Metabolic syndrome (MetS) constitutes a worldwide epidemic burst accounting for billions of cardiovascular disease events and deaths. The genetic basis of MetS is largely unknown. The rs11646213 T → A polymorphism maps at 16q23.3 upstream of the CDH13 gene codifying for cadherin-13 (also known as T-cadherin or H-cadherin), which is considered a vascular adiponectin receptor. This and other single-nucleotide polymorphisms have been associated with hypertension and adiponectin level in separate studies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the CDH13 rs11646213 T → A polymorphism on individual components of MetS and on MetS. The polymorphism was genotyped in the cardiovascular cohort of the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (n = 4,942) and successively in the Malmö Preventive Project (n = 17,675) cohort at baseline and after an average of 23 years of follow-up (reinvestigation). Four different definitions of MetS were applied to these cohorts. In the cardiovascular arm, CDH13 rs11646213 AA homozygotic women showed a trend toward higher triglycerides and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and presented a higher MetS score (composite sum of MetS phenotypes). MetS (Adult Treatment Panel III definition) was more prevalent in AA homozygotic women compared to T-carriers, a result confirmed in the Malmö Preventive Project cohort at baseline and at reinvestigation with an increased risk from 19% to 45% in AA homozygotic women. In conclusion, the CDH13 rs11646213 T > A polymorphism was consistently associated with MetS in Swedish women recruited in 2 large cohorts. In light of the role of cadherin-13 as a vascular receptor for adiponectin, our study supports the genetic basis for the role of adiponectin in MetS pathogenesis.
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