Obesity as a Causal Risk Factor for Aortic Valve Stenosis


BACKGROUND: Causal risk factors for aortic valve stenosis are poorly understood, limiting the possibility of preventing the most common heart valve disease.

OBJECTIVES: The hypothesis was tested that genetically based obesity measured by body mass index is causally associated with risk of aortic valve stenosis and replacement.

METHODS: The authors included 108,211 individuals from the Copenhagen General Population Study. Participants had measurements of body mass index, waist-hip ratio, and waist circumference, and information on 5 genetic variants associated with obesity. A Mendelian randomization design was used to investigate genetic and observational associations of obesity with incident aortic valve stenosis (n = 1,215) and replacement (n = 467) for a median follow-up time of 8.7 years.

RESULTS: Genetically increased body mass index was causally associated with increased risk of aortic valve stenosis. Compared with an unweighted allele score of 0 to 3, individuals with an allele score 7 to 10 had a mean increase in body mass index of 0.87 kg/m2, and the age and sex-adjusted hazard ratio for aortic valve stenosis was 1.3 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0 to 1.7) for allele score 4, 1.4 (95% CI: 1.1 to 1.8) for allele score 5 to 6, and 1.6 (95% CI: 1.3 to 2.1) for allele score 7 to 10 (p for trend: 9 × 10-5). A 1-kg/m2 increase in body mass index was associated with causal risk ratios for aortic valve stenosis and replacement, respectively, of 1.52 (95% CI: 1.23 to 1.87) and 1.49 (95% CI: 1.07 to 2.08) genetically, and with corresponding hazard ratios of 1.06 (95% CI: 1.05 to 1.08) and 1.06 (95% CI: 1.03 to 1.08) observationally.

CONCLUSIONS: Obesity from human genetics was causally associated with higher risk of aortic valve stenosis and replacement.

TidsskriftJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)163-176
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 21 jan. 2020


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