Meta-analysis identifies 13 new loci associated with waist-hip ratio and reveals sexual dimorphism in the genetic basis of fat distribution

I.M. Heid, A.U. Jackson, J.C. Randall, T.W. Winkler, L. Qi, V. Steinthorsdottir, G. Thorleifsson, M.C. Zillikens, E.K. Speliotes, R. Mägi, T. Workalemahu, C.C. White, N. Bouatia-Naji, T.B. Harris, S.I. Berndt, E. Ingelsson, C.J. Willer, M.N. Weedon, J. Luan, S. VedantamT. Esko, T.O. Kilpeläinen, Z. Kutalik, S. Li, K.L. Monda, A.L. Dixon, C.C. Holmes, L.M. Kaplan, L. Liang, J.L. Min, M.F. Moffatt, C. Molony, G. Nicholson, E.E. Schadt, K.T. Zondervan, M.F. Feitosa, T. Ferreira, H. Lango Allen, R.J. Weyant, E. Wheeler, A.R. Wood, K. Estrada, M.E. Goddard, G. Lettre, M. Mangino, DR Nyholt, S. Purcell, A.V. Smith, H.M. Visscher, J. Yang, S.A. McCarroll, J. Nemesh, B.F. Voight, D. Absher, N. Amin, T. Aspelund, L. Coin, N.L. Glazer, C. Hayward, N.L. Heard-Costa, J.J. Hottenga, A. Johansson, T. Johnson, M. Kaakinen, K. Kapur, S. Ketkar, J.W. Knowles, P. Kraft, A.T. Kraja, C. Lamina, M.F. Leitzmann, B. McKnight, A.P. Morris, K.K. Ong, J.R.B. Perry, M.J. Peters, O. Polasek, I. Prokopenko, N.W. Rayner, S. Ripatti, F. Rivadeneira, R. Robertson, S. Sanna, U. Sovio, I. Surakka, A. Teumer, K.M.C. van Wingerden, V. Vitart, J.H. Zhao, C. Cavalcanti-Proença, P.S. Chines, E. Fisher, J.R. Kulzer, C. Lecoeur, N. Narisu, C. Sandholt, E.J.C. de Geus, G. Willemsen, B.W.J.H. Penninx, K.L. Mohlke, C.M. Lindgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

742 Citations (Scopus)


Waist-hip ratio (WHR) is a measure of body fat distribution and a predictor of metabolic consequences independent of overall adiposity. WHR is heritable, but few genetic variants influencing this trait have been identified. We conducted a meta-analysis of 32 genome-wide association studies for WHR adjusted for body mass index (comprising up to 77,167 participants), following up 16 loci in an additional 29 studies (comprising up to 113,636 subjects). We identified 13 new loci in or near RSPO3, VEGFA, TBX15-WARS2, NFE2L3, GRB14, DNM3-PIGC, ITPR2-SPN, LY86, HOXC13, ADAMTS9, ZNRF3-KREMEN1, NISCH-STAB1 and CPEB4 (P = 1.9-10-9 to P = 1.8-10-40) and the known signal at LYPLAL1. Seven of these loci exhibited marked sexual dimorphism, all with a stronger effect on WHR in women than men (P for sex difference = 1.9-10-3 to P = 1.2-10-13). These findings provide evidence for multiple loci that modulate body fat distribution independent of overall adiposity and reveal strong gene-by-sex interactions. © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-960
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this