Genetic Determinants of Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery

Martin Aasbrenn, Theresia Maria Schnurr, Christian Theil Have, Mathilde Svendstrup, Dorte Lindqvist Hansen, Dorte Worm, Marie Balslev-Harder, Mette Hollensted, Niels Grarup, Kristoffer Sølvsten Burgdorf, Henrik Vestergaard, Oluf Pedersen, Thorkild I A Sørensen, Mogens Fenger, Sten Madsbad, Torben Hansen

12 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The weight loss after bariatric surgery shows considerable individual variation. Twin studies of response to dietary interventions and studies of bariatric surgery patients suggest that genetic differences may play a role. This study aimed to examine the effect of three genetic risk scores on the inter-individual variation in excess body mass index loss (EBMIL) after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Furthermore, we searched among known adiposity-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for genetic determinants of the inter-individual variation in EBMIL.

METHODS: Patients with morbid obesity underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and were genotyped (n = 577). Two genetic risk scores for weight loss after bariatric surgery and a genetic risk score for body mass index were calculated. Associations between the genetic risk scores and EBMIL were evaluated. Lasso regression was performed on 126 SNPs known to be associated with adiposity.

RESULTS: The average EBMIL was 76.9% (range 21.7-149.2%). EBMIL was 81.1% (SD 20.6) and 73.9% (SD 21.7) in the high and low tertile groups of a genetic risk score for weight loss. Patients with a low genetic risk score for body mass index (in the lowest 5% percentile) had an EBMIL of 68.8% (SD 20.6, p = 0.018). Thirteen adiposity-related SNPs were identified to associate with EBMIL through lasso regression.

DISCUSSION: A genetic risk score was associated with EBMIL after bariatric surgery, but may not yet be applicable to clinical practice. Patients genetically predisposed to low body mass index had lower weight loss after bariatric surgery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2554-2561
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gastric bypass
  • Genetic risk scores
  • Genetics
  • Weight loss


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