Rationale: A disintegrin and metalloprotease 33 (ADAM33) has been identified as a susceptibility gene for asthma and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in this gene have been associated with excessive decline of lung function in individuals with asthma.
Objectives: To assess whether SNPs in ADAM33 are associated with accelerated lung function loss in the general population and with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Methods: DNA was collected from subjects of the Vlagtwedde-Vlaardingen cohort participating in the last survey in 1989-1990 after a follow-up of 25 years. Information was collected every 3 years, including lung function measurements. We defined COPD as GOLD stage 2 or higher at the last survey. A total of 1,390 subjects from the cohort was genotyped for the following SNPs in ADAM33: F+1, Q-1, S_1, S_2, T_1, T_2, V_4, and ST+5. Differences in prevalence of SNPs were analyzed with chi(2) tests. Linear mixed effects models were used to analyze FEV(1) decline according to genotype.
Measurements and main results: In the whole population, mean adjusted decline was 18.7 and 12.7 ml/year in females and males, respectively. Individuals homozygous for minor alleles of SNPs S_2 and Q-1 and heterozygous for SNP S_1 had a significantly accelerated decline in FEV(1) of, respectively, 4.9, 9.6, and 3.6 ml/year compared with wild type. We found a significantly higher prevalence of SNPs F+1, S_1, S_2, and T_2 in subjects with COPD.
Conclusions: We demonstrated that SNPs in ADAM33 are associated with accelerated lung function decline in the general population. These SNPs are also risk factors for COPD.