Discovery and refinement of loci associated with lipid levels

Cristen J Willer*, Ellen M Schmidt, Sebanti Sengupta, Gina M Peloso, Stefan Gustafsson, Stavroula Kanoni, Andrea Ganna, Jin Chen, Martin L Buchkovich, Samia Mora, Jacques S Beckmann, Jennifer L Bragg-Gresham, Hsing-Yi Chang, Ayse Demirkan, Heleen M Den Hertog, Ron Do, Louise A Donnelly, Georg B Ehret, Tõnu Esko, Mary F FeitosaTeresa Ferreira, Krista Fischer, Pierre Fontanillas, Ross M Fraser, Daniel F Freitag, Deepti Gurdasani, Kauko Heikkilä, Elina Hyppönen, Aaron Isaacs, Anne U Jackson, Åsa Johansson, Toby Johnson, Marika Kaakinen, Johannes Kettunen, Marcus E Kleber, Xiaohui Li, Jian'an Luan, Leo-Pekka Lyytikäinen, Patrik K E Magnusson, Massimo Mangino, Evelin Mihailov, May E Montasser, Martina Müller-Nurasyid, Ilja M Nolte, Jeffrey R O'Connell, Cameron D Palmer, Markus Perola, Ann-Kristin Petersen, Andrew Wong, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, Global Lipids Genetics Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol are heritable, modifiable risk factors for coronary artery disease. To identify new loci and refine known loci influencing these lipids, we examined 188,577 individuals using genome-wide and custom genotyping arrays. We identify and annotate 157 loci associated with lipid levels at P < 5 × 10(-8), including 62 loci not previously associated with lipid levels in humans. Using dense genotyping in individuals of European, East Asian, South Asian and African ancestry, we narrow association signals in 12 loci. We find that loci associated with blood lipid levels are often associated with cardiovascular and metabolic traits, including coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, waist-hip ratio and body mass index. Our results demonstrate the value of using genetic data from individuals of diverse ancestry and provide insights into the biological mechanisms regulating blood lipids to guide future genetic, biological and therapeutic research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1274-1283
Number of pages10
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • African Continental Ancestry Group/genetics
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group/genetics
  • Cholesterol, HDL/blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL/blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease/blood
  • European Continental Ancestry Group/genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lipids/blood
  • Triglycerides/blood

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