A new study has revealed that a genetic predisposition to higher waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for body mass index (a measure of abdominal fat) causes an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
The study published in the February 14 issue of JAMA said, obesity, typically defined on the basis of body mass index (BMI), was a leading cause of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD).
The lead researcher, Sekar Kathiresan, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues examined whether a genetic predisposition to increased waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI was associated with cardiometabolic quantitative traits, that is lipids, insulin, glucose, and systolic blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
The researchers said: “These results permit several conclusions. First, these findings lend human genetic support to previous observations associating abdominal adiposity with cardiometabolic disease.
“Second, these results suggest that body fat distribution, beyond simple measurement of BMI, could explain part of the variation in risk of type 2 diabetes and CHD noted across individuals and sub-populations.
“Third, waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI might prove useful as a biomarker for the development of therapies to prevent type 2 diabetes and CHD.”
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