Association of the FTO gene with BMI

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Apr;16(4):902-4. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.126. Epub 2008 Jan 24.


Variants in the FTO gene have been strongly associated with obesity in a very large sample (38,759) of diabetic and control subjects. To replicate these findings, the previously reported SNP in the FTO gene (rs9939609, T/A) was genotyped in 5,607 subjects from five different Utah studies. The studies included a random sample of the Utah population, families selected for aggregation of extreme thinness, families selected for severe obesity, a series of unrelated severe obesity subjects, and families participating in a 25-year longitudinal study of cardiovascular disease and aging. Results show a strong significant increase in the rs9939609 A allele frequency with increasing BMI (P < 0.0001). In the longitudinal study, FTO genotypes were significantly associated with BMI at a baseline exam, a 2(1/2)-year follow-up exam and a 25-year follow-up exam using an additive genetic model. The mean genotype difference in BMI ranged from 1.3 to 2.1 kg/m(2) across exams. The genotype difference in BMI means was established in youth, and at-risk subjects under age 20 at baseline had a significantly larger 25-year BMI increase (10.0 for A/A; 9.7 for A/T, and 8.5 kg/m(2) for T/T, P = 0.05). We conclude that the BMI increases associated with FTO genotypes begin in youth and are maintained throughout adulthood.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / genetics*
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Utah / epidemiology


  • Proteins
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO
  • FTO protein, human