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This article is part of the supplement: Genetic Analysis Workshop 13: Analysis of Longitudinal Family Data for Complex Diseases and Related Risk Factors

Open Access Proceedings

Quantitative trait linkage analysis of longitudinal change in body weight

Astrid Golla*, Konstantin Strauch, Johannes Dietter and Max P Baur

Author Affiliations

Institut für Medizinische Biometrie, Informatik und Epidemiologie, Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25, 53105 Bonn, Universität Bonn, Bonn, Germany

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BMC Genetics 2003, 4(Suppl 1):S7  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-4-S1-S7

Published: 31 December 2003


One of the great strengths of the Framingham Heart Study data, provided for the Genetic Analysis Workshop 13, is the long-term survey of phenotypic data. We used this unique data to create new phenotypes representing the pattern of longitudinal change of the provided phenotypes, especially systolic blood pressure and body weight. We performed a linear regression of body weight and systolic blood pressure on age and took the slopes as new phenotypes for quantitative trait linkage analysis using the SOLAR package. There was no evidence for heritability of systolic blood pressure change. Heritability was estimated as 0.15 for adult life "body weight change", measured as the regression slope, and "body weight gain" (including only individuals with a positive regression slope), and as 0.22 for body weight "change up to 50" (regression slope of weight on age up to an age of 50). With multipoint analysis, two regions on the long arm of chromosome 8 showed the highest LOD scores of 1.6 at 152 cM for "body weight change" and of >1.9 around location 102 cM for "body weight gain" and "change up to 50". The latter two LOD scores almost reach the threshold for suggestive linkage. We conclude that the chromosome 8 region may harbor a gene acting on long-term body weight regulation, thereby contributing to the development of the metabolic syndrome.

Quantitative trait linkage analysis; longitudinal change; weight change; regression slope; metabolic syndrome