Page last updated: October 26, 2017
Alcohol consumption and its interaction with adiposity-associated genetic variants in relation to subsequent changes in waist circumference and body weight

Studies have suggested a link between alcohol intake and adiposity. However, results from longitudinal studies have been inconsistent, and a possible interaction with genetic predisposition to adiposity measures has often not been taken into account.

This study examined the association between alcohol intake recorded at baseline and subsequent annual changes in body weight (BW), waist circumference (WC) and WC adjusted for BMI (WCBMI), and to test for interaction with genetic predisposition scores based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with various forms of adiposity.

The study included a total of 7,028 adult men and women from MONICA, the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort (DCH), and the Inter99 studies. 50 adiposity-associated SNPs were combined into four scores indicating genetic predisposition to BMI, WC, Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR)BMI and all three traits combined. Linear regression was used to examine the association of alcohol intake (drinks of 12 g (g) alcohol/day) with BW, WC, and WCBMI, and to examine possible interactions with SNP-scores. Results from the analyses of the individual cohorts were combined in meta-analyses.

Each additional drink/day was associated with a BW/year of -18.0 g (95% confidence interval (CI): -33.4, -2.6, P = 0.02) and a WC of -0.3 mm/year (-0.5, -0.0, P = 0.03). In analyses of women only, alcohol intake was associated with a higher WCBMI of 0.5 mm/year (0.2, 0.9, P = 0.002) per drink/day. Overall, no statistically significant interactions were found between the four SNP-scores and alcohol intake in relation to changes in adiposity measures. However in analyses of women separately, interaction between the complete score of all 50 SNPs and alcohol intake in relation to BW (P for interaction = 0.03) was identified. No significant interaction was observed among the men.

The authors conclude that alcohol intake was associated with a decrease in BW and WC among men and women, and an increase in WCBMI among women only. They found no strong indication that these associations depend on a genetic predisposition to adiposity.

Source: Alcohol consumption and its interaction with adiposity-associated genetic variants in relation to subsequent changes in waist circumference and body weight. Rohde JF, Ängquist L, Larsen SC, Tolstrup JS, Husemoen LLN, Linneberg A, Toft U, Overvad K, Halkjær J, Tjønneland A, Hansen T, Pedersen O, Sørensen TIA, Heitmann BL. Nutr J. 2017 Aug 25;16(1):51.

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