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Genetically Predicted Midlife Blood Pressure and Coronary Artery Disease Risk: Mendelian Randomization Analysis.

J Am Heart Assoc. 2020;e016773. doi:10.1161/JAHA.120.016773 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 4].

Authors/Editors: Gill D, Georgakis MK, Zuber V, Karhunen V, Burgess S, Malik R, Dichgans M.
Publication Date: 2020

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Abstract

Background Elevated blood pressure is a major cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, it is not known whether midlife blood pressure affects later life cardiovascular risk independent of later life blood pressure.

Methods and Results Using genetic association estimates from the UK Biobank and CARDIoGRAMplusC4D consortium, univariable mendelian randomization was performed to investigate the total effect of genetically predicted mean arterial pressure (MAP) at age ≤55 years on coronary artery disease (CAD) risk, and multivariable mendelian randomization was performed to investigate the effect of genetically predicted MAP on CAD risk after adjusting for genetically predicted MAP at age >55 years. In both univariable and multivariable mendelian randomization analyses, there was consistent evidence of higher genetically predicted MAP at age ≤55 years increasing CAD risk. This association persisted after adjusting for genetically predicted MAP at age >55 years, when considering nonoverlapping populations for the derivation of MAP and CAD risk genetic association estimates, when investigating only incident CAD events after age >55 years, and when restricting the analysis to variants with most heterogeneity in their associations with MAP ≤55 and >55 years. For a 10–mm Hg increase in genetically predicted MAP at age ≤55 years, the odds ratio of later life CAD was 1.43 (95% CI, 1.16–1.77; P=0.001) after adjusting for genetically predicted MAP at age >55 years.

Conclusions These mendelian randomization findings support a cumulative lifetime effect of elevated blood pressure on increasing CAD risk. Clinical and public health efforts toward cardiovascular disease reduction should optimize blood pressure control throughout life.

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