Soifua Manuia

"Soifua Manuia" (Good Health) Study (Samoa)

Samoans are a unique founder population with a high prevalence of obesity. In a genome-wide association study (GWAS) with 3,500 participants conducted in Samoa in 2010 we discovered a novel missense variant (rs373863828) that was associated with increased body mass index in this population (Minster et al., 2016). This variant is suspected to be ‘thrifty’, promoting a unique pattern of energy conservation and use among individuals who have the risk variant.

Around 45% of Samoans have the risk variant, so understanding the mechanisms by which it increases someone’s risk of obesity will be important to determine how best to intervene. This new study will re-recruit 500 of the original GWAS participants based on the presence or absence of the Samoan missense mutation to explore the function of variant in more depth.

Participants will receive a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan to measure their body composition, an oral glucose tolerance test to observe insulin response to a glucose load, and wear accelerometers for seven days to objectively measure physical activity as well as completing a number of questionnaires and cognitive tasks designed to measure factors related to health, dietary intake, and weight.

Timeline: This study will be actively recruiting participants between June 2017 and December 2018 in Apia, Samoa

Investigators: Nicola Hawley, Stephen McGarvey (Brown University [grant PI]), Daniel Weeks, Ryan Minster, Erin Kershaw, Zsolt Urban (all University of Pittsburgh), Ranjan Deka (Cincinnati)

Funding Source: National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute 2R01HL093093

Affiliated Students: Rebecca Valderrama (Yale, MPH Candidate)