Denny JC, Ritchie MD, Basford MA, Pulley JM, Bastarache L, Brown-Gentry K, Wang D, Masys DR, Roden DM, Crawford DC. PheWAS: demonstrating the feasibility of a phenome-wide scan to discover gene-disease associations. Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). 2010 May 1;26(26). 1205-10. PMID: 20335276 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC2859132
Emergence of genetic data coupled to longitudinal electronic medical records (EMRs) offers the possibility of phenome-wide association scans (PheWAS) for disease-gene associations. We propose a novel method to scan phenomic data for genetic associations using International Classification of Disease (ICD9) billing codes, which are available in most EMR systems. We have developed a code translation table to automatically define 776 different disease populations and their controls using prevalent ICD9 codes derived from EMR data. As a proof of concept of this algorithm, we genotyped the first 6005 European-Americans accrued into BioVU, Vanderbilt's DNA biobank, at five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with previously reported disease associations: atrial fibrillation, Crohn's disease, carotid artery stenosis, coronary artery disease, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. The PheWAS software generated cases and control populations across all ICD9 code groups for each of these five SNPs, and disease-SNP associations were analyzed. The primary outcome of this study was replication of seven previously known SNP-disease associations for these SNPs.