Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved research

Identification of pleiotropic loci for asthma and obesity

Principal Investigator: Ms Yasmmyn Salinas
Approved Research ID: 27477
Approval date: August 1st 2017

Lay summary

Asthma and obesity are comorbid conditions, and shared genetic predisposition or genetic pleiotropy may account for this comorbidity. The goal of this research project is to identify genetic variants that display pleiotropy for asthma and obesity using a genome-wide association study approach. Our specific aims are: (1) to identify genetic variants that display cross-phenotype associations with asthma and obesity; (2) to distinguish between cross-phenotype effects due to biological, mediated, or spurious pleiotropy; and (3) to investigate whether the effects of pleiotropic variants vary longitudinally with age. The comorbidity of asthma and obesity poses a critical public health challenge. Namely, obesity is associated with increased asthma severity (e.g., more pronounced symptoms and worse outcomes). Furthermore, greater asthma severity is associated with greater health care costs, and available asthma medications are less effective among obese asthmatics. Therefore, there is a need for novel treatments for obese asthmatics. Identifying pleiotropic loci for asthma and obesity will advance our understanding of the mechanistic links between both diseases. Pleiotropic loci have the potential to serve as targets for a single intervention that simultaneously treats both diseases. We will be using existing statistical software packages to look for genetic variants that are associated with both asthma and obesity. We are requesting access to the full cohort.