10 Genetic Variants Linked To Increased Risk Of Allergies
By Tang Yew Chung | Health & Medicine
July 9, 2013
An international team of scientists has identified 10 genetic variants that increase a person’s risk of having allergies.
Asian Scientist (Jul. 9, 2013) – An international team of scientists has identified 10 genetic variants that increase a person’s risk of having allergies.
The international genetic study, the largest of its kind, compared the genetic make-up of nearly 6,000 people with allergies with that of 10,000 people without allergies.
In the study, published in Nature Genetics, the team found 10 genetic variants that played a role in allergies.
The study also revealed that a person’s risk increased depending on how many of these “bad” variants were inherited from their parents: the more of the variants a person had, the higher their risk of developing an allergic condition, like asthma.
“Between 30-50% of people have an allergy of some kind. Early in life, they’ll develop an allergic reaction to pollen, or dust, for example,” said Dr Manuel Ferreira, a co-author of the study.
“In this study, we searched for genetic differences between people to explain why some develop allergies, while others don’t.”
“This is important because we know that if you become allergic as a child, then you will be at an increased risk of developing asthma, hay fever or eczema later in life.”
The researchers will now focus on understanding which specific genes are involved, how they work and if they can be targeted by new drugs to treat or prevent allergic diseases.
Source: QIMR; Photo: jfl1066/Flickr.
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