Genetic Variants Associated with Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Hispanic Boys with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

John C. Rausch, Joel E. Lavine, Naga Chalasani, Xiuqing Guo, Soonil Kwon, Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, Jean P. Molleston, Rohit Loomba, Elizabeth M. Brunt, Yii Der Ida Chen, Mark O. Goodarzi, Kent D. Taylor, Katherine P. Yates, Jerome I. Rotter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) disproportionately affects Hispanic boys. Further, obesity and insulin resistance are major risk factors for NAFLD. No gene localization studies had been performed on children with biopsy-proven NAFLD. This study aims to identify genomic variants associated with increased adiposity and insulin resistance in a population of children with varying histologic severity of NAFLD. Methods: We conducted a genome-wide association scan (GWAS) including 624,297 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed among all 22 autosomal chromosomes in 234 Hispanic boys (up to 18 years of age) who were consecutively recruited in a prospective cohort study in the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network Studies. Traits were examined quantitatively using linear regression. SNPs with P value <10 -5 and a minor allele frequency >5% were considered potentially significant. Results: Evaluated subjects had a median age of 12.0 years, body mass index (BMI) of 31.4, and hemoglobin A1C (Hgb A1C) of 5.3. The prevalence of NAFL, borderline NASH, and definite NASH were 23%, 53%, and 22%, respectively. The GWAS identified 10 SNPs that were associated with BMI z score, 6 within chromosome 2, and 1 within CAMK1D, which has a potential role in liver gluconeogenesis. In addition, the GWAS identified 9 novel variants associated with insulin resistance: HOMA-IR (6) and HbA1c (3). Conclusions: This study of Hispanic boys with biopsy-proven NAFLD with increased risk for the metabolic syndrome revealed novel genetic variants that are associated with obesity and insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-796
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • insulin resistance
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • obesity
  • steatohepatitis


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