MR-pheWAS with stratification and interaction: Searching for the causal effects of smoking heaviness identified an effect on facial aging
Mendelian randomization (MR) is an established approach for estimating the causal effect of an environmental exposure on a downstream outcome. The gene x environment (GxE) study design can be used within an MR framework to determine whether MR estimates may be biased if the genetic instrument affects the outcome through pathways other than via the exposure of interest (known as horizontal pleiotropy). MR phenome-wide association studies (MR-pheWAS) search for the effects of an exposure, and a recently published tool (PHESANT) means that it is now possible to do this comprehensively, across thousands of traits in UK Biobank. In this study, we introduce the GxE MR-pheWAS approach, and search for the causal effects of smoking heaviness - stratifying on smoking status (ever versus never) - as an exemplar. If a genetic variant is associated with smoking heaviness (but not smoking initiation), and this variant affects an outcome (at least partially) via tobacco intake, we would expect the effect of the variant on the outcome to differ in ever versus never smokers. If this effect is entirely mediated by tobacco intake, we would expect to see an effect in ever smokers but not never smokers. We used PHESANT to search for the causal effects of smoking heaviness, instrumented by genetic variant rs16969968, among never and ever smokers respectively, in UK Biobank. We ranked results by: 1) strength of effect of rs16969968 among ever smokers, and 2) strength of interaction between ever and never smokers. We replicated previously established causal effects of smoking heaviness, including a detrimental effect on lung function and pulse rate. Novel results included a detrimental effect of heavier smoking on facial aging. We have demonstrated how GxE MR-pheWAS can be used to identify causal effects of an exposure, while simultaneously assessing the extent that results may be biased by horizontal pleiotropy.
- Downloaded 426 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 79,315
- In epidemiology: 3,446
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 151,636
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 106,964
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!