Association of FTO rs9939609 with Obesity in the Kuwaiti Population: A Public Health Concern?

Ahmad Al-Serri, Suzanne A. Al-Bustan, Maisa Mahmoud Kamkar, Daisy Thomas, Osama Alsmadi, Rabeah Al-Temaimi, Olusegun A. Mojiminiyi, Nabila A. Abdella

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the effect of the common fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene polymorphism rs9939609 on body mass index (BMI) in one of the most obese populations worldwide. Subjects and Methods: Genotypic data for FTO rs9939609 were available for 1,034 unrelated Kuwaiti adults obtained from Kuwait's Dasman Diabetes Institute and Kuwait University. The association between the FTO polymorphism with BMI as continuous and categorical (normal BMI [< 25] vs. overweight/obese [> 25]) variables was analyzed using both linear and logistic regression models, respectively, with the assumption of both dominant and additive genetic models performed using the SNPassoc package from R statistics. Results: The A allele was associated with increased BMI (β = 1.21; 95% CI = 0.16-2.26; p = 0.023). In concordance, the categorical BMI (normal vs. overweight/obese) also showed a significant association between the A allele and overweight/obesity (OR = 1.47; 95% CI = 1.01-2.12; p = 0.041). However, no association between the FTO variant was observed with cardiometabolic traits. Conclusion: We observed an association between the common FTO rs9939609 polymorphism and increased BMI (overweight/obesity) in Kuwaiti adults, which is consistent with previous research in other populations. Our findings encourage further investigation of genetic variants to elucidate the mechanisms involved in the development of obesity in such an obesogenic population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Principles and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Body mass index
  • FTO
  • Kuwait
  • Obesity
  • Obesogenic population
  • Polymorphism


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