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18-04-2010 | Diabetes | Article

FTO gene variant linked to CVD in men with IGT


Free abstract

MedWire News: Study results show that a common polymorphism of the fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO) is associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in men with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).

“rs9939609, of the FTO gene has consistently shown a strong association with obesity,” say researchers.

More recently it has been suggested that the same variant could also increase CVD risk. Tiina Lappalainen (University of Kuopio, Finland) and colleagues therefore recruited 490 individuals (163 men; 327 women) from the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS) with IGT to test this.

The DPS cohort were genotyped for the rs9939609 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and CV mortality and morbidity data for the participants were collected over a median 10.2-year period. An independent cohort of 6214 men from the Metabolic Syndrome in Men (METSIM) study was used for replication purposes.

Writing in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, the team reports that during the follow-up period the AA genotype of rs9939609 was associated with a 2.09-fold increased risk for CVD in men in the DPS cohort. However, no such association was seen in DPS women.

In addition, men with the AA genotype had significantly increased levels of the inflammatory RANTES (Regulated on Activation, Normal T Cell Expressed and Secreted; CCL5) chemokine and decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol compared with men with other genotypes, independently of body mass index.

An association between the AA genotype and an increased risk for myocardial infarction was replicated in subgroup of men with Type 2 diabetes from the METSIM study.

“We suggest that the variation in the FTO gene may contribute to the development of CVD in men with an abnormal glucose metabolism,” conclude the researchers.

“However, although the association with cardiovascular events was replicated in a large cross-sectional population, we acknowledge the need for further evidence to confirm whether the FTO SNP is a distinct risk predictor for CVD and whether an abnormal glucose metabolism has a role in this association.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert