Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Importance: There is some support for the existence of genetic associations between adiposity and certain hepatobiliary diseases in Western populations. However, there is little evidence of such genetic associations in China, where the causes of these diseases may differ from those in Western populations and the mean body mass index (BMI) is much lower. Objectives: To compare the observational associations of BMI with hepatobiliary diseases and liver biomarkers with the genetic associations between BMI and these factors and to assess whether the genetic associations of BMI with liver diseases differed by hepatitis B virus infection status. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used data from the prospective China Kadoorie Biobank, including 473 938 adults aged 30 to 79 years without hepatobiliary diseases at baseline from 10 diverse areas in China from June 25, 2004, to July 15, 2008. A random sample of 75 736 participants with genotyping data was included in the Mendelian randomization analysis. Follow-up was completed January 1, 2017 (median [interquartile range] length of follow-up, 10.2 [9.2-11.1] years). Data were analyzed from January to October 2019. Exposures: Measured BMI obtained during the baseline survey and genetically instrumented BMI derived using 92 single-nucleotide variations. Main Outcomes and Measures: Incident cases of hepatobiliary diseases, liver enzymes, fatty liver index, and fibrosis score. Results: Among 473 938 individuals (276 041 [58.2%] women), the mean (SD) age was 52 (10.9) years and mean (SD) BMI was 23.8 (3.4). Baseline BMI was associated with higher risks of chronic liver disease (adjusted risk ratio per 1-SD increase, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.17) and gallbladder disease (adjusted risk ratio per 1-SD increase, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.27 to 1.31), with heterogeneity by disease subtype (P 

Original publication




Journal article


JAMA Netw Open

Publication Date





Adult, Aged, Asians, Biomarkers, Body Mass Index, China, Digestive System Diseases, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Risk Factors, Thinness