Jeffrey R. O'Connell

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Most common human traits and diseases have a polygenic pattern of inheritance: DNA sequence variants at many genetic loci influence the phenotype. Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have identified more than 600 variants associated with human traits, but these typically explain small fractions of phenotypic variation, raising questions about the use of(More)
Obesity is heritable and predisposes to many diseases. To understand the genetic basis of obesity better, here we conduct a genome-wide association study and Metabochip meta-analysis of body mass index (BMI), a measure commonly used to define obesity and assess adiposity, in up to 339,224 individuals. This analysis identifies 97 BMI-associated loci (P < 5 ×(More)
Waist-hip ratio (WHR) is a measure of body fat distribution and a predictor of metabolic consequences independent of overall adiposity. WHR is heritable, but few genetic variants influencing this trait have been identified. We conducted a meta-analysis of 32 genome-wide association studies for WHR adjusted for body mass index (comprising up to 77,167(More)
Population structure, including population stratification and cryptic relatedness, can cause spurious associations in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Usually, the scaled median or mean test statistic for association calculated from multiple single-nucleotide-polymorphisms across the genome is used to assess such effects, and 'genomic control' can be(More)
Blood pressure is a heritable trait influenced by several biological pathways and responsive to environmental stimuli. Over one billion people worldwide have hypertension (≥140 mm Hg systolic blood pressure or  ≥90 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure). Even small increments in blood pressure are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. This(More)
Hypertension places a major burden on individual and public health, but the genetic basis of this complex disorder is poorly understood. We conducted a genome-wide association study of systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) in Amish subjects and found strong association signals with common variants in a serine/threonine kinase gene, STK39. We(More)
Meiotic recombination is an essential biological process that generates genetic diversity and ensures proper segregation of chromosomes during meiosis. From a large USDA dairy cattle pedigree with over half a million genotyped animals, we extracted 186,927 three-generation families, identified over 8.5 million maternal and paternal recombination events, and(More)
There is evidence across several species for genetic control of phenotypic variation of complex traits, such that the variance among phenotypes is genotype dependent. Understanding genetic control of variability is important in evolutionary biology, agricultural selection programmes and human medicine, yet for complex traits, no individual genetic variants(More)
Triglycerides are transported in plasma by specific triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; in epidemiological studies, increased triglyceride levels correlate with higher risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, it is unclear whether this association reflects causal processes. We used 185 common variants recently mapped for plasma lipids (P < 5 × 10(-8)(More)
Whereas moderate drinking may have health benefits, excessive alcohol consumption causes many important acute and chronic diseases and is the third leading contributor to preventable death in the United States. Twin studies suggest that alcohol-consumption patterns are heritable (50%); however, multiple genetic variants of modest effect size are likely to(More)