• Queen Mary University of London
  • Barts Health NHS
  • Bradford NHS
  • Manchester Uni

S00048: Genetics of platelet count and size in people of Bangladeshi ancestry

Institution: University of Bristol

Investigator: Andrew Mumford

Blood platelets are a component of the normal blood clotting system, and are also involved in the development of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack. The risk of developing cardiovascular disease partly relates to the number and size a persons platelets, which in turn are influenced by changes in a range of different genes. Understanding how changes in platelet genes lead to cardiovascular disease remains an important research goal. 

It has been recognised for almost two decades that on average, the Bangladeshi and North Eastern Indian population have much larger and reduced circulating numbers of platelets compared to other populations. In order to help understand the reasons for this, we propose an exploratory study using genetic and laboratory information already collected from members of the Bangladeshi community for the Genes and Health project.

We will identify potential genetic causes using statistical techniques such as genome wide association study (GWAS) that has already been used to detect changes in platelet genes in other populations. The GWAS results will then be analysed in more detail by cross-referencing with other genetic databases and with existing scientific evidence about the function of genes in blood platelets. We expect this to give a shortlist of genetic changes likely linked to platelets specifically in people of Bangladeshi ancestry. This will enable future research to improve understanding about the genetic background of cardiovascular disease in the wider Bangladeshi population.