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Diseases » Obesity » Inheritance

Inheritance and Genetics of Obesity

Racial Patterns for Obesity:

Racial Information for Obesity: African American women between the ages of 25 and 74 are more overweight compared to white women of the same age group. Obesity and diabetes are highly correlated especially among women. This correlation has been reported by many researchers. (Source: excerpt from DIABETES AND AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN: NWHIC)

Obesity: Genetics Information

Genetics of Obesity:

Genes and Disease by the National Center for Biotechnology (Excerpt)

The hormone leptin, produced by adipocytes (fat cells), was discovered about three years ago in mice. Subsequently the human Ob gene was mapped to chromosome 7. Leptin is thought to act as a lipostat: as the amount of fat stored in adipocytes rises, leptin is released into the blood and signals to the brain that the body has enough to eat. However, most overweight people have high levels of leptin in their bloodstream, indicating that other molecules also effect feelings of satiety and contribute to the regulation of body weight. (Source: Genes and Disease by the National Center for Biotechnology)

Understanding Adult Obesity: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Obesity tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic cause. Yet families also share diet and lifestyle habits that may contribute to obesity. Separating these from genetic factors is often difficult. Even so, science shows that heredity is linked to obesity. (Source: excerpt from Understanding Adult Obesity: NIDDK)

About inheritance and genetics:

Inheritance of Obesity refers to whether the condition is inherited from your parents or "runs" in families. The level of inheritance of a condition depends on how important genetics are to the disease. Strongly genetic diseases are usually inherited, partially genetic diseases are sometimes inherited, and non-genetic diseases are not inherited. For general information, see Introduction to Genetics.


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