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Body Mass Index Contributors Show Age-Related Changes in Impact

In PLOS Genetics, researchers from the University of Bristol, University College London, and other centers in the UK, Norway, and Sweden explore genetic, environmental, and socioeconomic contributors to body mass index (BMI), along with their potential changes in importance as we age. Using data for nearly 2,700 individuals between the ages of two and 69 years old from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, the team analyzed BMI contributors at up to a dozen points in participants' lives, including shifting associations involving several polygenic risk scores linked to BMI in adults or children. Together, the authors say the results "highlight the likely independent influences of polygenic and socioeconomic factors on BMI across life" and add that "chance ('non-shared') environmental influences may be increasingly important for BMI at later ages."