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Approved research

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for cardio-metabolic quantitative traits in participants of non-European ancestry in the UK Biobank

Principal Investigator: Dr Teri Manolio
Approved Research ID: 55080
Approval date: June 9th 2020

Lay summary

This project will examine how persons in UK Biobank who describe themselves as being of other than 'White ethnic background' (the closest UK Biobank approximation to 'non-European ancestry') can be used to identify genetic differences that are related to risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and obesity. It will focus on the roughly 28,000 UK Biobank participants who reported themselves to be other than White ethnic background-who have largely been excluded from genetic studies in UK Biobank to date. It may also determine previously unknown genetic associations to be found in persons with other than White ethnic background. Results from these analyses will be compared to results from the roughly 460,000 UK Biobank participants who reported themselves to be of White ethnic background. This study is important because results from studies focused on persons of White ethnic background may not always hold true in persons of other ethnic backgrounds, which could lead to incorrect interpretations and estimates of their risk for diseases associated with genetic differences. If such genetic studies are one day used by doctors to choose what tests or drugs patients should receive, these decisions may not be as accurate in persons of other than White ethnic background. This project, which is expected to take 12 months to complete, will assess and demonstrate the value of UK Biobank for genomic research in persons of diverse ethnic backgrounds and potentially increase the use of genomic data from all UK Biobank participants.