The emerging pattern of the genetic contribution to human obesity

Anthony G. Comuzzie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


It has been a little more than 5 years since the publication of the first genome scans focused on obesity-related phenotypes in humans. While the number of scans reported has grown steadily during this time, the results from many of these studies have been modest at best. However, there are a handful of studies that have now reported highly significant findings, and even more important perhaps is the fact that several of these findings have now been replicated as well. Currently there is strong statistical support for approximately half a dozen quantitative trait loci (QTLs) influencing obesity-related phenotypes across a number of populations and ethnic groups. While some of these signals localize near genes that might have been considered a priori as candidate genes for obesity, several others offer evidence for previously unsuspected genes. As a result, there is an intriguing pattern of genetic contribution to obesity that has begun to emerge and which promises to greatly increase our understanding of the relationship between obesity and other chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-621
Number of pages11
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Genome scan
  • Linkage
  • Positional candidate genes
  • Quantitative trait loci (QTLs)
  • Replication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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