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PLoS One. 2014 Aug 18;9(8):e105062. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105062. eCollection 2014.

Genome-wide association studies and heritability estimates of body mass index related phenotypes in Bangladeshi adults.

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Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.
UChicago Research Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America.
Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America.


Many health outcomes are influenced by a person's body mass index, as well as by the trajectory of body mass index through a lifetime. Although previous research has established that body mass index related traits are influenced by genetics, the relationship between these traits and genetics has not been well characterized in people of South Asian ancestry. To begin to characterize this relationship, we analyzed the association between common genetic variation and five phenotypes related to body mass index in a population-based sample of 5,354 Bangladeshi adults. We discovered a significant association between SNV rs347313 (intron of NOS1AP) and change in body mass index in women over two years. In a linear mixed-model, the G allele was associated with an increase of 0.25 kg/m2 in body mass index over two years (p-value of 2.3·10-8). We also estimated the heritability of these phenotypes from our genotype data. We found significant estimates of heritability for all of the body mass index-related phenotypes. Our study evaluated the genetic determinants of body mass index related phenotypes for the first time in South Asians. The results suggest that these phenotypes are heritable and some of this heritability is driven by variation that differs from those previously reported. We also provide evidence that the genetic etiology of body mass index related traits may differ by ancestry, sex, and environment, and consequently that these factors should be considered when assessing the genetic determinants of the risk of body mass index-related disease.

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