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BMI-Related Variants Show Age-Related Stability in UK Biobank Participants

In PLOS Genetics, researchers from the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavior Genetics, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, and other centers  explore the age-related stability of variants linked to body mass index (BMI) through a series of genome-wide association studies involving hundreds of thousands of UK Biobank participants between the ages of 40 and 72 years old. With genomic structural equation modeling and results from half a dozen BMI-focused GWAS done on individuals at five-year age intervals, the team saw stable genetic impacts on BMI in both the female and male participants profiled. "Genomic structural equation modeling revealed that molecular genetic variance in BMI at each age interval could not be explained by the accumulation of any age-specific genetic influences or autoregressive processes," the authors report. "Instead, a common set of stable genetic influence appears to underpin genome-wide variation in BMI from middle to early old age in men and women alike."