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Approved Research

Associations of Lifestyle and Genetic Risk with Incidence of Respiratory Diseases

Principal Investigator: Dr Yan Zhang
Approved Research ID: 84979
Approval date: May 24th 2022

Lay summary

Past researchers have demonstrated that genetic factors can increase the risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS), and so on. And several genes have been identified as genetic factors for these respiratory diseases through genome-wide scanning. Moreover, the results of studies based on a large population had shown that the risk of respiratory disease could also be influenced by lifestyle. For instance, smoking is associated with increased risks of COPD, lung cancer, and a high-fat diet is related to the risk of OSAHS and its comorbidities such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. However, the potential interaction between genetic variants and lifestyle on these respiratory diseases has not been thoroughly investigated. So, we want to conduct this study to examine that if adherence to a healthy lifestyle can offset genetic risk for respiratory diseases.

We will get the data of genetic information of all participants included in this database and calculate the polygenic risk score across all genetic factors associated with the specific respiratory disease to access the score of genetic risk. And we will also request access to data of lifestyle such as sleep, smoking, and diet of all participants to construct an assessment method of a healthy lifestyle based on risk factors of the specific respiratory disease. After these steps, we will get two different scores of every participant representing genetic risk and lifestyle respectively and could access the interactive effects of genetic risk and healthy lifestyle on specific respiratory diseases based on the two scores.

It will take a long time to build data models for assessing genetic factors and lifestyle, so the estimated duration of this project is 36 months. We expect to find an interaction between genetic risk and lifestyle in respiratory diseases and to remind the public of resisting the genetic risk of respiratory disease by changing specific lifestyles.