Effects of BMI, fat mass, and lean mass on asthma in childhood: a Mendelian randomization study

PLoS Medicine
R GranellJ A C Sterne

Abstract

Observational studies have reported associations between body mass index (BMI) and asthma, but confounding and reverse causality remain plausible explanations. We aim to investigate evidence for a causal effect of BMI on asthma using a Mendelian randomization approach. We used Mendelian randomization to investigate causal effects of BMI, fat mass, and lean mass on current asthma at age 7½ y in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). A weighted allele score based on 32 independent BMI-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was derived from external data, and associations with BMI, fat mass, lean mass, and asthma were estimated. We derived instrumental variable (IV) estimates of causal risk ratios (RRs). 4,835 children had available data on BMI-associated SNPs, asthma, and BMI. The weighted allele score was strongly associated with BMI, fat mass, and lean mass (all p-values<0.001) and with childhood asthma (RR 2.56, 95% CI 1.38-4.76 per unit score, p = 0.003). The estimated causal RR for the effect of BMI on asthma was 1.55 (95% CI 1.16-2.07) per kg/m2, p = 0.003. This effect appeared stronger for non-atopic (1.90, 95% CI 1.19-3.03) than for atopic asthma (1.37, 95% CI 0.89-2.11) though there was lit...Continue Reading

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Methods Mentioned

BETA
X-ray
genotyping

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