Research Summary

Evaluating causal relationship between regional body fat distribution and lipid profile in Indian population

The aim of the proposed study is to examine whether regional body fat distribution is causally associated with lipid levels in Indian population. We will first identify the genetic variants associated with adiposity and lipid traits to derive instrument variables based on allelic scores and then use them as proxy for exposures and outcomes in examining the causal pathways using bi-directional Mendelian Randomization approach.

We will be generating genome-wide data on intensively phenotyped “CARRS cohort study” participants using a recent GWAS chip named Global Screening Array (~640,000 markers) to identify India specific markers. We will also utilize the available cardio-metabochip data (~200,000 markers related to cardiometabolic traits) on well-phenotyped data from “Indian Migration Study” in order to validate the loci of interest. Therefore, this will collectively help in deriving allele scores to be used as genetic proxies for the traits to be examined on the causal pathway i.e. body fat distribution (exposure) and lipid levels (outcome).

The findings from the proposed study will provide evidence for the causality between increased regional adiposity and raised levels of lipids. This will help in formulating public health interventions and clinical management of the high risk patients and will address the growing burden of cardiometabolic disorders.