Snoring is in your genes


A new study by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has identified 173 genes linked to snoring and confirmed overweight, middle-aged men who smoke are the most likely to have the sleep condition.

The study findings have been published in the journal Nature Communications.

Senior author and study leader, Dr Miguel E. Renteria from QIMR Berghofer’s Genetic Epidemiology group, said the 173 genes were situated on 42 regions of the human genome.

“This is the largest population-wide study of the genetics of snoring to date and provides a new insight into the sleeping condition which affects one in three people,” Dr Renteria said.

“We were able to identify the genes by comparing differences in the DNA profiles of about 150,000 snorers to the genetic information of more than 250,000 non-snorers that is held in the UK Biobank.

“We also looked at the effects of body mass index (BMI), smoking, and alcohol consumption on the likelihood of someone being a snorer, and conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify specific parts of the human genome that harbour genes that increase the risk of snoring.

“We then used that information to develop genetic risk scores for the predisposition to snore in a group of 8,000 Australian adults, and were able to identify those at high-risk and those at low-risk, based on their genes.

“Many of the genes we found that are associated with snoring have previously been linked to respiratory, cardio-metabolic, neurological and psychiatric traits.”

Dr Renteria said the study also confirmed a genetic overlap between snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea, with almost 80 per cent of the genes involved in snoring risk also affecting a person’s risk for obstructive sleep apnoea.

Sleep apnoea is a serious condition that affects breathing during sleep. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, it reduces airflow which causes intermittent dips in the amount of oxygen in the blood and disturbs sleep.

It can lead to health problems such as pulmonary hypertension, diabetes and heart disease and is often underdiagnosed in the population, but loud snoring is one of its most important symptoms.

Snoring is defined as noisy breathing during sleep that is the result of vibrations in the upper airways. Habitual snoring is mostly considered a harmless condition.

First author and QIMR Berghofer PhD candidate, Adrian Campos, said the study confirmed that snoring was overall more prevalent among men than women and the probability of snoring increased with age and BMI.

“We also found that smoking and alcohol consumption both increased the risk for snoring in men and women,” Mr Campos said.

“However, drinking alcohol increased the risk of snoring in men more than it did in women. Conversely, smoking increased a woman’s risk of snoring to a greater degree than it did in men.

“While snoring is often joked about as a strain in relationships, and many people don’t take it too seriously, we wanted to perform a rigorous scientific analysis to understand its biological basis and to examine its relationship with sleep apnoea and other health conditions.”

The researchers say they now plan to build on the study findings by using genetic data to further examine the relationship between snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea.

The research was conducted in collaboration with The University of Queensland and was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council, and a Research Training Scholarship from The University of Queensland.

The study findings are available on the Nature Communications website.

Health & Wellness Lifestyle Science & Research

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute :
PO Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, 4029, Brisbane
07 3845 3752
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
QIMR Berghofer fast tracks vital coronavirus research 25 March 2020 | A $1 million donation from Queensland philanthropist Clive Berghofer AM will help boost a wide-ranging research program at QIMR Berghofer into the global pandemic, COVID-19. More information...
Global collaboration predicts nearly 200 genes that affect breast cancer risk 27 February 2020 | An international study, co-led by Queensland researchers, has concluded that 191 genes are likely to affect a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. More information...
Snoring is in your genes 15 February 2020 | A new study by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has identified 173 genes linked to snoring and confirmed overweight, middle-aged men who smoke are the most likely to have the sleep condition. More information...
Scientists develop test that will help prevent glaucoma-related blindness 21 January 2020 | Australian researchers have identified 107 genes that increase a person’s risk of developing the eye disease glaucoma, and developed a genetic test to detect those at risk of going blind from it. More information...
Potential new cancer treatment a step closer 12 December 2019 | QIMR Berghofer researchers have discovered a potential new cancer immunotherapy target that involves switching off a regulatory cell to stop tumours growing and spreading. More information...
Study finds key risk factors for teenage suicide 09 December 2019 | New Australian research has found that young people who report suicidal thoughts and who also experience auditory hallucinations and psychological distress are at the greatest risk of future suicide attempts. More information...
How much sunshine causes melanoma? It’s in your genes 21 November 2019 | Australian researchers from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute have shown that 22 different genes help to determine how much sun exposure a person needs to receive before developing melanoma. More information...
Researchers find new clues to what drives ADHD 01 November 2019 | New Australian and Taiwanese research has for the first time pinpointed where in the brain the communication process breaks down for people with chronic attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – a... More information...
Researchers find why some Parkinson’s patients develop harmful addictive behaviours 27 October 2019 | A QIMR Berghofer study has discovered how the medications given to people with Parkinson’s disease cause some patients to develop addictive behaviours such as problem gambling, binge eating, hypersexuality and... More information...
Australian researchers recruit for world's largest skin cancer study 17 September 2019 | Queensland researchers have launched the world’s largest ever genetic study of skin cancer and are calling on more than 20,000 Australians to take part. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service