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PLoS One. 2017 Jun 5;12(6):e0178815. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178815. eCollection 2017.

Heritability and genetic correlation between GERD symptoms severity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammation markers in families living in Mexico City.

Author information

Research Division, Hospital General de México "Dr. Eduardo Liceaga", Mexico City, Mexico.
Endocrinology Service, Hospital General de México "Dr. Eduardo Liceaga", Mexico City, Mexico.
Economy Department, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico.
Endoscopy Service, Hospital Ángeles del Pedregal, Mexico City, Mexico.
Nutrigenomics Laboratory, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, Mexico City, Mexico.
Department of genetic epidemiology, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México.
South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX, United States of America.



The aim of this study was to estimate the heritability (h2) and genetic correlation (ρG) between GERD symptoms severity, metabolic syndrome components, and inflammation markers in Mexican families.


Cross-sectional study which included 32 extended families resident in Mexico City. GERD symptoms severity was assessed by the ReQuest in Practice questionnaire. Heritability and genetic correlation were determined using the Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines software.


585 subjects were included, the mean age was 42 (±16.7) years, 57% were women. The heritability of the severity of some GERD symptoms was h2 = 0.27, 0.27, 0.37, and 0.34 (p-value <1.0x10-5) for acidity complaints, lower abdominal complaints, sleep disturbances, and total ReQuest score, respectively. Heritability of metabolic syndrome components ranged from 0.40 for fasting plasma glucose to 0.61 for body mass index and diabetes mellitus. The heritability for fibrinogen and C-reactive protein was 0.64 and 0.38, respectively. Statistically significant genetic correlations were found between acidity complaints and fasting plasma glucose (ρG = 0.40); sleep disturbances and fasting plasma glucose (ρG = 0.36); acidity complaints and diabetes mellitus (ρG = 0.49) and between total ReQuest score and fasting plasma glucose (ρG = 0.43). The rest of metabolic syndrome components did not correlate with GERD symptoms.


Genetic factors substantially explain the phenotypic variance of the severity of some GERD symptoms, metabolic syndrome components and inflammation markers. Observed genetic correlations suggest that these phenotypes share common genes. These findings suggest conducting further investigation, as the determination of a linkage analysis in order to identify regions of susceptibility for developing of GERD and metabolic syndrome.

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