Adiposity Has Age-Specific Causal Effect on Cardiovascular Risk Factors

(HealthDay News) — Adiposity has an age-specific causal effect on cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, according to research published in Diabetes.

Tove Fall, PhD, from Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues used a Mendelian randomization approach based on 32 genetic markers to examine the causal effect of adiposity on blood pressure (BP), glycemic indices, circulating lipid levels, and markers of inflammation and liver disease. 

Data were included for 67,553 individuals. Analyses were stratified by age (cutoff, age, 55 years) and sex.

The researchers found that in both nonstratified and stratified analyses, the genetic score correlated with BMI. In the nonstratified analysis and in the <55-year stratum, there was evidence of a causal effect of adiposity on BP, fasting levels of insulin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. 

There was evidence of a smaller causal effect on total cholesterol in the ≥55 years stratum than in the <55-year stratum (P=.015).

“In conclusion, this study extends previous knowledge of the effects of adiposity by providing sex- and age-specific causal estimates on cardiovascular risk factors,” the researchers wrote.

Some of the studies which provided data reported funding from the pharmaceutical industry; one author disclosed financial ties to the Orion-Farmos Research Foundation.


  1. Fall T et al. Diabetes. 2015;doi:10.2337/db14-0988.