GWAS of the electrocardiographic QT interval in Hispanics/Latinos generalizes previously identified loci and identifies population-specific signals

Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 6;7(1):17075. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17136-0.


QT interval prolongation is a heritable risk factor for ventricular arrhythmias and can predispose to sudden death. Most genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of QT were performed in European ancestral populations, leaving other groups uncharacterized. Herein we present the first QT GWAS of Hispanic/Latinos using data on 15,997 participants from four studies. Study-specific summary results of the association between 1000 Genomes Project (1000G) imputed SNPs and electrocardiographically measured QT were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. We identified 41 genome-wide significant SNPs that mapped to 13 previously identified QT loci. Conditional analyses distinguished six secondary signals at NOS1AP (n = 2), ATP1B1 (n = 2), SCN5A (n = 1), and KCNQ1 (n = 1). Comparison of linkage disequilibrium patterns between the 13 lead SNPs and six secondary signals with previously reported index SNPs in 1000G super populations suggested that the SCN5A and KCNE1 lead SNPs were potentially novel and population-specific. Finally, of the 42 suggestively associated loci, AJAP1 was suggestively associated with QT in a prior East Asian GWAS; in contrast BVES and CAP2 murine knockouts caused cardiac conduction defects. Our results indicate that whereas the same loci influence QT across populations, population-specific variation exists, motivating future trans-ethnic and ancestrally diverse QT GWAS.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Electrocardiography*
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Genotype
  • Hispanic or Latino / genetics*
  • Humans
  • KCNQ1 Potassium Channel / genetics
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Long QT Syndrome / ethnology
  • Long QT Syndrome / genetics
  • Long QT Syndrome / pathology*
  • NAV1.5 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / genetics


  • ATP1B1 protein, human
  • KCNQ1 Potassium Channel
  • KCNQ1 protein, human
  • NAV1.5 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel
  • SCN5A protein, human
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase

Grants and funding