Blood Eosinophil Count and Metabolic, Cardiac and Pulmonary Outcomes: A Mendelian Randomization Study

Amini, M., Vonk, J. M., Abbasi, A., Prins, B. P., Bruinenberg, M., Franke, L., van der Harst, P., Navis, G., Koppelman, G. H., Wolffenbuttel, B. H. R., Boezen, H. M., Snieder, H., Chasman, D. I. & Alizadeh, B. Z., Apr-2018, In : Twin research and human genetics. 21, 2, p. 89-100 12 p.

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Blood eosinophil count is associated with a variety of common complex outcomes in epidemiological observation. The aim of this study was to explore the causal association between determined blood eosinophil count and 20 common complex outcomes (10 metabolic, 6 cardiac, and 4 pulmonary). Through Mendelian randomization, we investigated genetic evidence for the genetically determined eosinophil in association with each outcomes using individual-level LifeLines cohort data (n = 13,301), where a weighted eosinophil genetic risk score comprising five eosinophil associated variants was created. We further examined the associations of the genetically determined eosinophil with those outcomes using summary statistics obtained from genome-wide association study consortia (6 consortia and 14 outcomes). Blood eosinophil count, by a 1-SD genetically increased, was not statistically associated with common complex outcomes in the LifeLines. Using the summary statistics, we showed that a higher genetically determined eosinophil count had a significant association with lower odds of obesity (odds ratio (OR) 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.74, 0.89]) but not with the other traits and diseases. To conclude, an elevated eosinophil count is unlikely to be causally associated to higher risk of metabolic, cardiac, and pulmonary outcomes. Further studies with a stronger genetic risk score for eosinophil count may support these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalTwin research and human genetics
Issue number2
Early online date6-Mar-2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2018


  • eosinophil count, genetic risk score, Mendelian randomization, instrumental variable, complex diseases, metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION, CORONARY-ARTERY-DISEASE, TYPE-2 DIABETES RISK, GENETIC ARCHITECTURE, GLUCOSE-HOMEOSTASIS, PROVIDES INSIGHTS, CONTROLLED-TRIAL, LOCI, METAANALYSIS, CELL
Related Datasets
  1. Lifelines Biobank

    Bakker, S. (Creator), Dotinga, A. (Creator), Vonk, J. (Creator), Smidt, N. (Creator), Scholtens, S. (Creator), Swertz, M. (Creator), Wijmenga, C. (Creator), Wolffenbuttel, B. (Creator), Stolk, R. (Creator), Zon, van, S. (Creator), Rosmalen, J. (Creator), Postma, D. S. (Creator), Boer, de, R. (Creator), Navis, G. (Creator), Slaets, J. (Creator), Ormel, H. (Creator), Dijk, van, F. (Creator), Lifelines, 2006


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