Based on prior research finding the 5HTTLPR L allele associated with increased cardiovascular reactivity to laboratory stressors and increased risk of myocardial infarction, we hypothesized that the 5HTTLPR L allele will be associated with increased blood pressure (BP) and increased hypertension prevalence in 2 large nationally representative samples in the United States and Singapore.Methods
Logistic regression and linear models tested associations between triallelic (L′S′, based on rs25531) 5HTTLPR genotypes and hypertension severity and mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) collected during the Wave IV survey of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health, N = 11,815) in 2008–09 and during 2004–07 in 4196 Singaporeans.Results
In US Whites, L′ allele carriers had higher SBP (0.9 mm Hg, 95% CI = 0.26-1.56) and greater odds (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.10-1.38) of more severe hypertension than those with S′S′ genotypes. In African Americans, L′ carriers had lower mean SBP (−1.27 mm Hg, 95% CI = −2.53 to −0.01) and lower odds (OR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.65-0.94) of more severe hypertension than those with the S′S′ genotype. In African Americans, those with L′L′ genotypes had lower DBP (−1.13 mm Hg, 95% CI = −2.09 to −0.16) than S′ carriers. In Native Americans, L′ carriers had lower SBP (−6.05 mm Hg, 95% CI = −9.59 to −2.51) and lower odds of hypertension (OR = 0.34, 95% CI = 0.13-0.89) than those with the S′S′ genotype. In Asian/Pacific Islanders those carrying the L′ allele had lower DBP (−1.77 mm Hg, 95% CI = −3.16 to −0.38) and lower odds of hypertension (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.48-0.96) than those with S′S′. In the Singapore sample S′ carriers had higher SBP (3.02 mm Hg, 95% CI = 0.54-5.51) and DBP (1.90 mm Hg, 95% CI = 0.49-3.31) than those with the L′L′ genotype.Conclusions
These findings suggest that Whites carrying the L′ allele, African Americans and Native Americans with the S′S′ genotype, and Asians carrying the S′ allele will be found to be at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and may benefit from preventive measures.