Genetic analysis of over half a million people characterises C-reactive protein loci

Saredo Said, Raha Pazoki, Ville Karhunen, Urmo Võsa, Symen Ligthart, Barbara Bodinier, Fotios Koskeridis, Paul Welsh, Behrooz Z Alizadeh, Daniel I Chasman, Naveed Sattar, Marc Chadeau-Hyam, Evangelos Evangelou, Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin, Paul Elliott, Ioanna Tzoulaki, Abbas Dehghan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Chronic low-grade inflammation is linked to a multitude of chronic diseases. We report the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) on C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of systemic inflammation, in UK Biobank participants (N = 427,367, European descent) and the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium (total N = 575,531 European descent). We identify 266 independent loci, of which 211 are not previously reported. Gene-set analysis highlighted 42 gene sets associated with CRP levels (p ≤ 3.2 ×10-6) and tissue expression analysis indicated a strong association of CRP related genes with liver and whole blood gene expression. Phenome-wide association study identified 27 clinical outcomes associated with genetically determined CRP and subsequent Mendelian randomisation analyses supported a causal association with schizophrenia, chronic airway obstruction and prostate cancer. Our findings identified genetic loci and functional properties of chronic low-grade inflammation and provided evidence for causal associations with a range of diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2198
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22-Apr-2022


  • C-Reactive Protein/genetics
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Inflammation/genetics
  • Male
  • Mendelian Randomization Analysis
  • Phenomics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide

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