Assessment of sex-specific effects in a genome-wide association study of rheumatoid arthritis.
Zhuang JJ., Morris AP.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is three times more common in females than in males, suggesting that sex may play a role in modifying genetic associations with disease. We have addressed this hypothesis by performing sex-differentiated and sex-interaction analyses of a genome-wide association study of RA in a North American population. Our results identify a number of novel associations that demonstrate strong evidence of association in both sexes combined, with no evidence of heterogeneity in risk between males and females. However, our analyses also highlight a number of associations with RA in males or females only. These signals may represent true sex-specific effects, or may reflect a lack of power to detect association in the smaller sample of males, and thus warrant further investigation.