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Evidence of heterogeneity by race/ethnicity in genetic determinants of QT interval
Background: QT interval (QT) prolongation is an established risk factor for ventricular tachyarrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. Previous genome-wide association studies in populations of the European descent have identified multiple genetic loci that influence QT, but few have examined these loci in ethnically diverse populations.
Methods: Here, we examine the direction, magnitude, and precision of effect sizes for 21 previously reported SNPs from 12 QT loci, in populations of European (n = 16,398), African (n = 5,437), American Indian (n = 5,032), Hispanic (n = 1,143), and Asian (n = 932) descent as part of the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) study. Estimates obtained from linear regression models stratified by race/ethnicity were combined using inverse-variance weighted meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was evaluated using Cochran's Q test.
Results: Of 21 SNPs, 7 showed consistent direction of effect across all 5 populations, and an additional 9 had estimated effects that were consistent across 4 populations. Despite consistent direction of effect, 9 of 16 SNPs had evidence (P < 0.05) of heterogeneity by race/ethnicity. For these 9 SNPs, linkage disequilibrium plots often indicated substantial variation in linkage disequilibrium patterns among the various racial/ethnic groups, as well as possible allelic heterogeneity.
Conclusions: These results emphasize the importance of analyzing racial/ethnic groups separately in genetic studies. Furthermore, they underscore the possible utility of trans-ethnic studies to pinpoint underlying casual variants influencing heritable traits such as QT.
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
PublisherLippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication530 Walnut St, Philadelphia, USA, Pa, 19106-3621
Rights statementCopyright 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins