Four new genetic variants associated with asthma are reported in two independent studies published online this week in Nature Genetics.
Over 300 million individuals worldwide are affected by asthma, which is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by wheezing attacks, difficulty breathing, coughing and chest tightness.
Dara Torgerson and colleagues report an analysis of 18,065 individuals of various ethnic groups and identify a new genetic locus associated with asthma at the gene PYHIN1. This association is specific to individuals of African ancestry.
In another study, Mayumi Tamari and colleagues analyzed 7,171 Japanese individuals with asthma and identified 3 susceptibility loci for asthma in this Asian population.