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Approved research

Genetics of blood-cell traits

Principal Investigator: Professor Guillaume Lettre
Approved Research ID: 11707
Approval date: April 1st 2015

Lay summary

The proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells into mature blood cells is a tightly regulated process. Red blood cell (RBC), white blood cell (WBC) and platelet counts are used in medicine as biomarkers to monitor general health status, to diagnose diseases, and as prognostic indicators of various clinical disorders. The goals of our study are: (1) to identify novel genetic variants associated with blood-cell trait variation in the UK Biobank participants and (2) test if these genetic variants also associate with cardiovascular diseases, including stroke. Variation in blood-cell traits is observed in various human diseases (e.g. cancer) and is used as predictive marker for heart diseases and stroke. Our project will explore the genetic contribution to inter-individual blood-cell variation, and test whether these genetic factors also influence our risk of heart diseases and stroke. The number and features of the main blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) have been measured in all UK Biobank participants. Similarly, the DNA of all UK Biobank participants will be genotyped on the UK Biobank Affymetrix array. We propose to test the correlation between genotypes and inter-individual variation in blood-cell traits using standard genetic association methodologies. When appropriate, we will control blood-cell variables with potential confounders (such as sex, age, cancer status, infectious disease status, kidney or liver disease, etc.). Full cohort.