Interactions of anthropometric indices, rs9939609 FTO gene polymorphism and breast cancer: A case-control study

J Cell Mol Med. 2021 Apr;25(7):3252-3257. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.16394. Epub 2021 Feb 25.


Contradictory results were reported on the effect of fat mass- and obesity-associated (FTO) gene and anthropometric measurements on breast cancer (BC). This study aimed to assess the interactions between rs9939609 polymorphism of FTO gene, anthropometric indices and BC risk in Iranian women. This case-control study was performed on 540 women including 180 women with BC and 360 healthy women in Tehran, Iran. Physical activity and dietary intakes were assessed by validated questionnaires. Data on sociodemographic and pathologic factors of the participants as well as their blood samples were collected. The rs9939609 FTO gene polymorphism was genotyped using the tetra-primer amplification refractory mutation system-polymerase chain reaction (T-ARMS-PCR). No significant association was found between BC and risk allele of FTO rs9939609 polymorphism after adjustments for the confounders. However, there was a significant association between rs9939609 polymorphism risk allele and BC risk in females with overweight, even after adjusting for age, family history of BC, abortion, BMI and the number of pregnancies (P < .05). The association was disappeared after further adjustments for lifestyle factors including smoking, alcohol consumption, calorie and macronutrients intake, and physical activity. The FTO gene polymorphism was associated with the risk of BC in overweight individuals. This association was influenced by environmental factors including diet, alcohol consumption and smoking. Future studies are required to confirm the association between the FTO gene and BC in overweight females and to identify the underlying mechanisms.

Keywords: anthropometric indices; breast cancer; fat mass- and obesity-associated; polymorphism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO / genetics*
  • Body Weight*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*


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