PLoS Genet 2019 04 16;15(4):e1007739. Epub 2019 Apr 16.
Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, United States of America.
Sleep disordered breathing (SDB)-related overnight hypoxemia is associated with cardiometabolic disease and other comorbidities. Understanding the genetic bases for variations in nocturnal hypoxemia may help understand mechanisms influencing oxygenation and SDB-related mortality. We conducted genome-wide association tests across 10 cohorts and 4 populations to identify genetic variants associated with three correlated measures of overnight oxyhemoglobin saturation: average and minimum oxyhemoglobin saturation during sleep and the percent of sleep with oxyhemoglobin saturation under 90%. The discovery sample consisted of 8,326 individuals. Variants with p < 1 × 10(-6) were analyzed in a replication group of 14,410 individuals. We identified 3 significantly associated regions, including 2 regions in multi-ethnic analyses (2q12, 10q22). SNPs in the 2q12 region associated with minimum SpO2 (rs78136548 p = 2.70 × 10(-10)). SNPs at 10q22 were associated with all three traits including average SpO2 (rs72805692 p = 4.58 × 10(-8)). SNPs in both regions were associated in over 20,000 individuals and are supported by prior associations or functional evidence. Four additional significant regions were detected in secondary sex-stratified and combined discovery and replication analyses, including a region overlapping Reelin, a known marker of respiratory complex neurons.These are the first genome-wide significant findings reported for oxyhemoglobin saturation during sleep, a phenotype of high clinical interest. Our replicated associations with HK1 and IL18R1 suggest that variants in inflammatory pathways, such as the biologically-plausible NLRP3 inflammasome, may contribute to nocturnal hypoxemia.