(HealthDay News) – A genetic variant associated with weight loss after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery has been identified, according to a study published in the May 2 issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Ida J. Hatoum, ScD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues performed a genome-wide association study involving 693 individuals undergoing RYGB to examine potential genetic factors associated with weight loss. Findings were replicated in an independent population of 327 individuals undergoing RYGB.

The researchers found that there was a significant correlation between a 15q26.1 locus near ST8SIA2 and SLCO3A1 and weight loss after RYGB. Baseline ST8SIA2 expression in omental fat of these individuals correlated significantly with post-RYGB weight loss. In addition, expression of St8sia2 and Slco3a1 was significantly altered in metabolically active tissues in RYGB-treated vs. weight-matched sham-operated mice.

“We have identified a genetic locus that is reproducibly associated with weight loss after RYGB,” the authors write. “This study provides evidence for the use of genomics to identify response to surgical procedures (surgicogenomics).”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Merck, which partially funded the study.

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