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Mapping genetic risk factors of major non-communicable diseases

By Dumont - 24/08/2022

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified thousands of common and low frequency genetic variants associated with major non-communicable diseases (eg, cardiovascular disease and diabetes) as well as their major risk factors (eg, adiposity, blood pressure, blood lipids). However, the vast majority of these studies have been done in populations of European ancestry, which covers only a subset of human genetic diversity. Additional large studies of non-European populations are needed to fully assess the influence of genetics on disease.

The Mexico City Prospective Study (MCPS) is a blood-based prospective study of 150,000 adults who were recruited between 1998 and 2004 and have been followed for cause-specific mortality ever since. Questionnaire data and physical measurements were recorded at baseline, and genome-wide genotyping and whole exome sequence data exists for all participants. Glycosylated hemoglobin was also measured from baseline samples in all participants.

A resurvey of 10,000 surviving participants (2015 - 2019) captured how lifestyles, physical and biological measurements and treatments for disease (e.g. diabetes) have changed over time. The resurvey also allowed us to better assess the relevance to premature death of characteristics that can vary over time (such as adiposity, diabetes, blood pressure, smoking and alcohol consumption). It also included various ‘enhancements’ (such as bioimpedance and the collection of a urine sample).

The study is being done in collaboration between the University of Oxford and the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City and has received funding from the Mexican Ministry of Health (Secretaria de Salud), the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología), the British Heart Foundation, the UK Medical Research Council, and the UK Wellcome Trust.

By Dumont - 24/08/2022
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