Metabolomic Associations of Asthma in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

Metabolites. 2022 Apr 16;12(4):359. doi: 10.3390/metabo12040359.


Asthma disproportionally affects Hispanic and/or Latino backgrounds; however, the relation between circulating metabolites and asthma remains unclear. We conducted a cross-sectional study associating 640 individual serum metabolites, as well as twelve metabolite modules, with asthma in 3347 Hispanic/Latino background participants (514 asthmatics, 15.36%) from the Hispanic/Latino Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Using survey logistic regression, per standard deviation (SD) increase in 1-arachidonoyl-GPA (20:4) was significantly associated with 32% high odds of asthma after accounting for clinical risk factors (p = 6.27 × 10−5), and per SD of the green module, constructed using weighted gene co-expression network, was suggestively associated with 25% high odds of asthma (p = 0.006). In the stratified analyses by sex and Hispanic and/or Latino backgrounds, the effect of 1-arachidonoyl-GPA (20:4) and the green module was predominantly observed in women (OR = 1.24 and 1.37, p < 0.001) and people of Cuban and Puerto-Rican backgrounds (OR = 1.25 and 1.27, p < 0.01). Mutations in Fatty Acid Desaturase 2 (FADS2) affected the levels of 1-arachidonoyl-GPA (20:4), and Mendelian Randomization analyses revealed that high genetically regulated 1-arachidonoyl-GPA (20:4) levels were associated with increased odds of asthma (p < 0.001). The findings reinforce a molecular basis for asthma etiology, and the potential causal effect of 1-arachidonoyl-GPA (20:4) on asthma provides an opportunity for future intervention.

Keywords: 1-arachidonoyl-GPA (20:4); HCHS/SOL; Hispanics; asthma; metabolites; metabolomics.