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Mendelian randomization analysis of atopic dermatitis and esophageal cancer in East Asian and European populations.

BACKGROUND: Emerging observational studies showed an association between atopic dermatitis (AD) and gastrointestinal cancers. However, it remains unclear whether this association is causal, particularly in the case of cancers like esophageal cancer, which exhibit ancestral genetic traits.

METHODS: To assess the potential causal relationship between AD and esophageal cancer across diverse ancestral backgrounds, we conducted a 2-sample Mendelian randomization study. Independent genetic instruments for AD from the FinnGen consortium (N case = 7024 and N control = 198 740), BioBank Japan (N case = 2385 and N control = 209 651) and Early Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology (EAGLE) eczema consortium (N case = 18 900 and N control = 84 166, without the 23andMe study) were used to investigate the association with esophageal cancer in the UK Biobank study (N case = 740 and N control = 372 016) and BioBank Japan esophageal cancer sample (N case = 1300 and N control = 197 045).

RESULTS: When esophageal cancer extracted from East Asian ancestry was used as a outcome factor, AD data extracted from BioBank Japan (OR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.83-0.98), FinnGen consortium (OR = 0.86, 95% CI: 0.77-0.96), and EAGLE consortium (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.81-1.06) were negatively associated with esophageal cancer susceptibility. However, AD as a whole did not show an association with esophageal cancer from European ancestry.

CONCLUSION: This study provides support for a causal relationship between AD and esophageal cancer in East Asian populations but not between AD and esophageal cancer from European ancestry. The specific associations between esophageal cancer and AD appear to exhibit significant disparities between the East Asian and European regions.

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