Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is one of the most widely prescribed antihypertensive medications. Although it is well known that HCTZ is associated with hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia, the mechanisms underlying these adverse effects are not well understood. We performed a genome-wide association study and meta-analysis of the change in fasting plasma glucose and triglycerides in response to HCTZ from two different clinical trials: the Pharmacogenomic Evaluation of Antihypertensive Responses and the Genetic Epidemiology of Responses to Antihypertensive studies. Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs12279250 and rs4319515 (r(2)=0.73)), located at 11p15.1 in the NELL1 gene, achieved genome-wide significance for association with change in fasting plasma triglycerides in African Americans, whereby each variant allele was associated with a 28 mg dl(-1) increase in the change in triglycerides. NELL1 encodes a cytoplasmic protein that contains epidermal growth factor-like repeats and has been shown to represses adipogenic differentiation. These findings may represent a novel mechanism underlying HCTZ-induced adverse metabolic effects.