In this study, we simultaneously characterized genetic and lifestyle factors (exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption) in determining variation in body mass index (BMI), fat mass, percentage of fat mass (PFM), and lean mass while adjusting for the effects of age and sex. Six hundred fifty-eight Caucasian individuals from 48 pedigrees were studied for BMI. Among these individuals, 289 from 38 pedigrees were studied for fat mass, PFM, and lean mass measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). After adjusting for age, sex, and lifestyle factors, the heritabilities (h2) of BMI, fat mass, PFM, and lean mass ranged from 0.52 to 0.57 with associated standard errors ranging from 0.09 to 0.14. After accounting for significant sex and age effects, exercise had significant effects for all the phenotypes studied, and the effects of smoking and alcohol consumption were not significant. Therefore, significant proportions of variation in BMI, fat mass, PFM, and lean mass were under genetic control, and exercise had a significant effect in reducing BMI, fat mass, and PFM and in increasing lean mass. This study warrants further genetic linkage analyses to search for genes for the obesity-related phenotypes measured by DXA in our population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging