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No evidence for association of body mass index with salivary amylase gene copy number in the UK 1958 Birth Cohort

Shwan, Nzar A. A.; Armour, John A. L.


Nzar A. A. Shwan

Professor of Human Genetics


In a 2014 publication, evidence was presented supporting the association of BMI with the copy number of the salivary amylase 1 (AMY1) gene, with an unprecedented effect size of −0.15 kg/m2 (SE 0.02) per copy of AMY1. Most well‐powered attempts to reproduce these findings have not been successful. However, because of different study designs, a significant association may still apply under restricted conditions such as in particular age groups. This study specifically tested the BMI‐AMY1 association at different age points in the same individuals using longitudinal BMI information from participants in the UK 1958 Birth Cohort study.

This study measured the AMY1 copy number by paralogue ratio tests in genomic DNA and by using array comparative genomic hybridization data. BMI data from 1958 Birth Cohort participants were available from eight different age points between 7 and 50 years.

No evidence, even at nominal significance, was found for association of the AMY1 copy number with BMI at any age point in approximately 1,400 members of the 1958 Birth Cohort or in 2,835 people from two disease cohorts from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium.

The results do not support an association between BMI and AMY1 copy number at any age point.


Shwan, N. A. A., & Armour, J. A. L. (2019). No evidence for association of body mass index with salivary amylase gene copy number in the UK 1958 Birth Cohort. Obesity, 27(9), 1533-1538.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 28, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 23, 2019
Publication Date 2019-09
Deposit Date May 30, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 24, 2020
Journal Obesity
Print ISSN 1930-7381
Electronic ISSN 1930-739X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 9
Pages 1533-1538
Keywords Obesity; BMI; genetics; amylase
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Shwan, N. A. and Armour, J. A. (2019), No Evidence for Association of BMI with Salivary Amylase Gene Copy Number in the UK 1958 Birth Cohort. Obesity, 27: 1533-1538, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


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