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New genes linked to allergic syndromes

Tuesday August 6th, 2019

Some 141 genetic regions "largely" explain the genetic risks of asthma, hay fever and eczema, Swedish researchers have reported.

The research at Uppsala University has identified some 41 genes not previously linked to these allergic diseases.

Published in Human Molecular Genetics, they come from analysis of data from 350,000 participants in the UK Biobank. Some of the data on illness is self-reported and not necessarily based on clinical diagnosis.

The researchers said they analysed millions of gene positions.

They found that many of the genes were linked to all three conditions, suggesting they are responsible for underlying allergic reactions.

Researcher Weronika Ek said: “The results from this study are helping us to reach a greater understanding of why certain individuals are at higher risk of developing asthma and allergies - and we hope the results will be put to use both in clinical diagnostics and in drug development.

“For those interested in taking part in similar studies where they can get information about their own genetic inheritance, we’d like to point out that the results you can read from DNA in similar studies relate only to people’s disease risk, which doesn’t correspond to a diagnosis. External factors also affect our risk for these complex traits, and an elevated risk doesn’t mean we’re going to develop the disease.”

Genome-wide association analysis of 350,000 Caucasians from the UK Biobank identifies novel loci for asthma, hay fever and eczema. Human Molecular Genetics 30 July 2019; doi:10.1093/hmg/ddz175

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Dermatology | Europe | Genetics | Respiratory

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