A systematic review on the applicability of cell-free DNA level as an obesity biomarker

Keith T. S. TuUNG, Hing Wai TSANG, Ulrike NGO, Rosa Sze Man WONG, Clare H. Y. CHOW, Winnie H. Y. TSO, Jason C. S. YAM, Godfrey C. F. CHAN, Patrick IP

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Obesity has become a global health concern in recent decades. Utilizing biomarkers presents a promising approach to comprehensively monitor the progress of obesity and its associated health conditions. This review aims to synthesize the available evidence on the correlation between cfDNA level and obesity and to provide insights into the applicability of using cfDNA level as a tool for monitoring progression of obesity. Searches were performed in PubMed and Embase on April 1, 2022. Data and other relevant information were extracted and compiled into a structured table for further analysis. Among 1170 articles screened, 11 articles were included in this review and assessed qualitatively. The results demonstrated that existing evidence mainly focused on three populations, including healthy individuals, cancer patients and pregnant women. Majority of the studies on healthy individuals identified a significant association between cfDNA level and body weight status but not among cancer patients. Varying results were observed among pregnant women at different gestational trimesters. Our review summarized some preliminary evidence on the association between cfDNA level and obesity. More cohort studies in larger scale with comprehensive assessment have to be conducted to examine the applicability of cfDNA as a biomarker for severity and disease progression of obesity. Copyright © 2024 The Authors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalObesity Reviews
Early online dateMay 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2024


Tung, K. T. S., Tsang, H. W., Ngo, U., Wong, R. S., Chow, C. H. Y., Tso, W. H. Y., Yam, J. C. S., Chan, G. C. F., & Ip, P. (2024). A systematic review on the applicability of cell-free DNA level as an obesity biomarker. Obesity Reviews. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.13765


  • Adiposity
  • Cell-free DNA
  • Circulating DNA
  • Obesity


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review on the applicability of cell-free DNA level as an obesity biomarker'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.