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Approved Research

GWAS of metabolic syndrome and its components

Principal Investigator: Mrs Cynthia Okhuijsen-Pfeifer
Approved Research ID: 64716
Approval date: November 25th 2020

Lay summary

Metabolic syndrome is a syndrome that is prevalent in 1 out of every 5 persons. It can be determined by checking levels of some lab values such as HDL cholesterol, triglycerids and glucose in the blood of people, as well as checking their waist size and blood pressure. When at least 3 out of 5 are out of range, a person has metabolic syndrome. This syndrome leads to increased morbidity such as diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular disease and therefore also to increased mortality. In this study, we would like to use genetic data from the UK biobank to see if we can find genetic markers that make people more susceptible to metabolic syndrome. By combining parts of the genetics that give us significant results into a 'risk-score' we can try to predict this in others. We would like to apply this risk-score to a psychiatric cohort that we have available. These are treatment-resistant schizophrenia patients using an antipsychotic medication called clozapine. This medication is used as a last resort, because it has severe side-effects. It is also associated with causing metabolic syndrome, but until now we don't know whether this is the same sort of metabolic syndrome as in the general population. Therefore, we want to investigate whether the underlying genetics of MetS overlap between the general population and patients on clozapine.

The impact would be that we have an idea about the (genetic) markers for metabolic syndrome in general and for the clozapine users. This could lead to earlier identification of people susceptible metabolic syndrome and thus early initiation of preventive measures which could reduce the morbidity and mortality of this syndrome in this vulnerable group of patients. The project duration will be 1.5 year to be able to perform the analyses and writing up the findings.