MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For patients with severe and complicated obesity, there is an inverse association between the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) genetic risk score (GRS) and weight loss as part of a 24-week meal-replacement program, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in the Journal of Personalized Medicine.

Dale Handley, from the College of Health, Medical and Life Sciences at Brunel University London, and colleagues conducted a single-center prospective cohort study involving patients with severe and complicated obesity who completed a 24-week, milk-based meal replacement program and were genotyped to detect the frequency of common risk alleles for obesity and type 2 diabetes-related traits. GRSs were derived for six of these traits.

Ninety-three patients who were not carrying a known obesity-related gene mutation completed the program. The researchers observed an inverse association for the WHR GRS with percentage total weight loss at 24 weeks (adjusted β for one standard deviation increase in WHR GRS, −11.6); more weight loss was experienced by patients in the lowest tertile of WHR GRS.

“These findings provide preliminary but convincing evidence of an association between the WHR GRS and weight loss outcomes in patients with severe obesity undergoing dietary restriction,” the authors write. “These findings require further exploration in other ethnic groups and in those undergoing different interventions such as bariatric surgery or treatment with medications.”

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