The study, undertaken by Dr Bich Tran and Professor Tuan Nguyen from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, examined six gene variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs) of the FTO gene, taken from the DNA of 934 women in the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study (DOES). The women were all over 60, and their bone health was followed between 1989 and 2007. During that period, 102 women had hip fractures.
On average, the risk of fracture is about 11%. The study showed that if a woman has a low-risk genotype, or gene variant, the risk of fracture is 10%. If she has a high-risk genotype, it is 16%.
Now published online in Clinical Endocrinology, the authors believe that the findings have the potential to improve prediction of hip fracture. Known risk factors, also to be taken into account, include advancing age, falls, history of fracture, low bone mineral density, low body mass index (BMI) and genetic make-up.
“We found that for a woman of the same age and same clinical risk factors, those with the high-risk genotype have an increased risk of fracture of 82% - a very high effect in genetic terms,” said Professor Tuan Nguyen.
“A genome-wide association study published in 2007 suggested that genetic variants in the FTO gene were associated with variation in BMI. This led us to hypothesise that they might also be associated with variation in hip fracture risk.”
“The present study tested our hypothesis by examining the association between common variants in the FTO gene and hip fracture.”
“Our results showed a strong association with hip fracture, with some gene variants doubling the risk of fracture. Interestingly, this was independent of both the bone density and BMI of the women we studied.”
“We also found that the FTO gene expresses in bone cells, and may have something to do with bone turnover, or remodelling, although its exact mechanisms are unclear.”
“It’s important to emphasise that, while promising, our finding is a first step. It will need to be replicated in other studies, and its mechanisms clearly understood before it is useful in drug development.”
“At Garvan, we developed a Fracture Risk Calculator several years ago, www.fractureriskcalculator.com, using algorithms based on data from the Dubbo study. The calculator, which is fairly accurate and easy to use, is very popular with patients and doctors.”
“In the future, I would anticipate that genetic risk factors including this finding would be programmed into the calculator, making it an even more finely-tuned predictive tool.”ABOUT GARVAN
Alison Heather | EurekAlert!
An ounce of prevention: Research advances on 'scourge' of transplant wards
28.08.2015 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Hypoallergenic parks: Coming soon?
27.08.2015 | American Society of Agronomy
A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...
A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...
In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.
These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...
Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.
For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...
It comes when called, bringing care utensils with it and recording how they are used: Fraunhofer IPA is developing an intelligent care cart that provides care staff with physical and informational support in their day-to-day work. The scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have now completed a first prototype. In doing so, they are continuing in their efforts to improve working conditions in the care sector and are developing solutions designed to address the challenges of demographic change.
Technical assistance systems can improve the difficult working conditions in residential nursing homes and hospitals by helping the staff in their work and...
20.08.2015 | Event News
20.08.2015 | Event News
19.08.2015 | Event News
28.08.2015 | Physics and Astronomy
28.08.2015 | Health and Medicine
28.08.2015 | Life Sciences