A recent study identified 14 low-frequency coding variants associated with body mass index (BMI) in 718 734 individuals predominantly of European ancestry.
We investigated the association of 2 genetic scores (GS) with i) the risk of severe/morbid obesity, ii) BMI variation before weight-loss intervention, iii) BMI change in response to an 18-month lifestyle/behavioral intervention program, and iv) BMI change up to 24 months after bariatric surgery.
The 14 low-frequency coding variants were genotyped or sequenced in 342 French adults with severe/morbid obesity and 574 French adult controls from the general population. We built risk and protective GS based on 6 BMI-increasing and 5 BMI-decreasing low-frequency coding variants that were polymorphic in our study.
While the risk GS was not associated with severe/morbid obesity status, BMI-decreasing low-frequency coding variants were significantly less frequent in patients with severe/morbid obesity than in French adults from the general population. Neither the risk nor the protective GS was associated with BMI before intervention in patients with severe/morbid obesity, nor did they affect BMI change in response to a lifestyle/behavioral modification program. The protective GS was associated with a greater BMI decrease following bariatric surgery. The risk and protective GS were associated with a higher and lower risk of BMI regain after bariatric surgery.
Our data indicate that in populations of European descent, low-frequency coding variants associated with BMI in the general population also affect the outcomes of bariatric surgery in patients with severe/morbid obesity.