Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Sex Differences in Heritability of BMI: A Comparative Study of Results from Twin Studies in Eight Countries

  • Karoline Schousboe (a1), Gonneke Willemsen (a2), Kirsten O. Kyvik (a3), Jakob Mortensen (a4), Dorret I. Boomsma (a5), Belinda K. Cornes (a6), Chayna J. Davis (a7), Corrado Fagnani (a8), Jacob Hjelmborg (a9), Jaakko Kaprio (a10), Marlies de Lange (a11), Michelle Luciano (a12), Nicholas G. Martin (a13), Nancy Pedersen (a14), Kirsi H. Pietiläinen (a15), Aila Rissanen (a16), Suoma Saarni (a17), Thorkild I.A. Sørensen (a18), G. Caroline M. van Baal (a19) and Jennifer R. Harris (a20)...
Abstract
Abstract

Body mass index (BMI), a simple anthropometric measure, is the most frequently used measure of adiposity and has been instrumental in documenting the worldwide increase in the prevalence of obesity witnessed during the last decades. Although this increase in overweight and obesity is thought to be mainly due to environmental changes, i.e., sedentary lifestyles and high caloric diets, consistent evidence from twin studies demonstrates high heritability and the importance of genetic differences for normal variation in BMI. We analysed self-reported data on BMI from approximately 37,000 complete twin pairs (including opposite sex pairs) aged 20–29 and 30–39 from eight different twin registries participating in the GenomEUtwin project. Quantitative genetic analyses were conducted and sex differences were explored. Variation in BMI was greater for women than for men, and in both sexes was primarily explained by additive genetic variance in all countries. Sex differences in the variance components were consistently significant. Results from analyses of opposite sex pairs also showed evidence of sex-specific genetic effects suggesting there may be some differences between men and women in the genetic factors that influence variation in BMI. These results encourage the continued search for genes of importance to the body composition and the development of obesity. Furthermore, they suggest that strategies to identify predisposing genes may benefit from taking into account potential sex specific effects.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Sex Differences in Heritability of BMI: A Comparative Study of Results from Twin Studies in Eight Countries
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Sex Differences in Heritability of BMI: A Comparative Study of Results from Twin Studies in Eight Countries
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Sex Differences in Heritability of BMI: A Comparative Study of Results from Twin Studies in Eight Countries
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Jennifer R. Harris, The Norwegian Insitute of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Genes and Environment, Post Box 4404 Nydalen, N-0403 Oslo, Norway.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • ISSN: 1832-4274
  • EISSN: 1839-2628
  • URL: /core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×