Common FTO rs9939609 variant and risk of type 2 diabetes in Palestine
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Background: Genetic and environmental factors play a crucial role in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and obesity. This study aimed to investigate the association of the fat-mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO) rs9939609 variant with T2DM and body mass index (BMI) among Palestinian population. Methods: A total of 399 subjects were recruited, of whom 281 were type 2 diabetic patients and 118 normoglycemic subjects. All of them were unrelated, aged > 40 years and recruited within the period 2016–2017. The A allele of FTO rs9939609 was identified by PCR–RFLP. Results: Significant association of the minor allele A of FTO rs9939609 and T2DM risk was observed with an allelic odd ratio of 1.92 (95% CI [1.09–3.29], p = 0.02) adjusted for age and gender, this association partly attenuated when adjusted for BMI with OR of 1.84, (95%CI [1.04–3.05], p = 0.03). Stratified data by glycemic status across FTO genotypes showed that A allele was marginally associated with increased BMI among diabetic group (p = 0.057) but not in control group (p = 0.7). Moreover, no significant association was observed between FTO genotypes and covariates of age, gender, T2DM complications or any tested metabolic trait in both diabetic and nondiabetic individuals (p > 0.05). Conclusions: The variant rs9939609 of the FTO gene was associated with T2DM in Palestine. This is the first study conducted on this gene in the Palestinian population and provides valuable information for comparison with other ethnic groups. Further analysis with larger sample size is required to elucidate the role of this variant on the predisposition to increased BMI in Palestinians.