We identified a set of SNPs in the first intron of the FTO (fat mass and obesity associated) gene on chromosome 16q12.2 that is consistently strongly associated with early-onset and severe obesity in both adults and children of European ancestry with an experiment-wise P value of 1.67 x 10(-26) in 2,900 affected individuals and 5,100 controls. The at-risk haplotype yields a proportion of attributable risk of 22% for common obesity. We conclude that FTO contributes to human obesity and hence may be a target for subsequent functional analyses.
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