Genetics Research

Research Papers

Heritability of the metabolic syndrome and its components in the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study (TLGS)

MARYAM ZARKESHa1, MARYAM SADAT DANESHPOURa1, BITA FAAMa1, MOHAMMAD SADEGH FALLAHa1a2, NIMA HOSSEINZADEHa1, KAMRAN GUITYa1, FARHAD HOSSEINPANAHa3 c1, AMIR ABBAS MOMENANa4 and FEREIDOUN AZIZIa4

a1 Obesity Research Center, Cellular and Molecular Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

a2 Kowsar Research Center of Human Genetic, Tehran, Iran

a3 Obesity Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

a4 Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

Summary

Growing evidence suggests that metabolic syndrome (MetS) has both genetic and environmental bases. We estimated the heritability of the MetS and its components in the families from the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study (TLGS). We investigated 904 nuclear families in TLGS with two biological parents and at least one offspring (1565 parents and 2448 children), aged 3–90 years, for whom MetS information was available and had at least two members of family with MetS. Variance component methods were used to estimate age and sex adjusted heritability of metabolic syndrome score (MSS) and MetS components using SOLAR software. The heritability of waist circumference (WC), HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TGs), fasting blood sugar (FBS), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) as continuous traits after adjusting for age and gender were 27, 46, 36, 29, 25, 26 and 15%, respectively, and MSS had a heritability of 15%. When MetS components were analysed as discrete traits, the estimates of age and gender adjusted heritability for MetS, abdominal obesity, low HDL-C, high TG, high FBS and high blood pressure (BP) were 22, 40, 34, 38 and 23%, respectively (P < 0·05). Three factors were extracted from the six continuous traits of the MetS including factor I (BP), factor II (lipids) and factor III (obesity and FBS). Heritability estimation for these three factors were 7, 13 (P < 0·05) and 2%, respectively. The highest heritability was for HDL-C and TG. The results strongly encourage efforts to identify the underlying susceptibility genes.

(Received July 17 2012)

(Revised October 25 2012)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, P. O. Box 19395-476, Iran. Tel: +98-21-22432500. Fax: +98-21-22416264. E-mail: fhospanah@endocrine.ac.ir

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