Clinical genetics 2017 10 0993(1) 103-110 doi 10.1111/cge.13072
Graves’ disease (GD) is a complex autoimmune disorder in which genetic and environmental factors are both involved in the pathogenesis. Early-onset patients have a shorter exposure time to environmental factors and are, therefore, good models to help understand the genetic architecture of GD. Based on previous studies of early-onset GD, 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and their related SNPs (R2 > .6), SNPs located within a ±1-Mb region of the FOXP3 gene, and 20 validated GD-risk SNPs were selected and screened for genotyping in 3735 GD and 4893 control patients to investigate whether early-onset GD is a subtype of GD with distinct susceptibility genes. Ultimately, we did not confirm the reported genetic markers of early-onset GD in our Chinese Han population but found that a GD-risk SNP located in the human leukocyte antigen class I region-rs4947296-was more strongly correlated with early-onset GD than non-early-onset GD. In addition, heterogeneity analysis of GD patients suggests that it may be more reasonable to define early-onset GD as an onset age ≤20 years.