CHARGE Adiposity Project (CHAPS)

Goals: to pursue scientific questions regarding the genetic and environmental factors associated with adiposity traits

Description:  Obesity continues to grow as a modern-day epidemic and is a strong risk factor for numerous other metabolic derangements and morbidities.  The CHARGE* Adiposity Project (CHAPS), therefore, aims to extend the statistical benefits of cohort aggregation (e.g. through meta-analysis of ~40,000 people) to adiposity traits such as body mass index (BMI, kg/m2), waist circumference (WC), waist-hip ratio (WHR), longitudinal weight change in adulthood, obesity (BMI>30 kg/m2) and extreme obesity (BMI>40 kg/m2).  Moreover, with uniquely sufficient power to detect variants influencing as little as ~1% of trait variance CHAPS can address 4 major aims beyond primary gene discovery:  CHAPS proposes to contrast the genetic architecture for adiposity traits between Caucasians and African-Americans using novel methods; to investigate a series of gene x environment interaction hypotheses, including sex, age, diet, physical activity, and smoking; to identify adiposity loci with pleiotropic effects on lipid and glucose metabolism traits in order to deconstruct the correlations among these risk factors; and to identify and test potentially sex- or race-dependent pathways with high impact on adiposity traits. This work will stimulate the discovery of variants and pathways comprising the genetic basis of obesity risk and suggest potential therapeutic targets.

*The international Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium