The Genetics of Osteoarthritis (GO) Consortium - GWAS meta-analysis

Study code

Lead researcher
Eleftheria Zeggini

Study type
Data only

Institution or company
Institute of Translational Genomics, Helmholtz Zentrum München

Researcher type

Speciality area
Musculoskeletal Disorders, Genomics and Rare Diseases


More than 300 million people in the world have osteoarthritis, and live with painful joints in old age. We cannot currently cure osteoarthritis, we only treat the pain with painkillers and use surgery to install artificial joints. Your genes play a large role in how likely you are to have the disease. It is not caused by a single gene but by a large number of genes with small effects that interact together.
To find these genes, we have created a global alliance of researchers, the Genetics of Osteoarthritis consortium. We have combined the genetic information from many groups all over the world to compare 180,000 patients and 650,000 individuals without osteoarthritis. We have found more than 100 places in the genome where changes to the genetic code affect the risk of osteoarthritis. For many of these, we have also found genes that could explain how the disease works, and help develop treatments.
In this proposal, we want to add the osteoarthritis patients and controls from the NIHR BioResource to our analysis. This time, we will include even more populations from all over the world. This way, we can detect additional genes involved in the disease and increase our hope to discover a treatment.