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 ."

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

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

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 ...

Genetic research clarifies link between hypertension and vitamin D deficiency

June 10, 2013
Low levels of vitamin D can trigger hypertension, according to the world's largest study to examine the causal association between the two. Although observational studies have already shown this link, a large-scale genetic ...

Genetic discovery found to influence obesity in people of African ancestry

April 15, 2013
The largest genetic search for "obesity genes" in people of African ancestry has led to the discovery of three new regions of the human genome that influence obesity in these populations and others.

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 ...

Depression in postmenopausal women may increase diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk

June 13, 2013
Postmenopausal women who use antidepressant medication or suffer from depression might be more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI), larger waist circumference and inflammation—all associated with increased risk ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

A large-scale 'germ trap' solution for hospitals

July 26, 2017
When an infectious airborne illness strikes, some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to isolate and treat patients. These rooms use ventilation controls to keep germ-filled air contained rather than letting it circulate ...

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

July 25, 2017
Why men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women remains a mystery, even after a study led by a recent Drexel University graduate took lifestyle choices and environments ...

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

July 24, 2017
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat ...

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.