25 Sep Hip Fracture Risk and Link to Obesity Gene
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Nguyen: We analyzed polymorphisms of the FTO (fat mass and obesity) gene in 934 elderly women of Caucasian background, and found that carriers of minor genotype (AA) of the SNP rs1121980 had a two-fold increase in the risk of hip fracture compared with carriers of major genotype (GG). Approximately 20% of women are carriers of the AA genotype. We estimate that about 17% of hip fracture cases could be attributed to the variation within the gene.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Nguyen: Two findings were somewhat unexpected. We postulated that the association of FTO polymorphisms and hip fracture is medicated through body mass index (BMI), but we found that the association was actually independent of BMI.
Moreover, in this population, we found no statistically significant association between the FTO polymorphisms and BMI.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Nguyen: Finding underlines the view that susceptibility to hip fracture is partly regulated by multiple genes, and that the FTO gene may play a part in the genetic regulation. While it is too early to do a genetic test for the gene, I think clinicians should pay attention to the family history of hip fracture in the assessment of fracture risk for a woman. Also, women whose mothers have had a hip fracture should be mindful of their own risk of hip fracture.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Nguyen: In the era of scientific reproducibility, any finding from genetic association studies requires independent validation. Although we have formally evaluated the reliability of our finding, we still think that the finding needs to be validated in independent populations. The next step is to elucidate the mechanism(s) of the link between the FTO gene and fracture susceptibility.