A Twin Study of Early-Childhood Asthma in Puerto Ricans
Silberg, Judy L.
Gillespie, Nathan A.
Celedόn, Juan C.
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CitationBunyavanich, Supinda, Judy L. Silberg, Jessica Lasky-Su, Nathan A. Gillespie, Nancy E. Lange, Glorisa Canino, and Juan C. Celedόn. 2013. “A Twin Study of Early-Childhood Asthma in Puerto Ricans.” PLoS ONE 8 (7): e68473. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068473. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0068473.
AbstractBackground: The relative contributions of genetics and environment to asthma in Hispanics or to asthma in children younger than 3 years are not well understood. Objective: To examine the relative contributions of genetics and environment to early-childhood asthma by performing a longitudinal twin study of asthma in Puerto Rican children ≤3 years old. Methods: 678 twin infants from the Puerto Rico Neo-Natal Twin Registry were assessed for asthma at age 1 year, with follow-up data obtained for 624 twins at age 3 years. Zygosity was determined by DNA microsatellite profiling. Structural equation modeling was performed for three phenotypes at ages 1 and 3 years: physician-diagnosed asthma, asthma medication use in the past year, and ≥1 hospitalization for asthma in the past year. Models were additionally adjusted for early-life environmental tobacco smoke exposure, sex, and age. Results: The prevalences of physician-diagnosed asthma, asthma medication use, and hospitalization for asthma were 11.6%, 10.8%, 4.9% at age 1 year, and 34.1%, 40.1%, and 8.5% at 3 years, respectively. Shared environmental effects contributed to the majority of variance in susceptibility to physician-diagnosed asthma and asthma medication use in the first year of life (84%–86%), while genetic effects drove variance in all phenotypes (45%–65%) at age 3 years. Early-life environmental tobacco smoke, sex, and age contributed to variance in susceptibility. Conclusion: Our longitudinal study in Puerto Rican twins demonstrates a changing contribution of shared environmental effects to liability for physician-diagnosed asthma and asthma medication use between ages 1 and 3 years. Early-life environmental tobacco smoke reduction could markedly reduce asthma morbidity in young Puerto Rican children.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11717667
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