Boston, MA A new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) reveals several new gene variants that are associated with how people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) respond to inhaled bronchodilators. COPD is a progressive breathing disorder that limits airflow in the lungs. Bronchodilators are medicines used to alleviate respiratory disorder symptoms.
The abstract for this meta-analysis study will be presented at the American Society of Human Genetics 2013 meeting, Oct. 22 to 26 in Boston.
One of the research goals was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR).
"Identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with bronchodilator responsiveness may reveal genetic pathways associated with the pathogenesis of COPD and may identify novel treatment methods," said Megan Hardin, MD, BWH Channing Division of Network Medicine, lead study author.
The researchers used statistical methods to combine results from 5,789 Caucasian patients with moderate to severe COPD from four individual studies. The genotypes of over 700 African Americans with COPD were also analyzed.
Most (4,561) of the patients in the four cohorts studied had over 10 pack-years of smoking. The group whose members had greater than 5 pack-years of smoking totaled 364, and the cohort with greater than two and one-half years totaled 864.
All patients were genotyped, and their lung function was tested by spirometry before and after they used the bronchodilator medication albuterol, which relaxes muscles in the airways and increases air flow to the lungs. Spirometry measures the volume and flow of air that is exhaled.
The researchers investigated over 6.3 million unique SNPs from the patients' genotypes. They discovered four novel variants that rarely occur in the general population.
According to Hardin, there may be multiple genetic determina
|Contact: Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg|
Brigham and Women's Hospital