Causal relationship between adiposity and heart failure, and elevated liver enzymes

June 25, 2013

New evidence supports a causal relationship between adiposity and heart failure, and between adiposity and increased liver enzymes, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine. The study, conducted by Inga Prokopenko, Erik Ingelsson, and colleagues from the ENGAGE (European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology) Consortium, also provides additional support for several previously shown causal associations such as those between adiposity and type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, and hypertension.

The authors investigated whether adiposity is causally related to various cardiometabolic traits using a Mendelian randomization analysis, in which the variation in genes associated with conditions is used to assess the causal relationship between conditions. It is known that a genetic variant (rs9939609) within the genome region that encodes the fat-mass- and obesity-associated gene (FTO) is associated with increased BMI. Using genetic and health data collected in 36 population-based studies of nearly 200,000 individuals of European descent, the authors measured the strength of the causal association between BMI and cardiometabolic traits and found that higher BMI had a causal relationship with heart failure, , metabolic syndrome, , hypertension, increased blood levels of liver enzymes, and several other cardiometabolic traits.

As with all Mendelian randomization studies, the reliability of the causal associations reported here depends on several assumptions made by the researchers. The authors report, "The present study addressing the role of BMI in 24 traits in up to 198,502 individuals provides novel insights in the causal effect of obesity on heart failure and increased liver enzymes levels."

They also say that this study "provides robust support to the between obesity and a number of cardiometabolic traits reported previously. These results support global public prevention efforts for obesity in order to decrease cost and suffering from [type 2 diabetes] and ."

More information: Fall T, Hägg S, Mägi R, Ploner A, Fischer K, et al. (2013) The Role of Adiposity in Cardiometabolic Traits: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis. PLoS Med 10(6): e1001474. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001474

Related Stories

Bedroom TV viewing increases risk of obesity in children

December 11, 2012

The average American child from age 8 to 18 watches about 4.5 hours of TV each day. Seventy percent have a TV in the bedroom and about one-third of youth aged 6-19 is considered obese. Previous studies have shown that TV ...

Obesity leads to vitamin D deficiency

February 5, 2013

Obesity can lead to a lack of vitamin D circulating in the body, according to a study led by the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH). Efforts to tackle obesity should thus also help to reduce levels of vitamin D deficiency ...

ECO: Industry-funded reviews query sweet drink, obesity tie

May 14, 2013

(HealthDay)—Reviews that are funded by industry tend to find the evidence weak for a causal link between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and the increasing prevalence of obesity, while other reviews consider the evidence ...

Recommended for you

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.