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1.  Peak Weight and Height Velocity to Age 36 Months and Asthma Development: The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116362.
Background
The immediate postnatal period is the period of the fastest growth in the entire life span and a critical period for lung development. Therefore, it is interesting to examine the association between growth during this period and childhood respiratory disorders.
Methods
We examined the association of peak weight and height velocity to age 36 months with maternal report of current asthma at 36 months (n = 50,311), recurrent lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) by 36 months (n = 47,905) and current asthma at 7 years (n = 24,827) in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Peak weight and height velocity was calculated using the Reed1 model through multilevel mixed-effects linear regression. Multivariable log-binomial regression was used to calculate adjusted relative risks (adj.RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). We also conducted a sibling pair analysis using conditional logistic regression.
Results
Peak weight velocity was positively associated with current asthma at 36 months [adj.RR 1.22 (95%CI: 1.18, 1.26) per standard deviation (SD) increase], recurrent LRTIs by 36 months [adj.RR 1.14 (1.10, 1.19) per SD increase] and current asthma at 7 years [adj.RR 1.13 (95%CI: 1.07, 1.19) per SD increase]. Peak height velocity was not associated with any of the respiratory disorders. The positive association of peak weight velocity and asthma at 36 months remained in the sibling pair analysis.
Conclusions
Higher peak weight velocity, achieved during the immediate postnatal period, increased the risk of respiratory disorders. This might be explained by an influence on neonatal lung development, shared genetic/epigenetic mechanisms and/or environmental factors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116362
PMCID: PMC4312021  PMID: 25635872
2.  Ethnic-specific associations of rare and low-frequency DNA sequence variants with asthma 
Nature Communications  2015;6:5965.
Common variants at many loci have been robustly associated with asthma but explain little of the overall genetic risk. Here we investigate the role of rare (<1%) and low-frequency (1–5%) variants using the Illumina HumanExome BeadChip array in 4,794 asthma cases, 4,707 non-asthmatic controls and 590 case–parent trios representing European Americans, African Americans/African Caribbeans and Latinos. Our study reveals one low-frequency missense mutation in the GRASP gene that is associated with asthma in the Latino sample (P=4.31 × 10−6; OR=1.25; MAF=1.21%) and two genes harbouring functional variants that are associated with asthma in a gene-based analysis: GSDMB at the 17q12–21 asthma locus in the Latino and combined samples (P=7.81 × 10−8 and 4.09 × 10−8, respectively) and MTHFR in the African ancestry sample (P=1.72 × 10−6). Our results suggest that associations with rare and low-frequency variants are ethnic specific and not likely to explain a significant proportion of the ‘missing heritability’ of asthma.
Common variants account for only a small amount of the heritable risk for developing asthma. Using a meta-analysis approach, Igartua et al. identify one low-frequency missense mutation and two genes with functional variants that are associated with asthma, but only in specific ethnic groups.
doi:10.1038/ncomms6965
PMCID: PMC4309441  PMID: 25591454
3.  Genome-wide association analysis identifies six new loci associated with forced vital capacity 
Loth, Daan W. | Artigas, María Soler | Gharib, Sina A. | Wain, Louise V. | Franceschini, Nora | Koch, Beate | Pottinger, Tess | Smith, Albert Vernon | Duan, Qing | Oldmeadow, Chris | Lee, Mi Kyeong | Strachan, David P. | James, Alan L. | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Vitart, Veronique | Ramasamy, Adaikalavan | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Kaprio, Jaakko | Wang, Xin-Qun | Trochet, Holly | Kähönen, Mika | Flexeder, Claudia | Albrecht, Eva | Lopez, Lorna M. | de Jong, Kim | Thyagarajan, Bharat | Alves, Alexessander Couto | Enroth, Stefan | Omenaas, Ernst | Joshi, Peter K. | Fall, Tove | Viňuela, Ana | Launer, Lenore J. | Loehr, Laura R. | Fornage, Myriam | Li, Guo | Wilk, Jemma B. | Tang, Wenbo | Manichaikul, Ani | Lahousse, Lies | Harris, Tamara B. | North, Kari E. | Rudnicka, Alicja R. | Hui, Jennie | Gu, Xiangjun | Lumley, Thomas | Wright, Alan F. | Hastie, Nicholas D. | Campbell, Susan | Kumar, Rajesh | Pin, Isabelle | Scott, Robert A. | Pietiläinen, Kirsi H. | Surakka, Ida | Liu, Yongmei | Holliday, Elizabeth G. | Schulz, Holger | Heinrich, Joachim | Davies, Gail | Vonk, Judith M. | Wojczynski, Mary | Pouta, Anneli | Johansson, Åsa | Wild, Sarah H. | Ingelsson, Erik | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Völzke, Henry | Hysi, Pirro G. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Morrison, Alanna C. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Gao, Wei | Postma, Dirkje S. | White, Wendy B. | Rich, Stephen S. | Hofman, Albert | Aspelund, Thor | Couper, David | Smith, Lewis J. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Lohman, Kurt | Burchard, Esteban G. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Garcia, Melissa | Joubert, Bonnie R. | McArdle, Wendy L. | Musk, A. Bill | Hansel, Nadia | Heckbert, Susan R. | Zgaga, Lina | van Meurs, Joyce B.J. | Navarro, Pau | Rudan, Igor | Oh, Yeon-Mok | Redline, Susan | Jarvis, Deborah | Zhao, Jing Hua | Rantanen, Taina | O’Connor, George T. | Ripatti, Samuli | Scott, Rodney J. | Karrasch, Stefan | Grallert, Harald | Gaddis, Nathan C. | Starr, John M. | Wijmenga, Cisca | Minster, Ryan L. | Lederer, David J. | Pekkanen, Juha | Gyllensten, Ulf | Campbell, Harry | Morris, Andrew P. | Gläser, Sven | Hammond, Christopher J. | Burkart, Kristin M. | Beilby, John | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Hancock, Dana B. | Williams, O. Dale | Polasek, Ozren | Zemunik, Tatijana | Kolcic, Ivana | Petrini, Marcy F. | Wjst, Matthias | Kim, Woo Jin | Porteous, David J. | Scotland, Generation | Smith, Blair H. | Viljanen, Anne | Heliövaara, Markku | Attia, John R. | Sayers, Ian | Hampel, Regina | Gieger, Christian | Deary, Ian J. | Boezen, H. Marike | Newman, Anne | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Wilson, James F. | Lind, Lars | Stricker, Bruno H. | Teumer, Alexander | Spector, Timothy D. | Melén, Erik | Peters, Marjolein J. | Lange, Leslie A. | Barr, R. Graham | Bracke, Ken R. | Verhamme, Fien M. | Sung, Joohon | Hiemstra, Pieter S. | Cassano, Patricia A. | Sood, Akshay | Hayward, Caroline | Dupuis, Josée | Hall, Ian P. | Brusselle, Guy G. | Tobin, Martin D. | London, Stephanie J.
Nature genetics  2014;46(7):669-677.
Forced vital capacity (FVC), a spirometric measure of pulmonary function, reflects lung volume and is used to diagnose and monitor lung diseases. We performed genome-wide association study meta-analysis of FVC in 52,253 individuals from 26 studies and followed up the top associations in 32,917 additional individuals of European ancestry. We found six new regions associated at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) with FVC in or near EFEMP1, BMP6, MIR-129-2/HSD17B12, PRDM11, WWOX, and KCNJ2. Two (GSTCD and PTCH1) loci previously associated with spirometric measures were related to FVC. Newly implicated regions were followed-up in samples of African American, Korean, Chinese, and Hispanic individuals. We detected transcripts for all six newly implicated genes in human lung tissue. The new loci may inform mechanisms involved in lung development and pathogenesis of restrictive lung disease.
doi:10.1038/ng.3011
PMCID: PMC4140093  PMID: 24929828
4.  Probiotic milk consumption in pregnancy and infancy and subsequent childhood allergic diseases 
Background
Whether probiotics, which can influence the microbiome, prevent infant eczema or allergic diseases remains an open question. Most studies have focused on high-risk infants.
Objectives
To assess whether consumption of probiotic milk products protects against atopic eczema, rhinoconjuctivitis, and asthma in early childhood in a large population-based pregnancy cohort (The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study).
Methods
We examined associations between consumption of probiotic milk products in pregnancy and infancy with questionnaire-reported atopic eczema, rhinoconjuctivitis, and asthma in 40,614 children. Relative risks (RR) were calculated using general linear models, adjusted for potential confounders.
Results
Consumption of probiotic milk in pregnancy was associated with a slightly reduced risk [(adjusted RR (aRR)] of atopic eczema at 6 months aRR=0.94 (95% CI: 0.89, 0.99) and of rhinoconjuctivitis between 18 and 36 months, aRR=0.87 (95% CI: 0.78, 0.98) compared with no consumption during pregnancy. Maternal history of allergic disease did not notably influence the associations. When both mother (during pregnancy) and infant (after 6 months of age) had consumed probiotic milk, the adjusted relative risk of rhinoconjunctivitis was aRR=0.80 (95% CI: 0.68, 0.93) relative to no consumption by either. Probiotic milk consumption was not associated with asthma at 36 months.
Conclusions
In this population-based cohort, consumption of probiotic milk products was related to a reduced incidence of atopic eczema and rhinoconjuctivitis, but no association was seen for incidence of asthma by 36 months of age.
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.07.032
PMCID: PMC3912862  PMID: 24034345
allergy; asthma; eczema; microbiome; MoBa; probiotics; rhinoconjunctivitis
5.  The Genetics of Mexico Recapitulates Native American Substructure and Affects Biomedical Traits 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2014;344(6189):1280-1285.
Mexico harbors great cultural and ethnic diversity, yet fine-scale patterns of human genome-wide variation from this region remain largely uncharacterized. We studied genomic variation within Mexico from over 1,000 individuals representing 20 indigenous and 11 mestizo populations. We found striking genetic stratification among indigenous populations within Mexico at varying degrees of geographic isolation. Some groups were as differentiated as Europeans are from East Asians. Pre-Columbian genetic substructure is recapitulated in the indigenous ancestry of admixed mestizo individuals across the country. Furthermore, two independently phenotyped cohorts of Mexicans and Mexican Americans showed a significant association between sub-continental ancestry and lung function. Thus, accounting for fine-scale ancestry patterns is critical for medical and population genetic studies within Mexico, in Mexican-descent populations, and likely in many other populations worldwide.
doi:10.1126/science.1251688
PMCID: PMC4156478  PMID: 24926019
6.  Global, regional, and national levels and causes of maternal mortality during 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 
Kassebaum, Nicholas J | Bertozzi-Villa, Amelia | Coggeshall, Megan S | Shackelford, Katya A | Steiner, Caitlyn | Heuton, Kyle R | Gonzalez-Medina, Diego | Barber, Ryan | Huynh, Chantal | Dicker, Daniel | Templin, Tara | Wolock, Timothy M | Ozgoren, Ayse Abbasoglu | Abd-Allah, Foad | Abera, Semaw Ferede | Abubakar, Ibrahim | Achoki, Tom | Adelekan, Ademola | Ademi, Zanfina | Adou, Arsène Kouablan | Adsuar, José C | Agardh, Emilie E | Akena, Dickens | Alasfoor, Deena | Alemu, Zewdie Aderaw | Alfonso-Cristancho, Rafael | Alhabib, Samia | Ali, Raghib | Al Kahbouri, Mazin J | Alla, François | Allen, Peter J | AlMazroa, Mohammad A | Alsharif, Ubai | Alvarez, Elena | Alvis-Guzmán, Nelson | Amankwaa, Adansi A | Amare, Azmeraw T | Amini, Hassan | Ammar, Walid | Antonio, Carl A T | Anwari, Palwasha | Ärnlöv, Johan | Arsenijevic, Valentina S Arsic | Artaman, Ali | Asad, Majed Masoud | Asghar, Rana J | Assadi, Reza | Atkins, Lydia S | Badawi, Alaa | Balakrishnan, Kalpana | Basu, Arindam | Basu, Sanjay | Beardsley, Justin | Bedi, Neeraj | Bekele, Tolesa | Bell, Michelle L | Bernabe, Eduardo | Beyene, Tariku J | Bhutta, Zulfiqar | Abdulhak, Aref Bin | Blore, Jed D | Basara, Berrak Bora | Bose, Dipan | Breitborde, Nicholas | Cárdenas, Rosario | Castañeda-Orjuela, Carlos A | Castro, Ruben Estanislao | Catalá-López, Ferrán | Cavlin, Alanur | Chang, Jung-Chen | Che, Xuan | Christophi, Costas A | Chugh, Sumeet S | Cirillo, Massimo | Colquhoun, Samantha M | Cooper, Leslie Trumbull | Cooper, Cyrus | da Costa Leite, Iuri | Dandona, Lalit | Dandona, Rakhi | Davis, Adrian | Dayama, Anand | Degenhardt, Louisa | De Leo, Diego | del Pozo-Cruz, Borja | Deribe, Kebede | Dessalegn, Muluken | deVeber, Gabrielle A | Dharmaratne, Samath D | Dilmen, Uğur | Ding, Eric L | Dorrington, Rob E | Driscoll, Tim R | Ermakov, Sergei Petrovich | Esteghamati, Alireza | Faraon, Emerito Jose A | Farzadfar, Farshad | Felicio, Manuela Mendonca | Fereshtehnejad, Seyed-Mohammad | de Lima, Graça Maria Ferreira | Forouzanfar, Mohammad H | França, Elisabeth B | Gaffikin, Lynne | Gambashidze, Ketevan | Gankpé, Fortuné Gbètoho | Garcia, Ana C | Geleijnse, Johanna M | Gibney, Katherine B | Giroud, Maurice | Glaser, Elizabeth L | Goginashvili, Ketevan | Gona, Philimon | González-Castell, Dinorah | Goto, Atsushi | Gouda, Hebe N | Gugnani, Harish Chander | Gupta, Rahul | Gupta, Rajeev | Hafezi-Nejad, Nima | Hamadeh, Randah Ribhi | Hammami, Mouhanad | Hankey, Graeme J | Harb, Hilda L | Havmoeller, Rasmus | Hay, Simon I | Heredia Pi, Ileana B | Hoek, Hans W | Hosgood, H Dean | Hoy, Damian G | Husseini, Abdullatif | Idrisov, Bulat T | Innos, Kaire | Inoue, Manami | Jacobsen, Kathryn H | Jahangir, Eiman | Jee, Sun Ha | Jensen, Paul N | Jha, Vivekanand | Jiang, Guohong | Jonas, Jost B | Juel, Knud | Kabagambe, Edmond Kato | Kan, Haidong | Karam, Nadim E | Karch, André | Karema, Corine Kakizi | Kaul, Anil | Kawakami, Norito | Kazanjan, Konstantin | Kazi, Dhruv S | Kemp, Andrew H | Kengne, Andre Pascal | Kereselidze, Maia | Khader, Yousef Saleh | Khalifa, Shams Eldin Ali Hassan | Khan, Ejaz Ahmed | Khang, Young-Ho | Knibbs, Luke | Kokubo, Yoshihiro | Kosen, Soewarta | Defo, Barthelemy Kuate | Kulkarni, Chanda | Kulkarni, Veena S | Kumar, G Anil | Kumar, Kaushalendra | Kumar, Ravi B | Kwan, Gene | Lai, Taavi | Lalloo, Ratilal | Lam, Hilton | Lansingh, Van C | Larsson, Anders | Lee, Jong-Tae | Leigh, James | Leinsalu, Mall | Leung, Ricky | Li, Xiaohong | Li, Yichong | Li, Yongmei | Liang, Juan | Liang, Xiaofeng | Lim, Stephen S | Lin, Hsien-Ho | Lipshultz, Steven E | Liu, Shiwei | Liu, Yang | Lloyd, Belinda K | London, Stephanie J | Lotufo, Paulo A | Ma, Jixiang | Ma, Stefan | Machado, Vasco Manuel Pedro | Mainoo, Nana Kwaku | Majdan, Marek | Mapoma, Christopher Chabila | Marcenes, Wagner | Marzan, Melvin Barrientos | Mason-Jones, Amanda J | Mehndiratta, Man Mohan | Mejia-Rodriguez, Fabiola | Memish, Ziad A | Mendoza, Walter | Miller, Ted R | Mills, Edward J | Mokdad, Ali H | Mola, Glen Liddell | Monasta, Lorenzo | de la Cruz Monis, Jonathan | Hernandez, Julio Cesar Montañez | Moore, Ami R | Moradi-Lakeh, Maziar | Mori, Rintaro | Mueller, Ulrich O | Mukaigawara, Mitsuru | Naheed, Aliya | Naidoo, Kovin S | Nand, Devina | Nangia, Vinay | Nash, Denis | Nejjari, Chakib | Nelson, Robert G | Neupane, Sudan Prasad | Newton, Charles R | Ng, Marie | Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark J | Nisar, Muhammad Imran | Nolte, Sandra | Norheim, Ole F | Nyakarahuka, Luke | Oh, In-Hwan | Ohkubo, Takayoshi | Olusanya, Bolajoko O | Omer, Saad B | Opio, John Nelson | Orisakwe, Orish Ebere | Pandian, Jeyaraj D | Papachristou, Christina | Park, Jae-Hyun | Caicedo, Angel J Paternina | Patten, Scott B | Paul, Vinod K | Pavlin, Boris Igor | Pearce, Neil | Pereira, David M | Pesudovs, Konrad | Petzold, Max | Poenaru, Dan | Polanczyk, Guilherme V | Polinder, Suzanne | Pope, Dan | Pourmalek, Farshad | Qato, Dima | Quistberg, D Alex | Rafay, Anwar | Rahimi, Kazem | Rahimi-Movaghar, Vafa | Rahman, Sajjad ur | Raju, Murugesan | Rana, Saleem M | Refaat, Amany | Ronfani, Luca | Roy, Nobhojit | Sánchez Pimienta, Tania Georgina | Sahraian, Mohammad Ali | Salomon, Joshua A | Sampson, Uchechukwu | Santos, Itamar S | Sawhney, Monika | Sayinzoga, Felix | Schneider, Ione J C | Schumacher, Austin | Schwebel, David C | Seedat, Soraya | Sepanlou, Sadaf G | Servan-Mori, Edson E | Shakh-Nazarova, Marina | Sheikhbahaei, Sara | Shibuya, Kenji | Shin, Hwashin Hyun | Shiue, Ivy | Sigfusdottir, Inga Dora | Silberberg, Donald H | Silva, Andrea P | Singh, Jasvinder A | Skirbekk, Vegard | Sliwa, Karen | Soshnikov, Sergey S | Sposato, Luciano A | Sreeramareddy, Chandrashekhar T | Stroumpoulis, Konstantinos | Sturua, Lela | Sykes, Bryan L | Tabb, Karen M | Talongwa, Roberto Tchio | Tan, Feng | Teixeira, Carolina Maria | Tenkorang, Eric Yeboah | Terkawi, Abdullah Sulieman | Thorne-Lyman, Andrew L | Tirschwell, David L | Towbin, Jeffrey A | Tran, Bach X | Tsilimbaris, Miltiadis | Uchendu, Uche S | Ukwaja, Kingsley N | Undurraga, Eduardo A | Uzun, Selen Begüm | Vallely, Andrew J | van Gool, Coen H | Vasankari, Tommi J | Vavilala, Monica S | Venketasubramanian, N | Villalpando, Salvador | Violante, Francesco S | Vlassov, Vasiliy Victorovich | Vos, Theo | Waller, Stephen | Wang, Haidong | Wang, Linhong | Wang, XiaoRong | Wang, Yanping | Weichenthal, Scott | Weiderpass, Elisabete | Weintraub, Robert G | Westerman, Ronny | Wilkinson, James D | Woldeyohannes, Solomon Meseret | Wong, John Q | Wordofa, Muluemebet Abera | Xu, Gelin | Yang, Yang C | Yano, Yuichiro | Yentur, Gokalp Kadri | Yip, Paul | Yonemoto, Naohiro | Yoon, Seok-Jun | Younis, Mustafa Z | Yu, Chuanhua | Jin, Kim Yun | El SayedZaki, Maysaa | Zhao, Yong | Zheng, Yingfeng | Zhou, Maigeng | Zhu, Jun | Zou, Xiao Nong | Lopez, Alan D | Naghavi, Mohsen | Murray, Christopher J L | Lozano, Rafael
Lancet  2014;384(9947):980-1004.
Summary
Background
The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) established the goal of a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR; number of maternal deaths per 100 000 livebirths) between 1990 and 2015. We aimed to measure levels and track trends in maternal mortality, the key causes contributing to maternal death, and timing of maternal death with respect to delivery.
Methods
We used robust statistical methods including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm) to analyse a database of data for 7065 site-years and estimate the number of maternal deaths from all causes in 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. We estimated the number of pregnancy-related deaths caused by HIV on the basis of a systematic review of the relative risk of dying during pregnancy for HIV-positive women compared with HIV-negative women. We also estimated the fraction of these deaths aggravated by pregnancy on the basis of a systematic review. To estimate the numbers of maternal deaths due to nine different causes, we identified 61 sources from a systematic review and 943 site-years of vital registration data. We also did a systematic review of reports about the timing of maternal death, identifying 142 sources to use in our analysis. We developed estimates for each country for 1990–2013 using Bayesian meta-regression. We estimated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for all values.
Findings
292 982 (95% UI 261 017–327 792) maternal deaths occurred in 2013, compared with 376 034 (343 483–407 574) in 1990. The global annual rate of change in the MMR was −0·3% (−1·1 to 0·6) from 1990 to 2003, and −2·7% (−3·9 to −1·5) from 2003 to 2013, with evidence of continued acceleration. MMRs reduced consistently in south, east, and southeast Asia between 1990 and 2013, but maternal deaths increased in much of sub-Saharan Africa during the 1990s. 2070 (1290–2866) maternal deaths were related to HIV in 2013, 0·4% (0·2–0·6) of the global total. MMR was highest in the oldest age groups in both 1990 and 2013. In 2013, most deaths occurred intrapartum or postpartum. Causes varied by region and between 1990 and 2013. We recorded substantial variation in the MMR by country in 2013, from 956·8 (685·1–1262·8) in South Sudan to 2·4 (1·6–3·6) in Iceland.
Interpretation
Global rates of change suggest that only 16 countries will achieve the MDG 5 target by 2015. Accelerated reductions since the Millennium Declaration in 2000 coincide with increased development assistance for maternal, newborn, and child health. Setting of targets and associated interventions for after 2015 will need careful consideration of regions that are making slow progress, such as west and central Africa.
Funding
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60696-6
PMCID: PMC4255481  PMID: 24797575
7.  A systematic assessment of normalization approaches for the Infinium 450K methylation platform 
Epigenetics  2013;9(2):318-329.
The Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip has emerged as one of the most popular platforms for genome wide profiling of DNA methylation. While the technology is wide-spread, systematic technical biases are believed to be present in the data. For example, this array incorporates two different chemical assays, i.e., Type I and Type II probes, which exhibit different technical characteristics and potentially complicate the computational and statistical analysis. Several normalization methods have been introduced recently to adjust for possible biases. However, there is considerable debate within the field on which normalization procedure should be used and indeed whether normalization is even necessary. Yet despite the importance of the question, there has been little comprehensive comparison of normalization methods. We sought to systematically compare several popular normalization approaches using the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) methylation data set and the technical replicates analyzed with it as a case study. We assessed both the reproducibility between technical replicates following normalization and the effect of normalization on association analysis. Results indicate that the raw data are already highly reproducible, some normalization approaches can slightly improve reproducibility, but other normalization approaches may introduce more variability into the data. Results also suggest that differences in association analysis after applying different normalizations are not large when the signal is strong, but when the signal is more modest, different normalizations can yield very different numbers of findings that meet a weaker statistical significance threshold. Overall, our work provides useful, objective assessment of the effectiveness of key normalization methods.
doi:10.4161/epi.27119
PMCID: PMC3962542  PMID: 24241353
association testing; cotinine exposure; genome wide methylation profiling; normalization; reproducibility
8.  Common genes underlying asthma and COPD? Genome-wide analysis on the Dutch hypothesis 
The European respiratory journal  2014;44(4):860-872.
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are thought to share a genetic background (“Dutch hypothesis”).
We investigated whether asthma and COPD have common underlying genetic factors, performing genome-wide association studies for both asthma and COPD and combining the results in meta-analyses.
Three loci showed potential involvement in both diseases: chr2p24.3, chr5q23.1 and chr13q14.2, containing DDX1, COMMD10 (both participating in the NFκβ pathway) and GNG5P5, respectively. SNP rs9534578 in GNG5P5 reached genome-wide significance after first stage replication (p=9.96·*10−9). The second stage replication in seven independent cohorts provided no significant replication. eQTL analysis in blood and lung on the top 20 associated SNPs identified two SNPs in COMMD10 influencing gene expression.
Inflammatory processes differ in asthma and COPD and are mediated by NFκβ, which could be driven by the same underlying genes, COMMD10 and DDX1. None of the SNPs reached genome-wide significance. Our eQTL studies support a functional role of two COMMD10 SNPs, since they influence gene expression in both blood cells and lung tissue. Our findings either suggest that there is no common genetic component in asthma and COPD or, alternatively, different environmental factors, like lifestyle and occupation in different countries and continents may have obscured the genetic common contribution.
doi:10.1183/09031936.00001914
PMCID: PMC4217133  PMID: 24993907
9.  Prospective Study of Maternal Mid-Pregnancy 25-hydroxyvitamin D Level and Early Childhood Respiratory Disorders 
Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology  2013;27(6):10.1111/ppe.12080.
Background
Studies suggest that prenatal vitamin D status may be inversely associated with lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) early in life. Studies of prenatal vitamin D status and development of asthma have inconsistent findings.
Methods
We examined associations of maternal mid-pregnancy 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) level with frequency of LRTIs by 36 months and with current asthma at 36 months using the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Maternal plasma 25(OH)D level was measured using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Respiratory disorders were evaluated by maternal report through questionnaires. LRTIs were analyzed in a random sample of 1,248 children. Asthma was analyzed using a case-control design, including 489 cases and 1,183 controls. Multivariable generalized linear models calculated adjusted measures of association.
Results
The median gestational week of sample collection was 18 weeks (range 9, 35). The mean 25(OH)D level was 73.7 nmol/L (standard deviation 23.7). Higher maternal mid-pregnancy 25(OH)D level was associated with reduced risk of 3 or more LRTIs by 36 months versus none, adjusted risk ratio (RR) 0.74 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.58, 0.93] per 20 nmol/L increase. Associations were similar when examining frequency of LRTIs by 18 months and frequency of LRTIs between 18 and 36 months. Maternal mid-pregnancy 25(OH)D level was not significantly associated with current asthma at 36 months, adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.91 [95% CI: 0.81, 1.02] per 20 nmol/L increase.
Conclusions
Higher maternal mid-pregnancy 25(OH)D level was associated with a modestly reduced risk of recurrent LRTIs by 36 months, but was not associated with current asthma at 36 months.
doi:10.1111/ppe.12080
PMCID: PMC3811147  PMID: 24134527
asthma; lower respiratory tract infection; pregnancy; vitamin D
10.  Exacerbation of symptoms in agricultural pesticide applicators with asthma 
Purpose
Exacerbation is a critical event in asthma management. We investigated whether exacerbation of symptoms is associated with farming exposures among agricultural pesticide applicators with asthma.
Methods
Participants were pesticide applicators with active asthma (wheezing and breathing problems in past 12 months) who completed enrollment questionnaires for the Agricultural Health Study (AHS). Exacerbation of asthma was defined as having visited a hospital emergency room or doctor for an episode of wheezing or whistling in the past 12 months. Exposures of interest were using 36 specific pesticides in the past 12 months and conducting various agricultural activities. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were estimated by logistic regression while controlling for potential confounders.
Results
The 926 AHS adult pesticide applicators with active asthma included 202 (22%) with exacerbation. Inverse associations with exacerbation were observed for two herbicides (glyphosate, odds ratio (OR) = 0.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.3–0.8, and paraquat, OR=0.3, 95% CI 0.1–0.9) and several agricultural activities (repairing engines, grinding metal, driving diesel tractors, and performing veterinary procedures). Only asthma cases with allergies (i.e., doctor-diagnosed hay fever or eczema, 46%) had positive exacerbation-pesticide associations, with OR=2.1 (95% CI 1.1–4.1) for the herbicide pendimethalin and OR=10.2 (95% CI 1.9–55) for the insecticide aldicarb.
Conclusions
The inverse associations with two pesticides and specific farm activities are consistent with the possibility that asthma cases prone to exacerbation may avoid exposures that trigger symptoms. Although limited by small sample size and a cross-sectional design, our study suggests that use of specific pesticides may contribute to exacerbation of asthma among individuals with allergies.
doi:10.1007/s00420-013-0881-x
PMCID: PMC4089194  PMID: 23670403
Asthma; Asthma exacerbation; Work-related;  Agriculture; Pesticides
11.  Traffic exposure and lung function in adults: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study 
Thorax  2007;62(10):873-879.
Background
Traffic exposure is a major contributor to ambient air pollution for people living close to busy roads. The relationship between traffic exposure and lung function remains inconclusive in adults.
Methods
A cross‐sectional study was conducted to investigate the association between traffic exposure and lung function in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, a community based cohort of 15 792 middle aged men and women. Traffic density and distance to major roads were used as measures of traffic exposure.
Results
After controlling for potential confounders including demographic factors, personal and neighbourhood level socioeconomic characteristics, cigarette smoking and background air pollution, higher traffic density was significantly associated with lower forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) in women. Relative to the lowest quartile of traffic density, the adjusted differences across increasing quartiles were 5.1, −15.4 and −21.5 ml for FEV1 (p value of linear trend across the quartiles = 0.041) and 1.2, −23.4 and −34.8 ml for FVC (p trend = 0.010). Using distance from major roads as a simpler index of traffic related air pollution exposure, the FEV1 was −15.7 ml (95% CI −34.4 to 2.9) lower and the FVC was −24.2 ml (95% CI −46.2 to −2.3) lower for women living within 150 m compared with subjects living further away. There was no significant effect of traffic density or distance to major roads on lung function in men. The FEV1/FVC ratio was not significantly associated with traffic exposure in either men or women.
Conclusions
This is the largest published study of traffic exposure and pulmonary function in adults to date. These results add to growing evidence that chronic exposure to traffic related air pollution may adversely affect respiratory health.
doi:10.1136/thx.2006.073015
PMCID: PMC2094260  PMID: 17442705
12.  STAT6 and LRP1 polymorphisms are associated with food allergen sensitization in Mexican children 
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2012.03.012
PMCID: PMC3367076  PMID: 22534531
food allergy; food allergen sensitization; skin prick test; genetic association; candidate gene; single nucleotide polymorphism; Hispanic
13.  Replication and fine mapping of asthma-associated loci in individuals of African ancestry 
Human genetics  2013;132(9):1039-1047.
Asthma originates from genetic and environmental factors with about half the risk of disease attributable to heritable causes. Genome-wide association studies, mostly in populations of European ancestry, have identified numerous asthma-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Studies in populations with diverse ancestries allow both for identification of robust associations that replicate across ethnic groups and for improved resolution of associated loci due to different patterns of linkage disequilibrium between ethnic groups. Here we report on an analysis of 745 African-American subjects with asthma and 3,238 African-American control subjects from the Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) Consortium, including analysis of SNPs imputed using 1,000 Genomes reference panels and adjustment for local ancestry. We show strong evidence that variation near RAD50/IL13, implicated in studies of European ancestry individuals, replicates in individuals largely of African ancestry. Fine mapping in African ancestry populations also refined the variants of interest for this association. We also provide strong or nominal evidence of replication at loci near ORMDL3/GSDMB, IL1RLML18R1, and 10pl4, all previously associated with asthma in European or Japanese populations, but not at the PYHIN1 locus previously reported in studies of African-American samples. These results improve the understanding of asthma genetics and further demonstrate the utility of genetic studies in populations other than those of largely European ancestry.
doi:10.1007/s00439-013-1310-7
PMCID: PMC3975655  PMID: 23666277
14.  Integrated genome-wide association, coexpression network, and expression single nucleotide polymorphism analysis identifies novel pathway in allergic rhinitis 
BMC Medical Genomics  2014;7:48.
Background
Allergic rhinitis is a common disease whose genetic basis is incompletely explained. We report an integrated genomic analysis of allergic rhinitis.
Methods
We performed genome wide association studies (GWAS) of allergic rhinitis in 5633 ethnically diverse North American subjects. Next, we profiled gene expression in disease-relevant tissue (peripheral blood CD4+ lymphocytes) collected from subjects who had been genotyped. We then integrated the GWAS and gene expression data using expression single nucleotide (eSNP), coexpression network, and pathway approaches to identify the biologic relevance of our GWAS.
Results
GWAS revealed ethnicity-specific findings, with 4 genome-wide significant loci among Latinos and 1 genome-wide significant locus in the GWAS meta-analysis across ethnic groups. To identify biologic context for these results, we constructed a coexpression network to define modules of genes with similar patterns of CD4+ gene expression (coexpression modules) that could serve as constructs of broader gene expression. 6 of the 22 GWAS loci with P-value ≤ 1x10−6 tagged one particular coexpression module (4.0-fold enrichment, P-value 0.0029), and this module also had the greatest enrichment (3.4-fold enrichment, P-value 2.6 × 10−24) for allergic rhinitis-associated eSNPs (genetic variants associated with both gene expression and allergic rhinitis). The integrated GWAS, coexpression network, and eSNP results therefore supported this coexpression module as an allergic rhinitis module. Pathway analysis revealed that the module was enriched for mitochondrial pathways (8.6-fold enrichment, P-value 4.5 × 10−72).
Conclusions
Our results highlight mitochondrial pathways as a target for further investigation of allergic rhinitis mechanism and treatment. Our integrated approach can be applied to provide biologic context for GWAS of other diseases.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-7-48
PMCID: PMC4127082  PMID: 25085501
Genome-wide association study; Allergic rhinitis; Coexpression network; Expression single-nucleotide polymorphism; Coexpression module; Pathway; Mitochondria; Hay fever; Allergy
15.  Large-Scale Genome-Wide Association Studies and Meta-Analyses of Longitudinal Change in Adult Lung Function 
Tang, Wenbo | Kowgier, Matthew | Loth, Daan W. | Soler Artigas, María | Joubert, Bonnie R. | Hodge, Emily | Gharib, Sina A. | Smith, Albert V. | Ruczinski, Ingo | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Mathias, Rasika A. | Harris, Tamara B. | Hansel, Nadia N. | Launer, Lenore J. | Barnes, Kathleen C. | Hansen, Joyanna G. | Albrecht, Eva | Aldrich, Melinda C. | Allerhand, Michael | Barr, R. Graham | Brusselle, Guy G. | Couper, David J. | Curjuric, Ivan | Davies, Gail | Deary, Ian J. | Dupuis, Josée | Fall, Tove | Foy, Millennia | Franceschini, Nora | Gao, Wei | Gläser, Sven | Gu, Xiangjun | Hancock, Dana B. | Heinrich, Joachim | Hofman, Albert | Imboden, Medea | Ingelsson, Erik | James, Alan | Karrasch, Stefan | Koch, Beate | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Kumar, Ashish | Lahousse, Lies | Li, Guo | Lind, Lars | Lindgren, Cecilia | Liu, Yongmei | Lohman, Kurt | Lumley, Thomas | McArdle, Wendy L. | Meibohm, Bernd | Morris, Andrew P. | Morrison, Alanna C. | Musk, Bill | North, Kari E. | Palmer, Lyle J. | Probst-Hensch, Nicole M. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rotter, Jerome I. | Schulz, Holger | Smith, Lewis J. | Sood, Akshay | Starr, John M. | Strachan, David P. | Teumer, Alexander | Uitterlinden, André G. | Völzke, Henry | Voorman, Arend | Wain, Louise V. | Wells, Martin T. | Wilk, Jemma B. | Williams, O. Dale | Heckbert, Susan R. | Stricker, Bruno H. | London, Stephanie J. | Fornage, Myriam | Tobin, Martin D. | O′Connor, George T. | Hall, Ian P. | Cassano, Patricia A.
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e100776.
Background
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci influencing cross-sectional lung function, but less is known about genes influencing longitudinal change in lung function.
Methods
We performed GWAS of the rate of change in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) in 14 longitudinal, population-based cohort studies comprising 27,249 adults of European ancestry using linear mixed effects model and combined cohort-specific results using fixed effect meta-analysis to identify novel genetic loci associated with longitudinal change in lung function. Gene expression analyses were subsequently performed for identified genetic loci. As a secondary aim, we estimated the mean rate of decline in FEV1 by smoking pattern, irrespective of genotypes, across these 14 studies using meta-analysis.
Results
The overall meta-analysis produced suggestive evidence for association at the novel IL16/STARD5/TMC3 locus on chromosome 15 (P  =  5.71 × 10-7). In addition, meta-analysis using the five cohorts with ≥3 FEV1 measurements per participant identified the novel ME3 locus on chromosome 11 (P  =  2.18 × 10-8) at genome-wide significance. Neither locus was associated with FEV1 decline in two additional cohort studies. We confirmed gene expression of IL16, STARD5, and ME3 in multiple lung tissues. Publicly available microarray data confirmed differential expression of all three genes in lung samples from COPD patients compared with controls. Irrespective of genotypes, the combined estimate for FEV1 decline was 26.9, 29.2 and 35.7 mL/year in never, former, and persistent smokers, respectively.
Conclusions
In this large-scale GWAS, we identified two novel genetic loci in association with the rate of change in FEV1 that harbor candidate genes with biologically plausible functional links to lung function.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100776
PMCID: PMC4077649  PMID: 24983941
16.  Oral contraceptive pill use before pregnancy and respiratory outcomes in early childhood 
Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) are often used soon before, and sometimes during, pregnancy. A few studies have suggested that OCP use before pregnancy may increase risks for childhood respiratory outcomes, but data are inconclusive. No studies have analyzed the two types of OCPs, estrogen-progestin combined pills and progestin-only pills, separately. In the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), we prospectively examined associations of OCP use before pregnancy, by type, with lower respiratory tract infections in 60,225 children followed to 6 months old, lower respiratory tract infections and wheezing in 42,520 children followed to 18 months old, and asthma in 24,472 children followed to 36 months old. We used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals crudely and with adjustment for a wide range of potential confounders. Combined pills were used much more commonly than progestin-only pills. Taking combined pills before pregnancy was not associated with lower respiratory tract infections, wheezing, or asthma. Progestin-only pill use in the year before pregnancy had a slight positive association with wheezing at 6–8 months old [adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval)=1.19 (1.05–1.34)]. Our finding that combined pill use before pregnancy was not related to respiratory outcomes should provide reassurance to the vast majority of mothers using OCPs before becoming pregnant. The small association with progestin-only pill use and early respiratory outcomes may reflect uncontrolled confounding or other bias but does suggest that these two types of pills should be examined separately in future analyses of respiratory and other childhood outcomes.
doi:10.1111/j.1399-3038.2010.01135.x
PMCID: PMC3140614  PMID: 21294776
17.  Nitrogen Dioxide and Allergic Sensitization in the 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 
Respiratory medicine  2013;107(11):1763-1772.
Background
Allergic sensitization is a risk factor for asthma and allergic diseases. The relationship between ambient air pollution and allergic sensitization is unclear.
Objective
To investigate the relationship between ambient air pollution and allergic sensitization in a nationally representative sample of the US population.
Methods
We linked annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter ≤ 10 µm (PM10), particulate matter ≤ 2.5 µm (PM25), and summer concentrations of ozone (O3), to allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) data for participants in the 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). In addition to the monitor-based air pollution estimates, we used the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model to increase the representation of rural participants in our sample. Logistic regression with population-based sampling weights was used to calculate adjusted prevalence odds ratios per 10 ppb increase in O3 and NO2, per 10 µg/m3 increase in PM10, and per 5 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 adjusting for race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, smoking, and urban/rural status.
Results
Using CMAQ data, increased levels of NO2 were associated with positive IgE to any (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.04, 1.27), inhalant (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.02, 1.33), and outdoor (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.03, 1.31) allergens. Higher PM2.5 levels were associated with positivity to indoor allergen-specific IgE (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.13, 1.36). Effect estimates were similar using monitored data.
Conclusions
Increased ambient NO2 was consistently associated with increased prevalence of allergic sensitization.
doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2013.08.010
PMCID: PMC4071349  PMID: 24045117
air pollution; allergic; sensitization; epidemiology; NHANES; IgE
18.  APOM and High-Density Lipoprotein are associated with Lung Function and Percent Emphysema 
The European respiratory journal  2013;43(4):1003-1017.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is linked to cardiovascular disease; however, there are few studies on the associations of cardiovascular genes with COPD.
We assessed the association of lung function with 2,100 genes selected for cardiovascular diseases among 20,077 European-Americans and 6,900 African-Americans. We performed replication of significant loci in the other racial group and an independent consortium of Europeans, tested the associations of significant loci with percent emphysema, and examined gene expression in an independent sample. We then tested the association of a related lipid biomarker with FEV1/FVC and percent emphysema.
We identified one new polymorphism for FEV1/FVC (rs805301) in European-Americans (p=1.3×10−6) and a second (rs707974) in the combined European-American and African-American analysis (p=1.38×10−7). Both SNPs flank the gene for apolipoprotein M (apoM), a component of HDL. Both replicated in an independent cohort. SNPs in a second gene related to apoM and HDL, PCSK9, were associated with FEV1/FVC among African-Americans. rs707974 was associated with percent emphysema among European-Americans and African-Americans, and APOM expression was related to FEV1/FVC and percent emphysema. Higher HDL levels were associated with lower FEV1/FVC and greater percent emphysema.
These findings suggest a novel role for the APOM/HDL pathway in the pathogenesis of COPD and emphysema.
doi:10.1183/09031936.00147612
PMCID: PMC4041087  PMID: 23900982
Apolipoproteins; Cholesterol; Percent Emphysema; Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide; Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
19.  Traffic exposure and incident venous thromboembolism in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study 
Summary
Background
Two recent case-control studies in Italy reported that long-term exposure to particulate air pollution or living near major traffic roads was associated with an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). No prospective evidence exists about long-term traffic-related air pollution and incident venous thromboembolism (VTE).
Objectives
To examine the association between long-term traffic exposure and incident VTE in a population-based prospective cohort study.
Methods
We studied 13,143 middle-aged men and women in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study without history of DVT or pulmonary embolus (PE) at baseline examination (1987-1989). Geographical Information System (GIS)-mapped traffic density and distance to major roads in the four study communities served as measures of traffic exposure. We examined the association between traffic exposure and incident VTE using proportional hazards regression models.
Results
405 subjects developed VTE through 2005. Traffic density was not significantly associated with VTE. Relative to those in the lowest quartile of traffic density, the adjusted hazard ratios across increasing quartiles were 1.18 (95%CI 0.88-1.57), 0.99 (95%CI 0.74-1.34) and 1.14 (95%CI 0.86-1.51) (p for trend across quartiles = 0.64). For residents living within 150 meters of major roads compared to subjects living further away, the adjusted hazard ratio was 1.16 (95%CI 0.95-1.42, p=0.14).
Conclusions
This first prospective study in the general population does not support an association between air pollution exposure or traffic proximity and risk of DVT. More data may be needed to clarify whether traffic or air pollution influences the risk of VTE.
doi:10.1111/j.1538-7836.2011.04210.x
PMCID: PMC3071427  PMID: 21255249
traffic exposure; VTE; air pollution; cohort
20.  A Meta-analysis of Genome-wide Association Studies for Serum Total IgE in Diverse Study Populations 
Background
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is both a marker and mediator of allergic inflammation. Despite reported differences in serum total IgE levels by race-ethnicity, African American and Latino individuals have not been well represented in genetic studies of total IgE.
Objective
To identify the genetic predictors of serum total IgE levels.
Methods
We used genome wide association (GWA) data from 4,292 individuals (2,469 African Americans, 1,564 European Americans, and 259 Latinos) in the EVE Asthma Genetics Consortium. Tests for association were performed within each cohort by race-ethnic group (i.e., African American, Latino, and European American) and asthma status. The resulting p-values were meta-analyzed accounting for sample size and direction of effect. Top single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations from the meta-analysis were reassessed in six additional cohorts comprising 5,767 individuals.
Results
We identified 10 unique regions where the combined association statistic was associated with total serum IgE levels (P-value <5.0×10−6) and the minor allele frequency was ≥5% in two or more population groups. Variant rs9469220, corresponding to HLA-DQB1, was the most significantly associated SNP with serum total IgE levels when assessed in both the replication cohorts and the discovery and replication sets combined (P-value = 0.007 and 2.45×10−7, respectively). In addition, findings from earlier GWA studies were also validated in the current meta-analysis.
Conclusion
This meta-analysis independently identified a variant near HLA-DQB1 as a predictor of total serum IgE in multiple race-ethnic groups. This study also extends and confirms the findings of earlier GWA analyses in African American and Latino individuals.
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2012.10.002
PMCID: PMC3596497  PMID: 23146381
meta-analysis; genome wide association study; total immunoglobulin E; race-ethnicity; continental population groups
22.  Evaluation of candidate genes in a genome-wide association study of childhood asthma in Mexicans 
Background
Over two hundred asthma candidate genes have been examined in human association studies or identified with knockout mouse approaches. However, many have not been systematically replicated in human populations, especially those containing a large number of tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
Objective
We comprehensively evaluated the association of previously implicated asthma candidate genes with childhood asthma in a Mexico City population.
Methods
We identified, from the literature, candidate genes with at least one positive report of association with asthma phenotypes in humans or implicated in asthma pathogenesis by knockout mouse experiments. We performed a genome-wide association study in 492 asthmatic children aged 5 to 17 years and both parents using the Illumina HumanHap 550v3 BeadChip. Separate candidate gene analyses were performed for 2,933 autosomal SNPs in the 237 selected genes using the log-linear method with a log-additive risk model.
Results
Sixty-one of the 237 genes had at least one SNP with p < 0.05 for association with asthma. The nine most significant results were observed for rs2241715 in TGFB1 (p=3.3×10−5), rs13431828 and rs1041973 in IL1RL1 (p=2×10−4 and 3.5×10−4), five SNPs in DPP10 (p=1.6×10−4 to 4.5×10−4), and rs17599222 in CYFIP2 (p=4.1×10−4). False discovery rates were <0.1 for all 9 SNPs. Multimarker analysis identified TGFB1, IL1RL1, IL18R1, and DPP10 as the genes most significantly associated with asthma.
Conclusions
This comprehensive analysis of literature-based candidate genes suggests that SNPs in several candidate genes including TGFB1, IL1RL1, IL18R1 and DPP10 may contribute to childhood asthma susceptibility in a Mexican population.
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2009.09.007
PMCID: PMC2823974  PMID: 19910030
Allergy; asthma; genetic predisposition to disease; genome-wide association study (GWAS); single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)
23.  Pesticides and other agricultural factors associated with self‐reported farmer's lung among farm residents in the Agricultural Health Study 
Background
Farmer's lung, or hypersensitivity pneumonitis, is an important contributor to respiratory morbidity among farmers.
Methods
Using the 1993–7 enrolment data from the Agricultural Health Study, we conducted a cross‐sectional study of occupational risk factors for farmer's lung among ∼50 000 farmers and farm spouses in Iowa and North Carolina using hierarchical logistic regression controlling for age, state, and smoking status. Participants provided information on agricultural exposures, demographic characteristics, and medical history via self‐administered questionnaires. Approximately 2% of farmers (n = 481) and 0.2% of spouses (n = 51) reported doctor‐diagnosed farmer's lung during their lifetime. We assessed farmers and spouses separately due to different information on occupational exposure history. Only pesticide exposures represented lifetime exposure history, all other farm exposures represented current activities at enrolment.
Results
Among farmers, handling silage (OR = 1.41, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.82), high pesticide exposure events (OR = 1.75, 95% CI 1.39 to 2.21), and ever use of organochlorine (OR = 1.34, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.74) and carbamate pesticides (OR = 1.32, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.68) were associated with farmer's lung in mutually‐adjusted models. The insecticides DDT, lindane, and aldicarb were positively associated with farmer's lung among farmers. Current animal exposures, while not statistically significant, were positively associated with farmer's lung, particularly for poultry houses (OR = 1.55, 95% CI 0.93 to 2.58) and dairy cattle (OR = 1.28, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.89). The occupational data were more limited for spouses; however, we saw similar associations for dairy cattle (OR = 1.50, 95% CI 0.72 to 3.14) and organochlorine pesticides (OR = 1.29, 95% CI 0.64 to 2.59).
Conclusion
While historic farm exposures may contribute to the observed associations with pesticides, these results suggest that organochlorine and carbamate pesticides should be further evaluated as potential risk factors for farmer's lung.
doi:10.1136/oem.2006.028480
PMCID: PMC1945110  PMID: 17182642
24.  Triclosan Exposure and Allergic Sensitization in Norwegian Children 
Allergy  2012;68(1):84-91.
Background
Exposure to the synthetic antimicrobial chemical, triclosan, used in personal care products, has been hypothesized to lead to allergic disease. We investigated whether triclosan exposure was associated with allergic sensitization and symptoms in 10-year old Norwegian children.
Methods
Urinary concentrations of triclosan were measured in one first morning void from 623 children, collected 2001– 2004. Logistic regression models, controlling for urine specific gravity, parental allergic disease, maternal education, and household income, were fitted for allergic sensitization (either skin prick test positivity or serum specific IgE ≥0.35 kU/L to at least one of 15 evaluated inhalant and food allergens), current rhinitis, and current asthma (questionnaire and exercise challenge test).
Results
The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for allergic sensitization among those in the fourth quartile of triclosan concentration was 2.0 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 3.4) compared with the reference group (< the limit of detection) and the aOR per log10 unit increase in triclosan was 1.2 (95% CI: 1.0, 1.4). The aOR for current rhinitis was 1.9 (95% CI: 1.1, 3.4) for the fourth quartile and 1.2 (95% CI:0.97, 1.4) per log10 unit increase in triclosan.
Conclusion
Triclosan concentrations were associated with allergic sensitization, especially inhalant and seasonal allergens rather thanfood allergens. Current rhinitis was associated with the highest levels of triclosan, whereas no association was seen for current asthma. These results are consistent with recent findings in other studies and provide additional evidence for an association between triclosan and allergy.
doi:10.1111/all.12058
PMCID: PMC3515701  PMID: 23146048
allergy; antibacterial; asthma; rhinitis; triclosan
25.  GSTM1 and GSTP1 gene variants and the effect of air pollutants on lung function measures in South African children 
Background
Several genes are associated with an increased susceptibility to asthma, which may be exacerbated by ambient air pollution. These genes include GSTM1 (Glutathione-S-transferase M1 gene) and GSTP1 (Glutathione-S-transferase P1 gene), which may modulate the response to epithelial oxidative changes caused by air pollutant exposure. This study evaluated fluctuations in the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) in relation to lagged daily averages of ambient air pollutants (SO2, NO2, NO, and PM10) while considering genotype as an effect modifier.
Methods
A longitudinal cohort of 129 schoolchildren of African descent from Durban, South Africa was assessed. GSTM1 (null vs. present genotype) and GSTP1 (Ile105Val; AA→AG/GG) genotypes were determined using standard techniques. SO2, NO2, NO and PM10 were measured continuously over a year using validated methods. The outcome was intraday variability in FEV1. Data were collected daily over a three week period in each of four seasons (2004–2005).
Results
Among the children tested, 27% had the GSTM1 null genotype and 81% carried the GSTP1 G allele. Approximately 26 out 104 children (25%) showed evidence of bronchial hyperreactivity, 13% reported having symptoms in keeping with persistent asthma, and a further 25% reported symptoms of mild intermittent asthma. PM10 and SO2 levels were moderately high relative to international guidelines. Neither GSTM1 nor GSTP1 genotypes alone were significantly associated with FEV1 intraday variability. In models not including genotype, FEV1 variability was statistically significantly associated only with NO2 for 5 day lags (% change in intraday variability in FEV1 per interquartile range =1.59, CI 0.58, 2.61). The GSTP1 genotype modified the effect of 3 days prior 24-hr average PM10 and increased FEV1 variability. A similar pattern was observed for lagged 3 day SO2 exposure (P interaction < 0.05). Adverse effects of these pollutants were limited to individuals carrying the G allele for this polymorphism.
Conclusion
Among this indigenous South African children cohort, the GSTP1 genotype modified the effects of ambient exposures to PM10 and SO2 and lung function. A plausible mechanism for these observed effects is decreased capacity to mount an effective response to oxidative stress associated with the GSTP1 AG+GG genotype.
doi:10.1002/ajim.22012
PMCID: PMC3414676  PMID: 22228263
air pollutants; asthma; child respiratory health; gene-environment interaction

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