A new study has suggested that a gene that causes obesity could also lead to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women.
The FTO gene has recently been shown to influence a person's predisposition to obesity, and is now the first gene to be associated convincingly with susceptibility to PCOS.
AdvertisementThis study, conducted by Dr Tom Barber and colleagues from the Oxford Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Oxford and Imperial College London, is the first evidence to show a genetic link between obesity and PCOS.
Dr. Tom Barber and colleagues are interested in working out the genetic causes of PCOS and its metabolic consequences.
Given the association between PCOS and obesity, they investigated whether variants of the FTO gene also influence susceptibility to PCOS.
To this end, they analyzed the type of FTO gene carried by 463 PCOS patients and 1336 female population controls.
They found that the type of FTO gene a person carried significantly influenced their susceptibility to PCOS.
In fact, the version of the gene, which is associated with increased weight gain, is also associated with PCOS.
The data suggest that FTO variants influence PCOS-susceptibility via an effect on fat mass.
The results are being presented at the annual Society for Endocrinology BES meeting in Harrogate.