Background: Variation in the perception of bitter tastes has been associated with eating behavior, body composition, and cardiovascular disease. Recent observations have implicated 2 common haplotypes of TAS2R38 in the determination of bitter compound-tasting ability.
Objective: The objectives of the study were to examine, in the British Women's Heart and Health Study cohort, any association between TAS2R38 haplotypes, coronary heart disease (CHD), CHD risk factors, and eating behavior and to examine whether the associations allow for estimation of the effects of variation in diet on the etiology of common disease.
Design: We conducted a cross-sectional study of relations between TAS2R38 haplotypes and CHD, CHD risk factors, and eating behavior in 3383 women from 23 British towns.
Results: Genotyping at P49A and V262A in TAS2R38 (rs713598 and rs1726866) allowed construction of all 4 possible haplotypes. The 2 most common haplotypes corresponded with previously identified haplotypes related to bitter compound-tasting ability. No substantial evidence of association was found between these haplotypes and CHD (odds ratio for taste-defining haplotypes: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.78, 1.2), body mass index (difference between means of taste-defining haplotypes: -0.084; 95% CI: -0.45, 0.29), or a series of physiologic and dietary characteristics. A marginally lower risk of diabetes was observed among those with the nontaster haplotype than among those with the taster haplotype (odds ratio: 0.69; 95% CI: 0.48, 1.00).
Conclusion: TAS2R38 status was not an important determinant of CHD, related risk factors, or eating behavior in the British Women's Heart and Health Study sample.