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1.  Association of Adiposity Genetic Variants With Menarche Timing in 92,105 Women of European Descent 
Fernández-Rhodes, Lindsay | Demerath, Ellen W. | Cousminer, Diana L. | Tao, Ran | Dreyfus, Jill G. | Esko, Tõnu | Smith, Albert V. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Harris, Tamara B. | Launer, Lenore | McArdle, Patrick F. | Yerges-Armstrong, Laura M. | Elks, Cathy E. | Strachan, David P. | Kutalik, Zoltán | Vollenweider, Peter | Feenstra, Bjarke | Boyd, Heather A. | Metspalu, Andres | Mihailov, Evelin | Broer, Linda | Zillikens, M. Carola | Oostra, Ben | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Lunetta, Kathryn L. | Perry, John R. B. | Murray, Anna | Koller, Daniel L. | Lai, Dongbing | Corre, Tanguy | Toniolo, Daniela | Albrecht, Eva | Stöckl, Doris | Grallert, Harald | Gieger, Christian | Hayward, Caroline | Polasek, Ozren | Rudan, Igor | Wilson, James F. | He, Chunyan | Kraft, Peter | Hu, Frank B. | Hunter, David J. | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Willemsen, Gonneke | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Byrne, Enda M. | Martin, Nicholas G. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Warrington, Nicole M. | Pennell, Craig E. | Stolk, Lisette | Visser, Jenny A. | Hofman, Albert | Uitterlinden, André G. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Lin, Peng | Fisher, Sherri L. | Bierut, Laura J. | Crisponi, Laura | Porcu, Eleonora | Mangino, Massimo | Zhai, Guangju | Spector, Tim D. | Buring, Julie E. | Rose, Lynda M. | Ridker, Paul M. | Poole, Charles | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Murabito, Joanne M. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Widen, Elisabeth | North, Kari E. | Ong, Ken K. | Franceschini, Nora
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(3):451-460.
Obesity is of global health concern. There are well-described inverse relationships between female pubertal timing and obesity. Recent genome-wide association studies of age at menarche identified several obesity-related variants. Using data from the ReproGen Consortium, we employed meta-analytical techniques to estimate the associations of 95 a priori and recently identified obesity-related (body mass index (weight (kg)/height (m)2), waist circumference, and waist:hip ratio) single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with age at menarche in 92,116 women of European descent from 38 studies (1970–2010), in order to estimate associations between genetic variants associated with central or overall adiposity and pubertal timing in girls. Investigators in each study performed a separate analysis of associations between the selected SNPs and age at menarche (ages 9–17 years) using linear regression models and adjusting for birth year, site (as appropriate), and population stratification. Heterogeneity of effect-measure estimates was investigated using meta-regression. Six novel associations of body mass index loci with age at menarche were identified, and 11 adiposity loci previously reported to be associated with age at menarche were confirmed, but none of the central adiposity variants individually showed significant associations. These findings suggest complex genetic relationships between menarche and overall obesity, and to a lesser extent central obesity, in normal processes of growth and development.
PMCID: PMC3816344  PMID: 23558354
adiposity; body mass index; genetic association studies; menarche; obesity; waist circumference; waist:hip ratio; women's health
2.  Plasma Lipids, Genetic Variants near APOA1, and the Risk of Infantile Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis 
Infantile Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis (IHPS) is a serious condition in which hypertrophy of the pyloric sphincter muscle layer leads to gastric outlet obstruction. IHPS shows strong familial aggregation and heritability, but knowledge about specific genetic risk variants is limited.
To search the genome comprehensively for genetic associations with IHPS and validate findings in three independent sample sets.
Design, Setting, and Participants
In stage 1, we used reference data from the 1000 Genomes Project for imputation into a genome-wide dataset of 1001 Danish surgery-confirmed cases (diagnosed between 1987–2008) and 2371 disease-free controls. In stage 2, the five most significantly associated loci were tested in independent case-control sample sets from Denmark (cases diagnosed between 1983–2010), Sweden (cases diagnosed between 1958–2011), and the United States (cases diagnosed between 1998–2005) with a total of 1663 cases and 2315 controls.
Main Outcome Measure
Presence of Infantile Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis
We found a new genomewide significant locus for IHPS at chromosome 11q23.3. The most significant SNP at the locus, rs12721025 (odds ratio [OR], 1.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38–1.83, P = 1.9×10−10), is located 301 bases downstream of the Apolipoprotein A-I (APOA1) gene and is correlated (r2 between 0.46 and 0.80) with SNPs previously found to be associated with levels of circulating cholesterol. For these SNPs, the cholesterol lowering allele consistently conferred increased risk of IHPS.
Conclusions and Relevance
We have identified a new genomewide significant locus for IHPS. Characteristics of this locus suggest the possibility of an inverse relationship between levels of circulating cholesterol in neonates and IHPS risk which warrants further investigation.
PMCID: PMC4031654  PMID: 23989729
3.  Association of maternal CNVs in GSTT1/GSTT2 with smoking, preterm delivery, and low birth weight 
Frontiers in Genetics  2013;4:196.
Preterm delivery (PTD) is an adverse birth outcome associated with increased infant mortality and negative lifelong health consequences. PTD may be the result of interactions between genetics and maternal/fetal environmental factors including smoking exposure (SMK). A common deletion in the GSTT1 gene was previously reported to affect birth outcomes in smokers. In this study, we dissect the associations among SMK, birth outcomes, and copy number variations (CNVs) in the GSTT1/GSTT2 region. A preterm birth case-control dataset of 1937 mothers was part of the GENEVA preterm birth study, which included genome-wide genotyping used to identify CNVs. We examined the association of SMK with birth outcomes, detected CNVs within the GSTT1/GSTT2 region using PennCNV, and examined associations of the identified CNVs with preterm birth and with birth weight (BW) in full term birth controls, including interactions with SMK. Finally, we tested the association of CNVs in GSTT1/GSTT2 with SMK. We confirmed the association of smoking with low BW and PTD. We identified 2 CNVs in GSTT2 (GSTT2a and GSTT2b), 1 CNV in GSTTP1 and 2 CNVs in GSTT1 (GSTT1a and GSTT1b). The GSTT2a deletion was associated with reduced BW (−284 g, p = 2.50E-7) in smokers, and was more common in smokers [odds ratio(OR) = 1.30, p = 0.04]. We found that the size of the reported common deletion CNV in GSTT1 was larger than previously shown. The GSTTP1 and GSTT1b null genotypes were in high linkage disequilibrium (LD) (D′ = 0.89) and less common in smokers (OR = 0.68, p = 0.019 and OR = 0.73, p = 0.055, respectively). These two deletions were in partial LD with GSTT2a and GSTT2b duplications. All 5 CNVs seem to be associated with increased risk of preterm birth before 35 completed weeks. CNVs in the GSTTT1/GSTT2 region appear associated with low BW and PTD outcomes, but LD complicated these CNVs in GSTT1/GSTT2. In genetic association studies of BW, multiple CNVs in this region need to be investigated instead of a single polymorphism.
PMCID: PMC3809558  PMID: 24194744
prematurity; preterm birth; copy number variation; GSTT1; GSTT2; birth weight
4.  Common variants at 12q15 and 12q24 are associated with infant head circumference 
Taal, H Rob | Pourcain, Beate St | Thiering, Elisabeth | Das, Shikta | Mook-Kanamori, Dennis O | Warrington, Nicole M | Kaakinen, Marika | Kreiner-Møller, Eskil | Bradfield, Jonathan P | Freathy, Rachel M | Geller, Frank | Guxens, Mònica | Cousminer, Diana L | Kerkhof, Marjan | Timpson, Nicholas J | Ikram, M Arfan | Beilin, Lawrence J | Bønnelykke, Klaus | Buxton, Jessica L | Charoen, Pimphen | Chawes, Bo Lund Krogsgaard | Eriksson, Johan | Evans, David M | Hofman, Albert | Kemp, John P | Kim, Cecilia E | Klopp, Norman | Lahti, Jari | Lye, Stephen J | McMahon, George | Mentch, Frank D | Müller, Martina | O’Reilly, Paul F | Prokopenko, Inga | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Steegers, Eric A P | Sunyer, Jordi | Tiesler, Carla | Yaghootkar, Hanieh | Breteler, Monique M B | Debette, Stephanie | Fornage, Myriam | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Launer, Lenore J | van der Lugt, Aad | Mosley, Thomas H | Seshadri, Sudha | Smith, Albert V | Vernooij, Meike W | Blakemore, Alexandra IF | Chiavacci, Rosetta M | Feenstra, Bjarke | Fernandez-Benet, Julio | Grant, Struan F A | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | van der Heijden, Albert J | Iñiguez, Carmen | Lathrop, Mark | McArdle, Wendy L | Mølgaard, Anne | Newnham, John P | Palmer, Lyle J | Palotie, Aarno | Pouta, Annneli | Ring, Susan M | Sovio, Ulla | Standl, Marie | Uitterlinden, Andre G | Wichmann, H-Erich | Vissing, Nadja Hawwa | DeCarli, Charles | van Duijn, Cornelia M | McCarthy, Mark I | Koppelman, Gerard H. | Estivill, Xavier | Hattersley, Andrew T | Melbye, Mads | Bisgaard, Hans | Pennell, Craig E | Widen, Elisabeth | Hakonarson, Hakon | Smith, George Davey | Heinrich, Joachim | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jaddoe, Vincent W V
Nature genetics  2012;44(5):532-538.
To identify genetic variants associated with head circumference in infancy, we performed a meta-analysis of seven genome-wide association (GWA) studies (N=10,768 from European ancestry enrolled in pregnancy/birth cohorts) and followed up three lead signals in six replication studies (combined N=19,089). Rs7980687 on chromosome 12q24 (P=8.1×10−9), and rs1042725 on chromosome 12q15 (P=2.8×10−10) were robustly associated with head circumference in infancy. Although these loci have previously been associated with adult height1, their effects on infant head circumference were largely independent of height (P=3.8×10−7 for rs7980687, P=1.3×10−7 for rs1042725 after adjustment for infant height). A third signal, rs11655470 on chromosome 17q21, showed suggestive evidence of association with head circumference (P=3.9×10−6). SNPs correlated to the 17q21 signal show genome-wide association with adult intra cranial volume2, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases3-5, indicating that a common genetic variant in this region might link early brain growth with neurological disease in later life.
PMCID: PMC3773913  PMID: 22504419
5.  Sequence variants in oxytocin pathway genes and preterm birth: a candidate gene association study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2013;14:77.
Preterm birth (PTB) is a complex disorder associated with significant neonatal mortality and morbidity and long-term adverse health consequences. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that genetic factors play an important role in its etiology. This study was designed to identify genetic variation associated with PTB in oxytocin pathway genes whose role in parturition is well known.
To identify common genetic variants predisposing to PTB, we genotyped 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the oxytocin (OXT), oxytocin receptor (OXTR), and leucyl/cystinyl aminopeptidase (LNPEP) genes in 651 case infants from the U.S. and one or both of their parents. In addition, we examined the role of rare genetic variation in susceptibility to PTB by conducting direct sequence analysis of OXTR in 1394 cases and 1112 controls from the U.S., Argentina, Denmark, and Finland. This study was further extended to maternal triads (maternal grandparents-mother of a case infant, N=309). We also performed in vitro analysis of selected rare OXTR missense variants to evaluate their functional importance.
Maternal genetic effect analysis of the SNP genotype data revealed four SNPs in LNPEP that show significant association with prematurity. In our case–control sequence analysis, we detected fourteen coding variants in exon 3 of OXTR, all but four of which were found in cases only. Of the fourteen variants, three were previously unreported novel rare variants. When the sequence data from the maternal triads were analyzed using the transmission disequilibrium test, two common missense SNPs (rs4686302 and rs237902) in OXTR showed suggestive association for three gestational age subgroups. In vitro functional assays showed a significant difference in ligand binding between wild-type and two mutant receptors.
Our study suggests an association between maternal common polymorphisms in LNPEP and susceptibility to PTB. Maternal OXTR missense SNPs rs4686302 and rs237902 may have gestational age-dependent effects on prematurity. Most of the OXTR rare variants identified do not appear to significantly contribute to the risk of PTB, but those shown to affect receptor function in our in vitro study warrant further investigation. Future studies with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm the findings of this study.
PMCID: PMC3737028  PMID: 23889750
Preterm birth; Genetic association analysis; Oxytocin pathway; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Rare variant
6.  New loci associated with birth weight identify genetic links between intrauterine growth and adult height and metabolism 
Horikoshi, Momoko | Yaghootkar, Hanieh | Mook-Kanamori, Dennis O. | Sovio, Ulla | Taal, H. Rob | Hennig, Branwen J. | Bradfield, Jonathan P. | St. Pourcain, Beate | Evans, David M. | Charoen, Pimphen | Kaakinen, Marika | Cousminer, Diana L. | Lehtimäki, Terho | Kreiner-Møller, Eskil | Warrington, Nicole M. | Bustamante, Mariona | Feenstra, Bjarke | Berry, Diane J. | Thiering, Elisabeth | Pfab, Thiemo | Barton, Sheila J. | Shields, Beverley M. | Kerkhof, Marjan | van Leeuwen, Elisabeth M. | Fulford, Anthony J. | Kutalik, Zoltán | Zhao, Jing Hua | den Hoed, Marcel | Mahajan, Anubha | Lindi, Virpi | Goh, Liang-Kee | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Wu, Ying | Raitakari, Olli T. | Harder, Marie N. | Meirhaeghe, Aline | Ntalla, Ioanna | Salem, Rany M. | Jameson, Karen A. | Zhou, Kaixin | Monies, Dorota M. | Lagou, Vasiliki | Kirin, Mirna | Heikkinen, Jani | Adair, Linda S. | Alkuraya, Fowzan S. | Al-Odaib, Ali | Amouyel, Philippe | Andersson, Ehm Astrid | Bennett, Amanda J. | Blakemore, Alexandra I.F. | Buxton, Jessica L. | Dallongeville, Jean | Das, Shikta | de Geus, Eco J. C. | Estivill, Xavier | Flexeder, Claudia | Froguel, Philippe | Geller, Frank | Godfrey, Keith M. | Gottrand, Frédéric | Groves, Christopher J. | Hansen, Torben | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Hofman, Albert | Hollegaard, Mads V. | Hougaard, David M. | Hyppönen, Elina | Inskip, Hazel M. | Isaacs, Aaron | Jørgensen, Torben | Kanaka-Gantenbein, Christina | Kemp, John P. | Kiess, Wieland | Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O. | Klopp, Norman | Knight, Bridget A. | Kuzawa, Christopher W. | McMahon, George | Newnham, John P. | Niinikoski, Harri | Oostra, Ben A. | Pedersen, Louise | Postma, Dirkje S. | Ring, Susan M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Robertson, Neil R. | Sebert, Sylvain | Simell, Olli | Slowinski, Torsten | Tiesler, Carla M.T. | Tönjes, Anke | Vaag, Allan | Viikari, Jorma S. | Vink, Jacqueline M. | Vissing, Nadja Hawwa | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Witte, Daniel R. | Zhang, Haitao | Zhao, Jianhua | Wilson, James F. | Stumvoll, Michael | Prentice, Andrew M. | Meyer, Brian F. | Pearson, Ewan R. | Boreham, Colin A.G. | Cooper, Cyrus | Gillman, Matthew W. | Dedoussis, George V. | Moreno, Luis A | Pedersen, Oluf | Saarinen, Maiju | Mohlke, Karen L. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Saw, Seang-Mei | Lakka, Timo A. | Körner, Antje | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Ong, Ken K. | Vollenweider, Peter | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Koppelman, Gerard H. | Hattersley, Andrew T. | Holloway, John W. | Hocher, Berthold | Heinrich, Joachim | Power, Chris | Melbye, Mads | Guxens, Mònica | Pennell, Craig E. | Bønnelykke, Klaus | Bisgaard, Hans | Eriksson, Johan G. | Widén, Elisabeth | Hakonarson, Hakon | Uitterlinden, André G. | Pouta, Anneli | Lawlor, Debbie A. | Smith, George Davey | Frayling, Timothy M. | McCarthy, Mark I. | Grant, Struan F.A. | Jaddoe, Vincent W.V. | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Timpson, Nicholas J. | Prokopenko, Inga | Freathy, Rachel M.
Nature genetics  2012;45(1):76-82.
Birth weight within the normal range is associated with a variety of adult-onset diseases, but the mechanisms behind these associations are poorly understood1. Previous genome-wide association studies identified a variant in the ADCY5 gene associated both with birth weight and type 2 diabetes, and a second variant, near CCNL1, with no obvious link to adult traits2. In an expanded genome-wide association meta-analysis and follow-up study (up to 69,308 individuals of European descent from 43 studies), we have now extended the number of genome-wide significant loci to seven, accounting for a similar proportion of variance to maternal smoking. Five of the loci are known to be associated with other phenotypes: ADCY5 and CDKAL1 with type 2 diabetes; ADRB1 with adult blood pressure; and HMGA2 and LCORL with adult height. Our findings highlight genetic links between fetal growth and postnatal growth and metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3605762  PMID: 23202124
Genetic epidemiology  2012;36(3):253-262.
A major concern for all copy number variation (CNV) detection algorithms is their reliability and repeatability. However, it is difficult to evaluate the reliability of CNV calling strategies due to the lack of gold standard data that would tell us which CNVs are real. We propose that if CNVs are called in duplicate samples, or inherited from parent to child, then these can be considered validated CNVs. We used two large family-based Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) datasets from the GENEVA consortium to look at concordance rates of CNV calls between duplicate samples, parent-child pairs, and unrelated pairs. Our goal was to make recommendations for ways to filter and use CNV calls in GWAS datasets that do not include family data. We used PennCNV as our primary CNV-calling algorithm, and tested CNV calls using different datasets and marker sets, and with various filters on CNVs and samples. Using the Illumina core HumanHap550 SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) set, we saw duplicate concordance rates of approximately 55% and parent-child transmission rates of approximately 28% in our datasets. GC model adjustment and sample quality filtering had little effect on these reliability measures. Stratification on CNV size and DNA sample type did have some effect. Overall, our results show that it is probably not possible to find a CNV calling strategy (including filtering and algorithm) that will give us a set of “reliable” CNV calls using current chip technologies. But if we understand the error process, we can still use CNV calls appropriately in genetic association studies.
PMCID: PMC3696390  PMID: 22714937
evaluation; CNV calling strategies; family-based GWAS
8.  No Observed Association for Mitochondrial SNPs with Preterm Delivery and Related Outcomes 
Pediatric research  2012;72(5):539-544.
Preterm delivery (PTD) is the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Epidemiologic studies indicate recurrence of PTD is maternally inherited creating a strong possibility that mitochondrial variants contribute to its etiology. This study examines the association between mitochondrial genotypes with PTD and related outcomes.
This study combined, through meta-analysis, two case-control, genome-wide association studies (GWAS); one from the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) Study and one from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The outcomes of PTD (≤36 weeks), very PTD (≤32 weeks) and preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PPROM) were examined. 135 individual SNP associations were tested using the combined genome from mothers and neonates (case vs. control) in each population and then pooled via meta-analysis.
After meta-analysis there were four SNPs for the outcome of PTD below p≤0.10, and two below p≤0.05. For the additional outcomes of very PTD and PPROM there were three and four SNPs respectively below p≤0.10.
Given the number of tests no single SNP reached study wide significance (p=0.0006). Our study does not support the hypothesis that mitochondrial genetics contributes to the maternal transmission of PTD and related outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3694399  PMID: 22902432
10.  Genome-wide association study of primary tooth eruption identifies pleiotropic loci associated with height and craniofacial distances 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(18):3807-3817.
Twin and family studies indicate that the timing of primary tooth eruption is highly heritable, with estimates typically exceeding 80%. To identify variants involved in primary tooth eruption, we performed a population-based genome-wide association study of ‘age at first tooth’ and ‘number of teeth’ using 5998 and 6609 individuals, respectively, from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and 5403 individuals from the 1966 Northern Finland Birth Cohort (NFBC1966). We tested 2 446 724 SNPs imputed in both studies. Analyses were controlled for the effect of gestational age, sex and age of measurement. Results from the two studies were combined using fixed effects inverse variance meta-analysis. We identified a total of 15 independent loci, with 10 loci reaching genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) for ‘age at first tooth’ and 11 loci for ‘number of teeth’. Together, these associations explain 6.06% of the variation in ‘age of first tooth’ and 4.76% of the variation in ‘number of teeth’. The identified loci included eight previously unidentified loci, some containing genes known to play a role in tooth and other developmental pathways, including an SNP in the protein-coding region of BMP4 (rs17563, P = 9.080 × 10−17). Three of these loci, containing the genes HMGA2, AJUBA and ADK, also showed evidence of association with craniofacial distances, particularly those indexing facial width. Our results suggest that the genome-wide association approach is a powerful strategy for detecting variants involved in tooth eruption, and potentially craniofacial growth and more generally organ development.
PMCID: PMC3749866  PMID: 23704328
11.  X-Chromosomal Maternal and Fetal SNPs and the Risk of Spontaneous Preterm Delivery in a Danish/Norwegian Genome-Wide Association Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61781.
Recent epidemiological studies suggest that the maternal genome is an important contributor to spontaneous preterm delivery (PTD). There is also a significant excess of males among preterm born infants, which may imply an X-linked mode of inheritance for a subset of cases. To explore this, we examined the effect of maternal and fetal X-chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on the risk of PTD in two independent genome-wide association studies and one replication study.
Participants were recruited from the Danish National Birth Cohort and the Norwegian Mother and Child cohort studies. Data from these two populations were first analyzed independently, and then combined in a meta-analysis. Overall, we evaluated 12,211 SNPs in 1,535 case-mother dyads and 1,487 control-mother dyads. Analyses were done using a hybrid design that combines case-mother dyads and control-mother dyads, as implemented in the Haplin statistical software package. A sex-stratified analysis was performed for the fetal SNPs. In the replication study, 10 maternal and 16 fetal SNPs were analyzed using case-parent triads from independent studies of PTD in the United States, Argentina and Denmark.
In the meta-analysis, the G allele at the maternal SNP rs2747022 in the FERM domain containing 7 gene (FRMD7) increased the risk of spontaneous PTD by 1.2 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 1.4). Although an association with this SNP was confirmed in the replication study, it was no longer statistically significant after a Bonferroni correction for multiple testing.
We did not find strong evidence in our data to implicate X-chromosomal SNPs in the etiology of spontaneous PTD. Although non-significant after correction for multiple testing, the mother’s G allele at rs2747022 in FRMD7 increased the risk of spontaneous PTD across all populations in this study, thus warranting further investigation in other populations.
PMCID: PMC3628886  PMID: 23613933
12.  Genome-Wide Association Study of Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma and Epstein–Barr Virus Status–Defined Subgroups 
Accumulating evidence suggests that risk factors for classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) differ by tumor Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) status. This potential etiological heterogeneity is not recognized in current disease classification.
We conducted a genome-wide association study of 1200 cHL patients and 6417 control subjects, with validation in an independent replication series, to identify common genetic variants associated with total cHL and subtypes defined by tumor EBV status. Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) assuming a log-additive genetic model for the variants. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Two novel loci associated with total cHL irrespective of EBV status were identified in the major histocompatibility complex region; one resides adjacent to MICB (rs2248462: OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.53 to 0.69, P = 1.3 × 10−13) and the other at HLA-DRA (rs2395185: OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.50 to 0.62, P = 8.3 × 10−25) with both results confirmed in an independent replication series. Consistent with previous reports, associations were found between EBV-positive cHL and genetic variants within the class I region (rs2734986, HLA-A: OR = 2.45, 95% CI = 2.00 to 3.00, P = 1.2 × 10−15; rs6904029, HCG9: OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.36 to 0.59, P = 5.5 × 10−10) and between EBV-negative cHL and rs6903608 within the class II region (rs6903608, HLA-DRA: OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.84 to 2.35, P = 6.1 × 10−31). The association between rs6903608 and EBV-negative cHL was confined to the nodular sclerosis histological subtype. Evidence for an association between EBV-negative cHL and rs20541 (5q31, IL13: OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.32 to 1.76, P = 5.4 x 10−9), a variant previously linked to psoriasis and asthma, was observed; however, the evidence for replication was less clear. Notably, one additional psoriasis-associated variant, rs27524 (5q15, ERAP1), showed evidence of an association with cHL in the genome-wide association study (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.10 to 1.33, P = 1.5 × 10−4) and replication series (P = .03).
Overall, these results provide strong evidence that EBV status is an etiologically important classification of cHL and also suggest that some components of the pathological process are common to both EBV-positive and EBV-negative patients.
PMCID: PMC3274508  PMID: 22286212
13.  Replication of a Genome-Wide Association Study of Birth Weight in Preterm Neonates 
The Journal of pediatrics  2011;160(1):19-24.e4.
To examine associations in a preterm population between rs9883204 in ADCY5 and rs900400 near LEKR1 and CCNL1 with birth weight. Both markers were associated with birth weight in a term population in a recent genome-wide association (GWA) study by Freathy et al.
Study design
A meta-analysis of mother and infant samples was performed for associations of rs900400 and rs9883204 with birth weight in 393 families from the U.S., 265 families from Argentina and 735 mother-infant pairs from Denmark. Z scores adjusted for infant sex and gestational age were generated for each population separately and regressed on allele counts. Association evidence was combined across sites by inverse-variance weighted meta-analysis.
Each additional C allele of rs900400 (LEKR1/CCNL1) in infants was marginally associated with a 0.069 standard deviation (SD) lower birth weight (95% CI = −0.159 – 0.022, P = 0.068). This result was slightly more pronounced after adjusting for smoking (P = 0.036). There were no significant associations identified with rs9883204 or in maternal samples.
These results indicate the potential importance of this marker on birth weight irrespective of gestational age.
PMCID: PMC3237813  PMID: 21885063
Genetic; association; single nucleotide polymorphism
14.  Detectable clonal mosaicism from birth to old age and its relationship to cancer 
Laurie, Cathy C. | Laurie, Cecelia A. | Rice, Kenneth | Doheny, Kimberly F. | Zelnick, Leila R. | McHugh, Caitlin P. | Ling, Hua | Hetrick, Kurt N. | Pugh, Elizabeth W. | Amos, Chris | Wei, Qingyi | Wang, Li-e | Lee, Jeffrey E. | Barnes, Kathleen C. | Hansel, Nadia N. | Mathias, Rasika | Daley, Denise | Beaty, Terri H. | Scott, Alan F. | Ruczinski, Ingo | Scharpf, Rob B. | Bierut, Laura J. | Hartz, Sarah M. | Landi, Maria Teresa | Freedman, Neal D. | Goldin, Lynn R. | Ginsburg, David | Li, Jun | Desch, Karl C. | Strom, Sara S. | Blot, William J. | Signorello, Lisa B. | Ingles, Sue A. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Berndt, Sonja I. | Le Marchand, Loic | Henderson, Brian E. | Monroe, Kristine R | Heit, John A. | de Andrade, Mariza | Armasu, Sebastian M. | Regnier, Cynthia | Lowe, William L. | Hayes, M. Geoffrey | Marazita, Mary L. | Feingold, Eleanor | Murray, Jeffrey C. | Melbye, Mads | Feenstra, Bjarke | Kang, Jae H. | Wiggs, Janey L. | Jarvik, Gail P. | McDavid, Andrew N. | Seshan, Venkatraman E. | Mirel, Daniel B. | Crenshaw, Andrew | Sharopova, Nataliya | Wise, Anastasia | Shen, Jess | Crosslin, David R. | Levine, David M. | Zheng, Xiuwen | Udren, Jenna I | Bennett, Siiri | Nelson, Sarah C. | Gogarten, Stephanie M. | Conomos, Matthew P. | Heagerty, Patrick | Manolio, Teri | Pasquale, Louis R. | Haiman, Christopher A. | Caporaso, Neil | Weir, Bruce S.
Nature genetics  2012;44(6):642-650.
Clonal mosaicism for large chromosomal anomalies (duplications, deletions and uniparental disomy) was detected using SNP microarray data from over 50,000 subjects recruited for genome-wide association studies. This detection method requires a relatively high frequency of cells (>5–10%) with the same abnormal karyotype (presumably of clonal origin) in the presence of normal cells. The frequency of detectable clonal mosaicism in peripheral blood is low (<0.5%) from birth until 50 years of age, after which it rises rapidly to 2–3% in the elderly. Many of the mosaic anomalies are characteristic of those found in hematological cancers and identify common deleted regions that pinpoint the locations of genes previously associated with hematological cancers. Although only 3% of subjects with detectable clonal mosaicism had any record of hematological cancer prior to DNA sampling, those without a prior diagnosis have an estimated 10-fold higher risk of a subsequent hematological cancer (95% confidence interval = 6–18).
PMCID: PMC3366033  PMID: 22561516
15.  Genetic variation in the 15q25 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene cluster (CHRNA5–CHRNA3–CHRNB4) interacts with maternal self-reported smoking status during pregnancy to influence birth weight 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(24):5344-5358.
Maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight. Common variation at rs1051730 is robustly associated with smoking quantity and was recently shown to influence smoking cessation during pregnancy, but its influence on birth weight is not clear. We aimed to investigate the association between this variant and birth weight of term, singleton offspring in a well-powered meta-analysis. We stratified 26 241 European origin study participants by smoking status (women who smoked during pregnancy versus women who did not smoke during pregnancy) and, in each stratum, analysed the association between maternal rs1051730 genotype and offspring birth weight. There was evidence of interaction between genotype and smoking (P = 0.007). In women who smoked during pregnancy, each additional smoking-related T-allele was associated with a 20 g [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 4–36 g] lower birth weight (P = 0.014). However, in women who did not smoke during pregnancy, the effect size estimate was 5 g per T-allele (95% CI: −4 to 14 g; P = 0.268). To conclude, smoking status during pregnancy modifies the association between maternal rs1051730 genotype and offspring birth weight. This strengthens the evidence that smoking during pregnancy is causally related to lower offspring birth weight and suggests that population interventions that effectively reduce smoking in pregnant women would result in a reduced prevalence of low birth weight.
PMCID: PMC3516066  PMID: 22956269
Paternoster, Lavinia | Standl, Marie | Chen, Chih-Mei | Ramasamy, Adaikalavan | Bønnelykke, Klaus | Duijts, Liesbeth | Ferreira, Manuel A | Alves, Alexessander Couto | Thyssen, Jacob P | Albrecht, Eva | Baurecht, Hansjörg | Feenstra, Bjarke | Sleiman, Patrick MA | Hysi, Pirro | Warrington, Nicole M | Curjuric, Ivan | Myhre, Ronny | Curtin, John A | Groen-Blokhuis, Maria M | Kerkhof, Marjan | Sääf, Annika | Franke, Andre | Ellinghaus, David | Fölster-Holst, Regina | Dermitzakis, Emmanouil | Montgomery, Stephen B | Prokisch, Holger | Heim, Katharina | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Pouta, Anneli | Pekkanen, Juha | Blakemore, Alexandra IF | Buxton, Jessica L | Kaakinen, Marika | Duffy, David L | Madden, Pamela A | Heath, Andrew C | Montgomery, Grant W | Thompson, Philip J | Matheson, Melanie C | Le Souëf, Peter | Pourcain, Beate St | Smith, George Davey | Henderson, John | Kemp, John P | Timpson, Nicholas J | Deloukas, Panos | Ring, Susan M | Wichmann, H-Erich | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Novak, Natalija | Klopp, Norman | Rodríguez, Elke | McArdle, Wendy | Linneberg, Allan | Menné, Torkil | Nohr, Ellen A | Hofman, Albert | Uitterlinden, André G | van Duijn, Cornélia M | Rivadeneira, Fernando | de Jongste, Johan C | van der Valk, Ralf JP | Wjst, Matthias | Jogi, Rain | Geller, Frank | Boyd, Heather A | Murray, Jeffrey C | Kim, Cecilia | Mentch, Frank | March, Michael | Mangino, Massimo | Spector, Tim D | Bataille, Veronique | Pennell, Craig E | Holt, Patrick G | Sly, Peter | Tiesler, Carla MT | Thiering, Elisabeth | Illig, Thomas | Imboden, Medea | Nystad, Wenche | Simpson, Angela | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Postma, Dirkje | Koppelman, Gerard H | Smit, Henriette A | Söderhäll, Cilla | Chawes, Bo | Kreiner-Møller, Eskil | Bisgaard, Hans | Melén, Erik | Boomsma, Dorret I | Custovic, Adnan | Jacobsson, Bo | Probst-Hensch, Nicole M | Palmer, Lyle J | Glass, Daniel | Hakonarson, Hakon | Melbye, Mads | Jarvis, Deborah L | Jaddoe, Vincent WV | Gieger, Christian | Strachan, David P | Martin, Nicholas G | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Heinrich, Joachim | Evans, David M | Weidinger, Stephan
Nature genetics  2011;44(2):187-192.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic skin disease with high heritability. Apart from filaggrin (FLG), the genes influencing AD are largely unknown. We conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 5,606 cases and 20,565 controls from 16 population-based cohorts and followed up the ten most strongly associated novel markers in a further 5,419 cases and 19,833 controls from 14 studies. Three SNPs met genome-wide significance in the discovery and replication cohorts combined: rs479844 upstream of OVOL1 (OR=0.88, p=1.1×10−13) and rs2164983 near ACTL9 (OR=1.16, p=7.1×10−9), genes which have been implicated in epidermal proliferation and differentiation, as well as rs2897442 in KIF3A within the cytokine cluster on 5q31.1 (OR=1.11, p=3.8×10−8). We also replicated the FLG locus and two recently identified association signals at 11q13.5 (rs7927894, p=0.008) and 20q13.3 (rs6010620, p=0.002). Our results underline the importance of both epidermal barrier function and immune dysregulation in AD pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3272375  PMID: 22197932
17.  Sequence variants at CYP1A1–CYP1A2 and AHR associate with coffee consumption 
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;20(10):2071-2077.
Coffee is the most commonly used stimulant and caffeine is its main psychoactive ingredient. The heritability of coffee consumption has been estimated at around 50%. We performed a meta-analysis of four genome-wide association studies of coffee consumption among coffee drinkers from Iceland (n = 2680), the Netherlands (n = 2791), the Sorbs Slavonic population isolate in Germany (n = 771) and the USA (n = 369) using both directly genotyped and imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (2.5 million SNPs). SNPs at the two most significant loci were also genotyped in a sample set from Iceland (n = 2430) and a Danish sample set consisting of pregnant women (n = 1620). Combining all data, two sequence variants significantly associated with increased coffee consumption: rs2472297-T located between CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 at 15q24 (P = 5.4 · 10−14) and rs6968865-T near aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) at 7p21 (P = 2.3 · 10−11). An effect of ∼0.2 cups a day per allele was observed for both SNPs. CYP1A2 is the main caffeine metabolizing enzyme and is also involved in drug metabolism. AHR detects xenobiotics, such as polycyclic aryl hydrocarbons found in roasted coffee, and induces transcription of CYP1A1 and CYP1A2. The association of these SNPs with coffee consumption was present in both smokers and non-smokers.
PMCID: PMC3080612  PMID: 21357676
18.  Genetic Variability in Beta-Defensins Is Not Associated with Susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e32315.
Human beta-defensins are key components of human innate immunity to a variety of pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus. The aim of the present study was to investigate a potential association between gene variations in DEFB1 and DEFB103/DEFB4 and the development of S. aureus bacteremia (SAB) employing a case-control design.
Cases were unique patients with documented SAB, identified with the National S. aureus Bacteremia Register, a comprehensive dataset of all episodes of community associated-SABs (CA-SAB) occurring in children (≤20 yrs) in Denmark from 1990 to 2006. Controls were age-matched healthy individuals with no history of SAB. DNA obtained from cases and controls using the Danish Newborn Screening Biobank were genotyped for functional polymorphisms of DEFB1 by Sanger sequencing and copy number variation of the DEFB103 and DEFB4 genes using Pyrosequencing-based Paralogue Ratio Test (P-PRT).
193 ethnic Danish SAB cases with 382 age-matched controls were used for this study. S. aureus isolates represented a variety of bacterial (i.e., different spa types) types similar to SAB isolates in general. DEFB1 minor allele frequencies of rs11362 (cases vs. controls 0.47/0.44), rs1800972 (0.21/0.24), and rs1799946 (0.32/0.33) were not significantly different in cases compared with controls. Also, DEFB4/DEFB103 gene copy numbers (means 4.83/4.92) were not significantly different in cases compared with controls.
Using a large, unique cohort of pediatric CA-SAB, we found no significant association between DEFB1 genetic variation or DEFB4/DEFB103 gene copy number and susceptibility for SAB.
PMCID: PMC3285211  PMID: 22384213
19.  Thirty new loci for age at menarche identified by a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies 
Elks, Cathy E. | Perry, John R.B. | Sulem, Patrick | Chasman, Daniel I. | Franceschini, Nora | He, Chunyan | Lunetta, Kathryn L. | Visser, Jenny A. | Byrne, Enda M. | Cousminer, Diana L. | Gudbjartsson, Daniel F. | Esko, Tõnu | Feenstra, Bjarke | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Koller, Daniel L. | Kutalik, Zoltán | Lin, Peng | Mangino, Massimo | Marongiu, Mara | McArdle, Patrick F. | Smith, Albert V. | Stolk, Lisette | van Wingerden, Sophie W. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Albrecht, Eva | Corre, Tanguy | Ingelsson, Erik | Hayward, Caroline | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Smith, Erin N. | Ulivi, Shelia | Warrington, Nicole M. | Zgaga, Lina | Alavere, Helen | Amin, Najaf | Aspelund, Thor | Bandinelli, Stefania | Barroso, Ines | Berenson, Gerald S. | Bergmann, Sven | Blackburn, Hannah | Boerwinkle, Eric | Buring, Julie E. | Busonero, Fabio | Campbell, Harry | Chanock, Stephen J. | Chen, Wei | Cornelis, Marilyn C. | Couper, David | Coviello, Andrea D. | d’Adamo, Pio | de Faire, Ulf | de Geus, Eco J.C. | Deloukas, Panos | Döring, Angela | Smith, George Davey | Easton, Douglas F. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Emilsson, Valur | Eriksson, Johan | Ferrucci, Luigi | Folsom, Aaron R. | Foroud, Tatiana | Garcia, Melissa | Gasparini, Paolo | Geller, Frank | Gieger, Christian | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Hall, Per | Hankinson, Susan E. | Ferreli, Liana | Heath, Andrew C. | Hernandez, Dena G. | Hofman, Albert | Hu, Frank B. | Illig, Thomas | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Johnson, Andrew D. | Karasik, David | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kiel, Douglas P. | Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O. | Kolcic, Ivana | Kraft, Peter | Launer, Lenore J. | Laven, Joop S.E. | Li, Shengxu | Liu, Jianjun | Levy, Daniel | Martin, Nicholas G. | McArdle, Wendy L. | Melbye, Mads | Mooser, Vincent | Murray, Jeffrey C. | Murray, Sarah S. | Nalls, Michael A. | Navarro, Pau | Nelis, Mari | Ness, Andrew R. | Northstone, Kate | Oostra, Ben A. | Peacock, Munro | Palmer, Lyle J. | Palotie, Aarno | Paré, Guillaume | Parker, Alex N. | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Peltonen, Leena | Pennell, Craig E. | Pharoah, Paul | Polasek, Ozren | Plump, Andrew S. | Pouta, Anneli | Porcu, Eleonora | Rafnar, Thorunn | Rice, John P. | Ring, Susan M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Sala, Cinzia | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanna, Serena | Schlessinger, David | Schork, Nicholas J. | Scuteri, Angelo | Segrè, Ayellet V. | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Soranzo, Nicole | Sovio, Ulla | Srinivasan, Sathanur R. | Strachan, David P. | Tammesoo, Mar-Liis | Tikkanen, Emmi | Toniolo, Daniela | Tsui, Kim | Tryggvadottir, Laufey | Tyrer, Jonathon | Uda, Manuela | van Dam, Rob M. | van Meurs, Joyve B.J. | Vollenweider, Peter | Waeber, Gerard | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Waterworth, Dawn M. | Weedon, Michael N. | Wichmann, H. Erich | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilson, James F. | Wright, Alan F. | Young, Lauren | Zhai, Guangju | Zhuang, Wei Vivian | Bierut, Laura J. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Boyd, Heather A. | Crisponi, Laura | Demerath, Ellen W. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Econs, Michael J. | Harris, Tamara B. | Hunter, David J. | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Metspalu, Andres | Montgomery, Grant W. | Ridker, Paul M. | Spector, Tim D. | Streeten, Elizabeth A. | Stefansson, Kari | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Uitterlinden, André G. | Widen, Elisabeth | Murabito, Joanne M. | Ong, Ken K. | Murray, Anna
Nature genetics  2010;42(12):1077-1085.
To identify loci for age at menarche, we performed a meta-analysis of 32 genome-wide association studies in 87,802 women of European descent, with replication in up to 14,731 women. In addition to the known loci at LIN28B (P=5.4×10−60) and 9q31.2 (P=2.2×10−33), we identified 30 novel menarche loci (all P<5×10−8) and found suggestive evidence for a further 10 loci (P<1.9×10−6). New loci included four previously associated with BMI (in/near FTO, SEC16B, TRA2B and TMEM18), three in/near other genes implicated in energy homeostasis (BSX, CRTC1, and MCHR2), and three in/near genes implicated in hormonal regulation (INHBA, PCSK2 and RXRG). Ingenuity and MAGENTA pathway analyses identified coenzyme A and fatty acid biosynthesis as biological processes related to menarche timing.
PMCID: PMC3140055  PMID: 21102462
20.  Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies Four Loci Associated with Eruption of Permanent Teeth 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(9):e1002275.
The sequence and timing of permanent tooth eruption is thought to be highly heritable and can have important implications for the risk of malocclusion, crowding, and periodontal disease. We conducted a genome-wide association study of number of permanent teeth erupted between age 6 and 14 years, analyzed as age-adjusted standard deviation score averaged over multiple time points, based on childhood records for 5,104 women from the Danish National Birth Cohort. Four loci showed association at P<5×10−8 and were replicated in four independent study groups from the United States and Denmark with a total of 3,762 individuals; all combined P-values were below 10−11. Two loci agreed with previous findings in primary tooth eruption and were also known to influence height and breast cancer, respectively. The two other loci pointed to genomic regions without any previous significant genome-wide association study results. The intronic SNP rs7924176 in ADK could be linked to gene expression in monocytes. The combined effect of the four genetic variants was most pronounced between age 10 and 12 years, where children with 6 to 8 delayed tooth eruption alleles had on average 3.5 (95% confidence interval: 2.9–4.1) fewer permanent teeth than children with 0 or 1 of these alleles.
Author Summary
While genome-wide association studies (GWAS) initially focused on the disease under investigation, additional findings in secondary traits have shown further benefits of having extensive phenotype data at hand. Using records from the nationwide dental registry for children and genotype data from two GWAS, we were able to identify four genomic loci associated with permanent tooth eruption in children. Two of the identified genomic regions had no previous GWAS findings, whereas two loci were reported in the context of primary dentition. A follow-up in an on-going GWAS showed that rs7924176 also plays a substantial role in primary dentition. During the age period of permanent tooth eruption many important developmental processes take place. Thus, we suggest following up the four reported SNPs in other growth-related traits to further elucidate the genetic background of maturation.
PMCID: PMC3169538  PMID: 21931568
21.  The essence of linkage-based imprinting detection: Comparing power, type 1 error, and the effects of confounders in two different analysis approaches 
Annals of human genetics  2010;74(3):248-262.
Background and goal
The epigenetic phenomenon of imprinting is critical to understanding disease expression. However, it is hard to detect and can be species- and tissue-specific. One approach is to detect imprinting by taking advantage of linkage information. Although imprinting detection methods exist, the effects of potential confounders, such as heterogeneity, sex-specific penetrance, and differential sex-based ascertainment, have not been explored in depth. In this study we explored possible confounders using two different imprinting detection approaches. Our goal was to understand the essence of how imprinting and linkage interact and to elucidate the underlying issues in existing imprinting detection approaches.
One method (PP) models imprinting by maximizing lod scores with respect to parent-specific penetrances. The other method (DRF) approximates imprinting by maximizing two-point lods with respect to differential male-female recombination fractions. We compared power, type 1 error, and confounder effects in these two linkage-based imprinting detection methods using two-point linkage analysis for simplicity. We computer-simulated data, determining power and type 1 error for imprinting detection among datasets with detectable linkage. We generated data with and without imprinting, with and without heterogeneity, and with varying reduced penetrance, family and dataset size. We also examined non-imprinting situations that could mimic imprinting, e.g., sex-specific penetrances, and a scenario requiring a sex-specified affected parent for ascertainment.
Without heterogeneity, PP had more imprinting-detecting power than DRF. Surprisingly, PP’s power increased when parental affectedness status was ignored, but decreased with heterogeneity. With heterogeneity, type 1 error could increase dramatically for both methods. However, DRF’s power also appeared to increase under heterogeneity, more than could be attributed to the inflated type 1 error. We determined the reasons behind these phenomena.
The presence of sex-specific penetrance increased false positives for PP but not for DRF. Ascertainment through an affected “mother” in unimprinted data did not lead to false positives with either method. For PP, increased information may depend on non-penetrant heterozygous individuals, arguing against using affected sib pairs or other affecteds-only methods.
The high type 1 error levels under some circumstances means methods must be used cautiously. Using differential recombination fractions to approximate imprinting has certain advantages and should be incorporated into future imprinting detection programs.
PMCID: PMC2998764  PMID: 20374235
Imprinting; linkage analysis; robust methods; lod score maximization; recombination fraction; computer simulation; epigenetic phenomena; confounders
22.  Maternal Contributions to Preterm Delivery 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2009;170(11):1358-1364.
Preterm delivery (PTD) is a complex trait with a significant familial component. However, no specific inheritance patterns have been established. The authors examined the contribution of PTDs in both the woman's family and her partner's family to her risk of PTD. The authors linked birth information from Danish national registers with pedigree information from the Danish Family Relations Database for 1,107,124 live singleton deliveries occurring from 1978 to 2004. Risk ratios were estimated comparing women with and without various PTD histories. Women with previous PTDs were at greatly increased risk of recurrent PTD (risk ratio = 5.6, 95% confidence interval: 5.5, 5.8); however, their PTD risk was unaffected by a partner's history of preterm children with other women. PTDs to a woman's mother, full sisters, or maternal half-sisters also increased her PTD risk (risk ratio = 1.6, 95% confidence interval: 1.5, 1.6), whereas PTDs in her paternal half-sisters, the female partners of her male relatives, or members of her partner's family did not affect her PTD risk. Inheritance patterns were similar for all gestational ages from very early through late PTD. The substantial portion of PTD risk explained by effects passed through the female line suggests a role for either imprinting or mitochondrial inheritance.
PMCID: PMC2800264  PMID: 19854807
cohort studies; family; genetics; inheritance patterns; premature birth
23.  The Gene, Environment Association Studies Consortium (GENEVA): Maximizing the Knowledge Obtained from GWAS by Collaboration Across Studies of Multiple Conditions 
Genetic epidemiology  2010;34(4):364-372.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have emerged as powerful means for identifying genetic loci related to complex diseases. However, the role of environment and its potential to interact with key loci has not been adequately addressed in most GWAS. Networks of collaborative studies involving different study populations and multiple phenotypes provide a powerful approach for addressing the challenges in analysis and interpretation shared across studies. The Gene, Environment Association Studies (GENEVA) consortium was initiated to: identify genetic variants related to complex diseases; identify variations in gene-trait associations related to environmental exposures; and ensure rapid sharing of data through the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes. GENEVA consists of several academic institutions, including a coordinating center, two genotyping centers and 14 independently designed studies of various phenotypes, as well as several Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health led by the National Human Genome Research Institute. Minimum detectable effect sizes include relative risks ranging from 1.24 to 1.57 and proportions of variance explained ranging from 0.0097 to 0.02. Given the large number of research participants (N > 80,000), an important feature of GENEVA is harmonization of common variables, which allow analyses of additional traits. Environmental exposure information available from most studies also enables testing of gene-environment interactions. Facilitated by its sizeable infrastructure for promoting collaboration, GENEVA has established a unified framework for genotyping, data quality control, analysis and interpretation. By maximizing knowledge obtained through collaborative GWAS incorporating environmental exposure information, GENEVA aims to enhance our understanding of disease etiology, potentially identifying opportunities for intervention.
PMCID: PMC2860056  PMID: 20091798
genome-wide association; complex disease; quantitative traits; gene-environment interaction; phenotype harmonization
24.  Use of macrolides in mother and child and risk of infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis: nationwide cohort study 
Objective To assess the association between use of macrolide antibiotics in mothers and infants from pregnancy onset until 120 days after birth and infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS).
Design Nationwide register based cohort study.
Setting Denmark, 1996-2011.
Participants 999 378 liveborn singletons and linked individual level information on macrolide prescriptions (maternal use during pregnancy, n=30 091; maternal use after birth, n=21 557; use in infants, n=6591), surgery for IHPS, and potential confounders.
Main outcome measures Surgery for IHPS by three categories of macrolide use: in mothers during pregnancy, in mothers after birth, and in infants after birth.
Results 880 infants developed IHPS (0.9 cases per 1000 births). Compared with infants with no use of macrolides, the adjusted rate ratio for IHPS in infants with use of macrolides during days 0 to 13 after birth was 29.8 (95% confidence interval 16.4 to 54.1) and during days 14 to 120 was 3.24 (1.20 to 8.74); the corresponding absolute risk differences were 24.4 (95% confidence interval 13.0 to 44.1) and 0.65 (0.06 to 2.21) cases per 1000 infants exposed to macrolides, respectively. The rate ratio for maternal use of macrolides for days 0 to 13 after birth was 3.49 (1.92 to 6.34) and for days 14 to 120 was 0.70 (0.26 to 1.90); the corresponding absolute risk differences were 2.15 (0.82 to 4.64) and −0.11 (−0.26 to 0.31). The rate ratios for maternal use of macrolides during pregnancy were 1.02 (0.65 to 1.59) for weeks 0 to 27 and 1.77 (0.95 to 3.31) for weeks 28 to birth; the corresponding absolute risk differences were 0.01 (−0.31 to 0.50) and 0.67 (−0.06 to 2.02).
Conclusions Treatment of young infants with macrolide antibiotics was strongly associated with IHPS and should therefore only be administered if potential treatment benefits outweigh the risk. Maternal use of macrolides during the first two weeks after birth was also associated with an increased risk of IHPS. A possible association was also found with use during late pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC3949411  PMID: 24618148

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