Background: Socioeconomic status (SES) is a potent environmental determinant of health. To our knowledge, no assessment of genotype-environment interaction has been conducted to consider the joint effects of socioeconomic status and genetics on risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). We analyzed Mexican American Family Studies (MAFS) data to evaluate the hypothesis that genotype-by-environment interaction (GxE) is an important determinant of variation in CVD risk factors.
Methods: We employed a linear mixed model to investigate GxE in Mexican American extended families. We studied two proxies for CVD [Pooled Cohort Equation Risk Scores/Framingham Risk Scores (FRS/PCRS) and carotid artery intima-media thickness (CA-IMT)] in relation to socioeconomic status as determined by Duncan’s Socioeconomic Index (SEI), years of education, and household income.
Results: We calculated heritability for FRS/PCRS and carotid artery intima-media thickness. There was evidence of GxE due to additive genetic variance heterogeneity and genetic correlation for FRS, PCRS, and CA-IMT measures for education (environment) but not for household income or SEI.
Conclusion: The genetic effects underlying CVD are dynamically modulated at the lower end of the SES spectrum. There is a significant change in the genetic architecture underlying the major components of CVD in response to changes in education.
Diego, V. P., Manusov, E. G., Mao, X., Curran, J. E., Göring, H., Mahaney, M. C., ... & Williams-Blangero, S. Genotype-by-socioeconomic status interaction influences heart disease risk scores and carotid artery thickness in Mexican Americans of the Mexican American Family Studies: The predominant role of education in comparison to household income and socioeconomic index. Frontiers in Genetics, 14, 1132110. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2023.1132110
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Frontiers in Genetics
Office of Human Genetics