Genetically Elevated BMI Raises Risks of Hypertension and Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brendan Keating D.Phil Assistant Professor, Dept of Pediatrics and Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Lead Clinical Data Analyst, Center for Applied Genomics Children's Hospital of Philadelphia,Brendan Keating D.Phil
Assistant Professor, Dept of Pediatrics and Surgery, University of Pennsylvania
Lead Clinical Data Analyst, Center for Applied Genomics
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Michael V. Holmes, MD, PhD, MSc, BSc, MRCP Transplant Surgery Department of Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USAMichael V. Holmes, MD, PhD, MSc, BSc, MRCP
Transplant Surgery
Department of Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: We found that individuals with a genetically-elevated BMI had higher
blood pressure, inflammatory markers, metabolic markers and a higher
risk of type 2 diabetes, although there was little correlation with
coronary heart disease in this study population of over 34,500
European-descent individuals of whom over 6,000 had coronary heart
disease.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer:  We are still surprised that we did not find strong evidence that an
elevated BMI caused a higher risk of coronary heart disease.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer:  Patients with an elevated BMI should be strongly encouraged to reduce
their BMI to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. As an example our
study findings show that for every 1 kg/m2 increase in BMI –
equivalent to a 196-pound, 40-year old man of average height gaining
seven pounds – the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 27
percent. The same rise in BMI also increases blood pressure by 0.7
mmHg.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer:  Even larger datasets and better genetic instruments will allow us to
examine in even greater detail the causal effect of BMI on risk of
heart disease and stroke, and we will likely be able to target some of the specific genetics signals through pharmaceuticals.

Citation:

Causal Effects of Body Mass Index on Cardiometabolic Traits and Events: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis

Michael V. Holmes, Leslie A. Lange, Tom Palmer, Matthew B. Lanktree, Kari E. North, Berta Almoguera, Sarah Buxbaum, Hareesh R. Chandrupatla, Clara C. Elbers, Yiran Guo et al.

6 February 2014
The American Journal of Human Genetics 94(2) pp. 198 – 208

 

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