Multiple genetic loci associated with obesity or body mass index (BMI) have been identified through genome-wide association studies conducted predominantly in populations of European ancestry. We performed a meta-analysis of associations between BMI and approximately 2.4 million SNPs in 27,715 east Asians, which was followed by in silico and de novo replication studies in 37,691 and 17,642 additional east Asians, respectively. We identified ten BMI-associated loci at genome-wide significance (P < 5.0 - 10 g8), including seven previously identified loci (FTO, SEC16B, MC4R, GIPR-QPCTL, ADCY3-DNAJC27, BDNF and MAP2K5) and three novel loci in or near the CDKAL1, PCSK1 and GP2 genes. Three additional loci nearly reached the genome-wide significance threshold, including two previously identified loci in the GNPDA2 and TFAP2B genes and a newly identified signal near PAX6, all of which were associated with BMI with P < 5.0 - 10 g7. Findings from this study may shed light on new pathways involved in obesity and demonstrate the value of conducting genetic studies in non-European populations.
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