Apolipoprotein L1 Genetic Variants Are Associated with Chronic Kidney Disease but Not with Cardiovascular Disease in a Population Referred for Cardiac Catheterization

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Abstract

Background: While the association between APOL1 genetic variants and chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been established, their association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) is unclear. This study sought to understand CKD and cardiovascular risk conferred by APOL1 variants in a secondary cardiovascular prevention population. Methods: Two risk variants in APOL1 were genotyped in African-Americans (n = 1,641) enrolled in the CATHGEN biorepository, comprised of patients referred for cardiac catheterization at Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC, USA (2001-2010). Individuals were categorized as noncarriers (n = 722), heterozygote (n = 771), or homozygote carriers (n = 231) of APOL1 risk alleles. Multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for CVD risk factors were used to assess the association between APOL1 risk variants and prevalent and incident CKD, prevalent coronary artery disease (CAD), incident CVD events, and mortality. Results: The previously identified association between APOL1 variants and prevalent CKD was confirmed (OR: 1.85, 95% CI: 1.33-2.57, p = 0.0002). No statistically significant associations were detected between APOL1 variants and incident CKD or prevalent CAD, incident CVD events or mortality. Age, type 2 diabetes, and ejection fraction at baseline were significant clinical factors that predicted the risk of incident CKD in a subgroup analysis of APOL1 homozygous individuals. Conclusion:APOL1 genetic variants are not associated with CAD or incident CVD events in a cohort of individuals with a high burden of cardiometabolic risk factors. In individuals with homozygous APOL1 status, factors that predicted subsequent CKD included age, presence of type 2 diabetes, and ejection fraction at baseline.

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