We hypothesized that the minor allele of the atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) genetic variant rs5068 is associated with a favorable cardiometabolic phenotype in a general Mediterranean population.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We genotyped a random sample of the residents of Ventimiglia di Sicilia, Sicily, for rs5068.RESULTS
Genotype frequencies of rs5068 are AA, 93.5%; AG, 6.4%; and GG, 0.1%. All subsequent analyses are AA versus AG+GG. After adjusting for age and sex, the minor G allele is associated with lower BMI (estimate [SE]: −1.7 kg/m2 [0.8], P = 0.04). In the AG+GG group, males with HDL cholesterol levels <40 mg/dL are less frequent (P = 0.05) and obesity tends to be less prevalent (P = 0.07). Importantly, the G allele is associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome (P = 0.02). After adjusting for BMI, the above associations were attenuated. Independently of age, sex, and BMI, the minor allele is also associated with lower systolic blood pressure (−6.0 mmHg [2.5], P = 0.02) and lower prevalence of hypertension (odds ratio 0.41 [95% CI 0.20–0.83], P = 0.01).CONCLUSIONS
The association between the minor allele of rs5068 and a favorable cardiometabolic phenotype that we previously reported in a U.S. population is now replicated in a Mediterranean population in which the G allele of rs5068 is associated with lower blood pressure, BMI, and prevalence of hypertension and metabolic syndrome. These findings may lead to a diagnostic strategy to assess cardiometabolic risk and lay the foundation for the future development of an ANP or ANP-like therapy for metabolic syndrome.