Original Article

Osteoporosis International

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 119-124

First online:

Genetic determination and correlation of body mass index and bone mineral density at the spine and hip in Chinese Han ethnicity

  • Fei-Yan DengAffiliated withLaboratory of Molecular and Statistical Genetics, College of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University
  • , Shu-Feng LeiAffiliated withLaboratory of Molecular and Statistical Genetics, College of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University
  • , Miao-Xin LiAffiliated withLaboratory of Molecular and Statistical Genetics, College of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University
  • , Cheng JiangAffiliated withLaboratory of Molecular and Statistical Genetics, College of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University
  • , Volodymyr DvornykAffiliated withOsteoporosis Research Center and Department of Biomedical Sciences, Creighton University
  • , Hong-Wen DengAffiliated withLaboratory of Molecular and Statistical Genetics, College of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal UniversityOsteoporosis Research Center and Department of Biomedical Sciences, Creighton University Email author 

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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the magnitude of genetic determination of spine and hip bone mineral density (BMD) and body mass index (BMI), and to explore the genetic, environmental, and phenotypic correlations among the above phenotypes in Chinese Han ethnicity. The sample was composed of at least 217 complete nuclear families in Chinese Han ethnicity. BMD at the spine and hip was measured using a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanner. The heritability ( h 2) of BMI and BMD at the spine and hip, the genetic correlation ( ρ G ) and environmental correlation ( ρ E ) among the three phenotypes were evaluated via variance analysis, with age, sex, and age-by-sex interaction as covariates. The phenotypic correlation ( ρ P ) and the bivariate heritability ρG 2 were also calculated. The heritability for BMD and BMI was ~0.70 and ~0.50, respectively ( p <0.0001). The common environment shared by household members (household effect) is significant for BMI variation ( p =0.0004). Significant genetic, environmental, and phenotypic correlation was observed. The ρG 2 values were 0.13 for BMI/spine BMD, 0.18 for BMI/hip BMD, and 0.58 for the spine BMD/hip BMD. While BMD at the spine and hip have significant genetic determination, BMI is more likely to be affected by environmental factors than BMD. In addition, BMD at the spine and hip shares more genetic effect (pleiotropy) than BMI and BMD do in Chinese Han ethnicity, though the effects are significant for both.

Keywords

Body mass index Bone mineral density Genetic correlation