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School of Public Health News April 30, 2024

A cross-sectional study by Kathryn Kaiser, PhD, her former PhD student Dr. Hairui Yu, and colleagues examined the association of FTO single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) with obesity and cardiometabolic diseases among older Black and White US adults. According to the study findings published online in JAMA Network Open, the researchers found some notable differences based on race and sex. Among 10,447 participants, FTO SNVs showed significant associations with obesity, hypertension, and diabetes in White individuals, while none were significantly associated with obesity in Black individuals. White males exhibited a higher risk of obesity, whereas White females had a higher risk of hypertension and diabetes. However, one FTO SNV (rs1121980) was directly associated with an increased risk of heart disease in Black participants, independent of obesity.

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