Hypertension is associated with a variant in the RARRES2 gene in populations of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil: a cross-sectional study

Int J Mol Epidemiol Genet. 2021 Jun 15;12(3):40-51. eCollection 2021.


Background: Arterial hypertension (AH) is implicated in vascular health and contributes significantly to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In addition to the contribution of usual risk factors for AH, elucidating the influence of genetic factors is a promising area of investigation. Therefore, we evaluated the association between AH and cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) and genetic polymorphisms in communities in Southeast Brazil.

Methods: A total of 515 adults aged 18-91 years, who were cross-sectionally assessed between 2015-2016, were included. Demographic, clinical, behavioral, anthropometric characteristics, and laboratory parameters and 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms in seven candidate genes involved in cardiovascular risk (RARRES2, AGT, NOS3, GNB3, APOE, APOB, APOC3, LDLR, and PPARG) were evaluated, with AH as the outcome. Sex, age, and laboratory parameters were considered the main confounding factors.

Results: There was a significant association between age >60 years (odds ratio [OR] =6.74), alcohol dependence (OR=3.84), smoking (OR=1.74), overweight (OR=1.74), high plasma triglyceride (TG) levels (OR=1.98) and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL-c) (OR=6.22), diabetes (OR=3.68), and insulin resistance (OR=2.40) and AH. A significant association was observed between rs4721 in RARRES2 and AH. The T allele in homozygosis was a potent chance modifier for AH. The highest chance gradients for AH were characterized by the presence of the TT genotype and DMT2 (OR=9.70), high TG (OR=6.26), low HDL-c (OR=8.20), and age more than 60 years (OR=9.96).

Conclusion: The interaction of the T allele of the rs4721 polymorphism in RARRES2 with CVRFs may predispose carriers to a higher cardiovascular risk.

Keywords: Cardiovascular risk; RARRES2 gene; diabetes; dyslipidemia; hypertension; molecular epidemiology; obesity.