differences between the sexes are significantly different.

PMID:
10375046
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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