Genetic correlation and causal associations between circulating C-reactive protein levels and lung cancer risk

Jiajun Shi, Wanqing Wen, Jirong Long, Haoran Xue, Yaohua Yang, Ran Tao, Wei Pan, Xiao Ou Shu, Qiuyin Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: We aimed to characterize genetic correlations and causal associations between circulating C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and the risk of lung cancer (LC). Methods: Leveraging summary statistics from genome-wide association studies of circulating CRP levels among 575,531 individuals of European ancestry, and LC risk among 29,266 cases and 56,450 controls, we investigated genetic associations of circulating CRP levels with the risk of overall lung cancer and its histological subtypes, by using linkage disequilibrium score (LDSC) regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses. Results: Significant positive genetic correlations between circulating CRP levels and the risk of LC and its histological subtypes were identified from LDSC regression, with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.12 to 0.26, and all false discovery adjusted p < 0.05. Univariable MR demonstrated a nominal association between CRP levels and an increased risk of lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (inverse variance-weighted OR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.01–1.30). However, this association disappeared when multivariable MR included cigarettes per day and/or body mass index. By using our recently developed constrained maximum likelihood-based MR method, we identified significant associations of CRP levels with the risk of overall LC (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03–1.09), SCC (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02–1.09), and small cell lung cancer (SCLC, OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.03–1.15). Moreover, most univariable and multivariable MR analyses also revealed consistent CRP-SCLC associations. Conclusion: There may be a genetic and causal association between circulating CRP levels and the risk of SCLC, which is in line with previous population-based observational studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-906
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024.

Keywords

  • C-reactive protein
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Genetic correlation
  • Lung cancer
  • Mendelian randomization

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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