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Exp Diabetes Res. 2012;2012:872176. doi: 10.1155/2012/872176. Epub 2012 Feb 20.

Association of FTO polymorphisms with early age of obesity in obese Italian subjects.

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Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Policlinico Universitario, 09042 Cagliari, Italy.


Obesity is recognized as a major health problem worldwide. Genetic factors play a major role in obesity, and genomewide association studies have provided evidence that several common variants within the fat mass- and obesity-associated (FTO) gene are significantly associated with obesity. Very limited data is available on FTO in the Italian population. Aims of our study are to investigate: (1) the association of FTO gene SNPs rs9939609 and rs9930506 with body mass index (BMI) and obesity-related parameters in a large cohort (n = 752) of Italian obese subjects; (2) the association between the two FTO SNPs and age of onset of obesity. Our results demonstrate a strong association between FTO SNPs rs9939609 (P < 0.043) and rs9930506 (P < 0.029) with BMI in the Italian population. FTO rs9930506 was significantly associated with higher BMI in a G allele dose-dependent manner (BMI + 1.4 kg/m² per G allele). We also observed that the association with BMI of the two FTO variants varied with age, with the carriers of the risk alleles developing an increase in body weight earlier in life. In conclusion, our study further demonstrates a role of the genetic variability in FTO on BMI in a large Italian population.

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