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Depression and obesity are highly prevalent, and major impacts on public health frequently co-occur. Recently, we reported that having depression moderates the effect of the FTO gene, suggesting its implication in the association between depression and obesity.
To confirm these findings by investigating the FTO polymorphism rs9939609 in new cohorts, and subsequently in a meta-analysis.
The sample consists of 6902 individuals with depression and 6799 controls from three replication cohorts and two original discovery cohorts. Linear regression models were performed to test for association between rs9939609 and body mass index (BMI), and for the interaction between rs9939609 and depression status for an effect on BMI. Fixed and random effects meta-analyses were performed using METASOFT.
In the replication cohorts, we observed a significant interaction between FTO, BMI and depression with fixed effects meta-analysis (β=0.12, P = 2.7 × 10−4) and with the Han/Eskin random effects method (P = 1.4 × 10−7) but not with traditional random effects (β = 0.1, P = 0.35). When combined with the discovery cohorts, random effects meta-analysis also supports the interaction (β = 0.12, P = 0.027) being highly significant based on the Han/Eskin model (P = 6.9 × 10−8). On average, carriers of the risk allele who have depression have a 2.2% higher BMI for each risk allele, over and above the main effect of FTO.
This meta-analysis provides additional support for a significant interaction between FTO, depression and BMI, indicating that depression increases the effect of FTO on BMI. The findings provide a useful starting point in understanding the biological mechanism involved in the association between obesity and depression.
Migrants tend to present higher overweight and obesity levels, but whether this relationship applies to all nationalities has seldom been studied. The present study aimed to assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity according to nationality in adults.
Cross-sectional population-based samples.
Five-year nationwide interview surveys (Swiss Health Surveys – SHS) from 1992 to 2007 (n 63 766) and a local examination survey (CoLaus Study in Lausanne 2004–2006, n 6743).
Participants were separated into Swiss, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish nationals, those from the former Republic of Yugoslavia and from other European and other countries.
Compared with Swiss nationals, German and French nationals presented a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity, whereas nationals from Italy, Spain, Portugal and the former Republic of Yugoslavia presented higher levels. Adjusting the SHS data for age, gender, education, smoking, leisure-time physical activity and survey year, a lower risk for overweight and obesity was found for German (OR = 0·80, 95 % CI 0·70, 0·92) and French (OR = 0·74, 95 % CI 0·61, 0·89) nationals, whereas higher risks were found for participants from Italy (OR = 1·45, 95 % CI 1·33, 1·58), Spain (OR = 1·36, 95 % CI 1·15, 1·61), Portugal (OR = 1·25, 95 % CI 1·06, 1·47) and the former Republic of Yugoslavia (OR = 1·98, 95 % CI 1·69, 2·32). Similar findings were observed in the CoLaus Study for Italian (OR = 1·63, 95 % CI 1·29, 2·06), Spanish (OR = 1·54, 95 % CI 1·17, 2·04) and Portuguese (OR = 1·49, 95 % CI 1·16, 1·91) participants and for those from the former Republic of Yugoslavia (OR = 5·34, 95 % CI 3·00, 9·50).
Overweight and obesity are unevenly distributed among migrants in Switzerland. Migrants from Southern Europe and from the former Republic of Yugoslavia present higher prevalence rates. This suggests that preventive messages should be tailored to these specific populations.
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