Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Women who inherit a gene that ups the risk of obesity also run a higher risk of fertility problems due to polycystic ovaries, experts have discovered

Half of white Europeans carry a copy of the FTO variant - which is the clearest genetic clue we have to explain why some people are prone to weight gain. Now experts from Oxford and Imperial College London believe the same gene may cause polycystic ovary syndrome. Dr Tom Barber and his team analysed the type of FTO gene carried by 463 patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and 1,336 other women. They found that the FTO version already dubbed the "fat gene" was far more common in the women with PCOS, and particularly among those who were also overweight. Experts already know that PCOS is linked with obesity and this new discovery provides genetic evidence for the link. Although not all women with PCOS are overweight, Dr Barber believes obesity is the underlying problem and may trigger disturbances in hormones including testosterone and insulin.

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