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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2012 Dec;27 Suppl 4:iv58-62. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfs550.

The fat-mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO) predicts mortality in chronic kidney disease of various severity.

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CNR-IBIM and Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation Unit of Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy.



Polymorphisms in the FTO (fat-mass and obesity-associated) gene have been associated with the body mass index, cancer, type 2 diabetes and hypertension.


We investigated the relationship between 17 tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and all-cause mortality in three cohorts of dialysis patients (CREED-1, North Apulian and CREED-2 cohorts; n = 783) and in one cohort of stage 2-5 CKD patients (n = 757).


We first explored the association between the 17 tag SNPs and all-cause mortality in the CREED-1 cohort and found that patients with the A allele of the FTO rs708259 polymorphism had an elevated risk of mortality (hazard ratio, HR: 1.52, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-2.08; P = 0.008). Similarly, the A allele was associated with an increased risk of death also in the other two dialysis cohorts (North Apulian cohort, risk: +23%; CREED-2 cohort, risk: +21%). The elevated risk portended by this allele was even higher in the stage 2-5 CKD cohort (+97%). However, the risk of mortality associated with the A allele in the three confirmatory cohorts failed to achieve formal statistical significance. In a meta-analysis including the four cohorts (n = 1540; total deaths, n = 381), individuals with the A allele had a 42% excess risk of death (HR: 1.42, 95% CI 1.14-1.76, P = 0.002).


The A allele of the FTO rs708259 polymorphism is an independent predictor of all-cause mortality in patients with CKD of various severity. These data support our hypothesis that the FTO gene may be a relevant genetic risk factor for mortality in this population.

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