To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Large multigenerational cohort studies offer powerful ways to study the hereditary effects on various health outcomes. However, accounting for complex kinship relations in big data structures can be methodologically challenging. The traditional kinship model is computationally infeasible when considering thousands of individuals. In this article, we propose a computationally efficient alternative that employs fractional relatedness of family members through a series of founding members. The primary goal of this study is to investigate whether the effect of determinants on health outcome variables differs with and without accounting for family structure. We compare a fixed-effects model without familial effects with several variance components models that account for heritability and shared environment structure. Our secondary goal is to apply the fractional relatedness model in a realistic setting. Lifelines is a three-generation cohort study investigating the biological, behavioral, and environmental determinants of healthy aging. We analyzed a sample of 89,353 participants from 32,452 reconstructed families. Our primary conclusion is that the effect of determinants on health outcome variables does not differ with and without accounting for family structure. However, accounting for family structure through fractional relatedness allows for estimating heritability in a computationally efficient way, showing some interesting differences between physical and mental quality of life heritability. We have shown through simulations that the proposed fractional relatedness model performs better than the standard kinship model, not only in terms of computational time and convenience of fitting using standard functions in R, but also in terms of bias of heritability estimates and coverage.
Blood eosinophil count is associated with a variety of common complex outcomes in epidemiological observation. The aim of this study was to explore the causal association between determined blood eosinophil count and 20 common complex outcomes (10 metabolic, 6 cardiac, and 4 pulmonary). Through Mendelian randomization, we investigated genetic evidence for the genetically determined eosinophil in association with each outcomes using individual-level LifeLines cohort data (n = 13,301), where a weighted eosinophil genetic risk score comprising five eosinophil associated variants was created. We further examined the associations of the genetically determined eosinophil with those outcomes using summary statistics obtained from genome-wide association study consortia (6 consortia and 14 outcomes). Blood eosinophil count, by a 1-SD genetically increased, was not statistically associated with common complex outcomes in the LifeLines. Using the summary statistics, we showed that a higher genetically determined eosinophil count had a significant association with lower odds of obesity (odds ratio (OR) 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.74, 0.89]) but not with the other traits and diseases. To conclude, an elevated eosinophil count is unlikely to be causally associated to higher risk of metabolic, cardiac, and pulmonary outcomes. Further studies with a stronger genetic risk score for eosinophil count may support these results.
Twin studies have found that ~50% of variance in electrocardiogram (ECG) traits can be explained by genetic factors. However, genetic variants identified through genome-wide association studies explain less than 10% of the total trait variability. Some have argued that the equal environment assumption for the classical twin model might be invalid, resulting in inflated narrow-sense heritability (h2) estimates, thus explaining part of the ‘missing h2’. Genomic relatedness restricted maximum likelihood (GREML) estimation overcomes this issue. This method uses both family data and genome-wide coverage of common SNPs to determine the degree of relatedness between individuals to estimate both h2 explained by common SNPs and total h2. The aim of the current study is to characterize more reliably than previously possible ECG trait h2 using GREML estimation, and to compare these outcomes to those of the classical twin model. We analyzed ECG traits (heart rate, PR interval, QRS duration, RV5+SV1, QTc interval, Sokolow-Lyon product, and Cornell product) in up to 3,133 twins from the TwinsUK cohort and derived h2 estimates by both methods. GREML yielded h2 estimates between 47% and 68%. Classical twin modeling provided similar h2 estimates, except for the Cornell product, for which the best fit included no genetic factors. We found no evidence that the classical twin model leads to inflated h2 estimates. Therefore, our study confirms the validity of the equal environment assumption for monozygotic and dizygotic twins and supports the robust basis for future studies exploring genetic variants responsible for the variance of ECG traits.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
Little is known about the extent to which aging trajectories of different body systems share common sources of variance. We here present a large twin study investigating the trajectories of change in five systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, skeletal, morphometric, and metabolic. Longitudinal clinical data were collected on 3,508 female twins in the TwinsUK registry (complete pairs:740 monozygotic (MZ), 986 dizygotic (DZ), mean age at entry 48.9 ± 10.4, range 18–75 years; mean follow-up 10.2 ± 2.8 years, range 4–17.8 years). Panel data on multiple age-related variables were used to estimate biological ages for each individual at each time point, in linear mixed effects models. A weighted average approach was used to combine variables within predefined body system groups. Aging trajectories for each system in each individual were then constructed using linear modeling. Multivariate structural equation modeling of these aging trajectories showed low genetic effects (heritability), ranging from 2% in metabolic aging to 22% in cardiovascular aging. However, we found a significant effect of shared environmental factors on the variations in aging trajectories in cardiovascular (54%), skeletal (34%), morphometric (53%), and metabolic systems (53%). The remainder was due to environmental factors unique to each individual plus error. Multivariate Cholesky decomposition showed that among aging trajectories for various body systems there were significant and substantial correlations between the unique environmental latent factors as well as shared environmental factors. However, there was no evidence for a single common factor for aging. This study, the first of its kind in aging, suggests that diverse organ systems share non-genetic sources of variance for aging trajectories. Confirmatory studies are needed using population-based twin cohorts and alternative methods of handling missing data.
Introduction: Neuroticism is an important marker of vulnerability for both mental and physical disorders. Its link with multiple etiological pathways has been studied before. Inflammatory markers have been demonstrated to predict similar mental and physical disorders as neuroticism. However, currently no study has focused on the shared genetic background of neuroticism and inflammatory markers. In the present study we will focus on the phenotypic and genetic relationship between neuroticism and three commonly used inflammatory markers: C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen and Immunoglobulin-G (IgG). Material and Methods: The study was conducted in 125 Dutch female twin pairs. For each participant, four different neuroticism scores were available to calculate a neuroticism composite score that was used in the statistical analyses. Blood samples for inflammatory marker determination were taken after an overnight fast. Heritabilities, phenotypic and genetic correlations were estimated using bivariate structural equation modeling. Results: Heritabilities are fair for neuroticism (0.55), CRP (0.52) and fibrinogen (0.67) and moderate for IgG (0.43). No significant phenotypic or genetic correlations were found between neuroticism and the inflammatory markers. Interaction models yielded no moderation of the genetic and environmental pathways in the regulation of inflammatory markers by neuroticism. Conclusion: Substantial heritabilities were observed for all variables. No evidence was found for significant shared (or moderation of) genetic or environmental pathways underlying neuroticism and inflammatory status.
Background: Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a large number of genetic variants for obesity and its related traits, representing a group of potential key genes in the etiology of obesity. Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetics may play an important role in obesity. It has not been explored whether the GWAS-identified loci contribute to obesity through epigenetics (e.g., DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) methylation) in addition to genetics. Method: A multi-stage cross-sectional study was designed. We did a literature search and identified 117 genes discovered by GWAS for obesity and its related traits. Then we analyzed whether the methylation levels of these genes were also associated with obesity in two genome-wide methylation panels. We examined an initial panel of seven adolescent obese cases and seven age-matched lean controls, followed by a second panel of 48 adolescent obese cases and 48 age- and gender-matched lean controls. The validated CpG sites were further replicated in two independent replication panels of youth (46 vs. 46 and 230 cases vs. 413 controls, respectively) and a general population of youth, including 703 healthy subjects. Results: One CpG site in the lymphocyte antigen 86 (LY86) gene, which showed higher methylation in the obese in both the initial (p = .009) and second genome-wide DNA methylation panel (p = .008), was further validated in both replication panels (meta p = .00016). Moreover, in the general population of youth, the methylation levels of this region were significantly correlated with adiposity indices (p ≤ .02), insulin resistance (p = .001), and inflammatory markers (p < .001). Conclusion: By focusing on recent GWAS findings in genome-wide methylation profiles, we identified a solid association between LY86 gene DNA methylation and obesity.
The Twin Interdisciplinary Neuroticism Study (TWINS) is a three-wave study including >800 twin pairs from the northern part of the Netherlands. The aim of the study is to unravel why neuroticism reflects vulnerability to mental disorders. In this study, we focus on possible mechanisms underlying this vulnerability and their genetic and environmental origins. In total, 125 female twin pairs visited our psychophysiological laboratory. From these twin pairs DNA was isolated and both candidate gene and genome-wide genotyping were conducted. Future work includes studies of candidate genes. The study also participates in several meta-genome-wide association study (GWAS) consortia.
Objective: To estimate the heritability of ambulatory blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and beat-to-beat office BP and HR in an isolated, environmentally and genetically homogeneous Omani Arab population. Methods: Ambulatory BP measurements were recorded in 1,124 subjects with a mean age of 33.8 ± 16.2 years, using the auscultatory mode of the validated Schiller ambulatory BP Monitor. Beat-to-beat BP and HR were recorded by the Task Force Monitor. Heritability was estimated using quantitative genetic analysis. This was achieved by applying the maximum-likelihood-based variance decomposition method implemented in SOLAR software. Results: We detected statistically significant heritability estimates for office beat-to-beat, 24-hour, daytime, and sleep HR of 0.31, 0.21, 0.20, and 0.07, respectively. Heritability estimates in the abovementioned conditions for systolic BP (SBP)/diastolic BP (DBP)/mean BP (MBP) were all significant and estimated at 0.19/0.19/0.19, 0.30/0.44/0.41, 0.28/0.38/0.39, and 0.21/0.18/0.20, respectively. Heritability estimates for 24-hour and daytime ambulatory SBP, DBP, and MBP ranged from 0.28 to 0.44, and were higher than the heritability estimates for beat-to-beat recordings and sleep periods, which were estimated within a narrow range of 0.18–0.21. Conclusion: In this cohort, because shared environments are common to all, the environmental influence that occurs is primarily due to the variation in non-shared environment that is unique to the individual. We demonstrated significant heritability estimates for both beat-to-beat office and ambulatory BP and HR recordings, but 24-hour and daytime ambulatory heritabilities are higher than those from beat-to-beat resting levels and ambulatory night-time recordings.
Strabismus represents a complex oculomotor disorder characterized by the deviation of one or both eyes and poor vision. A more sophisticated understanding of the genetic liability of strabismus is required to guide searches for associated molecular variants. In this classical twin study of 1,462 twin pairs, we examined the relative influence of genes and environment in comitant strabismus, and the degree to which these influences can be explained by factors in common with refractive error. Participants were examined for the presence of latent (‘phoria’) and manifest (‘tropia’) strabismus using cover–uncover and alternate cover tests. Two phenotypes were distinguished: eso-deviation (esophoria and esotropia) and exo-deviation (exophoria and exotropia). Structural equation modeling was subsequently employed to partition the observed phenotypic variation in the twin data into specific variance components. The prevalence of eso-deviation and exo-deviation was 8.6% and 20.7%, respectively. For eso-deviation, the polychoric correlation was significantly greater in monozygotic (MZ) (r = 0.65) compared to dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs (r = 0.33), suggesting a genetic role (p = .003). There was no significant difference in polychoric correlation between MZ (r = 0.55) and DZ twin pairs (r = 0.53) for exo-deviation (p = .86), implying that genetic factors do not play a significant role in the etiology of exo-deviation. The heritability of an eso-deviation was 0.64 (95% CI 0.50–0.75). The additive genetic correlation for eso-deviation and refractive error was 0.13 and the bivariate heritability (i.e., shared variance) was less than 1%, suggesting negligible shared genetic effect. This study documents a substantial heritability of 64% for eso-deviation, yet no corresponding heritability for exo-deviation, suggesting that the genetic contribution to strabismus may be specific to eso-deviation. Future studies are now needed to identify the genes associated with eso-deviation and unravel their mechanisms of action.
Background: We performed a genome-wide scan in a homogeneous Arab population to identify genomic regions linked to blood pressure (BP) and its intermediate phenotypes during mental and physical stress tests. Methods: The Oman Family Study subjects (N = 1277) were recruited from five extended families of ~10 generations. Hemodynamic phenotypes were computed from beat-to-beat BP, electrocardiography and impedance cardiography. Multi-point linkage was performed for resting, mental (word conflict test, WCT) and cold pressor (CPT) stress and their reactivity scores (s), using variance components decomposition-based methods implemented in SOLAR. Results: Genome-wide scans for BP phenotypes identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) with significant evidence of linkage on chromosomes 1 and 12 for WCT-linked cardiac output (LOD = 3.1) and systolic BP (LOD = 3.5). Evidence for suggestive linkage for WCT was found on chromosomes 3, 17 and 1 for heart rate (LOD = 2.3), DBP (LOD = 2.4) and left ventricular ejection time (LVET), respectively. For △WCT, suggestive QTLs were detected for CO on chr11 (LOD = 2.5), LVET on chr3 (LOD = 2.0) and EDI on chr9 (LOD = 2.1). For CPT, suggestive QTLs for HR and LVET shared the same region on chr22 (LOD 2.3 and 2.8, respectively) and on chr9 (LOD = 2.3) for SBP, chr7 (LOD = 2.4) for SV and chr19 (LOD = 2.6) for CO. For △CPT, CO and TPR top signals were detected on chr15 and 10 (LOD; 2.40, 2.08) respectively. Conclusion: Mental stress revealed the largest number of significant and suggestive loci for normal BP reported to date. The study of BP and its intermediate phenotypes under mental and physical stress may help reveal the genes involved in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension.
Plasma levels of lipoprotein(a) — Lp(a) — are associated with cardiovascular risk (Danesh et al., 2000) and were long believed to be influenced by the LPA locus on chromosome 6q27 only. However, a recent report of Broeckel et al. (2002) suggested the presence of a second quantitative trait locus on chromosome 1 influencing Lp(a) levels. Using a two-locus model, we found no evidence for an additional Lp(a) locus on chromosome 1 in a linkage study among 483 dizygotic twin pairs.
This study investigated the influence of genes and environment on the variation of apolipoprotein and lipid levels, which are important intermediate phenotypes in the pathways toward cardiovascular disease. Heritability estimates are presented, including those for apolipoprotein E and AII levels which have rarely been reported before. We studied twin samples from the Netherlands (two cohorts; n = 160 pairs, aged 13–22 and n = 204 pairs, aged 34–62), Australia (n = 1362 pairs, aged 28–92) and Sweden (n = 302 pairs, aged 42–88). The variation of apolipoprotein and lipid levels depended largely on the influences of additive genetic factors in each twin sample. There was no significant evidence for the influence of common environment. No sex differences in heritability estimates for any phenotype in any of the samples were observed. Heritabilities ranged from 0.48–0.87, with most heritabilities exceeding 0.60. The heritability estimates in the Dutch samples were significantly higher than in the Australian sample. The heritabilities for the Swedish were intermediate to the Dutch and the Australian samples and not significantly different from the heritabilities in these other two samples. Although sample specific effects are present, we have shown that genes play a major role in determining the variance of apolipoprotein and lipid levels in four independent twin samples from three different countries.
Risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD), including prethrombotic changes in hemostasis, cluster with the insulin resistance (IR) syndrome. The aim of the present study was to investigate to what extent the relation between IR and hemostatic risk factors is due to shared genes or environmental factors. Multivariate genetic analysis was performed using a total of 314 (107 monozygotic and 207 dizygotic) twin pairs on IR assessed by HOMA, fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), factor VIII (FVIII), von Willebrand factor (vWF) and factor XIII Bsubunit. The relationship between IR and the 6 hemostatic factors could best be explained by an independent pathway model consisting of 2 common genetic factors, one of which influenced IR and all hemostatic factors, and 3 common environmental factors, each representing the shared variance between IR and different aspects of the hemostatic system. Genetic correlations between IR and hemostatic proteins were larger than their environmental counterparts. Since IR and prethrombotic changes are features of both diabetes and CHD, the finding of one set of pleiotropic genes warrants the identification of these common pathways which may provide new avenues for treatment and prevention of both diabetes and CHD.
The classic twin study is sometimes described as “the perfect natural experiment” for the investigation of the aetiology of complex disease, but assumptions of the twin design need to be empirically tested if their results are to be considered unbiased and representative of singleton populations. In this study comparisons of disease and prevalence of lifestyle characteristics have been made between twin participants in the St Thomas' Hospital UK adult twin registry, the largest twin volunteer register in the UK for the study of diseases of ageing, and a parallel population-based study of singleton women. The only differences found were for weight, where monozygotic (MZ) twins were lighter and had a smaller variance than dizygotic (DZ) twins and singletons. For the other variables studied, volunteer twins were not found to differ from age-matched singleton women in distribution or prevalence of: bone mineral density, osteoarthritis, blood pressure, hypertensive drug use, height, history of hysterectomy and ovariectomy, menopausal status and current alcohol and overall tobacco consumption. We conclude that the results of twin studies can be generalised to singleton populations for these measures and disease outcomes.
This study examined cross-validation and test-retest reliability of questions and questionnaire indices commonly used for twin zygosity classification. Mothers of 58 monozygotic (MZ) and 52 dizygotic (DZ) same sex twin pairs were interviewed by telephone to answer questions regarding the similarity of their twins (mean age = 14.6 ± 2.8 years). A logistic regression equation correctly classified 91% of both MZ and DZ twin pairs in our sample using 7 of the 12 zygosity questions. The internal consistency for the total questionnaire (Cronbach's alpha) was 0.88. The median two month temporal stability estimate for the individual questions was r = .56 and r = .79 for the test total. For the cross-validation, zygosity classification indices taken from 9 previous studies were applied to our sample and compared to classification according to DNA microsatellite analyses (agreement range = 44 to 100%). The accuracy of the classification indices was significantly lower than the original studies for 62% of the comparisons. If zygosity determination with DNA markers or blood group typing for all subjects is not feasible, rather than using classification indices based on other studies, an optimal classification scheme can be achieved by using a zygosity questionnaire of which the reliability and validity of the questions is established in a random subsample of the same twin cohort.
Background: Our research group recently reported that aorto-radial (radial) and aorto-dorsalis-pedis (foot) pulse wave velocity (PWV) as proxies of arterial stiffness are substantially heritable in healthy youth. This article aimed at uncovering the genetic contributions of adhesion molecules, key members in the inflammatory process, to PWV in these young individuals. Methods: Radial and foot PWV were noninvasively measured with applanation tonometry in 702 black and white subjects (42% blacks, mean age 17.7 ± 3.3 years) from the Georgia Cardio vascular Twin Study. Eight functional polymorphisms from genes for E-selectin (SELE), P-selectin (SELP), intercellular adhesion molecules-1 (ICAM1), and vascular cell adhesion molecules-1 (VCAM1) were genotyped. Results: Youth with Ser290Asn or Asn290Asn genotype (SELP) compared to those with Ser290Ser had an increase in both radial and foot PWV (6.61 ± 0.07 vs. 6.41 ± 0.05 m/s, p = .026; 7.22 ± 0.05 vs. 7.04 ± 0.04 m/s, p = .007). TT homozygotes of rs2244529 (SELP) had higher foot PWV (7.28 ± 0.07 vs. 7.06 ± 0.03 m/s, p = .002) than CT heterozygotes and CC homozygotes. There appeared to be a decrease in foot PWV in youth with the 241Arg allele (ICAM1) as compared to those without (6.96 ± 0.08 vs. 7.14 ± 0.03 m/s, p = .005). For the Asp693Asp (C to T) polymorphism (VCAM1), CC genotype had higher foot PWV than CT and TT genotypes (7.18 ± 0.04 vs. 6.95 ± 0.06 m/s, p < .0001). There was an epistatic interaction between Ser290Asn, Gly241Arg, and Asp693Asp on foot PWV (p = .017), explaining 3.6% variance of the foot PWV. Conclusion: Genetic variation of adhesion molecules may be implicated in the development of arterial stiffness. Screening for adhesion molecule polymorphisms may help identify high-risk youth.
Twin studies of lipids have almost exclusively involved Caucasians. People of African descent are known to show a healthier lipid profile, but relatively little is known about ethnic differences in genetic and environmental influences on lipids. One hundred and six African American (AA) and 106 European American (EA) twins (30 singletons and 91 complete pairs: 49 monozygotic, 21 dizygotic and 21 opposite-sex) from the south-eastern United States were studied (mean age 17.9 ± 3.2 years; 79% fasting). Lipids were assayed with the Cholestech LDX system. Analyses were adjusted for fasting status. Generalized estimating equations were used to test for the effects of sex and ethnicity on means, controlling for the dependence within twin pairs. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate genetic and environmental effects on each lipid variable. Females showed higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) values than males (p < .001) and AAs showed higher HDL values than EAs (p < .001). EA males had higher triglyceride values than other groups (p = .02). All parameter estimates could be set equal across sex. Parameter estimates for total cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL could be set equal across ethnicity. The best fitting model for low- density lipoprotein (LDL) showed higher heritability in AAs (.92) than EAs (.69). Heritabilities ranged from 69% to 92%, with remaining variation explained by nonshared environmental effects. Adjustment for body mass index had virtually no effect on the heritability estimates. In this first twin study on lipids to include AAs, no ethnic differences in heritability were found except for LDL, where AAs exhibited higher estimates.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of variations of the angiotensinogen (AGT) and angiotensin II type I receptor (AGTR1) genes on progression of blood pressure (BP) and left ventricular mass (LVM) in multiethnic youth. The study was longitudinal involving 581 European American (EA) and African American (AA) youth with 12 assessments over a 15-year period. AGT M235T and three AGTR1 polymorphisms (C-521T, L191L and A1166C) were genotyped and individual growth curve modeling analyses were conducted. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analyses found a significant 3-way interaction between M235T, ethnicity and gender on BP levels. Systolic BP (SBP) levels were 5.8 mmHg (p = .00003) and diastolic BP (DBP) levels were 2.6 mmHg (p = .005) lower in carriers versus noncarriers of the M235 allele in AA males only. Furthermore, the AGTR1 L191 allele showed a SBP lowering effect in subjects with a high socioeconomic status (SES; p = .048) and a DBP lowering effect in AAs (p = .038). Haplotype analyses identified a protective haplotype (C-521, 191L and A1166) for LVM levels (p = .03). LVM in individuals homozygous for this haplotype was 12.9 g lower than those homozygous for the most common haplotype (–521T, 191L and A1166). No significant interactions were found between the AGT M235T polymorphism and any of the single SNPs or haplotypes of the AGTR1 gene. Our results in multiethnic youth uncover an ethnicity and gender-specific effect of the AGT M235T polymorphism and a SES or ethnicity-specific effect of the AGTR1 L191L polymorphism on the progression of hypertension risk. A protective AGTR1 haplotype for LVM was also identified.
Common polymorphisms of the CD36 fatty acid transporter gene have been associated with lipid metabolism and cardiovascular disease. Association of a CD36 promoter single nucleotide polymorphism genotype with anthropometry and serum lipids was investigated in normal subjects, and in obese subjects during an 8-week low calorie diet and 6-month weight-maintenance period. 2728 normal female Twins UK subjects (mean body mass index 24.8 ± 4.4 kg/m2; age 47.3 ± 12.5 y) and 183 obese male and female Spanish subjects (mean body mass index 30.6 ± 3.0 kg/m2; age 35.0 ± 5.0 y) were genotyped for the CD36-22674 T/C (rs2151916) promoter single nucleotide polymorphism. In the Twins UK full cohort, the C-allele was associated with lower low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (p = .02, N = 2396). No associations were found in the obese Spanish subjects at baseline, but 6 months after the end of the low-calorie diet, the C-allele was associated with lower total- (p = .03) and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (p = .01) and higher high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (p = .01). Intake of saturated fatty acids was lower in carriers of the C-allele at baseline, but not significantly so (p = .11). However, 6 months after the end of the low-calorie diet, elements of the lipid profile were correlated with saturated fatty acid intake: total cholesterol r = .21, p = .060; low density lipoprotein-cholesterol: r = .25, p = .043; high density lipoprotein-cholesterol: r= –.26, p = .007. CD36 promoter SNP allele –22674C is therefore associated with lower serum low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol in normal female twins and with improved lipid profile during weight loss and maintenance in obese subjects.