Lipid concentrations are heritable traits. Recently, the number of known genetic loci associated with lipid levels in adults increased from 95 to 157. The effects of these 157 loci have not been tested in children. Considering that lipid levels track from childhood to adulthood, we studied to determine whether these variants already affected lipid concentrations in a large group of 2,645 children with a median age of 6.0 years (95% range 5.7–7.3 years) from the population-based Generation R Study. Twenty-eight SNPs associated with TGs, 39 SNPs associated with total cholesterol (TC), 28 SNPs associated with LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), and 56 SNPs associated with HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) were analyzed individually and combined into genetic risk scores (GRSs). All risk scores were associated with their specific outcomes. The differences in mean absolute lipid and lipoprotein values between the 10% of children with the highest lipid or lipoprotein GRS versus the 10% with the lowest score were 0.28, 0.25, 0.32, and 0.30 mmol/l for TGs, TC, LDL-C, and HDL-C, respectively. In conclusion, we show for the first time that GRSs based on 157 SNPs associated with adult lipid concentrations are associated with lipid levels in children. The genetic background of these phenotypes at least partly overlaps between children and adults.

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Journal of Lipid Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Latsuzbaia, A. (Ardashel), Jaddoe, V., Hofman, A., Franco, O., & Felix, J. (2016). Associations of genetic variants for adult lipid levels with lipid levels in children. The Generation R study. Journal of Lipid Research, 57(12), 2185–2192. doi:10.1194/jlr.P066902