Shared polygenic effects (i.e., pleiotropy) are assumed to exist for such obesity-related phenotypes as blood pressure and adiposity. It is possible to identify these shared genetic effects through bivariate genetic analyses. This analysis of 1,342 adult Samoans, across 801 pedigrees, indicates that significant heritable components (P < 0.05) ranging from 29-58% exist for weight, height, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, triceps skinfold, subscapular skinfold, body mass index, and sum of skinfolds. In general, the anthropometric measurements share additive genetic effects, as do the anthropometric measures, with blood pressure. Heritabilities for central fat distribution are not significant in this population, which could be due to a lack of power. On the other hand, heritabilities have been found in Hispanics; hence the genes responsible for central fat distribution may not be evenly distributed among populations.
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