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FTO Gene Polymorphisms and Platelet Counts in a General Japanese Population
  1. Kazuhiko Kotani, MD, PhD*†,
  2. Shinji Fujiwara, MD, PhD*,
  3. Kokoro Tsuzaki*,
  4. Naoki Sakane, MD, PhD*
  1. From the *Division of Preventive Medicine, Clinical Research Institute, National Hospital Organization Kyoto Medical Center, Kyoto; and †Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Shimotsuke-City, Tochigi, Japan.
  1. Received July 22, 2011, and in revised form September 5, 2011.
  2. Accepted for publication October 20, 2011.
  3. Reprints: Kazuhiko Kotani, MD, PhD, Division of Preventive Medicine, Clinical Research Institute, National Hospital Organization Kyoto Medical Center, 1-1 Fukakusa Mukaihata-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto 612-8555, Japan. E-mail: kazukotani{at}
  4. This study was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for the Foundation for the Development of the Community, Japan.
  5. There are no conflicts of interest to declare.


The fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene has recently attracted attention as one of the obesity-related genes. Obesity-related gene polymorphisms may be associated with the development of atherothrombosis in relation to platelets. The present study investigated the association between FTO gene polymorphisms (rs1558902, T/A) and hematological parameters, in particular the platelet counts. Anthropometric, hematological, and biochemical parameters, in addition to genotyping by an allele-specific DNA assay, were measured in 209 asymptomatic community-dwelling Japanese subjects (male/female: 80/129; mean age, 65 years; mean [SD] body mass index, 24.0 [3.0] kg/m2). The subjects with the A-allele (n = 73) showed significantly higher platelet counts than those without the A-allele (mean [SD], 237 [58] vs 217 [57] × 109/L, P < 0.05). Even when multiple-adjusted analyses were performed, the platelet counts continued to differ significantly and independently of other variables, including obesity-related parameters such as the index of insulin resistance or high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, between the subjects with and without the A-allele. The FTO gene polymorphisms may be associated with the minor but significant modulation of platelet counts in this population.

Key Words
  • obesity
  • fat mass and obesity-associated gene
  • atherothrombosis
  • atherosclerosis
  • insulin resistance

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