Gene Research May Help Spot Baby's Obesity Risk06/18/13
TUESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified
45 genetic genetic variants in overweight newborns that are known
to occur in obese adults and hope their findings could someday help
combat the global obesity epidemic.
"Allowing earlier identification of high-risk newborns may allow for earlier interventions to take place to possibly prevent obesity later in life," study lead author Dr. Reeti Chawla, a fellow in pediatric endocrinology at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in an Endocrine Society news release.
Chawla and colleagues analyzed genetic data from more than 4,400
ethnically diverse newborns in the United States and found 45
genetic variants associated with higher fat levels. These variants
were already known to occur in obese adults.
The researchers are now using the 45 genetic variants to develop
a genetic risk score to determine whether having a large number of
these genetic variants predicts whether newborns are at risk for
having increased fat at birth and for obesity later in life.
The study was scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the
Endocrine Society's annual meeting in San Francisco.
Being obese in childhood increases the risk of adult obesity and
researchers are trying to identify risk factors to help predict who
is at greater risk for weight gain.
More than one-third of American adults are obese, according to
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Being
overweight and obese increases the risk of many types of health
problems, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some
The data and conclusions of research presented at medical
meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
childhood overweight and obesity.
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