Familial clustering of multiple measures of adiposity and fat distribution in the Quebec Family Study: A trivariate analysis of percent body fat, body mass index, and trunk-to-extremity skinfold ratio

T. Rice, C. Bouchard, L. Perusse, D. C. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether independent or common (pleiotropic) familial factors (i.e., genetic and/or common environment) underlie the observed associations among measures of body mass, body fat, and its distribution. DESIGN: A familial correlation model involves both parents and offspring, and gives rise to three types of familial correlations (spouse, parent-offspring, and sibling). A pattern of significant familial correlations suggests that the trait is determined by familial factors (i.e., genetic and/or environmental heritability). Cross-trait familial correlations are also estimated, both within individuals (intraindividual) and between family members (interindividual). Interindividual cross-trait familial correlations (e.g., trait 1 in parents with trait 2 in offspring) lead to the same type of familial inferences regarding bivariate heritabilities. SUBJECTS AND MEASURES: Measures of total body fat (% body fat-%BF), fat distribution (trunk/extremity skinfold ratio-TER), and body mass index (BMI) were assessed in 1239 individuals from 309 nuclear families participating the Quebec Family Study. RESULTS: All three adiposity measures are cross-correlated within individuals, However, interindividual cross-trait correlations, which alone are capable of suggesting common familial determinants, are significant only for BMI with each of %BF and TER (bivariate heritabilities of 10% and 18%, respectively), and not for %BF and TER. CONCLUSION: Although all three adiposity measures are correlated within individuals, there appear to be entirely different underlying genes and/or environmental factors influencing the adiposity phenotypes of total body fat and fat distribution. The BMI, however, apparently shares some familial determinants with both total body fat and fat distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-908
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Volume19
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1995

Keywords

  • Body fat
  • Family
  • Fat distribution
  • Measurement
  • Quebec

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