Sixty genetic loci associated with abdominal obesity, measured by waist circumference (WC) and waist-hip ratio (WHR), have been previously identified, primarily from studies conducted in European-ancestry populations. We conducted a meta-analysis of associations of abdominal obesity with approximately 2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among 53,052 (for WC) and 48,312 (for WHR) individuals of Asian descent, and replicated 33 selected SNPs among 3,762 to 17,110 additional individuals. We identified four novel loci near the EFEMP1, ADAMTSL3, CNPY2, and GNAS genes that were associated with WC after adjustment for body mass index (BMI); two loci near the NID2 and HLA-DRB5 genes associated with WHR after adjustment for BMI, and three loci near the CEP120, TSC22D2, and SLC22A2 genes associated with WC without adjustment for BMI. Functional enrichment analyses revealed enrichment of corticotropin-releasing hormone signaling, GNRH signaling, and/or CDK5 signaling pathways for those newly-identified loci. Our study provides additional insight on genetic contribution to abdominal obesity.
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