Genetic risk factors, environmental factors, and the gene-environment interactions in osteoarthritis
Aims: To investigate which common risk factors (body mass index, vitamins, lifestyles, diseases, cytokines, etc) were causal risk factors for incidence osteoarthritis (OA) or joint replacement; whether environmental risk factors interact with genetic variations in relation to outcomes of incidence OA or joint replacement; whether adherence to beneficial environmental factors may offset genetic risks for incidence OA or joint replacement, especially in high genetic risk populations.
Scientific rationale: OA is the most common form of arthritis worldwide and causes significant socioeconomic burden. It typically affects knees, hips, hands, spine, and feet. Both genetic and environmental factors play important roles in determining individual risk of OA. Diverse studies for OA have shown the contribution of multiple environmental factors including obesity, metabolic syndrome, dietary changes and physical inactivity. Moreover, over 90 OA genetic risk loci have been identified by genetic studies. But there is a lack of studies reporting the interactions between genetic and environmental factors on OA. Additionally, whether adherence to beneficial environmental factors can offset genetic risks for incidence OA or joint replacement is still unknown.
Project duration: The duration of this project will be 3 years.
Public health impact: Understanding interactions between genetic and environmental factors would provide strong evidence to clarify the relationship between various exposures and OA outcomes. Causal findings may make contributions to identify novel strategies for OA prevention, prognosis, and treatment or provide appropriate prediction indicators. This is of great significance to public health for OA controlling. We may additionally provide new analytical techniques and strategies, which may have application values for similar research.