Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Respiratory Research








Centre for Precision Health


National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. NFSC 81673247) / China-Australian collaborative Grant (Grant No. NSFC 81561128020-NHMRC APP1112767) / National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2018YFC2000704)


Zhang, Q., Zhang, X., Zhang, J., Jiang, M., Zhang, Y., Zheng, D., ... & Wang, Y. (2023). Genetic association and causal inference between lung function and venous thromboembolism. Respiratory Research, 24, Article 36.


Background: Previous studies have indicated that lower lung function is related to a higher risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). However, causal inferences may be affected by confounders, coheritability or reverse causality. We aimed to explore the causal association between lung function and VTE. Methods: Summary data from public genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for lung function and VTE were obtained from published meta-analysis studies and the FinnGen consortium, respectively. Independent genetic variables significantly related to exposure were filtered as proxy instruments. We adopted linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC) and two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses to infer the genetic backgrounds and causal associations between different lung functions and VTE events. Results: LDSC showed a genetic correlation between forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (rg = − 0.189, P = 0.005). In univariate MR (UVMR), there was suggestive evidence for causal associations of genetically predicted force vital capacity (FVC) with DVT (odds ratio (OR) 0.774; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.641 – 0.934) via forwards analysis and genetically predicted pulmonary embolism (PE) with FVC (OR 0.989; 95 % CI 0.979 – 0.999) via reverse analysis. Multivariate MR (MVMR) analyses of lung function-specific SNPs suggested no significant direct effects of lung function on VTE, and vice versa. Of note is the borderline causal effect of PE on FEV1 (OR 0.921; 95 % CI 0.848 – 1.000). Conclusions: Our findings identified a coheritability of FEV1 (significant) and FVC (suggestive) with DVT. There was no convincing causal relationship between lung function and the risk of VTE events. The borderline causal effect of PE on FEV1 and the significant genetic correlation of FEV1 with DVT may have clinical implications for improving the quality of existing prevention and intervention strategies.



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