[한국강사신문 한상형 기자] Sungkyunkwan University (President Shin Dong-ryul) announced on the 3rd that a research team led by Professor Won Hong-hee (first author, Kim Min-seo) of the Samsung Institute of Convergence Medical Sciences and Samsung Genome Research Institute at Samsung Seoul Hospital revealed a complex relationship between obesity and various cardiovascular diseases.
The researchers performed a meta-analysis of more than 500 cohorts to conscientiously analyze the effects of obesity on the risk of occurrence and death of nine cardiovascular diseases. A new research design was proposed by combining research. As a result, it was evaluated that association was confirmed by cohort study, causality was confirmed by genome study, and it was possible to analyze complex epidemiologic subjects with higher resolution.
The relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease has been continuously studied for a long time, and it is known that obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, each study showed very heterogeneous results according to obesity metrics, race, and cohort characteristics. In addition, obesity has a unique feature that allows a two-way interaction with the disease. That is, although the risk of cardiovascular disease is increased by obesity, the possibility that obesity is increased due to the occurrence of cardiovascular disease cannot be excluded. In the case of such a complex and complex epidemiologic relationship, there was a limitation in that it was difficult to confirm the exact causality or direction of interaction only by observational studies.
In interventional studies such as drug research, causality can be confirmed through a study design called a randomized controlled trial, but in the case of obesity and cardiovascular disease, it is mainly observed because it is unethical to induce obesity through intervention. rely on research Due to the nature of observational studies, it is difficult to fundamentally exclude confounding variables, and in the case of the bidirectional phenotype of obesity, it is even more difficult to identify the relationship.
To solve this problem, for the first time, the researchers combined genome-based research to confirm causality with observational studies. The Mendelian randomized study used in this study is based on the formation of groups with high and low genetic mutations that increase the risk of obesity as genetic mutations are randomly assigned during meiosis. Comparing the difference in the risk of cardiovascular diseases for these two groups can evaluate whether obesity causes these diseases without intervention.
The Mendelian randomized study has the advantage of being able to confirm independent results from confounding variables and reverse causation caused by the environment because groups are randomly divided at the stage of meiosis. This is in contrast to the weakness of the relationship with The researchers presented a new high-level evidence for the relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease, which has been studied for a long time, by utilizing both the advantages of association confirmation, which is the strength of large-scale observational studies, and the advantage of causality confirmation, the strength of genome-based research. .
Researcher Minseo Kim said, “There was a weakness in clinical research that I felt while doing clinical research. I devised a new research design that can reinforce this through genomic research, and I was able to establish a connection point because I learned both clinical and genomics. We expect that this research methodology will be used in many epidemiological research topics to enable more sophisticated studies in the future.”
Professor Won Hong-hee said, “This study is meaningful in that it systematically presented scientific evidence on the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity, which is recognized as a big problem worldwide, by integrating large-scale epidemiological and genomic studies. “As obesity has been shown to be responsible for a variety of cardiovascular diseases and mortality risk, it is important to maintain an appropriate body weight and healthy eating habits to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
This study was carried out as a mid-level research support project of the basic research project promoted by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea. posted online.