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Prevalence of the Leptin and Leptin Receptor Gene Variants and Obesity Risk Factors among Malaysian University Students of Setapak, Kuala Lumpur

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Author(s): Suet-Fang Liew | Her-Swang Chuah | Chooi-Ling Lau | Chean-Hui Lee | Yee-How Say

Journal: Asian Journal of Epidemiology
ISSN 1992-1462

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 49;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Leptin | leptin receptor | single nucleotide polymorphism | obesity | Malaysia

ABSTRACT
This study was to investigate the prevalence of the leptin gene (LEP) A19G and leptin receptor gene (LEPR) K109R, Q223R and K656N variants and their possible association with obesity and the prevalence of associated obesity risk factors in Malaysian university students of Setapak, Kuala Lumpur. Random convenience sampling was performed with informed consents, obesity risk factors were assessed by questionnaire and anthropometric measurements were taken. Mouthwash samples were obtained for DNA extraction and genotyping was performed using Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism. A Body Mass Index cut-off point of 27 kg m-2 for obesity was adapted; categorizing the 200 subjects (85 males, 115 females) into 143 non-obese and 57 obese. There was no significant difference in the genotype and allele frequencies of LEP A19G and LEPR K109R, Q223R variants between obese and non-obese subjects. Only the K656N genotype, but not the 656N allele, was associated with obesity. All the anthropometric measurements were significantly lower in the non-obese compared to the obese subjects, but the obesity risk factors were not significantly different between the two groups-except for physical activity. In conclusion, obesity is not prevalent among the sampled Malaysian university students and the genetic contribution of LEP and LEPR common polymorphism towards obesity seems to be insignificant.

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