Genetic Predisposition to Weight Loss and Regain With Lifestyle Intervention: Analyses From the Diabetes Prevention Program and the Look AHEAD Randomized Controlled Trials

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Clinically relevant weight loss is achievable through lifestyle modification, but unintentional weight regain is common. We investigated whether recently discovered genetic variants affect weight loss and/or weight regain during behavioral intervention. Participants at high-risk of type 2 diabetes (Diabetes Prevention Program [DPP]; N = 917/907 intervention/comparison) or with type 2 diabetes (Look AHEAD [Action for Health in Diabetes]; N = 2,014/1,892 intervention/comparison) were from two parallel arm (lifestyle vs. comparison) randomized controlled trials. The associations of 91 established obesity-predisposing loci with weight loss across 4 years and with weight regain across years 2–4 after a minimum of 3% weight loss were tested. Each copy of the minor G allele of MTIF3 rs1885988 was consistently associated with greater weight loss following lifestyle intervention over 4 years across the DPP and Look AHEAD. No such effect was observed across comparison arms, leading to a nominally significant single nucleotide polymorphism×treatment interaction (P = 4.3 × 10−3). However, this effect was not significant at a study-wise significance level (Bonferroni threshold P < 5.8 × 10−4). Most obesity-predisposing gene variants were not associated with weight loss or regain within the DPP and Look AHEAD trials, directly or via interactions with lifestyle.

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