GNB3 and FTO Polymorphisms and Pregnancy Weight Gain in Black Women

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pregnancy, gestational weight gain, genetic influence, FTO gene, GNB3 gene, body mass index

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Background: Gestational weight gain (GWG) is a modifiable risk factor for obesity in women. Black women have the greatest prevalence of high body mass, which predisposes them to excessive GWG. Increased understanding of genetic influences on GWG has implications for the health of women. The purpose of this study was to explore the associations of GNB3 and FTO risk alleles in pregnant women with prepregnancy body mass index (BMI), GWG, and postpartum and infant birth weights. Research design and Methods: This was an observational, prospective candidate gene association study. Pregnant, low-income Black women (N = 97) were enrolled in early pregnancy and followed until 6 months postpartum. Results: GWG differed depending on number of FTO risk alleles. The mean 6-month postpartum BMI differed, although not significantly, by 4 kg/m2 between homozygous women. There was an interaction between the FTO risk allele and prepregnancy BMI (p = .022), with obese homozygote AA women having significantly higher mean GWG than obese TT women. When controlling for age and smoking, the FTO gene and physical activity predicted GWG (p = .032). Although not statistically significant, women who carried the GNB3 T risk allele gained 6 pounds more than noncarriers, and mean 6-month postpartum BMI differed by 2.2 kg/m2 between homozygous women. Neither the GNB3 nor FTO gene predicted prepregnancy BMI, infant birth weight, or postpartum weight. Conclusion: Obese women homozygous for the FTO risk allele were at greater risk of excessive GWG compared to nonrisk allele homozygous obese women or nonobese women. This study provides evidence of the FTO gene’s effect on GWG in Black women.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Biological Research For Nursing, v. 17, issue 4, p. 405-412