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Int J Epidemiol. 2011 Jun;40(3):731-9. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq260. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Genetic contributions to the association between adult height and testicular germ cell tumors.

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  • 1Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA, US.



Previously, we have shown that increasing adult height is associated with increased risk of testicular germ-cell tumor (TGCT). Recently, a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been found to be related to height. We examined whether these SNPs were associated with TGCT and whether they explained the relationship between height and TGCT.


We genotyped 15 height-related SNPs in the US Servicemen's Testicular Tumor Environmental and Endocrine Determinants (STEED) case-control study. DNA was extracted from buccal cell samples and Taqman assays were used to type the selected SNPs. We used logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs).


There were 561 cases and 676 controls for analysis. Two SNPs were found to be associated with risk of TGCT, rs6060373 (CC vs TT, OR = 1.51, 95% CI: 1.06-2.15) and rs143384 (CC vs TT, OR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.09-2.15). rs6060373 is an intronic polymorphism of ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase complex chaperone (UQCC), and rs143384 is a 5'UTR polymorphism of growth differentiation factor 5 (GDF5). No individual SNP attenuated the association between height and TGCT. Adjustment for all SNPs previously associated with adult height reduced the associations between adult height and TGCT by ~8.5%, although the P-value indicated only weak evidence that this difference was important (P = 0.26).


This novel analysis provides tentative evidence that SNPs which are associated with adult height may also share an association with risk of TGCT.

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