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Approved research

Investigate associations between magnesium status and multiple clinical outcomes using MR-PheWAS

Principal Investigator: Ms Hsiao-Ching Lin
Approved Research ID: 52319
Approval date: September 16th 2019

Lay summary

Magnesium plays important roles in human health and has been associated with a wide range of diseases. Magnesium is the second most abundant intracellular cation and serves as a cofactor in more than six hundred enzymatic reactions in human body. Numerous observational or intervention studies have been conducted and shown the effect of magnesium on common complex diseases like cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. For example, adopting DASH diet, a diet with higher magnesium, calcium, potassium and lower sodium consumption, effectively lowers blood pressure, serum lipids and cardiovascular event risks. Magnesium supplementation has been demonstrated as an effective complementary treatment of migraine headache and stroke recovery. More disease outcomes are still remained unstudied or unconfirmed. Novel research method is in need for confirmation and new discovery. The evolution in genomics research over the past decade opens new ways of asking questions and understanding diseases. It overcomes limitations in traditional epidemiological methods and discovered many new biologically informative associations. MR (Mendelian Randomization) analysis utilize genetic variants of known functions as exposures and estimate its causal effect on specific disease outcomes. PheWAS (Phenome-Wide Association Studies) can be used to investigate associations between genetic variants and a large number of different phenotypes. We aim to run an MR-PheWAS which integrates PheWAS and MR analysis, to investigate the associations between magnesium status and multiple disease outcomes. Through this approach, we expect to explore novel, potentially causal effects of magnesium. The huge sample size of UK Biobank would increase statistical power and generate non-biased genotype-phenotype association pairs. Upon finishing, we anticipate to achieve the following public health impacts: 1) Discover novel associations of magnesium status and diseases. 2) Identify new hypotheses for future investigation and replication. 3) Provide evidence regarding adequate magnesium status and disease prevention In the long run, our project would facilitate clarify the health impacts of magnesium status and generate information for health promotion and disease management. We propose to complete this project in 36 months.