Int J Obes (Lond). 2024 Jan 24. doi: 10.1038/s41366-024-01470-1. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: While environmental factors play an important role in weight loss effectiveness, genetics may also influence its success. We examined whether a genome-wide polygenic score for BMI was associated with weight loss effectiveness and aimed to identify common genetic variants associated with weight loss.

METHODS: Participants in the ONTIME study (n = 1210) followed a uniform, multimodal behavioral weight-loss intervention. We first tested associations between a genome-wide polygenic score for higher BMI and weight loss effectiveness (total weight loss, rate of weight loss, and attrition). We then conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for weight loss in the ONTIME study and performed the largest weight loss meta-analysis with earlier studies (n = 3056). Lastly, we ran exploratory GWAS in the ONTIME study for other weight loss outcomes and related factors.

RESULTS: We found that each standard deviation increment in the polygenic score was associated with a decrease in the rate of weight loss Beta (95% CI) = -0.04 (-0.06, -0.01; P = 3.7×10-03) and with higher attrition after adjusting by treatment duration. No associations reached genome-wide significance in meta-analysis with previous GWAS studies for weight loss. However, associations in the ONTIME study showed effects consistent with published studies for rs545936 (MIR486/NKX6.3/ANK1), a previously noted weight loss locus. In the meta-analysis, each copy of the minor A allele was associated with 0.12 (0.03) kg/m2 higher BMI at week five of treatment (P = 3.9 × 10-06). In the ONTIME study, we also identified two genome-wide significant (P < 5×10-08) loci for the rate of weight loss near genes implicated in lipolysis, body weight, and metabolic regulation: rs146905606 near NFIP1/SPRY4/FGF1; and rs151313458 near LSAMP.

CONCLUSION: Our findings are expected to help in developing personalized weight loss approaches based on genetics.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: Obesity, Nutrigenetics, Timing, and Mediterranean (ONTIME; NCT02829619) study.

PMID:38267484 | DOI:10.1038/s41366-024-01470-1