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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Why study gene-environment interactions?

item Ordovas, Jose
item Tai, E Shyong

Submitted to: Current Opinion in Lipidology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/17/2008
Publication Date: 4/1/2009
Citation: Ordovas, J., Tai, E. 2009. Why study gene-environment interactions?. Current Opinion in Lipidology. 19(2):158-167.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We examine the reasons for investigating gene-environment interactions and address recent reports evaluating interactions between genes and environmental modulators in relation to cardiovascular disease and its common risk factors. RECENT FINDINGS: Studies focusing on smoking, physical activity, and alcohol and coffee consumption are observational and include relatively large sample sizes. They tend to examine single genes, however, and fail to address interactions with other genes and other correlated environmental factors. Studies examining gene-diet interactions include both observational and interventional designs. These studies are smaller, especially those including dietary interventions. Among the reported gene-diet interactions, it is important to highlight the strengthened position of APOA5 as a major gene that is involved in triglyceride metabolism and modulated by dietary factors, and the identification of APOA2 as a modulator of food intake and obesity risk. SUMMARY: The study of gene-environment interactions is an active and much needed area of research. Although technical barriers of genetic studies are rapidly being overcome, inclusion of comprehensive and reliable environmental information represents a significant shortcoming of genetics studies. Progress in this area requires inclusion of larger populations but also more comprehensive, standardized, and precise approaches to capturing environmental information.

Last Modified: 07/27/2017
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