Genome-wide association studies have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) adjusted for BMI (WCadjBMI and WHRadjBMI), but it remains unclear whether these SNPs relate to change in WCadjBMI or WHRadjBMI with lifestyle intervention for weight loss. We hypothesized that polygenic scores (PS) comprised of 59 SNPs previously associated with central adiposity would predict less of a reduction in WCadjBMI or WHRadjBMI at 8–10 weeks in two lifestyle intervention trials, NUGENOB and DiOGenes, and at 1 year in five lifestyle intervention trials, Look AHEAD, Diabetes Prevention Program, Diabetes Prevention Study, DIETFITS, and PREDIMED-Plus. One-SD higher PS related to a smaller 1-year change in WCadjBMI in the lifestyle intervention arms at year 1 and thus predicted poorer response (β = 0.007; SE = 0.003; P = 0.03) among White participants overall and in White men (β = 0.01; SE = 0.004; P = 0.01). At average weight loss, this amounted to 0.20–0.28 cm per SD. No significant findings emerged in White women or African American men for the 8–10-week outcomes or for WHRadjBMI. Findings were heterogeneous in African American women. These results indicate that polygenic risk estimated from these 59 SNPs relates to change in WCadjBMI with lifestyle intervention, but the effects are small and not of sufficient magnitude to be clinically significant.

This article contains supplementary material online at

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at
You do not currently have access to this content.