This report from the HyperGEN Study, one of four networks participating in the NHLBI-sponsored Family Blood Pressure Program, presents the results of an association study based on 822 white and 572 black subjects (cases and controls) participating in the HyperGEN Network from five geographically diverse field centers. All cases met the Joint National Committee on Detection and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC VI) criteria for hypertension (Stage I or higher). Each subject was clinically examined for risk factors for hypertension as well as genotyped for the point mutation Gly460Trp at the α-adducin locus on chromosome 4p. In the white group, the prevalence of genotypes with one or more Trp alleles was 26% in normotensives, versus 33% in hypertensives randomly selected from the population, and 39% among the multiply affected hypertensive sibships. Overall, in whites, the Trp allele significantly increased the odds of hypertension (P = .0056), with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.73 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.17, 2.54). The α-adducin gene remained a significant independent predictor of hypertension in a multivariate logistic model even after correcting for other risk factors for hypertension, including gender, age, body mass index (BMI), smoking, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, urine sodium (Na), and urine potassium (K), (OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.03, 2.34). Through the use of regression trees, several gene-by-environment interactions were implicated, suggesting that α-adducin appears to be a particularly important risk factor (OR = 4.2) for older (age > 60.5 years), less lean (BMI < 25.8 kg/ m2) subjects with moderately high triglycerides (between 145.5 and 218.5 mg/dL). In the black group, the relationship was less clear. Overall, it was protective against hypertension. The prevalence of genotypes with one or more Trp alleles was 24% among normotensive versus 11% in hypertensive black subjects randomly selected from the population, and 13% among multiply affected hypertensive sibships, resulting in an OR of 0.48 (P = .0231; 95% CI = 0.25, 0.90). However, the Trp genotype was no longer a significant independent predictor of hypertension risk in the multivariate logistic model (OR = 0.79; 95% CI = 0.37,1.67), suggesting that it may be operating through one or more of these other factors. Thus, we conclude that the α-adducin gene is a significant, independent risk factor for hypertension in whites, but not in blacks, and may play a particularly important role for subjects with certain constellations of other risk factors.
- Genetic epidemiology
- Regression trees