Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic ancestry data improve diagnosis in asthma and lung disease

Date:
July 16, 2010
Source:
National Jewish Health
Summary:
Researchers have found that patients' precise genetic background told far more about their potential lung function -- and therefore any damage that has occurred -- than the self-identified racial profile commonly used in such tests. The results point to a more precise method of assessing patients' lung function, as well as the potential impact of using precise genetic benchmarks for assessing health overall.

Americans with lung disease may face a far greater level of lung damage than either they or their doctor suspect, depending on their individual genetic heritage, according to research published online July 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research implications range from diagnosing the severity of asthma, to disability decisions or eligibility for lung transplants, researchers say.

In the largest study of its kind to date, which pooled data on more than 3,000 patients, researchers at National Jewish Health and several other institutions found that patients' precise genetic background told far more about their potential lung function -- and therefore any damage that has occurred -- than the self-identified racial profile commonly used in such tests. The results point to a more precise method of assessing patients' lung function, as well as the potential impact of using precise genetic benchmarks for assessing health overall.

"Standard racial classifications do not capture the mixed genetic heritage of most populations," said Dr. Max A. Seibold, a Research Instructor at the Center for Genes, Environment and Health at National Jewish Health and one of four lead authors on the paper. "Our findings show that accounting for genetic ancestry improves prediction of normal lung function over a simple race-based classification. This improvement in lung function prediction, using genetic ancestry, may result in reclassification of severity in many lung diseases, similar to what we observed for asthma in this study. We feel these findings bring us closer to personalized medicine."

Lung function is one of many medical assessments that use standard benchmarks, such as age, sex and race, to determine the normal expected range for an individual patient. Similar criteria also are used in assessing kidney function or the risk for some cancers. In patients with lung disease, those benchmarks help physicians assess the severity of damage represented by a patient's lung function test and are often used to determine whether patients have severe asthma, or whether they may be eligible for disability insurance or a lung transplant.

The study used recently developed genetic tools to estimate individual genetic ancestry, and found a significant association between ancestry and lung function. Advances in technology have reduced the cost of those tools significantly, according to the researchers. As a result, this could be a viable method of dramatically improving patient care at relatively low cost.

The researchers used five large-scale, independent health studies with self-identified African American populations, ranging in age from 18 to 93 years, to examine the impact of genetic ancestry on measures of lung function.

The team found a significant link between African ancestry and pulmonary measurement in both men and women across all ages.

The paper had four co-first authors. In addition to Dr Seibold, they include Rajesh Kumar, MD, of Children's Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago; Melinda Aldrich, PhD, MPH, with the University of California San Francisco; and L. Keoki Williams, MD, MPH, with the Center for Health Services Research and the Henry Ford Health System, Detroit.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Jewish Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. Kumar, M. A. Seibold, M. C. Aldrich, L. K. Williams, A. P. Reiner, L. Colangelo, J. Galanter, C. Gignoux, D. Hu, S. Sen, S. Choudhry, E. L. Peterson, J. Rodriguez-Santana, W. Rodriguez-Cintron, M. A. Nalls, T. S. Leak, E. O'Meara, B. Meibohm, S. B. Kritchevsky, R. Li, T. B. Harris, D. A. Nickerson, M. Fornage, P. Enright, E. Ziv, L. J. Smith, K. Liu, E. G. Burchard. Genetic Ancestry in Lung-Function Predictions. New England Journal of Medicine, 2010; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0907897

Cite This Page:

National Jewish Health. "Genetic ancestry data improve diagnosis in asthma and lung disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100712103602.htm>.
National Jewish Health. (2010, July 16). Genetic ancestry data improve diagnosis in asthma and lung disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100712103602.htm
National Jewish Health. "Genetic ancestry data improve diagnosis in asthma and lung disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100712103602.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins