Gastroesophageal reflux GWAS identifies risk loci that also associate with subsequent severe esophageal diseases

Nat Commun. 2019 Sep 16;10(1):4219. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11968-2.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is caused by gastric acid entering the esophagus. GERD has high prevalence and is the major risk factor for Barrett's esophagus (BE) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA). We conduct a large GERD GWAS meta-analysis (80,265 cases, 305,011 controls), identifying 25 independent genome-wide significant loci for GERD. Several of the implicated genes are existing or putative drug targets. Loci discovery is greatest with a broad GERD definition (including cases defined by self-report or medication data). Further, 91% of the GERD risk-increasing alleles also increase BE and/or EA risk, greatly expanding gene discovery for these traits. Our results map genes for GERD and related traits and uncover potential new drug targets for these conditions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Esophageal Diseases / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / genetics*
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide