Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the leading cause of respiratory mortality worldwide. Genetic risk loci provide new insights into disease pathogenesis. We performed a genome-wide association study in 35,735 cases and 222,076 controls from the UK Biobank and additional studies from the International COPD Genetics Consortium. We identified 82 loci associated with P < 5 × 10−8; 47 of these were previously described in association with either COPD or population-based measures of lung function. Of the remaining 35 new loci, 13 were associated with lung function in 79,055 individuals from the SpiroMeta consortium. Using gene expression and regulation data, we identified functional enrichment of COPD risk loci in lung tissue, smooth muscle, and several lung cell types. We found 14 COPD loci shared with either asthma or pulmonary fibrosis. COPD genetic risk loci clustered into groups based on associations with quantitative imaging features and comorbidities. Our analyses provide further support for the genetic susceptibility and heterogeneity of COPD.
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Genome-wide association summary statistics are available at the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) under accession phs000179.v5.p2 and via the UK Biobank. Derived phenotypic data for COPD case–control status are also available from UK Biobank.
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This work was supported by the Prince Mahidol Award Youth Program Scholarship (P. Sakornsakolpat); NHLBI R01HL084323, R01HL113264, R01HL089856, and P01HL105339 (E.K.S.); K08HL136928 (B.D.H.), the Parker B. Francis Research Opportunity Award (B.D.H.); and R01HL113264, R01HL137927, P01HL105339, and P01HL132825 (M.H.C.). This research was conducted by using the UK Biobank resource under application numbers 20915 (M.H.C.) and 648 (M.D.T.). Please refer to the Supplementary Note for full acknowledgements. Funding bodies had no role in the design of the study, the collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data, or the writing of the manuscript.