Forty-six genetic variants associated with blood cells and metabolic traits are reported in a study published online this week in Nature Genetics. This study identifies genetic loci that regulate blood cell variability and certain metabolites in a Japanese population, which may lead to greater understanding of how these are disturbed in related diseases.
The number and volume of blood cells, as well as the levels of many metabolites, are commonly measured in patients to assist with the diagnosis and management of various diseases. Naoyuki Kamatani and colleagues analyzed the genomes of nearly 15,000 Japanese individuals, measuring eight blood cell traits and 12 metabolites. The study reports 46 new genetic variants that are associated with these clinically relevant traits, which include red blood cell count, hemoglobin concentration, platelet count, and lipid profiles.