Replication of associations in genome-wide association studies is desirable to ensure that such signals are potentially clinically meaningful. This study aimed to replicate associations of selected single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with hypothyroidism and serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) using electronic medical records (EMRs).Patients and methods
A cross-sectional study was carried out among patients of European Caucasian ethnicity from the Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research Tayside recruited in Tayside (Scotland, UK). EMRs (biochemistry, prescribing, hospital admissions and demographics) were used to ascertain patients with hypothyroidism and their controls as well as average serum TSH concentration, and linked to genetic biobank data. Genetic tests of association were performed using logistic and linear regression models.Results
We analysed 1703 cases of hypothyroidism and 9457 controls. All four SNPs located on chromosome 9 at FOXE1 were associated with hypothyroidism with similar effect estimates (odds ratio=0.75–0.76, P<5e−08). Also, loci on chromosomes 1 (PTPN22), six (HLA-E/HLA-C) and 12 (SH2B3) were replicated. For serum TSH, we confirmed 12 SNPs previously reported at PDE8B, CAPZB, PDE10A, LOC105371356, NR3C2, VEGFA, IGFBP5, INSR, PRDM11, NFIA, ITPK1 and ABO. Overall, these SNPs accounted for 6.8% of the serum TSH variation (P<1e−04).Conclusion
EMRs linked to genomic data in large populations enable validation of genome-wide association studies discoveries without additional genotyping costs. Our replication confirmed at genome-wide significance the association of loci at FOXE1 with hypothyroidism, and PDE8B, CAPZB and PDE10A with serum TSH. A total of 12 SNPs seemed to explain nearly 7% of the serum TSH variation.