Background A family history of urolithiasis is associated with a more than doubling of urolithiasis risk, and a twin study estimating 56% heritability of the condition suggests a pivotal role for host genetic factors. However, previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified only six risk-related loci. Methods To identify novel urolithiasis-related loci in the Japanese population, we performed a large-scale GWAS of 11,130 cases and 187,639 controls, followed by a replication analysis of 2289 cases and 3817 controls. Diagnosis of urolithiasis was confirmed either by a clinician or using medical records or self-report. We also assessed the association of urolithiasis loci with 16 quantitative traits, including metabolic, kidney-related, and electrolyte traits (such as body mass index, lipid storage, eGFR, serum uric acid, and serum calcium), using up to 160,000 samples from BioBank Japan. Results The analysis identified 14 significant loci, including nine novel loci. Ten regions showed a significant association with at least one quantitative trait, including metabolic, kidney-related, and electrolyte traits, suggesting a common genetic basis for urolithiasis and these quantitative traits. Four novel loci were related to metabolic traits, obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, or hyperuricemia. The remaining ten loci were associated with kidney- or electrolyte-related traits; these may affect crystallization. Weighted genetic risk score analysis indicated that the highest risk group (top 20%) showed an odds ratio of 1.71 (95% confidence interval, 1.42 to 2.06) - 2.13 (95% confidence interval, 2.00 to 2.27) compared with the reference group (bottom 20%). Conclusions Our findings provide evidence that host genetic factors related to regulation of metabolic and crystallization pathways contribute to the development of urolithiasis.
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