Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.

Is the adiposity-associated FTO gene variant related to all-cause mortality independent of adiposity? Meta-analysis of data from 169,551 Caucasian adults

  • E. Zimmermann
  • L. H. Angquist
  • S. S. Mirza
  • J. H. Zhao
  • D. I. Chasman
  • K. Fischer
  • Q. Qi
  • A. V. Smith
  • M. Thinggaard
  • M. N. Jarczok
  • M. A. Nalls
  • S. Trompet
  • N. J. Timpson
  • B. Schmidt
  • A. U. Jackson
  • L. P. Lyytikainen
  • N. Verweij
  • M. Mueller-Nurasyid
  • M. Vikstrom
  • P. Marques-Vidal
  • A. Wong
  • K. Meidtner
  • R. P. Middelberg
  • R. J. Strawbridge
  • L. Christiansen
  • K. O. Kyvik
  • A. Hamsten
  • T. Jaaskelainen
  • A. Tjonneland
  • J. G. Eriksson
  • J. B. Whitfield
  • H. Boeing
  • R. Hardy
  • P. Vollenweider
  • K. Leander
  • A. Peters
  • P. van der Harst
  • M. Kumari
  • T. Lehtimaki
  • A. Meirhaeghe
  • J. Tuomilehto
  • K. -H. Joeckel
  • Y. Ben-Shlomo
  • N. Sattar
  • S. E. Baumeister
  • G. Davey Smith
  • J. P. Casas
  • D. K. Houston
  • W. Maerz
  • K. Christensen
  • V. Gudnason
  • F. B. Hu
  • A. Metspalu
  • P. M. Ridker
  • N. J. Wareham
  • R. J. F. Loos
  • H. Tiemeier
  • Emily Sonestedt
  • T. I. A. Sorensen
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 327-340
Publication/Series: Obesity Reviews
Volume: 16
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Previously, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs9939609, in the FTO gene showed a much stronger association with all-cause mortality than expected from its association with body mass index (BMI), body fat mass index (FMI) and waist circumference (WC). This finding implies that the SNP has strong pleiotropic effects on adiposity and adiposity-independent pathological pathways that leads to increased mortality. To investigate this further, we conducted a meta-analysis of similar data from 34 longitudinal studies including 169,551 adult Caucasians among whom 27,100 died during follow-up. Linear regression showed that the minor allele of the FTO SNP was associated with greater BMI (n=169,551; 0.32kgm(-2); 95% CI 0.28-0.32, P<1x10(-32)), WC (n=152,631; 0.76cm; 0.68-0.84, P<1x10(-32)) and FMI (n=48,192; 0.17kgm(-2); 0.13-0.22, P=1.0x10(-13)). Cox proportional hazard regression analyses for mortality showed that the hazards ratio (HR) for the minor allele of the FTO SNPs was 1.02 (1.00-1.04, P=0.097), but the apparent excess risk was eliminated after adjustment for BMI and WC (HR: 1.00; 0.98-1.03, P=0.662) and for FMI (HR: 1.00; 0.96-1.04, P=0.932). In conclusion, this study does not support that the FTO SNP is associated with all-cause mortality independently of the adiposity phenotypes.


  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • FTO
  • meta-analysis
  • mortality
  • obesity


  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease
  • ISSN: 1467-7881
Emily Sonestedt
E-mail: emily [dot] sonestedt [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Associate senior lecturer

Nutrition Epidemiology

+46 40 39 13 25

+46 73 700 71 45


Jan Waldenströms gata 35, CRC 60:13, Malmö


Crafoords vetenskapslunch

Kan våra gener göra oss tjocka?

Tyngre träningssnack


Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, House 91:12. SE-214 28 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00