Objective: To investigate the role of genetic admixture in explaining phenotypic variation in obesity-related traits in a sample of African-American women (n = 145) and to determine significant associations between obesity traits and admixture genetic markers.
Research methods and procedures: Associations between genetic admixture and BMI, resting metabolic rate, fat mass, fat-free mass, and bone mineral density were tested using linear regression considering the estimation of admixture by 1) a maximum-likelihood approach (MLA) and 2) a Bayesian analysis.
Results: Both the conservative MLA and the Bayesian approach support an association between African genetic admixture and BMI. Evidence for the associations of African genetic admixture with fat mass and fat-free mass was supported by the Bayesian analysis; the MLA supported an association with bone mineral density. When the individual ancestry informative markers that were used to estimate admixture were tested for associations with BMI, significant associations were identified in chromosomes 1, 11, and 12.
Discussion: These results provide evidence supporting the application of admixture mapping methods to the identification of genes that result in higher levels of obesity among African-American women. Further research is needed to replicate and further explore these findings.