Association between arterial hypertension and liver outcomes using polygenic risk scores: a population-based study

Sci Rep. 2022 Sep 16;12(1):15581. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-20084-z.


Arterial hypertension (HTA) is associated with liver disease, but causality remains unclear. We investigated whether genetic predisposition to HTA is associated with liver disease in the population, and if antihypertensive medication modifies this association. Participants of the Finnish health-examination surveys, FINRISK 1992-2012 and Health 2000 (n = 33,770), were linked with national electronic healthcare registers for liver-related outcomes (K70-K77, C22.0) and with the drug reimbursement registry for new initiation of antihypertensive medication during follow-up. Genetic predisposition to HTA was defined by polygenic risk scores (PRSs). During a median 12.9-year follow-up (409,268.9 person-years), 441 liver-related outcomes occurred. In the fully-adjusted Cox-regression models, both measured systolic blood pressure and clinically defined HTA were associated with liver-related outcomes. PRSs for systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly associated with liver-related outcomes (HR/SD 1.19, 95% CI 1.01-1.24, and 1.12, 95% CI 1.01-1.25, respectively). In the highest quintile of the systolic blood pressure PRS, new initiation of antihypertensive medication was associated with reduced rates of liver-related outcomes (HR 0.55, 95% CI 0.31-0.97). HTA and a genetic predisposition for HTA are associated with liver-related outcomes in the population. New initiation of antihypertensive medication attenuates this association in persons with high genetic risk for HTA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Hypertension* / genetics
  • Liver
  • Risk Factors


  • Antihypertensive Agents