Genetic Factors Play Larger Role in Hidradenitis Suppurativa Than Previously Thought

By Dave Quaile, /alert Contributor
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The link between genetic factors and hidradenitis suppurativa may be stronger than previously recorded, according to the results of a nationwide twin study recently published in JAMA Dermatology

“Twin studies provide a unique and powerful approach to elucidate the contribution of genetic and environmental fac- tors to the development of disease but they are currently lacking in individuals with HS, to our knowledge," Kelsey R. van Straalen, MD, from the Department of Dermatology at Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, and colleagues wrote. "Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the proportion of susceptibility to HS that was due to genetic factors (heritability) in a nationwide Dutch twin cohort."

Van Straalen and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study on self-reported hidradenitis suppurativa conducted from 2011 to 2016, and collected data from twins participating in the surveys of the nationwide Netherlands Twin Register. 

The study included 978 female monozygotic twin pairs and 344 male monozygotic twin pairs and 426 female dizygotic twin pairs, 167 male dizygotic twin pairs, and 428 dizygotic twin pairs of the opposite sex. The researchers performed a statistical analysis from July to November 2019.

The primary outcome of the study was the proportion of susceptibility to hidradenitis suppurativa due to additive genetic factors (narrow-sense heritability), dominant genetic factors, common or shared environmental factors, or unshared or unique environmental factors. The primary outcome was evaluated prior to data collection.

Of the 2343 complete twin pairs with a mean (SD) age of 32.7 years, prevalence of hidradenitis suppurativa was 1.2% (58 of 4686). 

According to the study results, the narrow-sense heritability of hidradenitis suppurativa was 77% (95% CI, 54%-90%), with the remainder of the variance due to unshared or unique environmental factors based on an age-adjusted model combining additive genetic factors and unshared or unique environmental factors.

“The results of this nationwide twin study suggest a stronger than previously assumed contribution of genetic factors to the susceptibility to HS in the general population,” the researchers concluded. “Our results further support a multifactorial cause of the disease and support the need for a global genome-wide association study of patients with HS.”

Disclosure: van der Zee reports receiving personal fees from AbbVie and InflaRx.


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