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Genetic and environmental influence on lung function impairment in Swedish twins

Hallberg, Jenny; Iliadou, Anastasia; Anderson, Martin; de Verdier, Maria Gerhardsson; Nihlén, Ulf LU ; Dahlback, Magnus; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Higenbottam, Tim and Svartengren, Magnus (2010) In Respiratory Research 11.
Abstract
Background: The understanding of the influence of smoking and sex on lung function and symptoms is important for understanding diseases such as COPD. The influence of both genes and environment on lung function, smoking behaviour and the presence of respiratory symptoms has previously been demonstrated for each of these separately. Hence, smoking can influence lung function by co-varying not only as an environmental factor, but also by shared genetic pathways. Therefore, the objective was to evaluate heritability for different aspects of lung function, and to investigate how the estimates are affected by adjustments for smoking and respiratory symptoms. Methods: The current study is based on a selected sample of adult twins from the... (More)
Background: The understanding of the influence of smoking and sex on lung function and symptoms is important for understanding diseases such as COPD. The influence of both genes and environment on lung function, smoking behaviour and the presence of respiratory symptoms has previously been demonstrated for each of these separately. Hence, smoking can influence lung function by co-varying not only as an environmental factor, but also by shared genetic pathways. Therefore, the objective was to evaluate heritability for different aspects of lung function, and to investigate how the estimates are affected by adjustments for smoking and respiratory symptoms. Methods: The current study is based on a selected sample of adult twins from the Swedish Twin Registry. Pairs were selected based on background data on smoking and respiratory symptoms collected by telephone interview. Lung function was measured as FEV1, VC and DLco. Pack years were quantified, and quantitative genetic analysis was performed on lung function data adjusting stepwise for sex, pack years and respiratory symptoms. Results: Fully adjusted heritability for VC was 59% and did not differ by sex, with smoking and symptoms explaining only a small part of the total variance. Heritabilities for FEV1 and DLco were sex specific. Fully adjusted estimates were 10 and 15% in men and 46% and 39% in women, respectively. Adjustment for smoking and respiratory symptoms altered the estimates differently in men and women. For FEV1 and DLco, the variance explained by smoking and symptoms was larger in men. Further, smoking and symptoms explained genetic variance in women, but was primarily associated with shared environmental effects in men. Conclusion: Differences between men and women were found in how smoking and symptoms influence the variation in lung function. Pulmonary gas transfer variation related to the menstrual cycle has been shown before, and the findings regarding DLco in the present study indicates gender specific environmental susceptibility not shown before. As a consequence the results suggest that patients with lung diseases such as COPD could benefit from interventions that are sex specific. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Respiratory Research
volume
11
publisher
BioMed Central
external identifiers
  • wos:000282550100001
  • scopus:77956700003
ISSN
1465-9921
DOI
10.1186/1465-9921-11-92
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d0bfed75-be7c-4c8e-add3-27815681d349 (old id 1726356)
date added to LUP
2010-12-01 16:11:20
date last changed
2018-07-01 03:07:35
@article{d0bfed75-be7c-4c8e-add3-27815681d349,
  abstract     = {Background: The understanding of the influence of smoking and sex on lung function and symptoms is important for understanding diseases such as COPD. The influence of both genes and environment on lung function, smoking behaviour and the presence of respiratory symptoms has previously been demonstrated for each of these separately. Hence, smoking can influence lung function by co-varying not only as an environmental factor, but also by shared genetic pathways. Therefore, the objective was to evaluate heritability for different aspects of lung function, and to investigate how the estimates are affected by adjustments for smoking and respiratory symptoms. Methods: The current study is based on a selected sample of adult twins from the Swedish Twin Registry. Pairs were selected based on background data on smoking and respiratory symptoms collected by telephone interview. Lung function was measured as FEV1, VC and DLco. Pack years were quantified, and quantitative genetic analysis was performed on lung function data adjusting stepwise for sex, pack years and respiratory symptoms. Results: Fully adjusted heritability for VC was 59% and did not differ by sex, with smoking and symptoms explaining only a small part of the total variance. Heritabilities for FEV1 and DLco were sex specific. Fully adjusted estimates were 10 and 15% in men and 46% and 39% in women, respectively. Adjustment for smoking and respiratory symptoms altered the estimates differently in men and women. For FEV1 and DLco, the variance explained by smoking and symptoms was larger in men. Further, smoking and symptoms explained genetic variance in women, but was primarily associated with shared environmental effects in men. Conclusion: Differences between men and women were found in how smoking and symptoms influence the variation in lung function. Pulmonary gas transfer variation related to the menstrual cycle has been shown before, and the findings regarding DLco in the present study indicates gender specific environmental susceptibility not shown before. As a consequence the results suggest that patients with lung diseases such as COPD could benefit from interventions that are sex specific.},
  author       = {Hallberg, Jenny and Iliadou, Anastasia and Anderson, Martin and de Verdier, Maria Gerhardsson and Nihlén, Ulf and Dahlback, Magnus and Pedersen, Nancy L. and Higenbottam, Tim and Svartengren, Magnus},
  issn         = {1465-9921},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central},
  series       = {Respiratory Research},
  title        = {Genetic and environmental influence on lung function impairment in Swedish twins},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1465-9921-11-92},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2010},
}