African ancestry, early life exposures, and respiratory morbidity in early childhood

R. Kumar*, H. J. Tsai, X. Hong, C. Gignoux, C. Pearson, K. Ortiz, M. Fu, J. A. Pongracic, E. G. Burchard, H. Bauchner, X. Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Racial disparities persist in early childhood wheezing and cannot be completely explained by known risk factors. Objective: To evaluate the associations of genetic ancestry and self-identified race with early childhood recurrent wheezing, accounting for socio-economic status (SES) and early life exposures. Methods: We studied 1034 children in an urban, multi-racial, prospective birth cohort. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the association of genetic ancestry as opposed to self-identified race with recurrent wheezing (>3 episodes). Sequential models accounted for demographic, socio-economic factors and early life risk factors. Genetic ancestry, estimated using 150 ancestry informative markers, was expressed in deciles. Results: Approximately 6.1% of subjects (mean age 3.1 years) experienced recurrent wheezing. After accounting for SES and demographic factors, African ancestry (OR: 1.16, 95% CI: 1.02-1.31) was significantly associated with recurrent wheezing. By self-reported race, hispanic subjects had a borderline decrease in risk of wheeze compared with African Americans (OR: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.19-1.00), whereas white subjects (OR: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.14-1.57) did not have. After further adjustment for known confounders and early life exposures, both African (OR: 1.19, 95% CI: 1.05-1.34) and European ancestry (OR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.74-0.94) retained a significant association with recurrent wheezing, as compared with self-identified race (OR whites: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.09-1.14; OR hispanic: 0.47, 95% CI: 0.20-1.08). There were no significant interactions between ancestry and early life factors on recurrent wheezing. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: In contrast to self-identified race, African ancestry remained a significant, independent predictor of early childhood wheezing after accounting for early life and other known risk factors associated with lung function changes and asthma. Genetic ancestry may be a powerful way to evaluate wheezing disparities and a proxy for differentially distributed genetic and early life risk factors associated with childhood recurrent wheezing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Early childhood
  • Genetic ancestry
  • Race
  • Wheezing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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    Kumar, R., Tsai, H. J., Hong, X., Gignoux, C., Pearson, C., Ortiz, K., Fu, M., Pongracic, J. A., Burchard, E. G., Bauchner, H., & Wang, X. (2012). African ancestry, early life exposures, and respiratory morbidity in early childhood. Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 42(2), 265-274. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2222.2011.03873.x