Genetic Epidemiology

Heritability analysis of nontraditional glycemic biomarkers in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

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  • Author(s): Stephanie J. Loomis, Adrienne Tin, Josef Coresh, Eric Boerwinkle, James S. Pankow, Anna Köttgen, Elizabeth Selvin, Priya Duggal
  • Article first published online: 19 Jun 2019
  • DOI: 10.1002/gepi.22243
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Abstract Nontraditional glycemic biomarkers, including fructosamine, glycated albumin, and 1,5‐anhydroglucitol (1,5‐AG) are potential alternatives or complement to traditional measures of hyperglycemia. Genetic variants are associated with these biomarkers, but the heritability, or extent to which genetics control their variation, is not known. We estimated pedigree‐based, SNP‐based, and bivariate heritabilities for traditional glycemic biomarkers (fasting glucose, HbA1c), and nontraditional biomarkers (fructosamine, glycated albumin, 1,5‐AG) among white participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study (N = 400 first‐degree relatives from sibships, N = 5,575 unrelated individuals). Pedigree‐based heritabilities (representing heritability from the entire genome) for nontraditional biomarkers were substantial (0.44–0.55) and comparable to HbA1c (0.34); the fasting glucose estimate was nonsignificant. SNP‐based heritabilities (representing heritability from common variants) were lower than pedigree‐based heritabilities for all biomarkers. Bivariate heritabilities showed shared genetics between fructosamine and glycated albumin (0.46 pedigree‐based, 1.00 SNP‐based) and glycated albumin and 1,5‐AG (0.50 pedigree‐based, 0.47 SNP‐based). Genetic factors contribute to a considerable proportion of the variance of fructosamine, glycated albumin, and 1,5‐AG and a portion of this heritability likely comes from common variants.

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