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A new meta-analysis suggested that MUC5B promoter rs35705950 T/G gene polymorphism is associated with the risk of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in different ethnic groups.

“In Caucasian, Asian and mixed populations, T minor allele carriers were more likely to be susceptible to pulmonary fibrosis, and TT genotype carriers were more likely to be susceptible to IPF than GT genotype carriers,” the authors of the study said. “The association between IPF and Caucasian population with minor T allele and all “T” genetic model was more significant than that of (the) Asian population.”

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The following effect values were calculated for the comparisons between genotypes of the MUC5B promoter rs35705950 T/G polymorphism: T vs G, odds ratio (OR) = 4.12 (95% CI, 3.64-4.67); TT vs GG, OR=10.12 (95% CI, 7.06-14.49); GT vs GG, OR=4.84 (95% CI, 3.85-6.08); GT+TT vs GG, OR=4.84 (95% CI, 3.79-6.19); and TT vs GG+GT, OR = 5.11 (95% CI, 4.02-6.49).

The effect values calculated for the Caucasian population were as follows: T vs G, OR=4.50 (95% CI, 3.93-5.16); TT vs GG, OR=10.98 (95% CI, 7.59-15.89); GT vs GG, OR=6.27 (95% CI, 5.37-7.32); GT+TT vs GG, OR=6.30 (95% CI, 5.19-7.64); and TT vs GG+GT, OR=5.15 (95% CI, 4.01-6.61).

The association strength of the minor T allele was superior in the Caucasian population when compared to the Asian population (OR, 4.50 vs 2.39). Moreover, the association strength of all “T” genotypes was also higher in the Caucasian population than in the Asian population (OR, 10.98 vs 4.29).

The study analyzed 24 case-control studies, which enrolled a total of 6749 IPF patients and 13,898 healthy controls. Most (n=13) of the studies reported data from the Caucasian population, followed by the Asian population (n = 7). The remaining 4 studies had mixed populations.


Wu X, Li W, Luo Z, Chen Y. The minor T allele of the MUC5B promoter rs35705950 associated with susceptibility to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: a meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 2021;11(1):24007. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-03533-z