A Polygenic Lipodystrophy Genetic Risk Score Characterizes Risk Independent of BMI in the Diabetes Prevention Program

Shylaja Srinivasan, Kathleen A. Jablonski, William C. Knowler, Samuel Dagogo-Jack, Steven E. Kahn, Edward J. Boyko, George A. Bray, Edward S. Horton, Marie France Hivert, Ronald Goldberg, Ling Chen, Josep Mercader, Maegan Harden, Jose C. Florez

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Context: There is substantial heterogeneity in insulin sensitivity, and genetics may suggest possible mechanisms by which common variants influence this trait. Objectives: We aimed to evaluate an 11-variant polygenic lipodystrophy genetic risk score (GRS) for association with anthropometric, glycemic and metabolic traits in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). In secondary analyses, we tested the association of the GRS with cardiovascular risk factors in the DPP. Design: In 2713 DPP participants, we evaluated a validated GRS of 11 common variants associated with fasting insulin-based measures of insulin sensitivity discovered through genome-wide association studies that cluster with a metabolic profile of lipodystrophy, conferring high metabolic risk despite low body mass index (BMI). Results: At baseline, a higher polygenic lipodystrophy GRS was associated with lower weight, BMI, and waist circumference measurements, but with worse insulin sensitivity index (ISI) values. Despite starting at a lower weight and BMI, a higher GRS was associated with less weight and BMI reduction at one year and less improvement in ISI after adjusting for baseline values but was not associated with diabetes incidence. A higher GRS was also associated with more atherogenic low-density lipoprotein peak-particle-density at baseline but was not associated with coronary artery calcium scores in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Conclusions: In the DPP, a higher polygenic lipodystrophy GRS for insulin resistance with lower BMI was associated with diminished improvement in insulin sensitivity and potential higher cardiovascular disease risk. This GRS helps characterize insulin resistance in a cohort of individuals at high risk for diabetes, independent of adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number201900069
Pages (from-to)1663-1677
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 24 2019



  • insulin resistance
  • lifestyle intervention
  • metformin
  • obesity
  • type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Srinivasan, S., Jablonski, K. A., Knowler, W. C., Dagogo-Jack, S., Kahn, S. E., Boyko, E. J., Bray, G. A., Horton, E. S., Hivert, M. F., Goldberg, R., Chen, L., Mercader, J., Harden, M., & Florez, J. C. (2019). A Polygenic Lipodystrophy Genetic Risk Score Characterizes Risk Independent of BMI in the Diabetes Prevention Program. Journal of the Endocrine Society, 3(9), 1663-1677. [201900069]. https://doi.org/10.1210/js.2019-00069