A unique twin study on the increased cardiometabolic risk in obesity

February 13, 2007

Obesity and its many related health hazards have become a serious and growing problem worldwide. While environmental and lifestyle factors play a key role in the development of obesity, genetic variation may determine an individual's susceptibility to weight gain and to the rise of obesity-related health risks. Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes especially when the extra fat is accumulated to central and intra-abdominal depots and when obesity is accompanied by an atherogenic dyslipidemia.

A Finnish team from the Finnish Twin Cohort, Helsinki University Central Hospital, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland performed a metabolomic analysis of lipids in 14 monozygous twins highly discordant for obesity, and 10 control pairs concordant for weight. They found that acquired obesity, independent of genetic influences, primarily relates to increases in lysophosphatidylcholines, constituents of an atherogenic lipid profile and decreases in ether phospholipids, lipids with anti-oxidative properties.

The origin of obesity and related dyslipidemias is multifactorial, involving complex genetic and environmental networks. Not all obese individuals develop dyslipidemia and not all dyslipidemic patients are obese. Cross-sectional studies comparing lipid profiles in obese vs. non-obese humans do not permit unequivocal distinction between genetic versus environmental and life-style effects. This can best be done by studying monozygotic (MZ) twins discordant for obesity. MZ twins are genetically identical at the sequence level and any differences between the co-twins are thus attributable to environmental factors. The co-twin design controls for age, gender, childhood socioeconomic background and other environmental experiences and exposures.

Serum patterns of small molecules such as lipids reflect the homeostasis of the organism. However, classical measurements of lipids in the clinical setting are unable to detect early changes and abnormalities in specific metabolites. Recent advances have made broad screening of metabolites, i.e. metabolomics, feasible, therefore opening new possibilities for discoveries of sensitive biomarkers for different diseases.

The study convincingly demonstrates the sensitivity of the metabolomics platforms since subtle pathophysiological changes were detected well prior to changes in commonly utilized clinical measures. Of special interest and clinical relevance is the finding that the atherogenic lipid profile of the obese co-twins was associated with whole body insulin resistance, something that could not be detected using classical lipid measures only.
-end-
Disclaimer

The following press release refers to an upcoming article in PLoS ONE. The release has been provided by the article authors and/or their institutions. Any opinions expressed in these releases or articles are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the releases and articles and your use of such information.

This study will be published on February 14, 2007 in PLoS ONE, the international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication from the Public Library of Science (PLoS).

Citation: Pietiläinen KH, Sysi-Aho M, Rissanen A, Seppänen-Laakso T, Yki-Järvinen H et al (2007) Acquired obesity is associated with changes in the serum lipidomic profile independent of genetic effects - a monozygotic twin study. PLoS ONE 2(2): e218. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000218

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000218
PRESS ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/pone-02-02-oresic.pdf

PLOS

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191707.

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.