Obesity is a disorder with increasing frequency in children and adolescents, directly linked with various diseases. Variants in the FTO (fat mass and obesity-related) gene have been associated with body mass index and waist and hip circumferences in widespread populations.
The aim of this case-control study was to assess if there is any association between FTO gene variants rs9939609, respectively, rs17817449 with anthropometric and metabolic biomarkers (fasting glucose, TC, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides) and adipokines (adiponectin and leptin), in Romanian obese children.
A total of 387 children, 201 obese and 186 nonobese individuals, were included in this prospective study. Genotyping of the FTO gene polymorphisms for all subjects was performed using the restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) method.
Significant associations were found between FTO rs9939609 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and obesity. AA genotype carriers have a 2.02 times higher risk for obesity compared with AT+TT genotype carriers. Risk allele carriers of rs17817449 SNP had somewhat higher values of weight, body mass index, waist and hip circumference, total cholesterol, triglycerides, adiponectin, and fasting glucose.
This study revealed the genetic association between rs9939609 SNP of FTO and obesity in a Romanian population, and to the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to investigate this association in a Romanian population. This study also established that combined variant genotypes (AA/GG) of FTO rs9939609 /rs17817449 are strongly associated with several measures of adiposity (weight, BMI-SD, mid-upper arm circumference, tricipital skinfold thicknesses) and are also associated with total cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL-cholesterol levels.