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Genetic determinants of blood pressure traits are associated with carotid arterial thickening and plaque formation in patients with type 2 diabetes

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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to explore the contribution of genetically driven cardiometabolic risk factors for development of carotid arterial thickening in patients with type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: In total, 12 genetic risk scores for blood pressure, blood lipids and glycaemic traits were constructed. The genetic risk scores were tested for association with carotid intima-media thickness and plaques in patients with type 2 diabetes ( n = 401) and in non-diabetic individuals ( n = 648) and for association with glucose levels in two population-based cohorts ( n = 1328 and n = 6161).

RESULTS: In patients with type 2 diabetes, the genetic risk scores for pulse pressure were positively associated with plaque formation ( β = 0.036 ± 0.01 standard deviation/allele, p = 0.003). The genetic risk score for diastolic blood pressure was negatively associated with carotid intima-media thickness ( β = -0.037 ± 0.01 standard deviation/allele, p = 0.005), although not significant after correction for multiple testing ( p < 0.0042). In a meta-analysis of individuals with and without type 2 diabetes, the high-density lipoprotein genetic risk scores showed a trend towards an inverse association with carotid intima-media thickness and plaques, while the low-density lipoprotein genetic risk scores showed a trend towards a positive association with plaque formation but did reach the statistical threshold.

CONCLUSION: Genetic loci for pulse pressure are associated with plaque formation among patients with type 2 diabetes, suggesting an underlying genetic contribution to arterial stiffening and atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes and Vascular Disease Research
Volume16
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
ISSN1479-1641
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

ID: 56663908