Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Study Shows Genetic Testing Promise for Predicting Asthma

Study reveals genetic testing’s promise for predicting which children will grow out of asthma

Genetic risk assessments could be used to predict which children with asthma are likely to grow out of the condition, and which will continue having symptoms as they grow older, new research emerging from the University of Otago’s world-renowned Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study suggests.

A team of Otago and Duke University researchers set out to test how genetic discoveries about asthma predisposition relate to the developmental and biological characteristics of the condition. Their findings are newly published Online First in the UK journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.  

After analysing data from the long-running Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study of around 1,000 children born in 1972-73, the team discovered that those with childhood asthma and higher genetic risk scores for being predisposed to it were more than one-third (36%) more likely to develop asthma that persists throughout their lives than those found to have a lower genetic risk.

Approximately half of all children with asthma will grow out of it by the time they reach adolescence or adulthood. Currently, there are no tests that can predict which children will never grow out of asthma and which will recover as they get older.

Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several genetic variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs) which carry a small increased risk of asthma. The current study was designed to investigate whether these known genetic risks are related to the onset, persistence, and severity of asthma, and with disruptions to daily life (e.g. absence from school and work, and hospital admissions).

The researchers constructed a genetic risk score based on 15 GWAS-identified variants and then tested associations between the scores and physical manifestations* of asthma in 880 Study members.

They established that boys and girls with higher risk scores had a greater likelihood of developing asthma over the 38 years of follow-up than those with a lower genetic risk, and developed asthma earlier in life.

Participants with asthma and a higher genetic risk were also more likely to develop atopic (allergic) asthma and impaired lung function (airway hyper-responsiveness and incompletely reversible airflow obstruction), and to miss school or work and to be hospitalised because of asthma, than those with a lower genetic risk.

Importantly, the predictive value of the genetic risk score was independent of, and provided additional information to, family history.

“Although our study revealed that genetic risks can help to predict which childhood-onset asthma cases remit and which become life-course-persistent, genetic risk prediction for asthma is still in its infancy,” explains lead author Daniel Belsky from Duke University Medical Center in the USA. “As additional risk genes are discovered, the value of genetic assessments is likely to improve. But our predictions are not sufficiently sensitive or specific to support their immediate use in routine clinical practice.”

*These manifestations included atopy, which is associated with a persistent and severe asthma; airway hyper-responsiveness, which provides indirect confirmation of active airway inflammation; and incompletely reversible airflow obstruction, which identifies harmful changes to the airways resulting from chronic asthma.


Belsky, D. W., Sears, M. R., Hancox, R. J., Harrington, H. L., Houts, R., Moffitt, T. E., Sugden, K., Williams, B. S., Poulton, R., and Caspi, A.  Polygenic risk and asthma's development and course in the first 4-decades of life.   Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Online First, http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(13)70101-2/abstract
DOI: 10.1016/S2213-2600(13)70101-2

Once the embargo lifts, the abstract for this paper will be available at:
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(13)70101-2/abstract

A fact sheet and detailed summary of the research can be found at:
http://sites.duke.edu/danbelsky/polygenic-risk-and-the-development-and-course-of-asthma/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news