[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using genome-wide data from 253,288 individuals, we identified 697 variants at genome-wide significance that together explained one-fifth of the heritability for adult height. By testing different numbers of variants in independent studies, we show that the most strongly associated approximately 2,000, approximately 3,700 and approximately 9,500 SNPs explained approximately 21%, approximately 24% and approximately 29% of phenotypic variance. Furthermore, all common variants together captured 60% of heritability. The 697 variants clustered in 423 loci were enriched for genes, pathways and tissue types known to be involved in growth and together implicated genes and pathways not highlighted in earlier efforts, such as signaling by fibroblast growth factors, WNT/beta-catenin and chondroitin sulfate-related genes. We identified several genes and pathways not previously connected with human skeletal growth, including mTOR, osteoglycin and binding of hyaluronic acid. Our results indicate a genetic architecture for human height that is characterized by a very large but finite number (thousands) of causal variants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a widening perception that many factors (lifestyle and others e.g., acute/chronic inflammation) may causally lower vitamin D levels. Observationally, smoking tends to be associated with lower vitamin D levels. Smokers also have increased fracture risk and decreased bone mass suggesting a potential causal effect of smoking on vitamin D. It has also been suggested that tobacco smoke chemicals may influence vitamin D metabolism and function. However, determining a causal link between smoking and lower vitamin D is problematic in conventional epidemiological studies due to confounding by other lifestyle factors. We performed a Mendelian randomisation analysis, using data on 32,823 individuals from the Consortium for Causal Analysis Research in Tobacco and Alcohol to investigate the causal nature of the associations of smoking with vitamin D levels. Associations between a smoking related variant (rs1051730/rs16969968) and serum vitamin D (25(OH)D) were assessed by linear regression stratified by smoking status (categorised as never, former, current, ever (former and current), and non (never and former)) and adjusted for age, sex, and geographic region, and additionally for body mass index (BMI). Observational associations between smoking status and vitamin D were assessed by linear regression, adjusted for age, sex, and month of data collection and additionally for geographic region, socio-economic status and BMI. Results from individual studies were meta-analysed. Interactions between smoking status and genotype were assessed using the Cochran Q statistic. We discuss the implications of these results for furthering understanding of the causal effect of smoking on vitamin D. This will inform the development of relevant public health messages and campaigns, and also potentially aid the development of novel treatments for disease outcomes. This is a work in progress and we anticipate that results will be available within a month.
The 20th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), Seattle, WA, USA; 02/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Substantial advances have been made in identifying common genetic variants influencing cardiometabolic traits and disease outcomes through genome wide association studies. Nevertheless, gaps in knowledge remain and new questions have arisen regarding the population relevance, mechanisms, and applications for healthcare. Using a new high-resolution custom single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array (Metabochip) incorporating dense coverage of genomic regions linked to cardiometabolic disease, the University College-London School-Edinburgh-Bristol (UCLEB) consortium of highly-phenotyped population-based prospective studies, aims to: (1) fine map functionally relevant SNPs; (2) precisely estimate individual absolute and population attributable risks based on individual SNPs and their combination; (3) investigate mechanisms leading to altered risk factor profiles and CVD events; and (4) use Mendelian randomisation to undertake studies of the causal role in CVD of a range of cardiovascular biomarkers to inform public health policy and help develop new preventative therapies.
PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(8):e71345. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During aging, intracranial volume remains unchanged and represents maximally attained brain size, while various interacting biological phenomena lead to brain volume loss. Consequently, intracranial volume and brain volume in late life reflect different genetic influences. Our genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 8,175 community-dwelling elderly persons did not reveal any associations at genome-wide significance (P < 5 x 10(-8)) for brain volume. In contrast, intracranial volume was significantly associated with two loci: rs4273712 (P = 3.4 x 10(-11)), a known height-associated locus on chromosome 6q22, and rs9915547 (P = 1.5 x 10(-12)), localized to the inversion on chromosome 17q21. We replicated the associations of these loci with intracranial volume in a separate sample of 1,752 elderly persons (P = 1.1 x 10(-3) for 6q22 and 1.2 x 10(-3) for 17q21). Furthermore, we also found suggestive associations of the 17q21 locus with head circumference in 10,768 children (mean age of 14.5 months). Our data identify two loci associated with head size, with the inversion at 17q21 also likely to be involved in attaining maximal brain size.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approaches exploiting trait distribution extremes may be used to identify loci associated with common traits, but it is unknown whether these loci are generalizable to the broader population. In a genome-wide search for loci associated with the upper versus the lower 5th percentiles of body mass index, height and waist-to-hip ratio, as well as clinical classes of obesity, including up to 263,407 individuals of European ancestry, we identified 4 new loci (IGFBP4, H6PD, RSRC1 and PPP2R2A) influencing height detected in the distribution tails and 7 new loci (HNF4G, RPTOR, GNAT2, MRPS33P4, ADCY9, HS6ST3 and ZZZ3) for clinical classes of obesity. Further, we find a large overlap in genetic structure and the distribution of variants between traits based on extremes and the general population and little etiological heterogeneity between obesity subgroups.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: On September 29, 2011, acknowledged experts in the field of vitamin D, mainly European, were brought together in order to discuss the recent scientific advances in relation to vitamin D: the current requirements and associations with various health outcomes. In this article, the discussions resulting from the meeting are summarized. INTRODUCTION: Several groups at risk for developing vitamin D insufficiency have been identified. Accordingly, reviews indicate that a significant percentage of the population worldwide have serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels below 50 nmol/l. In addition to the role of vitamin D in bone health, recent studies suggest that it may play a pivotal role in other systems, e.g., the cardiovascular system, pancreas, muscle, immune system and brain. Most evidence, however, is obtained from observational studies and yet inconclusive. METHODS: To exchange and broaden knowledge on the requirements for vitamin D and its effect on various health outcomes, a workshop entitled "Vitamin D Expert Meeting: Do we get enough?", was organized. RESULTS: Despite low vitamin D levels worldwide, consensus on the definition of deficiency is not yet reached. In order to define cut-off points for vitamin D whilst taking into account extraskeletal health effects, randomized controlled trials in these fields are warranted. The experts do emphasize that there is evidence to suggest an important role for vitamin D in the maintenance of optimal bone health at all ages and that vitamin D supplementation, in most studies co-administered with calcium, reduces fracture risk in the senior population. CONCLUSION: To reach a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 50 nmol/l older adults aged ≥65 years are therefore recommended to meet a mean daily vitamin D intake of 20 μg (800 IU), which is best achieved with a supplement.
Osteoporosis International 12/2012; · 4.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight. Common variation at rs1051730 is robustly associated with smoking quantity and was recently shown to influence smoking cessation during pregnancy, but its influence on birth weight is not clear. We aimed to investigate the association between this variant and birth weight of term, singleton offspring in a well-powered meta-analysis. We stratified 26 241 European origin study participants by smoking status (women who smoked during pregnancy versus women who did not smoke during pregnancy) and, in each stratum, analysed the association between maternal rs1051730 genotype and offspring birth weight. There was evidence of interaction between genotype and smoking (P = 0.007). In women who smoked during pregnancy, each additional smoking-related T-allele was associated with a 20 g [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 4-36 g] lower birth weight (P = 0.014). However, in women who did not smoke during pregnancy, the effect size estimate was 5 g per T-allele (95% CI: -4 to 14 g; P = 0.268). To conclude, smoking status during pregnancy modifies the association between maternal rs1051730 genotype and offspring birth weight. This strengthens the evidence that smoking during pregnancy is causally related to lower offspring birth weight and suggests that population interventions that effectively reduce smoking in pregnant women would result in a reduced prevalence of low birth weight.
Human Molecular Genetics 09/2012; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A season of birth effect in immune-mediated diseases (ID) such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes has been consistently reported. We aimed to investigate whether season of birth influences the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and systemic lupus erythematosus in addition to multiple sclerosis, and to explore the correlation between the risk of ID and predicted ultraviolet B (UVB) light exposure and vitamin D status during gestation. METHODS: The monthly distribution of births of patients with ID from the UK (n = 115,172) was compared to that of the general population using the Cosinor test. Predicted UVB radiation and vitamin D status in different time windows during pregnancy were calculated for each month of birth and correlated with risk of ID using the Spearman's correlation coefficient. RESULTS: The distributions of ID births significantly differed from that of the general population (P = 5e-12) with a peak in April (odds ratio = 1.045, 95% confidence interval = 1.024, 1.067, P <0.0001) and a trough in October (odds ratio = 0.945, 95% confidence interval = 0.925, 0.966, P <0.0001). Stratification by disease subtype showed seasonality in all ID but Crohn's disease. The risk of ID was inversely correlated with predicted second trimester UVB exposure (Spearman's rho = -0.49, P = 0.00005) and third trimester vitamin D status (Spearman's rho = -0.44, P = 0.0003). CONCLUSIONS: The risk of different ID in the UK is significantly influenced by the season of birth, suggesting the presence of a shared seasonal risk factor or factors predisposing to ID. Gestational UVB and vitamin D exposure may be implicated in the aetiology of ID.
BMC Medicine 07/2012; 10(1):69. · 7.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple genetic variants have been associated with adult obesity and a few with severe obesity in childhood; however, less progress has been made in establishing genetic influences on common early-onset obesity. We performed a North American, Australian and European collaborative meta-analysis of 14 studies consisting of 5,530 cases (≥95th percentile of body mass index (BMI)) and 8,318 controls (<50th percentile of BMI) of European ancestry. Taking forward the eight newly discovered signals yielding association with P < 5 × 10(-6) in nine independent data sets (2,818 cases and 4,083 controls), we observed two loci that yielded genome-wide significant combined P values near OLFM4 at 13q14 (rs9568856; P = 1.82 × 10(-9); odds ratio (OR) = 1.22) and within HOXB5 at 17q21 (rs9299; P = 3.54 × 10(-9); OR = 1.14). Both loci continued to show association when two extreme childhood obesity cohorts were included (2,214 cases and 2,674 controls). These two loci also yielded directionally consistent associations in a previous meta-analysis of adult BMI(1).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the associations of emergent genome-wide-association study-derived coronary heart disease (CHD)-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with established and emerging risk factors, and the association of genome-wide-association study-derived lipid-associated SNPs with other risk factors and CHD events.
Using two case-control studies, three cross-sectional, and seven prospective studies with up to 25 000 individuals and 5794 CHD events we evaluated associations of 34 genome-wide-association study-identified SNPs with CHD risk and 16 CHD-associated risk factors or biomarkers. The Ch9p21 SNPs rs1333049 (OR 1.17; 95% confidence limits 1.11-1.24) and rs10757274 (OR 1.17; 1.09-1.26), MIA3 rs17465637 (OR 1.10; 1.04-1.15), Ch2q36 rs2943634 (OR 1.08; 1.03-1.14), APC rs383830 (OR 1.10; 1.02, 1.18), MTHFD1L rs6922269 (OR 1.10; 1.03, 1.16), CXCL12 rs501120 (OR 1.12; 1.04, 1.20), and SMAD3 rs17228212 (OR 1.11; 1.05, 1.17) were all associated with CHD risk, but not with the CHD biomarkers and risk factors measured. Among the 20 blood lipid-related SNPs, LPL rs17411031 was associated with a lower risk of CHD (OR 0.91; 0.84-0.97), an increase in Apolipoprotein AI and HDL-cholesterol, and reduced triglycerides. SORT1 rs599839 was associated with CHD risk (OR 1.20; 1.15-1.26) as well as total- and LDL-cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B. ANGPTL3 rs12042319 was associated with CHD risk (OR 1.11; 1.03, 1.19), total- and LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and interleukin-6.
Several SNPs predicting CHD events appear to involve pathways not currently indexed by the established or emerging risk factors; others involved changes in blood lipids including triglycerides or HDL-cholesterol as well as LDL-cholesterol. The overlapping association of SNPs with multiple risk factors and biomarkers supports the existence of shared points of regulation for these phenotypes.
European Heart Journal 07/2011; 33(3):393-407. · 14.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have used the gene-centric Illumina HumanCVD BeadChip to identify common genetic determinants of Von Willebrand factor (vWF) levels in healthy men and women. The Whitehall II (WHII) study (n= 5592) and the British Women's Heart and Health Study (BWHHS) (n= 3445) were genotyped using the HumanCVD BeadChip. Replication was conducted in the British Regional Heart Study (n= 3897) and 1958 Birth Cohort (n= 5048). We identified 48 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four genes/regions associated with vWF at P < 10(-4) . These included 19 SNPs at the ABO blood group locus with the lead variant being rs657152 (P= 9.7 × 10(-233) ). The lead variant in the 24 VWF SNPs was rs1063856 (P= 2.3 × 10(-20) ). SNPs at ESR1 (rs6909023) and NRG1(rs1685103) showed modest associations with vWF, but these were not confirmed in a meta-analysis. Using variable selection, five SNPs at the locus for ABO and two for VWF were found to have independent associations with vWF levels. After adjustment for age and gender, the selected ABO SNPs explained 15% and the VWF SNPs an additional 2% of the variance in vWF levels. Individuals at opposite tails of the additive seven SNP allele score exhibited substantial differences in vWF levels. These data demonstrate that multiple common alleles with small effects make, in combination, important contributions to individual differences in vWF levels.
Annals of Human Genetics 07/2011; 75(4):456-67. · 2.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using genome-wide association, we identify common variants at 2p12-p13, 6q26, 17q23 and 19q13 associated with serum creatinine, a marker of kidney function (P = 10(-10) to 10(-15)). Of these, rs10206899 (near NAT8, 2p12-p13) and rs4805834 (near SLC7A9, 19q13) were also associated with chronic kidney disease (P = 5.0 x 10(-5) and P = 3.6 x 10(-4), respectively). Our findings provide insight into metabolic, solute and drug-transport pathways underlying susceptibility to chronic kidney disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of genes in normal birth-weight variation is poorly understood, and it has been suggested that the genetic component of fetal growth is small. Type 2 diabetes genes may influence birth weight through maternal genotype, by increasing maternal glycemia in pregnancy, or through fetal genotype, by altering fetal insulin secretion. We aimed to assess the role of the recently described type 2 diabetes gene TCF7L2 in birth weight. We genotyped the polymorphism rs7903146 in 15,709 individuals whose birth weight was available from six studies and in 8,344 mothers from three studies. Each fetal copy of the predisposing allele was associated with an 18-g (95% confidence interval [CI] 7-29 g) increase in birth weight (P=.001) and each maternal copy with a 30-g (95% CI 15-45 g) increase in offspring birth weight (P=2.8x10-5). Stratification by fetal genotype suggested that the association was driven by maternal genotype (31-g [95% CI 9-48 g] increase per allele; corrected P=.003). Analysis of diabetes-related traits in 10,314 nondiabetic individuals suggested the most likely mechanism is that the risk allele reduces maternal insulin secretion (disposition index reduced by ~0.15 standard deviation; P=1x10-4), which results in increased maternal glycemia in pregnancy and hence increased offspring birth weight. We combined information with the other common variant known to alter fetal growth, the -30G-->A polymorphism of glucokinase (rs1799884). The 4% of offspring born to mothers carrying three or four risk alleles were 119 g (95% CI 62-172 g) heavier than were the 32% born to mothers with none (for overall trend, P=2x10-7), comparable to the impact of maternal smoking during pregnancy. In conclusion, we have identified the first type 2 diabetes-susceptibility allele to be reproducibly associated with birth weight. Common gene variants can substantially influence normal birth-weight variation.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 07/2007; 80(6):1150-61. · 11.20 Impact Factor