Do adverse childhood experiences and genetic obesity risk interact in relation to body mass index in young adulthood? Findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health

Pediatric ObesityInoue Y, Graff M, Howard AG, et al. | January 19, 2022

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Researchers herein investigated if and how the presence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) (ie, physical, psychological and sexual abuse) before the age of 18 are associated with BMI polygenic score.

  • Data were retrieved from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) Wave IV (2007/2008) where DNA genotyping was performed on retrieved saliva samples and data concerning BMI and ACEs were retrieved from 5,854 European American (EA), 2,073 African American (AA) and 1,448 Hispanic American (HA) participants aged 24 to 32 years old.

  • Analysis yielded no evidence indicating significant interaction between ACEs and polygenic scores in relation to BMI among EA, AA or HA.

  • In main effects models, a positive association of polygenic score was observed with BMI in all race/ethnic groups, yet the presence of ACEs was linked with elevated BMI only among EA.

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