Obesity is a chronic disease in which abnormal deposition of fat threatens health, leading to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. According to the WHO, 19.8% of the adult population in Italy is obese, and the prevalence is higher among men. It is important to know the predisposition of an individual to become obese and to respond to bariatric surgery, the most up-to-date treatment for severe obesity. To this purpose, we developed an NGS gene panel, comprising 72 diagnostic genes and 244 candidate genes, and we sequenced 247 adult obese Italian patients. Eleven deleterious variants in 9 diagnostic genes and 17 deleterious variants in 11 candidate genes were identified. Interestingly, mutations were found in several genes correlated to the Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Then, 25 patients were clinically followed to evaluate their response to bariatric surgery. After a 12-month follow-up, the patients that carried deleterious variants in diagnostic or candidate genes had a reduced weight loss, as compared to the other patients. The NGS-based panel, including diagnostic and candidate genes used in this study, could play a role in evaluating, diagnosing, and managing obese individuals, and may help in predicting the outcome of bariatric surgery.
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