Clock genes explain a large proportion of phenotypic variance in systolic blood pressure and this control is not modified by environmental temperature

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND Diurnal variation in blood pressure (BP) is regulated, in part, by an endogenous circadian clock; however, few human studies have identified associations between clock genes and BP. Accounting for environmental temperature may be necessary to correct for seasonal bias. METHODS We examined whether environmental temperature on the day of participants' assessment was associated with BP, using adjusted linear regression models in the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN) (n = 819) and the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study (BPRHS) (n = 1,248) cohorts. We estimated phenotypic variance in BP by 18 clock genes and examined individual single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations with BP using an additive genetic model, with further consideration of environmental temperature. RESULTS In GOLDN, each additional 1 °C increase in environmental temperature was associated with 0.18mm Hg lower systolic BP [SBP; β ± SE = -0.18±0.05mm Hg; P = 0.0001] and 0.10mm Hg lower diastolic BP [DBP; -0.10±0.03mm Hg; P = 0.001]. Similar results were seen in the BPRHS for SBP only. Clock genes explained a statistically significant proportion of the variance in SBP [V G/V P ± SE = 0.071±0.03; P = 0.001] in GOLDN, but not in the BPRHS, and we did not observe associations between individual SNPs and BP. Environmental temperature did not influence the identified genetic associations. CONCLUSIONS We identified clock genes that explained a statistically significant proportion of the phenotypic variance in SBP, supporting the importance of the circadian pathway underlying cardiac physiology. Although temperature was associated with BP, it did not affect results with genetic markers in either study. Therefore, it does not appear that temperature measures are necessary for interpreting associations between clock genes and BP. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION Trials related to this study were registered at as NCT00083369 (Genetic and Environmental Determinants of Triglycerides) and NCT01231958 (Boston Puerto Rican Health Study).
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    Author List

  • Dashti HS; Aslibekyan S; Scheer FAJL; Smith CE; Lamon-Fava S; Jacques P; Lai CQ; Tucker KL; Arnett DK; Ordovás JM
  • Start Page

  • 132
  • End Page

  • 140
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 1