Physical activity, smoking, and genetic predisposition to obesity in people from Pakistan: the PROMIS study

Shafqat Ahmad, Wei Zhao, Frida Renström, Asif Rasheed, Maria Samuel, Mozzam Zaidi, Nabi Shah, Nadeem Hayyat Mallick, Khan Shah Zaman, Mohammad Ishaq, Syed Zahed Rasheed, Fazal-ur-Rehman Memon, Bashir Hanif, Muhammad Shakir Lakhani, S. Faisal Ahmed, Shahana Urooj Kazmi, Philippe Frossard, Paul W. Franks (Lead / Corresponding author), Danish Saleheen (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Background: Multiple genetic variants have been reliably associated with obesity-related traits in Europeans, but little is known about their associations and interactions with lifestyle factors in South Asians.

Methods: In 16,157 Pakistani adults (8232 controls; 7925 diagnosed with myocardial infarction [MI]) enrolled in the PROMIS Study, we tested whether: a) BMI-associated loci, individually or in aggregate (as a genetic risk score--GRS), are associated with BMI; b) physical activity and smoking modify the association of these loci with BMI. Analyses were adjusted for age, age(2), sex, MI (yes/no), and population substructure.

Results: Of 95 SNPs studied here, 73 showed directionally consistent effects on BMI as reported in Europeans. Each additional BMI-raising allele of the GRS was associated with 0.04 (SE = 0.01) kg/m(2) higher BMI (P = 4.5 × 10(-14)). We observed nominal evidence of interactions of CLIP1 rs11583200 (P(interaction) = 0.014), CADM2 rs13078960 (P(interaction) = 0.037) and GALNT10 rs7715256 (P(interaction) = 0.048) with physical activity, and PTBP2 rs11165643 (P(interaction) = 0.045), HIP1 rs1167827 (P(interaction) = 0.015), C6orf106 rs205262 (P(interaction) = 0.032) and GRID1 rs7899106 (P(interaction) = 0.043) with smoking on BMI.

Conclusions: Most BMI-associated loci have directionally consistent effects on BMI in Pakistanis and Europeans. There were suggestive interactions of established BMI-related SNPs with smoking or physical activity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Medical Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2015


  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Gene-lifestyle interactions


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