71 Scopus citations


Segregation patterns of three body composition measures which were derived from underwater weighing were evaluated in a random sample of 176 French-Canadian families. Two of the variables can be considered as primary partitions of weight (fat mass [FM] and fat-free mass [FFM]), while the remaining variable (percent body fat [%BF]) is a derived index combining the measures of both fat and fat-free weight. This study represents the first report investigating major gene effects for these measures. Segregation analyses revealed that a major locus hypothesis could not be rejected for two of the three phenotypes. The single exception was FFM, for which nearly 60% of the variance was accounted for by a non-Mendelian major effect, which may reflect environmentally based commingling or may be in part a function of gene-environment interactions or correlations. In contrast to the results for FFM, the results for each of FM and %BF were similar and suggested a major locus which accounted for 45% of the variance, with an additional 22%-26% due to a multifactorial component. Given the similarity of the major gene characteristics for these two phenotypes, the possibility that the same gene underlies both measures warrants investigation. A reasonable hypothesis is to consider genes that may influence nutrient partitioning, as the family of candidate genes to receive the major attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-973
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1993


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