Objective: High BMI is associated with many comorbidities and mortality. This study aimed to elucidate the overall clinical risk of obesity using a genome- and phenome-wide approach.
Methods: This study performed a phenome-wide association study of BMI using a clinical cohort of 736,726 adults. This was followed by genetic association studies using two separate cohorts: one consisting of 65,174 adults in the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network and another with 405,432 participants in the UK Biobank.
Results: Class 3 obesity was associated with 433 phenotypes, representing 59.3% of all billing codes in individuals with severe obesity. A genome-wide polygenic risk score for BMI, accounting for 7.5% of variance in BMI, was associated with 296 clinical diseases, including strong associations with type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, and chronic liver disease. In all three cohorts, 199 phenotypes were associated with class 3 obesity and polygenic risk for obesity, including novel associations such as increased risk of renal failure, venous insufficiency, and gastroesophageal reflux.
Conclusions: This combined genomic and phenomic systematic approach demonstrated that obesity has a strong genetic predisposition and is associated with a considerable burden of disease across all disease classes.
© 2022 The Obesity Society. This article has been contributed to by U.S. Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.