OBJECTIVES: Hispanics represent an understudied inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) population. Prior studies examining genetic predisposition to IBD in Hispanics are limited. In this study, we examined whether European-derived IBD variants confer risk in Hispanics and their influence on IBD phenotype in Hispanics compared to non-Hispanic whites (NHW). METHODS: Self-identified Hispanics and NHWs with IBD were included. Hispanic controls were included for our genetic analyses. We performed single-variant testing at previously identified Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) IBD variants in Hispanic cases and controls. These risk variants were used to compute individual genetic risk scores. Genetic risk scores and phenotype associations were compared between Hispanic and NHW. RESULTS: A total of 1,115 participants were included: 698 controls and 417 IBD patients (230 Hispanics). We found evidence of association within our Hispanic cohort at 22 IBD risk loci, with ~ 76% of the risk loci demonstrating over-representation of the European risk allele; these included loci corresponding to IL23R and NOD2 genes. CD genetic risk score for Hispanics (199.67) was similar to the score for NHW (200.33), P=0.51; the same was true in UC. Genetic risk scores did not predict IBD phenotype or complications in Hispanics or NHW except for a younger age of CD onset in Hispanics (P=0.04). CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the fundamental importance of these loci in IBD pathogenesis including in our diverse Hispanic population. Future studies looking at non-genetic mechanisms of disease are needed to explain differences in age of presentation and phenotype between Hispanics and NHW.
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