Causal relationships between obesity and the leading causes of death in women and men

by Jenny C. Censin, Sanne A. E. Peters, Jonas Bovijn, Teresa Ferreira, Sara L. Pulit, Reedik M ägi, Anubha Mahajan, Michael V. Holmes, Cecilia M. Lindgren Obesity traits are causally implicated with risk of cardiometabolic diseases. It remains unclear whether there are similar causal effects of obesity traits on other non-communicable diseases. Also, it is largely unexplored whether there are any sex-specific differences in the causal effects of obe sity traits on cardiometabolic diseases and other leading causes of death. We constructed sex-specific genetic risk scores (GRS) for three obesity traits; body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), and WHR adjusted for BMI, including 565, 324, and 337 genetic variants, respectively. These GRSs we re then used as instrumental variables to assess associations between the obesity traits and leading causes of mortality in the UK Biobank using Mendelian randomization. We also investigated associations with potential mediators, including smoking, glycemic and blood pressure traits. Sex-differences were subsequently assessed by Cochran’s Q-test (Phet). A Mendelian randomization analysis of 228,466 women and 195,041 men showed that obesity causes coronary artery disease, stroke (particularly ischemic), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, type 2 and 1 diabetes mellitus, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, chronic liver disease, and acute and chronic renal failure. Higher BMI led to higher risk of type 2 diabet...
Source: PLoS Genetics - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Source Type: research

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