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Clinical and genetic study of the heritability of nasal polyps and asthma

Mats Bende, professor
Central Hospital, Skövde, Sweden
and University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden

The prevalence of nasal polyps among adults is 2.7%. To date, there is no curative treatment method for nasal polyps, with the result that the patients repeatedly return to healthcare. How and why the disease arises is unknown, but there is a strong link between nasal polyps and non-allergic asthma, sometimes combined with hypersensitivity to acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). There are only a few disparate reports on heredity for nasal polyps, and this provides grounds for studying this issue in greater depth, given access to a large clinical material.
The purpose of this study is:

  • to determine whether clinical nasal examinations reveal an increased prevalence of nasal polyps and asthma in patients with nasal polyps compared to the normal population
    (an epidemiological approach)
  • to determine whether there are any genetic markers which are associated to both nasal polyps and asthma (a genetic approach)
  •  to attempt to identify asthma-related genetic markers among polyps patients

We will clinically examine a total of 300–400 patients with nasal polyps and 600-800 of genetically related relatives and receive a blood sample of each. Given that the prevalence of nasal polyps among different age groups and genders, which is currently known for the adult population, it is possible to study a large number of adult relatives of patients with polyps to determine whether they exhibit increased prevalence. By collecting a large cohort of patients and their family members we can apply this technique and thereby discover new genetic variants influencing the pathogenesis of chronic inflammation in nasal polyps and related conditions. We will combine our results with published Genome Wide Association Studies in asthma to find potential genes and genetic variants, which are influencing upper airway inflammation and are important for both these diseases.
This study could be very important for our understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the common, not-curable and related diseases; nasal polyps and asthma.

Page Manager: Madeleine Ahrnens|Last update: 11/17/2009

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