Among African Americans, the apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) risk variants have been associated with various types of kidney disease and chronic kidney disease progression. We aimed to determine whether these same risk variants also confer an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.Approach and Results—
In a cohort of African Americans with hypertension-attributed chronic kidney disease followed for up to 12 years, we used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate the relative hazard of a composite cardiovascular disease outcome (cardiovascular death or hospitalization for myocardial infarction, cardiac revascularization procedure, heart failure, or stroke) for the APOL1 high- (2 risk variants) versus low-risk (0–1 risk variant) genotypes. We adjusted for age, sex, ancestry, smoking, heart disease history, body mass index, cholesterol, randomized treatment groups, and baseline and longitudinal estimated glomerular filtration rate, systolic blood pressure, and proteinuria. Among 693 participants with APOL1 genotyping available (23% high risk), the high-risk group had lower mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (44.7 versus 50.1 mL/min per 1.73 m2) and greater proteinuria (median 0.19 versus 0.06) compared with the low-risk group at baseline. There was no significant association between APOL1 genotypes and the composite cardiovascular disease outcome in both unadjusted (hazard ratio=1.23; 95% confidence interval: 0.83–1.81) and fully adjusted (hazard ratio=1.16; 95% confidence interval: 0.77–1.76) models; however, in using an additive model, APOL1 high-risk variants were associated with increased cardiovascular mortality.Conclusions—
Among African Americans with hypertension-attributed chronic kidney disease, APOL1 risk variants were not associated with an overall risk for cardiovascular disease although some signals for cardiovascular mortality were noted.