Background: Childhood asthma is a complex disease with known heritability and phenotypic diversity. Although an earlier onset has been associated with more severe disease, there has been no genome-wide association study of the age of onset of asthma in children. Objective: We sought to identify genetic variants associated with earlier onset of childhood asthma. Methods: We conducted the first genome-wide association study of the age of onset of childhood asthma among participants in the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) and used 3 independent cohorts from North America, Costa Rica, and Sweden for replication. Results: Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were associated with earlier onset of asthma in the combined analysis of CAMP and the replication cohorts: rs9815663 (Fisher P = 2.31 × 10-8) and rs7927044 (P = 6.54 × 10-9). Of these 2 SNPs, rs9815663 was also significantly associated with earlier asthma onset in an analysis including only the replication cohorts. Ten SNPs in linkage disequilibrium with rs9815663 were also associated with earlier asthma onset (2.24 × 10-7 < P < 8.22 × 10-6). Having 1 or more risk alleles of the 2 SNPs of interest (rs9815663 and rs7927044) was associated with lower lung function and higher asthma medication use during 4 years of follow-up in CAMP. Conclusions: We have identified 2 SNPs associated with earlier onset of childhood asthma in 4 independent cohorts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy