Taylor and Francis Group, Biodemography and Social Biology, 1(59), p. 85-100, 2013
Multi-locus profiles of genetic risk, so-called "genetic risk scores," can be used to translate discoveries from genome-wide association studies into tools for population health research. We developed a genetic risk score for obesity from results of 16 published genome-wide association studies of obesity phenotypes in European-descent samples. We then evaluated this genetic risk score using data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort GWAS sample (N = 10,745, 55% female, 77% white, 23% African American). Our 32-locus GRS was a statistically significant predictor of body mass index (BMI) and obesity among ARIC whites [for BMI, r = 0.13, p<1 × 10(-30); for obesity, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) = 0.57 (95% CI 0.55-0.58)]. The GRS predicted differences in obesity risk net of demographic, geographic, and socioeconomic information. The GRS performed less well among African Americans. The genetic risk score we derived from GWAS provides a molecular measurement of genetic predisposition to elevated BMI and obesity.[Supplemental materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of Biodemography and Social Biology for the following resource: Supplement to Development & Evaluation of a Genetic Risk Score for Obesity.].