Obesity is a risk factor for a wide variety of health problems. In a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of body mass index (BMI) in Japanese people (n = 173,430), we found 85 loci significantly associated with obesity (P < 5.0 × 10-8), of which 51 were previously unknown. We conducted trans-ancestral meta-analyses by integrating these results with the results from a GWAS of Europeans and identified 61 additional new loci. In total, this study identifies 112 novel loci, doubling the number of previously known BMI-associated loci. By annotating associated variants with cell-type-specific regulatory marks, we found enrichment of variants in CD19+ cells. We also found significant genetic correlations between BMI and lymphocyte count (P = 6.46 × 10-5, rg = 0.18) and between BMI and multiple complex diseases. These findings provide genetic evidence that lymphocytes are relevant to body weight regulation and offer insights into the pathogenesis of obesity.
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