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Genetic Modulation of Lipid Profiles following Lifestyle Modification or Metformin Treatment: The Diabetes Prevention Program

  • Toni I. Pollin
  • Tamara Isakova
  • Kathleen A. Jablonski
  • Paul I. W. de Bakker
  • Andrew Taylor
  • Jarred McAteer
  • Qing Pan
  • Edward S. Horton
  • Linda M. Delahanty
  • David Altshuler
  • Alan R. Shuldiner
  • Ronald B. Goldberg
  • Jose C. Florez
  • Paul Franks
Publishing year: 2012
Language: English
Publication/Series: PLoS Genetics
Volume: 8
Issue: 8
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Public Library of Science

Abstract english

Weight-loss interventions generally improve lipid profiles and reduce cardiovascular disease risk, but effects are variable and may depend on genetic factors. We performed a genetic association analysis of data from 2,993 participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program to test the hypotheses that a genetic risk score (GRS) based on deleterious alleles at 32 lipid-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms modifies the effects of lifestyle and/or metformin interventions on lipid levels and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) lipoprotein subfraction size and number. Twenty-three loci previously associated with fasting LDL-C, HDL-C, or triglycerides replicated (P = 0.04-1x10(-17)). Except for total HDL particles (r = -0.03, P = 0.26), all components of the lipid profile correlated with the GRS (partial |r| = 0.07-0.17, P=5x10(-5)-1x10(-19)). The GRS was associated with higher baseline-adjusted 1-year LDL cholesterol levels (beta = +0.87, SEE +/- 0.22 mg/dl/allele, P=8x10(-5), P-interaction = 0.02) in the lifestyle intervention group, but not in the placebo (beta = +0.20, SEE +/- 0.22 mg/dl/allele, P = 0.35) or metformin (beta = -0.03, SEE +/- 0.22 mg/dl/allele, P = 0.90; P-interaction = 0.64) groups. Similarly, a higher GRS predicted a greater number of baseline-adjusted small LDL particles at 1 year in the lifestyle intervention arm (beta = +0.30, SEE +/- 0.012 ln nmol/L/allele, P = 0.01, P-interaction = 0.01) but not in the placebo (beta = 20.002, SEE +/- 0.008 ln nmol/L/allele, P = 0.74) or metformin (beta = +0.013, SEE +/- 0.008 nmol/L/allele, P = 0.12; P-interaction = 0.24) groups. Our findings suggest that a high genetic burden confers an adverse lipid profile and predicts attenuated response in LDL-C levels and small LDL particle number to dietary and physical activity interventions aimed at weight loss.


  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 1553-7404
Paul Franks
E-mail: paul [dot] franks [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Principal investigator

Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology

+46 40 39 11 49



Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Entrance 72, House 91:12. SE-205 02 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00