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Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a strong correlate of obesity and is considered a marker of insulin resistance (IR). AN is associated with various other cardiometabolic risk factors (CMRFs). However, the direct causal relationship of IR with AN in obesity has been debated. Therefore, we aimed to examine the complex causal relationships among the troika of AN, obesity, and IR in Mexican Americans (MAs).


We used data from 670 non-diabetic MA children, aged 6–17 years (49% girls). AN (prevalence 33%) severity scores (range 0–5) were used as a quasi-quantitative trait (AN-q) for analysis. We used the program SOLAR for determining phenotypic, genetic, and environmental correlations between AN-q and CMRFs (e.g., BMI, HOMA-IR, lipids, blood pressure, hs-C-reactive protein (CRP), and Harvard physical fitness score (PFS)). The genetic and environmental correlations were subsequently used in mediation analysis (AMOS program). Model comparisons were made using goodness-of-fit indexes.


Heritability of AN-q was 0.75 (p


Our study suggests that obesity explains the association of IR with AN, but no causal relationship between IR and AN in Mexican American children.


© 2020 Lopez-Alvarenga et al

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

PLoS One



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Mentor/PI Department

Office of Human Genetics



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