Publications by authors named "Johanna Jakobsdottir"

33 Publications

Illness severity and risk of mental morbidities among patients recovering from COVID-19: a cross-sectional study in the Icelandic population.

BMJ Open 2021 07 23;11(7):e049967. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Centre of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, School of Health Sciences, Reykjavik, Iceland

Objective: To test if patients recovering from COVID-19 are at increased risk of mental morbidities and to what extent such risk is exacerbated by illness severity.

Design: Population-based cross-sectional study.

Setting: Iceland.

Participants: A total of 22 861 individuals were recruited through invitations to existing nationwide cohorts and a social media campaign from 24 April to 22 July 2020, of which 373 were patients recovering from COVID-19.

Main Outcome Measures: Symptoms of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire), anxiety (General Anxiety Disorder Scale) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; modified Primary Care PTSD Screen for DSM-5) above screening thresholds. Adjusting for multiple covariates and comorbidities, multivariable Poisson regression was used to assess the association between COVID-19 severity and mental morbidities.

Results: Compared with individuals without a diagnosis of COVID-19, patients recovering from COVID-19 had increased risk of depression (22.1% vs 16.2%; adjusted relative risk (aRR) 1.48, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.82) and PTSD (19.5% vs 15.6%; aRR 1.38, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.75) but not anxiety (13.1% vs 11.3%; aRR 1.24, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.64). Elevated relative risks were limited to patients recovering from COVID-19 that were 40 years or older and were particularly high among individuals with university education. Among patients recovering from COVID-19, symptoms of depression were particularly common among those in the highest, compared with the lowest tertile of influenza-like symptom burden (47.1% vs 5.8%; aRR 6.42, 95% CI 2.77 to 14.87), among patients confined to bed for 7 days or longer compared with those never confined to bed (33.3% vs 10.9%; aRR 3.67, 95% CI 1.97 to 6.86) and among patients hospitalised for COVID-19 compared with those never admitted to hospital (48.1% vs 19.9%; aRR 2.72, 95% CI 1.67 to 4.44).

Conclusions: Severe disease course is associated with increased risk of depression and PTSD among patients recovering from COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049967DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8313306PMC
July 2021

Cesarean birth, obstetric emergencies, and adverse neonatal outcomes in Iceland during a period of increasing labor induction.

Birth 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Centre of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Background: The rate of labor induction has risen steeply throughout the world. This project aimed to estimate changes in the rates of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes in Iceland between 1997 and 2018, and to assess whether the changes can be explained by an increased rate of labor induction.

Methods: Singleton live births, occurring between 1997 and 2018, that did not start by prelabor cesarean, were identified from the Icelandic Medical Birth Register (n = 85 971). Rates of intrapartum cesarean birth (CB), obstetric emergencies, and neonatal outcomes were calculated, and adjusted risk ratios (aRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated with log-binomial regression (reference: 1997-2001). Adjustments were made for: (a) maternal characteristics, and (b) labor induction and gestational age.

Results: The rate of labor induction increased from 13.6% in the period 1997-2001 to 28.1% in the period 2014-2018. The rate of intrapartum CB decreased between the periods of 1997-2001 and 2014-2018 for both primiparous (aRR 0.76, 95% CI: 0.69 to 0.84) and multiparous women (aRR 0.55, 95% CI: 0.49 to 0.63). The rate of obstetric emergencies and adverse neonatal outcomes also decreased between these time periods. Adjusting for labor induction did not attenuate these associations.

Conclusions: The rates of adverse maternal outcomes and adverse neonatal outcomes decreased over the study period. However, there was no evidence that this decrease could be explained by the increased rate of labor induction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/birt.12564DOI Listing
June 2021

Genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies five novel loci for age-related hearing impairment.

Sci Rep 2019 10 23;9(1):15192. Epub 2019 Oct 23.

Department of Medicine, Surgery and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.

Previous research has shown that genes play a substantial role in determining a person's susceptibility to age-related hearing impairment. The existing studies on this subject have different results, which may be caused by difficulties in determining the phenotype or the limited number of participants involved. Here, we have gathered the largest sample to date (discovery n = 9,675; replication n = 10,963; validation n = 356,141), and examined phenotypes that represented low/mid and high frequency hearing loss on the pure tone audiogram. We identified 7 loci that were either replicated and/or validated, of which 5 loci are novel in hearing. Especially the ILDR1 gene is a high profile candidate, as it contains our top SNP, is a known hearing loss gene, has been linked to age-related hearing impairment before, and in addition is preferentially expressed within hair cells of the inner ear. By verifying all previously published SNPs, we can present a paper that combines all new and existing findings to date, giving a complete overview of the genetic architecture of age-related hearing impairment. This is of importance as age-related hearing impairment is highly prevalent in our ageing society and represents a large socio-economic burden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51630-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6811684PMC
October 2019

Target genes, variants, tissues and transcriptional pathways influencing human serum urate levels.

Nat Genet 2019 10 2;51(10):1459-1474. Epub 2019 Oct 2.

Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Elevated serum urate levels cause gout and correlate with cardiometabolic diseases via poorly understood mechanisms. We performed a trans-ancestry genome-wide association study of serum urate in 457,690 individuals, identifying 183 loci (147 previously unknown) that improve the prediction of gout in an independent cohort of 334,880 individuals. Serum urate showed significant genetic correlations with many cardiometabolic traits, with genetic causality analyses supporting a substantial role for pleiotropy. Enrichment analysis, fine-mapping of urate-associated loci and colocalization with gene expression in 47 tissues implicated the kidney and liver as the main target organs and prioritized potentially causal genes and variants, including the transcriptional master regulators in the liver and kidney, HNF1A and HNF4A. Experimental validation showed that HNF4A transactivated the promoter of ABCG2, encoding a major urate transporter, in kidney cells, and that HNF4A p.Thr139Ile is a functional variant. Transcriptional coregulation within and across organs may be a general mechanism underlying the observed pleiotropy between urate and cardiometabolic traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0504-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6858555PMC
October 2019

Genome-wide association meta-analyses and fine-mapping elucidate pathways influencing albuminuria.

Nat Commun 2019 09 11;10(1):4130. Epub 2019 Sep 11.

Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Increased levels of the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) are associated with higher risk of kidney disease progression and cardiovascular events, but underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we conduct trans-ethnic (n = 564,257) and European-ancestry specific meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies of UACR, including ancestry- and diabetes-specific analyses, and identify 68 UACR-associated loci. Genetic correlation analyses and risk score associations in an independent electronic medical records database (n = 192,868) reveal connections with proteinuria, hyperlipidemia, gout, and hypertension. Fine-mapping and trans-Omics analyses with gene expression in 47 tissues and plasma protein levels implicate genes potentially operating through differential expression in kidney (including TGFB1, MUC1, PRKCI, and OAF), and allow coupling of UACR associations to altered plasma OAF concentrations. Knockdown of OAF and PRKCI orthologs in Drosophila nephrocytes reduces albumin endocytosis. Silencing fly PRKCI further impairs slit diaphragm formation. These results generate a priority list of genes and pathways for translational research to reduce albuminuria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11576-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6739370PMC
September 2019

The impact of APOE genotype on survival: Results of 38,537 participants from six population-based cohorts (E2-CHARGE).

PLoS One 2019 29;14(7):e0219668. Epub 2019 Jul 29.

Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Background: Apolipoprotein E is a glycoprotein best known as a mediator and regulator of lipid transport and uptake. The APOE-ε4 allele has long been associated with increased risks of Alzheimer's disease and mortality, but the effect of the less prevalent APOE-ε2 allele on diseases in the elderly and survival remains elusive.

Methods: We aggregated data of 38,537 individuals of European ancestry (mean age 65.5 years; 55.6% women) from six population-based cohort studies (Rotterdam Study, AGES-Reykjavik Study, Cardiovascular Health Study, Health-ABC Study, and the family-based Framingham Heart Study and Long Life Family Study) to determine the association of APOE, and in particular APOE-ε2, with survival in the population.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 11.7 years, 17,021 individuals died. Compared with homozygous APOE-ε3 carriers, APOE-ε2 carriers were at lower risk of death (hazard ratio,95% confidence interval: 0.94,0.90-0.99; P = 1.1*10-2), whereas APOE-ε4 carriers were at increased risk of death (HR 1.17,1.12-1.21; P = 2.8*10-16). APOE was associated with mortality risk in a dose-dependent manner, with risk estimates lowest for homozygous APOE-ε2 (HR 0.89,0.74-1.08), and highest for homozygous APOE-ε4 (HR 1.52,1.37-1.70). After censoring for dementia, effect estimates remained similar for APOE-ε2 (HR 0.95,0.90-1.01), but attenuated for APOE-ε4 (HR 1.07,1.01-1.12). Results were broadly similar across cohorts, and did not differ by age or sex. APOE genotype was associated with baseline lipid fractions (e.g. mean difference(95%CI) in LDL(mg/dL) for ε2 versus ε33: -17.1(-18.1-16.0), and ε4 versus ε33: +5.7(4.8;6.5)), but the association between APOE and mortality was unaltered after adjustment for baseline LDL or cardiovascular disease. Given the European ancestry of the study population, results may not apply to other ethnicities.

Conclusion: Compared with APOE-ε3, APOE-ε2 is associated with prolonged survival, whereas mortality risk is increased for APOE-ε4 carriers. Further collaborative efforts are needed to unravel the role of APOE and in particular APOE-ε2 in health and disease.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0219668PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6663005PMC
February 2020

A catalog of genetic loci associated with kidney function from analyses of a million individuals.

Nat Genet 2019 06 31;51(6):957-972. Epub 2019 May 31.

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease-Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Clincial Sciences in Malmö, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is responsible for a public health burden with multi-systemic complications. Through trans-ancestry meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and independent replication (n = 1,046,070), we identified 264 associated loci (166 new). Of these, 147 were likely to be relevant for kidney function on the basis of associations with the alternative kidney function marker blood urea nitrogen (n = 416,178). Pathway and enrichment analyses, including mouse models with renal phenotypes, support the kidney as the main target organ. A genetic risk score for lower eGFR was associated with clinically diagnosed CKD in 452,264 independent individuals. Colocalization analyses of associations with eGFR among 783,978 European-ancestry individuals and gene expression across 46 human tissues, including tubulo-interstitial and glomerular kidney compartments, identified 17 genes differentially expressed in kidney. Fine-mapping highlighted missense driver variants in 11 genes and kidney-specific regulatory variants. These results provide a comprehensive priority list of molecular targets for translational research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0407-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6698888PMC
June 2019

Genetic meta-analysis of diagnosed Alzheimer's disease identifies new risk loci and implicates Aβ, tau, immunity and lipid processing.

Nat Genet 2019 03 28;51(3):414-430. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Research Center and Memory Clinic of Fundació ACE, Institut Català de Neurociències Aplicades-Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.

Risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), the most prevalent dementia, is partially driven by genetics. To identify LOAD risk loci, we performed a large genome-wide association meta-analysis of clinically diagnosed LOAD (94,437 individuals). We confirm 20 previous LOAD risk loci and identify five new genome-wide loci (IQCK, ACE, ADAM10, ADAMTS1, and WWOX), two of which (ADAM10, ACE) were identified in a recent genome-wide association (GWAS)-by-familial-proxy of Alzheimer's or dementia. Fine-mapping of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region confirms the neurological and immune-mediated disease haplotype HLA-DR15 as a risk factor for LOAD. Pathway analysis implicates immunity, lipid metabolism, tau binding proteins, and amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism, showing that genetic variants affecting APP and Aβ processing are associated not only with early-onset autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease but also with LOAD. Analyses of risk genes and pathways show enrichment for rare variants (P = 1.32 × 10), indicating that additional rare variants remain to be identified. We also identify important genetic correlations between LOAD and traits such as family history of dementia and education.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0358-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463297PMC
March 2019

Co-regulatory networks of human serum proteins link genetics to disease.

Science 2018 08 2;361(6404):769-773. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Icelandic Heart Association, Holtasmari 1, IS-201 Kopavogur, Iceland.

Proteins circulating in the blood are critical for age-related disease processes; however, the serum proteome has remained largely unexplored. To this end, 4137 proteins covering most predicted extracellular proteins were measured in the serum of 5457 Icelanders over 65 years of age. Pairwise correlation between proteins as they varied across individuals revealed 27 different network modules of serum proteins, many of which were associated with cardiovascular and metabolic disease states, as well as overall survival. The protein modules were controlled by cis- and trans-acting genetic variants, which in many cases were also associated with complex disease. This revealed co-regulated groups of circulating proteins that incorporated regulatory control between tissues and demonstrated close relationships to past, current, and future disease states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaq1327DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6190714PMC
August 2018

Exome-wide association study of plasma lipids in >300,000 individuals.

Nat Genet 2017 Dec 30;49(12):1758-1766. Epub 2017 Oct 30.

Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

We screened variants on an exome-focused genotyping array in >300,000 participants (replication in >280,000 participants) and identified 444 independent variants in 250 loci significantly associated with total cholesterol (TC), high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and/or triglycerides (TG). At two loci (JAK2 and A1CF), experimental analysis in mice showed lipid changes consistent with the human data. We also found that: (i) beta-thalassemia trait carriers displayed lower TC and were protected from coronary artery disease (CAD); (ii) excluding the CETP locus, there was not a predictable relationship between plasma HDL-C and risk for age-related macular degeneration; (iii) only some mechanisms of lowering LDL-C appeared to increase risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D); and (iv) TG-lowering alleles involved in hepatic production of TG-rich lipoproteins (TM6SF2 and PNPLA3) tracked with higher liver fat, higher risk for T2D, and lower risk for CAD, whereas TG-lowering alleles involved in peripheral lipolysis (LPL and ANGPTL4) had no effect on liver fat but decreased risks for both T2D and CAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3977DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5709146PMC
December 2017

Rare coding variants in PLCG2, ABI3, and TREM2 implicate microglial-mediated innate immunity in Alzheimer's disease.

Nat Genet 2017 09 17;49(9):1373-1384. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

We identified rare coding variants associated with Alzheimer's disease in a three-stage case-control study of 85,133 subjects. In stage 1, we genotyped 34,174 samples using a whole-exome microarray. In stage 2, we tested associated variants (P < 1 × 10) in 35,962 independent samples using de novo genotyping and imputed genotypes. In stage 3, we used an additional 14,997 samples to test the most significant stage 2 associations (P < 5 × 10) using imputed genotypes. We observed three new genome-wide significant nonsynonymous variants associated with Alzheimer's disease: a protective variant in PLCG2 (rs72824905: p.Pro522Arg, P = 5.38 × 10, odds ratio (OR) = 0.68, minor allele frequency (MAF) = 0.0059, MAF = 0.0093), a risk variant in ABI3 (rs616338: p.Ser209Phe, P = 4.56 × 10, OR = 1.43, MAF = 0.011, MAF = 0.008), and a new genome-wide significant variant in TREM2 (rs143332484: p.Arg62His, P = 1.55 × 10, OR = 1.67, MAF = 0.0143, MAF = 0.0089), a known susceptibility gene for Alzheimer's disease. These protein-altering changes are in genes highly expressed in microglia and highlight an immune-related protein-protein interaction network enriched for previously identified risk genes in Alzheimer's disease. These genetic findings provide additional evidence that the microglia-mediated innate immune response contributes directly to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5669039PMC
September 2017

Rare Functional Variant in TM2D3 is Associated with Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease.

PLoS Genet 2016 Oct 20;12(10):e1006327. Epub 2016 Oct 20.

Generation Scotland, Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

We performed an exome-wide association analysis in 1393 late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) cases and 8141 controls from the CHARGE consortium. We found that a rare variant (P155L) in TM2D3 was enriched in Icelanders (~0.5% versus <0.05% in other European populations). In 433 LOAD cases and 3903 controls from the Icelandic AGES sub-study, P155L was associated with increased risk and earlier onset of LOAD [odds ratio (95% CI) = 7.5 (3.5-15.9), p = 6.6x10-9]. Mutation in the Drosophila TM2D3 homolog, almondex, causes a phenotype similar to loss of Notch/Presenilin signaling. Human TM2D3 is capable of rescuing these phenotypes, but this activity is abolished by P155L, establishing it as a functionally damaging allele. Our results establish a rare TM2D3 variant in association with LOAD susceptibility, and together with prior work suggests possible links to the β-amyloid cascade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1006327DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5072721PMC
October 2016

Meta-analysis identifies common and rare variants influencing blood pressure and overlapping with metabolic trait loci.

Nat Genet 2016 10 12;48(10):1162-70. Epub 2016 Sep 12.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Meta-analyses of association results for blood pressure using exome-centric single-variant and gene-based tests identified 31 new loci in a discovery stage among 146,562 individuals, with follow-up and meta-analysis in 180,726 additional individuals (total n = 327,288). These blood pressure-associated loci are enriched for known variants for cardiometabolic traits. Associations were also observed for the aggregation of rare and low-frequency missense variants in three genes, NPR1, DBH, and PTPMT1. In addition, blood pressure associations at 39 previously reported loci were confirmed. The identified variants implicate biological pathways related to cardiometabolic traits, vascular function, and development. Several new variants are inferred to have roles in transcription or as hubs in protein-protein interaction networks. Genetic risk scores constructed from the identified variants were strongly associated with coronary disease and myocardial infarction. This large collection of blood pressure-associated loci suggests new therapeutic strategies for hypertension, emphasizing a link with cardiometabolic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3660DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5320952PMC
October 2016

Novel Genetic Variants Associated With Increased Vertebral Volumetric BMD, Reduced Vertebral Fracture Risk, and Increased Expression of SLC1A3 and EPHB2.

J Bone Miner Res 2016 12 6;31(12):2085-2097. Epub 2016 Sep 6.

Center for Diabetes Research, Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have revealed numerous loci for areal bone mineral density (aBMD). We completed the first GWAS meta-analysis (n = 15,275) of lumbar spine volumetric BMD (vBMD) measured by quantitative computed tomography (QCT), allowing for examination of the trabecular bone compartment. SNPs that were significantly associated with vBMD were also examined in two GWAS meta-analyses to determine associations with morphometric vertebral fracture (n = 21,701) and clinical vertebral fracture (n = 5893). Expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analyses of iliac crest biopsies were performed in 84 postmenopausal women, and murine osteoblast expression of genes implicated by eQTL or by proximity to vBMD-associated SNPs was examined. We identified significant vBMD associations with five loci, including: 1p36.12, containing WNT4 and ZBTB40; 8q24, containing TNFRSF11B; and 13q14, containing AKAP11 and TNFSF11. Two loci (5p13 and 1p36.12) also contained associations with radiographic and clinical vertebral fracture, respectively. In 5p13, rs2468531 (minor allele frequency [MAF] = 3%) was associated with higher vBMD (β = 0.22, p = 1.9 × 10 ) and decreased risk of radiographic vertebral fracture (odds ratio [OR] = 0.75; false discovery rate [FDR] p = 0.01). In 1p36.12, rs12742784 (MAF = 21%) was associated with higher vBMD (β = 0.09, p = 1.2 × 10 ) and decreased risk of clinical vertebral fracture (OR = 0.82; FDR p = 7.4 × 10 ). Both SNPs are noncoding and were associated with increased mRNA expression levels in human bone biopsies: rs2468531 with SLC1A3 (β = 0.28, FDR p = 0.01, involved in glutamate signaling and osteogenic response to mechanical loading) and rs12742784 with EPHB2 (β = 0.12, FDR p = 1.7 × 10 , functions in bone-related ephrin signaling). Both genes are expressed in murine osteoblasts. This is the first study to link SLC1A3 and EPHB2 to clinically relevant vertebral osteoporosis phenotypes. These results may help elucidate vertebral bone biology and novel approaches to reducing vertebral fracture incidence. © 2016 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.2913DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5477772PMC
December 2016

Evaluation of a Genetic Risk Score to Improve Risk Prediction for Alzheimer's Disease.

J Alzheimers Dis 2016 06;53(3):921-32

Lille University, Inserm, Lille University Hospital, Institut Pasteur de Lille, U1167 - RID-AGE - Risk factors and molecular determinants of aging-related diseases; Labex Distalz, Lille, France.

Effective prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD) requires the development of risk prediction tools permitting preclinical intervention. We constructed a genetic risk score (GRS) comprising common genetic variants associated with AD, evaluated its association with incident AD and assessed its capacity to improve risk prediction over traditional models based on age, sex, education, and APOEɛ4. In eight prospective cohorts included in the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP), we derived weighted sum of risk alleles from the 19 top SNPs reported by the IGAP GWAS in participants aged 65 and older without prevalent dementia. Hazard ratios (HR) of incident AD were estimated in Cox models. Improvement in risk prediction was measured by the difference in C-index (Δ-C), the integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) and continuous net reclassification improvement (NRI>0). Overall, 19,687 participants at risk were included, of whom 2,782 developed AD. The GRS was associated with a 17% increase in AD risk (pooled HR = 1.17; 95% CI =   [1.13-1.21] per standard deviation increase in GRS; p-value =  2.86×10-16). This association was stronger among persons with at least one APOEɛ4 allele (HRGRS = 1.24; 95% CI =   [1.15-1.34]) than in others (HRGRS = 1.13; 95% CI =   [1.08-1.18]; pinteraction = 3.45×10-2). Risk prediction after seven years of follow-up showed a small improvement when adding the GRS to age, sex, APOEɛ4, and education (Δ-Cindex =  0.0043 [0.0019-0.0067]). Similar patterns were observed for IDI and NRI>0. In conclusion, a risk score incorporating common genetic variation outside the APOEɛ4 locus improved AD risk prediction and may facilitate risk stratification for prevention trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-150749DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5036102PMC
June 2016

G-STRATEGY: Optimal Selection of Individuals for Sequencing in Genetic Association Studies.

Genet Epidemiol 2016 09 3;40(6):446-60. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

Department of Statistics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

In a large-scale genetic association study, the number of phenotyped individuals available for sequencing may, in some cases, be greater than the study's sequencing budget will allow. In that case, it can be important to prioritize individuals for sequencing in a way that optimizes power for association with the trait. Suppose a cohort of phenotyped individuals is available, with some subset of them possibly already sequenced, and one wants to choose an additional fixed-size subset of individuals to sequence in such a way that the power to detect association is maximized. When the phenotyped sample includes related individuals, power for association can be gained by including partial information, such as phenotype data of ungenotyped relatives, in the analysis, and this should be taken into account when assessing whom to sequence. We propose G-STRATEGY, which uses simulated annealing to choose a subset of individuals for sequencing that maximizes the expected power for association. In simulations, G-STRATEGY performs extremely well for a range of complex disease models and outperforms other strategies with, in many cases, relative power increases of 20-40% over the next best strategy, while maintaining correct type 1 error. G-STRATEGY is computationally feasible even for large datasets and complex pedigrees. We apply G-STRATEGY to data on high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein from the AGES-Reykjavik and REFINE-Reykjavik studies, in which G-STRATEGY is able to closely approximate the power of sequencing the full sample by selecting for sequencing a only small subset of the individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.21982DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473612PMC
September 2016

Novel Genetic Loci Associated With Retinal Microvascular Diameter.

Circ Cardiovasc Genet 2016 Feb 13;9(1):45-54. Epub 2015 Nov 13.

Background: There is increasing evidence that retinal microvascular diameters are associated with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular conditions. The shared genetic effects of these associations are currently unknown. The aim of this study was to increase our understanding of the genetic factors that mediate retinal vessel size.

Methods And Results: This study extends previous genome-wide association study results using 24 000+ multiethnic participants from 7 discovery cohorts and 5000+ subjects of European ancestry from 2 replication cohorts. Using the Illumina HumanExome BeadChip, we investigate the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms and variants collectively across genes with summary measures of retinal vessel diameters, referred to as the central retinal venule equivalent and the central retinal arteriole equivalent. We report 4 new loci associated with central retinal venule equivalent, one of which is also associated with central retinal arteriole equivalent. The 4 single-nucleotide polymorphisms are rs7926971 in TEAD1 (P=3.1×10(-) (11); minor allele frequency=0.43), rs201259422 in TSPAN10 (P=4.4×10(-9); minor allele frequency=0.27), rs5442 in GNB3 (P=7.0×10(-10); minor allele frequency=0.05), and rs1800407 in OCA2 (P=3.4×10(-8); minor allele frequency=0.05). The latter single-nucleotide polymorphism, rs1800407, was also associated with central retinal arteriole equivalent (P=6.5×10(-12)). Results from the gene-based burden tests were null. In phenotype look-ups, single-nucleotide polymorphism rs201255422 was associated with both systolic (P=0.001) and diastolic blood pressures (P=8.3×10(-04)).

Conclusions: Our study expands the understanding of genetic factors influencing the size of the retinal microvasculature. These findings may also provide insight into the relationship between retinal and systemic microvascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.115.001142DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4758888PMC
February 2016

Low-frequency and rare exome chip variants associate with fasting glucose and type 2 diabetes susceptibility.

Nat Commun 2015 Jan 29;6:5897. Epub 2015 Jan 29.

1] The Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York 10029, USA [2] The Genetics of Obesity and Related Metabolic Traits Program, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York 10029, USA.

Fasting glucose and insulin are intermediate traits for type 2 diabetes. Here we explore the role of coding variation on these traits by analysis of variants on the HumanExome BeadChip in 60,564 non-diabetic individuals and in 16,491 T2D cases and 81,877 controls. We identify a novel association of a low-frequency nonsynonymous SNV in GLP1R (A316T; rs10305492; MAF=1.4%) with lower FG (β=-0.09±0.01 mmol l(-1), P=3.4 × 10(-12)), T2D risk (OR[95%CI]=0.86[0.76-0.96], P=0.010), early insulin secretion (β=-0.07±0.035 pmolinsulin mmolglucose(-1), P=0.048), but higher 2-h glucose (β=0.16±0.05 mmol l(-1), P=4.3 × 10(-4)). We identify a gene-based association with FG at G6PC2 (pSKAT=6.8 × 10(-6)) driven by four rare protein-coding SNVs (H177Y, Y207S, R283X and S324P). We identify rs651007 (MAF=20%) in the first intron of ABO at the putative promoter of an antisense lncRNA, associating with higher FG (β=0.02±0.004 mmol l(-1), P=1.3 × 10(-8)). Our approach identifies novel coding variant associations and extends the allelic spectrum of variation underlying diabetes-related quantitative traits and T2D susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6897DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311266PMC
January 2015

Whole-exome sequencing identifies rare and low-frequency coding variants associated with LDL cholesterol.

Am J Hum Genet 2014 Feb;94(2):233-45

Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

Elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a treatable, heritable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified 157 variants associated with lipid levels but are not well suited to assess the impact of rare and low-frequency variants. To determine whether rare or low-frequency coding variants are associated with LDL-C, we exome sequenced 2,005 individuals, including 554 individuals selected for extreme LDL-C (>98(th) or <2(nd) percentile). Follow-up analyses included sequencing of 1,302 additional individuals and genotype-based analysis of 52,221 individuals. We observed significant evidence of association between LDL-C and the burden of rare or low-frequency variants in PNPLA5, encoding a phospholipase-domain-containing protein, and both known and previously unidentified variants in PCSK9, LDLR and APOB, three known lipid-related genes. The effect sizes for the burden of rare variants for each associated gene were substantially higher than those observed for individual SNPs identified from GWASs. We replicated the PNPLA5 signal in an independent large-scale sequencing study of 2,084 individuals. In conclusion, this large whole-exome-sequencing study for LDL-C identified a gene not known to be implicated in LDL-C and provides unique insight into the design and analysis of similar experiments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.01.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3928660PMC
February 2014

Association of low-frequency and rare coding-sequence variants with blood lipids and coronary heart disease in 56,000 whites and blacks.

Am J Hum Genet 2014 Feb;94(2):223-32

Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.

Low-frequency coding DNA sequence variants in the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 gene (PCSK9) lower plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), protect against risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), and have prompted the development of a new class of therapeutics. It is uncertain whether the PCSK9 example represents a paradigm or an isolated exception. We used the "Exome Array" to genotype >200,000 low-frequency and rare coding sequence variants across the genome in 56,538 individuals (42,208 European ancestry [EA] and 14,330 African ancestry [AA]) and tested these variants for association with LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides. Although we did not identify new genes associated with LDL-C, we did identify four low-frequency (frequencies between 0.1% and 2%) variants (ANGPTL8 rs145464906 [c.361C>T; p.Gln121*], PAFAH1B2 rs186808413 [c.482C>T; p.Ser161Leu], COL18A1 rs114139997 [c.331G>A; p.Gly111Arg], and PCSK7 rs142953140 [c.1511G>A; p.Arg504His]) with large effects on HDL-C and/or triglycerides. None of these four variants was associated with risk for CHD, suggesting that examples of low-frequency coding variants with robust effects on both lipids and CHD will be limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.01.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3928662PMC
February 2014

Genetic determinants of heel bone properties: genome-wide association meta-analysis and replication in the GEFOS/GENOMOS consortium.

Hum Mol Genet 2014 Jun 14;23(11):3054-68. Epub 2014 Jan 14.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Quantitative ultrasound of the heel captures heel bone properties that independently predict fracture risk and, with bone mineral density (BMD) assessed by X-ray (DXA), may be convenient alternatives for evaluating osteoporosis and fracture risk. We performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association (GWA) studies to assess the genetic determinants of heel broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA; n = 14 260), velocity of sound (VOS; n = 15 514) and BMD (n = 4566) in 13 discovery cohorts. Independent replication involved seven cohorts with GWA data (in silico n = 11 452) and new genotyping in 15 cohorts (de novo n = 24 902). In combined random effects, meta-analysis of the discovery and replication cohorts, nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) had genome-wide significant (P < 5 × 10(-8)) associations with heel bone properties. Alongside SNPs within or near previously identified osteoporosis susceptibility genes including ESR1 (6q25.1: rs4869739, rs3020331, rs2982552), SPTBN1 (2p16.2: rs11898505), RSPO3 (6q22.33: rs7741021), WNT16 (7q31.31: rs2908007), DKK1 (10q21.1: rs7902708) and GPATCH1 (19q13.11: rs10416265), we identified a new locus on chromosome 11q14.2 (rs597319 close to TMEM135, a gene recently linked to osteoblastogenesis and longevity) significantly associated with both BUA and VOS (P < 8.23 × 10(-14)). In meta-analyses involving 25 cohorts with up to 14 985 fracture cases, six of 10 SNPs associated with heel bone properties at P < 5 × 10(-6) also had the expected direction of association with any fracture (P < 0.05), including three SNPs with P < 0.005: 6q22.33 (rs7741021), 7q31.31 (rs2908007) and 10q21.1 (rs7902708). In conclusion, this GWA study reveals the effect of several genes common to central DXA-derived BMD and heel ultrasound/DXA measures and points to a new genetic locus with potential implications for better understanding of osteoporosis pathophysiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddt675DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4038791PMC
June 2014

MASTOR: mixed-model association mapping of quantitative traits in samples with related individuals.

Am J Hum Genet 2013 May;92(5):652-66

Department of Statistics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Genetic association studies often sample individuals with known familial relationships in addition to unrelated individuals, and it is common for some individuals to have missing data (phenotypes, genotypes, or covariates). When some individuals in a sample are related, power can be gained by incorporating all individuals in the analysis, including individuals with partially missing data, while properly accounting for the dependence among them. We propose MASTOR, a mixed-model, retrospective score test for genetic association with a quantitative trait. MASTOR achieves high power in samples that contain related individuals by making full use of the relationship information to incorporate partially missing data in the analysis while correcting for dependence. Individuals with available phenotype and covariate information who are not genotyped but have genotyped relatives in the sample can still contribute to the association analysis because of the dependence among genotypes. Similarly, individuals who are genotyped but are missing covariate or phenotype information can contribute to the analysis. MASTOR is valid even when the phenotype model is misspecified and with either random or phenotype-based ascertainment. In simulations, we demonstrate the correct type 1 error of MASTOR, the increase in power that comes from making full use of the relationship information, the robustness to misspecification of the phenotype model, and the improvement in power that comes from modeling the heritability. We show that MASTOR is computationally feasible and practical in genome-wide association studies. We apply MASTOR to data on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol from the Framingham Heart study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.03.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3644644PMC
May 2013

Complement factor H genetic variant and age-related macular degeneration: effect size, modifiers and relationship to disease subtype.

Int J Epidemiol 2012 Feb 13;41(1):250-62. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Centre for Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, University College London, London, UK.

Background: Variation in the complement factor H gene (CFH) is associated with risk of late age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Previous studies have been case-control studies in populations of European ancestry with little differentiation in AMD subtype, and insufficient power to confirm or refute effect modification by smoking.

Methods: To precisely quantify the association of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP rs1061170, 'Y402H') with risk of AMD among studies with differing study designs, participant ancestry and AMD grade and to investigate effect modification by smoking, we report two unpublished genetic association studies (n = 2759) combined with data from 24 published studies (26 studies, 26,494 individuals, including 14,174 cases of AMD) of European ancestry, 10 of which provided individual-level data used to test gene-smoking interaction; and 16 published studies from non-European ancestry.

Results: In individuals of European ancestry, there was a significant association between Y402H and late-AMD with a per-allele odds ratio (OR) of 2.27 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.10-2.45; P = 1.1 x 10(-161)]. There was no evidence of effect modification by smoking (P = 0.75). The frequency of Y402H varied by ancestral origin and the association with AMD in non-Europeans was less clear, limited by paucity of studies.

Conclusion: The Y402H variant confers a 2-fold higher risk of late-AMD per copy in individuals of European descent. This was stable to stratification by study design and AMD classification and not modified by smoking. The lack of association in non-Europeans requires further verification. These findings are of direct relevance for disease prediction. New research is needed to ascertain if differences in circulating levels, expression or activity of factor H protein explain the genetic association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyr204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3304526PMC
February 2012

Dissection of chromosome 16p12 linkage peak suggests a possible role for CACNG3 variants in age-related macular degeneration susceptibility.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2011 Mar 28;52(3):1748-54. Epub 2011 Mar 28.

Center for Human Genetics Research, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Purpose: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disorder of the retina, characterized by drusen, geographic atrophy, and choroidal neovascularization. Cigarette smoking and the genetic variants CFH Y402H, ARMS2 A69S, CFB R32Q, and C3 R102G have been strongly and consistently associated with AMD. Multiple linkage studies have found evidence suggestive of another AMD locus on chromosome 16p12 but the gene responsible has yet to be identified.

Methods: In the initial phase of the study, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across chromosome 16 were examined for linkage and/or association in 575 Caucasian individuals from 148 multiplex and 77 singleton families. Additional variants were tested in an independent dataset of unrelated cases and controls. According to these results, in combination with gene expression data and biological knowledge, five genes were selected for further study: CACNG3, HS3ST4, IL4R, Q7Z6F8, and ITGAM.

Results: After genotyping additional tagging SNPs across each gene, the strongest evidence for linkage and association was found within CACNG3 (rs757200 nonparametric LOD* = 3.3, APL (association in the presence of linkage) P = 0.06, and rs2238498 MQLS (modified quasi-likelihood score) P = 0.006 in the families; rs2283550 P = 1.3 × 10(-6), and rs4787924 P = 0.002 in the case-control dataset). After adjusting for known AMD risk factors, rs2283550 remained strongly associated (P = 2.4 × 10(-4)). Furthermore, the association signal at rs4787924 was replicated in an independent dataset (P = 0.035) and in a joint analysis of all the data (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: These results suggest that CACNG3 is the best candidate for an AMD risk gene within the 16p12 linkage peak. More studies are needed to confirm this association and clarify the role of the gene in AMD pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/iovs.09-5112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3101690PMC
March 2011

Genetic variants near TIMP3 and high-density lipoprotein-associated loci influence susceptibility to age-related macular degeneration.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010 Apr 12;107(16):7401-6. Epub 2010 Apr 12.

Center for Statistical Genetics, Biostatistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.

We executed a genome-wide association scan for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 2,157 cases and 1,150 controls. Our results validate AMD susceptibility loci near CFH (P < 10(-75)), ARMS2 (P < 10(-59)), C2/CFB (P < 10(-20)), C3 (P < 10(-9)), and CFI (P < 10(-6)). We compared our top findings with the Tufts/Massachusetts General Hospital genome-wide association study of advanced AMD (821 cases, 1,709 controls) and genotyped 30 promising markers in additional individuals (up to 7,749 cases and 4,625 controls). With these data, we identified a susceptibility locus near TIMP3 (overall P = 1.1 x 10(-11)), a metalloproteinase involved in degradation of the extracellular matrix and previously implicated in early-onset maculopathy. In addition, our data revealed strong association signals with alleles at two loci (LIPC, P = 1.3 x 10(-7); CETP, P = 7.4 x 10(-7)) that were previously associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) levels in blood. Consistent with the hypothesis that HDL metabolism is associated with AMD pathogenesis, we also observed association with AMD of HDL-c-associated alleles near LPL (P = 3.0 x 10(-3)) and ABCA1 (P = 5.6 x 10(-4)). Multilocus analysis including all susceptibility loci showed that 329 of 331 individuals (99%) with the highest-risk genotypes were cases, and 85% of these had advanced AMD. Our studies extend the catalog of AMD associated loci, help identify individuals at high risk of disease, and provide clues about underlying cellular pathways that should eventually lead to new therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0912702107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2867722PMC
April 2010

Interpretation of genetic association studies: markers with replicated highly significant odds ratios may be poor classifiers.

PLoS Genet 2009 Feb 6;5(2):e1000337. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Recent successful discoveries of potentially causal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for complex diseases hold great promise, and commercialization of genomics in personalized medicine has already begun. The hope is that genetic testing will benefit patients and their families, and encourage positive lifestyle changes and guide clinical decisions. However, for many complex diseases, it is arguable whether the era of genomics in personalized medicine is here yet. We focus on the clinical validity of genetic testing with an emphasis on two popular statistical methods for evaluating markers. The two methods, logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, are applied to our age-related macular degeneration dataset. By using an additive model of the CFH, LOC387715, and C2 variants, the odds ratios are 2.9, 3.4, and 0.4, with p-values of 10(-13), 10(-13), and 10(-3), respectively. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) is 0.79, but assuming prevalences of 15%, 5.5%, and 1.5% (which are realistic for age groups 80 y, 65 y, and 40 y and older, respectively), only 30%, 12%, and 3% of the group classified as high risk are cases. Additionally, we present examples for four other diseases for which strongly associated variants have been discovered. In type 2 diabetes, our classification model of 12 SNPs has an AUC of only 0.64, and two SNPs achieve an AUC of only 0.56 for prostate cancer. Nine SNPs were not sufficient to improve the discrimination power over that of nongenetic predictors for risk of cardiovascular events. Finally, in Crohn's disease, a model of five SNPs, one with a quite low odds ratio of 0.26, has an AUC of only 0.66. Our analyses and examples show that strong association, although very valuable for establishing etiological hypotheses, does not guarantee effective discrimination between cases and controls. The scientific community should be cautious to avoid overstating the value of association findings in terms of personalized medicine before their time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1000337DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629574PMC
February 2009

C2 and CFB genes in age-related maculopathy and joint action with CFH and LOC387715 genes.

PLoS One 2008 May 21;3(5):e2199. Epub 2008 May 21.

Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Background: Age-related maculopathy (ARM) is a common cause of visual impairment in the elderly populations of industrialized countries and significantly affects the quality of life of those suffering from the disease. Variants within two genes, the complement factor H (CFH) and the poorly characterized LOC387715 (ARMS2), are widely recognized as ARM risk factors. CFH is important in regulation of the alternative complement pathway suggesting this pathway is involved in ARM pathogenesis. Two other complement pathway genes, the closely linked complement component receptor (C2) and complement factor B (CFB), were recently shown to harbor variants associated with ARM.

Methods/principal Findings: We investigated two SNPs in C2 and two in CFB in independent case-control and family cohorts of white subjects and found rs547154, an intronic SNP in C2, to be significantly associated with ARM in both our case-control (P-value 0.00007) and family data (P-value 0.00001). Logistic regression analysis suggested that accounting for the effect at this locus significantly (P-value 0.002) improves the fit of a genetic risk model of CFH and LOC387715 effects only. Modeling with the generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction method showed that adding C2 to the two-factor model of CFH and LOC387715 increases the sensitivity (from 63% to 73%). However, the balanced accuracy increases only from 71% to 72%, and the specificity decreases from 80% to 72%.

Conclusions/significance: C2/CFB significantly influences AMD susceptibility and although accounting for effects at this locus does not dramatically increase the overall accuracy of the genetic risk model, the improvement over the CFH-LOC387715 model is statistically significant.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0002199PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2374901PMC
May 2008
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