Genome-wide analysis of blood pressure variability and ischemic stroke

Stroke. 2013 Oct;44(10):2703-2709. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.002186. Epub 2013 Aug 8.


Background and purpose: Visit-to-visit variability in blood pressure (vBP) is associated with ischemic stroke. We sought to determine whether such variability has genetic causes and whether genetic variants associated with BP variability are also associated with ischemic stroke.

Methods: A Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) for loci influencing BP variability was undertaken in 3802 individuals from the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcome Trial (ASCOT) study, in which long-term visit-to-visit and within-visit BP measures were available. Because BP variability is strongly associated with ischemic stroke, we genotyped the sentinel single nucleotide polymorphism in an independent ischemic stroke population comprising 8624 cases and 12 722 controls and in 3900 additional (Scandinavian) participants from the ASCOT study to replicate our findings.

Results: The ASCOT discovery GWAS identified a cluster of 17 correlated single nucleotide polymorphisms within the NLGN1 gene (3q26.31) associated with BP variability. The strongest association was with rs976683 (P=1.4×10(-8)). Conditional analysis of rs976683 provided no evidence of additional independent associations at the locus. Analysis of rs976683 in patients with ischemic stroke found no association for overall stroke (odds ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.97-1.07; P=0.52) or its subtypes: cardioembolic (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.97-1.16; P=0.17), large vessel disease (odds ratio, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.89-1.07; P=0.60), and small vessel disease (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.97-1.17; P=0.19). No evidence for association was found between rs976683 and BP variability in the additional (Scandinavian) ASCOT participants (P=0.18).

Conclusions: We identified a cluster of single nucleotide polymorphisms at the NLGN1 locus showing significant association with BP variability. Follow-up analyses did not support an association with risk of ischemic stroke and its subtypes.

Keywords: GWAS; blood pressure variability; genes; polymorphism; stroke.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Brain Ischemia* / genetics
  • Brain Ischemia* / physiopathology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3 / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Stroke* / genetics
  • Stroke* / physiopathology


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • neuroligin 1