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Multiple variants in collagen genes are associated with the susceptibility to lumbar disc herniation in the Chinese population



Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is an important cause of back pain and sciatica, but its aetiology is not fully understood. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in specific collagen genes are known to increase the risk of lumbar disc degeneration. We performed a case–control study among the Chinese Han population to investigate whether genetic variations in collagen genes were associated with the risk of LDH or not.


We genotyped SNPs selected from 1000 Genome Projects using Agena MassARRAY technology. Three hundred and eighty-four LDH cases were compared with 384 controls of similar age, using the odds ratio and 95% confidence interval to calculate the susceptibility in several genetic models.


Our results revealed that subjects with the rs6122316-C variant of the COL9A3 gene had a higher likelihood of LDH than subjects with the allele T variant in both the codominant and recessive models. In addition, after gender stratification analysis, we found significant associations between rs16970089 and rs740024 and LDH risk in females. Age stratification analysis illustrated that rs16970089 and rs6122316 were also correlated with LDH risk in people over 50 years. The smoking stratification illustrated that rs2071358 and rs740024 had an increased association with LDH risk in smokers. And after drinking stratification, we also observed the significance between rs740024 and LDH risk.


Variants in genes for COL1A1, COL9A3 and COL2A1 significantly influence the risk of LDH. Large and well-designed studies are needed to confirm and explain these conclusions.

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We are very grateful to those who took part in the manuscript. Meanwhile, we thank for the support from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Inner Mongolia University.



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All authors have participated sufficiently in the study and approved the final version.

Correspondence to Yong Zhu.

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Yang, X., Jia, H., Xing, W. et al. Multiple variants in collagen genes are associated with the susceptibility to lumbar disc herniation in the Chinese population. Eur Spine J (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-020-06299-6

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  • Lumbar disc herniation
  • Collagen genes
  • Susceptibility
  • Polymorphisms