(HealthDay News) – Variants of a gene are associated with overweight and obesity in psychiatric patients taking drugs that induce weight gain, as well in the general population, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Eva Choong, PharmD, PhD, from Lausanne University Hospital in Prilly, Switzerland, and colleagues examined whether three CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 (CRTC1) polymorphisms were associated with body mass index (BMI) or fat mass in psychiatric outpatients taking weight gain-inducing psychotropic drugs and in the general population.

The researchers found that only rs3746266A>G was significantly associated with BMI in the psychiatric patients. Among 226 patients not taking other weight gain-inducing drugs, G allele carriers had a significant 1.81kg/m² lower BMI than non-carriers. Women under 45 years of age showed the strongest association, with G allele carriers having a 3.87kg/m² lower BMI than non-carriers, which accounted for 9% of BMI variance. Among 123,865 members of the general population, rs6510997C>T was significantly associated with lower BMI. In an independent 5,338 members of the general population, the T allele was significantly associated with lower fat mass, particularly among premenopausal women.

“These findings suggest that CRTC1 contributes to the genetics of human obesity in psychiatric patients and the general population,” Choong and colleagues conclude.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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