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.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International Journal of Obesity|
|State||Published - 1995|
- Body fat
- Fat distribution