Impact of demographics on human gut microbial diversity in a US Midwest population

Jun Chen, Euijung Ryu, Matthew Hathcock, Karla Ballman, Nicholas D Chia, Janet E Olson, Heidi Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The clinical utility of microbiome biomarkers depends on the reliable and reproducible nature of comparative results. Underappreciation of the variation associated with common demographic, health, and behavioral factors may confound associations of interest and generate false positives. Here, we present the Midwestern Reference Panel (MWRP), a resource for comparative gut microbiome studies conducted in the Midwestern United States. We analyzed the relationships between demographic and health behavior-related factors and the microbiota in this cohort, and estimated their effect sizes. Most variables investigated were associated with the gut microbiota. Specifically, body mass index (BMI), race, sex, and alcohol use were significantly associated with microbial β-diversity (P <0.05, unweighted UniFrac). BMI, race and alcohol use were also significantly associated with microbial α-diversity (P <0.05, species richness). Tobacco use showed a trend toward association with the microbiota (P <0.1, unweighted UniFrac). The effect sizes of the associations, as quantified by adjusted R2 values based on unweighted UniFrac distances, were small (<1% for all variables), indicating that these factors explain only a small percentage of overall microbiota variability. Nevertheless, the significant associations between these variables and the gut microbiota suggest that they could still be potential confounders in comparative studies and that controlling for these variables in study design, which is the main objective of the MWRP, is important for increasing reproducibility in comparative microbiome studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1514
JournalPeerJ
Volume2016
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Midwestern United States
Microbiota
intestinal microorganisms
demographic statistics
Alcohols
Demography
Health
Tobacco
Biomarkers
Population
Association reactions
Body Mass Index
body mass index
alcohols
tobacco use
Health Behavior
Tobacco Use
reproducibility
microbiome
biomarkers

Keywords

  • Demographics
  • Effect size
  • Microbial diversity
  • Microbiome
  • Target population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Impact of demographics on human gut microbial diversity in a US Midwest population. / Chen, Jun; Ryu, Euijung; Hathcock, Matthew; Ballman, Karla; Chia, Nicholas D; Olson, Janet E; Nelson, Heidi.

In: PeerJ, Vol. 2016, No. 1, e1514, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{379ffe4a2a8d4ee7a49178be44055267,
title = "Impact of demographics on human gut microbial diversity in a US Midwest population",
abstract = "The clinical utility of microbiome biomarkers depends on the reliable and reproducible nature of comparative results. Underappreciation of the variation associated with common demographic, health, and behavioral factors may confound associations of interest and generate false positives. Here, we present the Midwestern Reference Panel (MWRP), a resource for comparative gut microbiome studies conducted in the Midwestern United States. We analyzed the relationships between demographic and health behavior-related factors and the microbiota in this cohort, and estimated their effect sizes. Most variables investigated were associated with the gut microbiota. Specifically, body mass index (BMI), race, sex, and alcohol use were significantly associated with microbial β-diversity (P <0.05, unweighted UniFrac). BMI, race and alcohol use were also significantly associated with microbial α-diversity (P <0.05, species richness). Tobacco use showed a trend toward association with the microbiota (P <0.1, unweighted UniFrac). The effect sizes of the associations, as quantified by adjusted R2 values based on unweighted UniFrac distances, were small (<1{\%} for all variables), indicating that these factors explain only a small percentage of overall microbiota variability. Nevertheless, the significant associations between these variables and the gut microbiota suggest that they could still be potential confounders in comparative studies and that controlling for these variables in study design, which is the main objective of the MWRP, is important for increasing reproducibility in comparative microbiome studies.",
keywords = "Demographics, Effect size, Microbial diversity, Microbiome, Target population",
author = "Jun Chen and Euijung Ryu and Matthew Hathcock and Karla Ballman and Chia, {Nicholas D} and Olson, {Janet E} and Heidi Nelson",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.7717/peerj.1514",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "2016",
journal = "PeerJ",
issn = "2167-8359",
publisher = "PeerJ",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Impact of demographics on human gut microbial diversity in a US Midwest population

AU - Chen, Jun

AU - Ryu, Euijung

AU - Hathcock, Matthew

AU - Ballman, Karla

AU - Chia, Nicholas D

AU - Olson, Janet E

AU - Nelson, Heidi

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - The clinical utility of microbiome biomarkers depends on the reliable and reproducible nature of comparative results. Underappreciation of the variation associated with common demographic, health, and behavioral factors may confound associations of interest and generate false positives. Here, we present the Midwestern Reference Panel (MWRP), a resource for comparative gut microbiome studies conducted in the Midwestern United States. We analyzed the relationships between demographic and health behavior-related factors and the microbiota in this cohort, and estimated their effect sizes. Most variables investigated were associated with the gut microbiota. Specifically, body mass index (BMI), race, sex, and alcohol use were significantly associated with microbial β-diversity (P <0.05, unweighted UniFrac). BMI, race and alcohol use were also significantly associated with microbial α-diversity (P <0.05, species richness). Tobacco use showed a trend toward association with the microbiota (P <0.1, unweighted UniFrac). The effect sizes of the associations, as quantified by adjusted R2 values based on unweighted UniFrac distances, were small (<1% for all variables), indicating that these factors explain only a small percentage of overall microbiota variability. Nevertheless, the significant associations between these variables and the gut microbiota suggest that they could still be potential confounders in comparative studies and that controlling for these variables in study design, which is the main objective of the MWRP, is important for increasing reproducibility in comparative microbiome studies.

AB - The clinical utility of microbiome biomarkers depends on the reliable and reproducible nature of comparative results. Underappreciation of the variation associated with common demographic, health, and behavioral factors may confound associations of interest and generate false positives. Here, we present the Midwestern Reference Panel (MWRP), a resource for comparative gut microbiome studies conducted in the Midwestern United States. We analyzed the relationships between demographic and health behavior-related factors and the microbiota in this cohort, and estimated their effect sizes. Most variables investigated were associated with the gut microbiota. Specifically, body mass index (BMI), race, sex, and alcohol use were significantly associated with microbial β-diversity (P <0.05, unweighted UniFrac). BMI, race and alcohol use were also significantly associated with microbial α-diversity (P <0.05, species richness). Tobacco use showed a trend toward association with the microbiota (P <0.1, unweighted UniFrac). The effect sizes of the associations, as quantified by adjusted R2 values based on unweighted UniFrac distances, were small (<1% for all variables), indicating that these factors explain only a small percentage of overall microbiota variability. Nevertheless, the significant associations between these variables and the gut microbiota suggest that they could still be potential confounders in comparative studies and that controlling for these variables in study design, which is the main objective of the MWRP, is important for increasing reproducibility in comparative microbiome studies.

KW - Demographics

KW - Effect size

KW - Microbial diversity

KW - Microbiome

KW - Target population

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84955622243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84955622243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.7717/peerj.1514

DO - 10.7717/peerj.1514

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84955622243

VL - 2016

JO - PeerJ

JF - PeerJ

SN - 2167-8359

IS - 1

M1 - e1514

ER -