IBD Genetic Risk Profile in Healthy First-Degree Relatives of Crohn's Disease Patients

J Crohns Colitis. 2016 Feb;10(2):209-15. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjv197. Epub 2015 Oct 28.


Background: Family history provides important information on risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease [IBD], and genetic profiling of first-degree relatives [FDR] of Crohn's disease [CD]- affected individuals might provide additional information. We aimed to delineate the genetic contribution to the increased IBD susceptibility observed in FDR.

Methods: N = 976 Caucasian, healthy, non-related FDR; n = 4997 independent CD; and n = 5000 healthy controls [HC]; were studied. Genotyping for 158 IBD-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs] was performed using the Illumina Immunochip. Risk allele frequency [RAF] differences between FDR and HC cohorts were correlated with those between CD and HC cohorts. CD and IBD genetic risk scores [GRS] were calculated and compared between HC, FDR, and CD cohorts.

Results: IBD-associated SNP RAF differences in FDR and HC cohorts were strongly correlated with those in CD and HC cohorts, correlation coefficient 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.53 - 0.72), p = 9.90 x 10(-19). There was a significant increase in CD-GRS [mean] comparing HC, FDR, and CD cohorts: 0.0244, 0.0250, and 0.0257 respectively [p < 1.00 x 10(-7) for each comparison]. There was no significant difference in the IBD-GRS between HC and FDR cohorts [p = 0.81]; however, IBD-GRS was significantly higher in CD compared with FDR and HC cohorts [p < 1.00 x 10(-10) for each comparison].

Conclusion: FDR of CD-affected individuals are enriched with IBD risk alleles compared with HC. Cumulative CD-specific genetic risk is increased in FDR compared with HC. Prospective studies are required to determine if genotyping would facilitate better risk stratification of FDR.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; first-degree relatives; genotyping.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Child
  • Crohn Disease / genetics*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nod2 Signaling Adaptor Protein / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Nod2 Signaling Adaptor Protein