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Keywords:

  • genetics;
  • obesity;
  • clinical trials

Abstract 

Obesity disproportionately affects Latina women. Common genetic variants are convincingly associated with body mass index (BMI) and may be used to create genetic risk scores (GRS) for obesity that could define genetically influenced forms of obesity and alter response to clinical trial interventions. The objective of this study was (1) to identify the frequency and effect size of common obesity genetic variants in Latina women; (2) to determine the clinical utility of a GRS for obesity with Latina women participating in a community-based clinical trial. DNA from 85 Latina women was genotyped for eight genetic variants previously associated with BMI in Caucasians, but not yet assessed in Latina populations. The main outcome measure was the correlation of GRS (sum of eight risk alleles) with BMI, waist circumference, and percent body fat. A majority (83%) of participants had a BMI ≥25. Frequency of loci near FTO, MC4R, and GNPDA2 were lower in Latinas than Caucasians. Association of each locus with BMI was lower in Latinas compared to Caucasians with no significant correlations with BMI. We conclude that an eight locus GRS has no clinical utility for explaining obesity or predicting response to intervention in Latina women participating in a clinical trial. Clin Trans Sci 2011; Volume 4: 323–327