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January 5, 1990

Heart Disease Researchers Tailor New Theories— Now Maybe It's Genes That Make People Fat

JAMA. 1990;263(1):17-18. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440010015005

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SOME PEOPLE who get too big for their britches may be able to blame it on fat genes, according to several reports at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in New Orleans, La.

Two researchers presented studies they say suggest the existence of a genetic basis for obesity, although they have not yet searched for the specific genes, and a third scientist spoke about the structure and metabolic role of the human lipoprotein lipase (LPL) gene. (The molecular biology of the LPL gene has been understood only since 1986.)

Still Speculative  One of the highly speculative reports was presented by Trudy L. Burns, PhD, associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City. Burns described findings made during an ongoing investigation of coronary heart disease risk factors in 1783 children in Muscatine, Iowa.As part of the study, led by Ronald M.