• The genomics of heart failure: design and rationale of the HERMES consortium

      Lumbers, R Thomas; Shah, Sonia; Lin, Honghuang; Czuba, Tomasz; Henry, Albert; Swerdlow, Daniel I; Mälarstig, Anders; Andersson, Charlotte; Verweij, Niek; Holmes, Michael V; et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2021-09-03)
      Aims: The HERMES (HEart failure Molecular Epidemiology for Therapeutic targetS) consortium aims to identify the genomic and molecular basis of heart failure. Methods and results: The consortium currently includes 51 studies from 11 countries, including 68 157 heart failure cases and 949 888 controls, with data on heart failure events and prognosis. All studies collected biological samples and performed genome-wide genotyping of common genetic variants. The enrolment of subjects into participating studies ranged from 1948 to the present day, and the median follow-up following heart failure diagnosis ranged from 2 to 116 months. Forty-nine of 51 individual studies enrolled participants of both sexes; in these studies, participants with heart failure were predominantly male (34–90%). The mean age at diagnosis or ascertainment across all studies ranged from 54 to 84 years. Based on the aggregate sample, we estimated 80% power to genetic variant associations with risk of heart failure with an odds ratio of ≥1.10 for common variants (allele frequency ≥ 0.05) and ≥1.20 for low-frequency variants (allele frequency 0.01–0.05) at P < 5 × 10−8 under an additive genetic model. Conclusions: HERMES is a global collaboration aiming to (i) identify the genetic determinants of heart failure; (ii) generate insights into the causal pathways leading to heart failure and enable genetic approaches to target prioritization; and (iii) develop genomic tools for disease stratification and risk prediction.
    • Rare genetic variants explain missing heritability in smoking.

      Jang, Seon-Kyeong; Evans, Luke; Fialkowski, Allison; Arnett, Donna K; Ashley-Koch, Allison E; Barnes, Kathleen C; Becker, Diane M; Bis, Joshua C; Blangero, John; Bleecker, Eugene R; et al. (Springer Nature, 2022-08-04)
      Common genetic variants explain less variation in complex phenotypes than inferred from family-based studies, and there is a debate on the source of this ‘missing heritability’. We investigated the contribution of rare genetic variants to tobacco use with whole-genome sequences from up to 26,257 unrelated individuals of European ancestries and 11,743 individuals of African ancestries. Across four smoking traits, single-nucleotide-polymorphism-based heritability (hSNP2) was estimated from 0.13 to 0.28 (s.e., 0.10–0.13) in European ancestries, with 35–74% of it attributable to rare variants with minor allele frequencies between 0.01% and 1%. These heritability estimates are 1.5–4 times higher than past estimates based on common variants alone and accounted for 60% to 100% of our pedigree-based estimates of narrow-sense heritability (hped2, 0.18–0.34). In the African ancestry samples, hSNP2 was estimated from 0.03 to 0.33 (s.e., 0.09–0.14) across the four smoking traits. These results suggest that rare variants are important contributors to the heritability of smoking. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.