Association of Blood Pressure Genetic Risk Score with Cardiovascular Disease and CKD Progression: Findings from the CRIC Study

Kidney360. 2021 Apr 8;2(8):1251-1260. doi: 10.34067/KID.0007632020. eCollection 2021 Aug 26.


Background: In the general population, genetic risk for high BP has been associated with cardiovascular disease, but not kidney function or incident CKD. These relationships have not been studied longitudinally in participants with CKD. We examined whether BP genetic risk predicts cardiovascular disease and kidney disease progression in patients with CKD.

Methods: We included 1493 African- and 1581 European-ancestry participants from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort who were followed for 12 years. We examined associations of BP genetic risk scores with development of cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, or stroke) and CKD progression (incident ESKD or halving of eGFR) using Cox proportional hazards models. Analyses were stratified by race and included adjustment for age, sex, study site, and ancestry principal components.

Results: Among European-ancestry participants, each SD increase in systolic BP and pulse pressure genetic risk score conferred a 15% (95% CI, 4% to 27%) and 11% (95% CI, 1% to 23%), respectively, higher risk of cardiovascular disease, with a similar, marginally significant trend for diastolic BP. Among African-ancestry participants, each SD increase in systolic and diastolic BP genetic risk score conferred a 10% (95% CI, 1% to 20%) and 9% (95% CI, 0% to 18%), respectively, higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Higher genetic risk was not associated with CKD progression.

Conclusions: Genetic risk for elevation in BP was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but not CKD progression.

Keywords: CRIC Study; blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; disease progression; genetic risk score; genetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / genetics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors