Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology Review uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Body Mass Index
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Obesity


  • Obesity is heritable and predisposes to many diseases. To understand the genetic basis of obesity better, here we conduct a genome-wide association study and Metabochip meta-analysis of body mass index (BMI), a measure commonly used to define obesity and assess adiposity, in up to 339,224 individuals. This analysis identifies 97 BMI-associated loci (P < 5 × 10(-8)), 56 of which are novel. Five loci demonstrate clear evidence of several independent association signals, and many loci have significant effects on other metabolic phenotypes. The 97 loci account for ∼2.7% of BMI variation, and genome-wide estimates suggest that common variation accounts for >20% of BMI variation. Pathway analyses provide strong support for a role of the central nervous system in obesity susceptibility and implicate new genes and pathways, including those related to synaptic function, glutamate signalling, insulin secretion/action, energy metabolism, lipid biology and adipogenesis.


publication date

  • February 12, 2015



  • Review



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4382211

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nature14177

PubMed ID

  • 25673413

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 197

end page

  • 206


  • 518


  • 7538