Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(2):164-170. doi:10.7150/ijms.5158 This issue

Research Paper

Association between HLA-B*46 Allele and Graves Disease in Asian Populations: A Meta-Analysis

Yiping Li1,2, Yufeng Yao3, Man Yang2, Li Shi3, Xianli Li2, Ying Yang2, Ying Zhang2, Chunjie Xiao1✉

1. School of Medicine, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, Yunnan, China;
2. Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, The second people's hospital of Yunnan province, Kunming 650021, Yunnan, China;
3. Institute of Medical Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Kunming 650118, Yunnan, China.

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Li Y, Yao Y, Yang M, Shi L, Li X, Yang Y, Zhang Y, Xiao C. Association between HLA-B*46 Allele and Graves Disease in Asian Populations: A Meta-Analysis. Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(2):164-170. doi:10.7150/ijms.5158. Available from

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Graves' disease (GD) is a leading cause of hyperthyroidism, which affects 1.0-1.6% of the general population. Previous studies reported a higher GD prevalence in Asian populations compared to Caucasian populations. The etiology of GD involves complex interactions between predisposing genes and environmental triggers. Genetic studies have shown that the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) is an important candidate genetic region associated with GD in Asian populations. However, the results were inconsistent and inconclusive. Here, we performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the role of the HLA-B*46 allele in GD in Asian populations. A total of 14 case-controlled studies on the association of the HLA-B*46 allele in 1743 GD patients and 5689 controls were included. Our results showed a trend toward an increased risk of GD in HLA-B*46-positive subjects compared to those HLA-B*46-negative (OR = 2.48; 95% CI = 1.96-3.13, P < 0.01). However, there were some limitations to the current meta-analysis, such as heterogeneity (Pheterogeneity < 0.01 and I2 = 68.0%) or the different typing methods (serological and genotyping methods). The meta-analysis indicated that the HLA-B*46 allele is a risk factor for GD in Asian populations. Future studies on the role of the HLA-B*46 allele in GD should consider complications such as periodic paralysis, ophthalmopathy and recurrence.

Keywords: HLA-B*46, Graves' disease, Meta-analysis, Asian populations.