Analyses of shared genetic factors between asthma and obesity in children

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Sep;126(3):631-7.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.06.030.


Background: Epidemiologic studies consistently show associations between asthma and obesity. Shared genetics might account for this association.

Objective: We sought to identify genetic variants associated with both asthma and obesity.

Methods: On the basis of a literature search, we identified genes from (1) genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of body mass index (BMI; n = 17 genes), (2) GWASs of asthma (n = 14), and (3) candidate gene studies of BMI and asthma (n = 7). We used GWAS data from the Childhood Asthma Management Program to analyze associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in these genes and asthma (n = 359 subjects) and BMI (n = 537).

Results: One top BMI GWAS SNP from the literature, rs10938397 near glucosamine-6-phosphate deaminase 2 (GNPDA2), was associated with both BMI (P = 4 x 10(-4)) and asthma (P = .03). Of the top asthma GWAS SNPs and the candidate gene SNPs, none was found to be associated with both BMI and asthma. Gene-based analyses that included all available SNPs in each gene found associations (P < .05) with both phenotypes for several genes: neuronal growth regulator 1 (NEGR1); roundabout, axon guidance receptor, homolog 1 (ROBO1); diacylglycerol kinase, gamma (DGKG); Fas apoptotic inhibitory molecule 2 (FAIM2); fat mass and obesity associated (FTO); and carbohydrate (N-acetylgalactosamine 4-0) sulfotransferase 8 (CHST8) among the BMI GWAS genes; interleukin 1 receptor-like 1 / interleukin 18 receptor 1 (IL1RL1/IL18R1), dipeptidyl-peptidase 10 (DPP10), phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D), V-myb myeloblastosis viral oncogene homolog (MYB), PDE10A, IL33, and especially protein tyrosine phosphatase, receptor type D (PTPRD) among the asthma GWAS genes; and protein kinase C, alpha (PRKCA) among the BMI and asthma candidate genes.

Conclusions: SNPs within several genes showed associations to BMI and asthma at a genetic level, but none of these associations were significant after correction for multiple testing. Our analysis of known candidate genes reveals some evidence for shared genetics between asthma and obesity, but other shared genetic determinants are likely to be identified in novel loci.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asthma / genetics*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic