School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

Document Type


Publication Date



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.


Copyright © 2023 Diego, Manusov, Mao, Curran, Göring, Almeida, Mahaney, Peralta, Blangero and Williams-Blangero.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Frontiers in Genetics



Academic Level


Mentor/PI Department

Office of Human Genetics



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.