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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Dec;116(6):1235-41. Epub 2005 Nov 8.

Genetic pleiotropy between asthma and obesity in a community-based sample of twins.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, 98195, USA. tealh@u.washington.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Asthma and obesity are common conditions that are strongly associated. This association might be due to shared genetic or environmental causes.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to determine whether a shared genetic cause is responsible for the association between asthma and obesity and to estimate the magnitude of shared genetic cause.

METHODS:

The analyses were performed with 1001 monozygotic and 383 dizygotic same-sex twin pairs within the University of Washington Twin Registry. The presence of asthma was determined by self-report of a physician diagnosis of asthma, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated by using self-reported height and weight. Obesity was defined as a BMI of 30 or greater. The association between asthma and BMI was assessed by means of mixed-effects ordinal regression. Twin correlations examined the association of asthma and obesity. Univariate and bivariate structural equation models estimated the components of variance attributable to genetic and environmental effects.

RESULTS:

A strong association between asthma and BMI was identified in the sample population (P < .001). Substantial heritability was detected for asthma (53%) and obesity (77%), which is indicative of additive genetic influences on each disorder. The best-fitting model of shared components of variance indicated that 8% of the genetic component of obesity is shared with asthma.

CONCLUSION:

The covariation between obesity and asthma is predominantly caused by shared genetic risk factors for both conditions.

PMID:
16337451
PMCID:
PMC2014783
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaci.2005.09.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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