According to Stat, "hundreds" of genes are assumed to be connected with obesity, but a recent study indicates that progress is being made in tying particular genes to obesity's downstream problems, such as diabetes. Other news items include broader adverse effects from long-term covid, inconsistent outcomes from Moderna's flu vaccine, and more.
Some genes are linked by researchers to the problems of female obesity.
The challenge is sorting through the hundreds of genes considered to be associated with obesity to find the ones that raise the risk of later consequences like diabetes and heart disease.
The first steps in locating a viable candidate exclusively in females were taken by researchers in a study.
They searched for genes linked to the buildup of abdominal fat as measured by the waist-to-hip ratio, which has been demonstrated to be a more accurate predictor of cardiovascular risk than body mass, by comparing the genetic information of hundreds of people. In contrast to the 42 genes they discovered for men, they discovered 91 genes associated with the waist-to-hip ratio in women.
They focused their attention on a gene called SNX10 since it had the largest correlation with a high waist-to-hip ratio in females. Despite the fact that SNX10 is expressed in both sexes, they discovered that it is solely connected with the accumulation of abdominal fat in women. Men and women store fat in distinct locations on the body.
When the SNX10 gene was knocked out in lab tests of human cells that are precursors to fat cells, the researchers discovered that those precursor cells were unable to collect fat and develop into mature fat cells.
The focus subsequently shifted from test tubes to animals. In order to study mice with the SNX10 gene eliminated in fat cells, the researchers fed the animals a high-fat diet. The female mice did not get overweight or overly fatty, but, the male mice and a group of control mice with the gene still present did.
A genetic variation that enhances the production of SNX10 in fat cells was linked to high waist-to-hip ratios in women, as well as higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels, all of which are additional indications of cardiovascular risk.
According to Marcelo Nobrega, senior author of the study and professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago, not all people with obesity go on to develop additional health complications because some are more susceptible to others. The study's findings could eventually help in developing genetic markers for determining which patients are most susceptible, especially when new, popular obesity medications Several doctors have stated that there has to be a better method of stratifying which individuals are more at risk of consequences and would need treatments when new medical advancements come to market but the health system has limited means to pay for them. (Kaiser Health News)