London: A team of researchers has identified seven new gene loci associated with obesity.They were also able to show that the genetic mechanisms that cause extreme obesity are similar to those that cause milder forms of overweight and obesity.A total of more than 260,000 people were included in the study of the links between genes and obesity. The aim of the study was to identify new genes that increase the risk of obesity, but also to compare genetic factors that cause extreme obesity with those that are linked to rest of the BMI range.The researchers studied gene variants, or positions in the genetic code that differ between individuals. Many million such commonly occurring inherited differences are scattered throughout the genome. In the recent study, researchers identified loci (regions of the genome) that are linked to obesity through examining the relationship between different body measurements and 2.8 million gene variants in 168,267 participants.They then carried out a targeted follow-up of the 273 gene variants with the strongest link to various body measurements in another 109,703 people. Through this extensive gene mapping they were able to confirm the majority of the gene loci, which were already linked to various body measurements, as well as identifying four new gene loci linked to height, and seven loci linked to overweight and obesity.
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