‘Apple-shaped’ body could raise risk of diabetes

-File photo -File Photo

MIAMI: People who are genetically predisposed to storing belly fat, or having an apple-shaped body type, could face a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, researchers said Tuesday.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests a person’s genetic makeup may cause health problems down the road.

“People vary in their distribution of body fat — some put fat in their belly, which we call abdominal adiposity, and some in their hips and thighs,” said senior author Sekar Kathiresan, associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“We tested whether genetic predisposition to abdominal adiposity was associated with the risk for type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease and found that the answer was a firm ‘yes’.”

Previous observational studies have uncovered a link between belly fat and type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but fell short of proving cause and effect.

To investigate further, researchers examined six studies conducted from 2007 to 2015, including some 400,000 participants whose genomes were analyzed. Previous research had identified 48 gene variants associated with
waist-to-hip ratio, resulting in a genetic risk score. -APP