Abstract 154: Genetic Variants in CETP That Increase HDL Levels also Increase Risk of Intracerebral Hemorrhage

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Introduction: In observational studies, higher plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) has been associated with increased risk of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Common DNA sequence variants within the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene decrease CETP protein activity and increase plasma HDL-C; as such, medicines that inhibit CETP and raise HDL-C are in clinical development to combat coronary artery disease.Hypothesis: Common CETP DNA sequence variants associated with higher HDL-C also increase risk for ICH.Methods: We performed a two-stage case-control genetic association study in Caucasians. The discovery phase utilized data on 12 independent loci within CETP (+/- 50 kilobases) from 3 genome-wide association studies of ICH. Replication involved direct genotyping in 5 additional studies. We also constructed a genetic risk score with 7 independent CETP variants and tested it for association with HDL-C and ICH risk. We used principal component analysis to account for population structure and a Bonferroni-adjusted p<0.004 (12 tests) to declare statistical significance.Results: The discovery phase included 1149 ICH cases (43% lobar hemorrhages) and 1238 controls. Twelve variants were nominally associated (p<0.05) with ICH, with the strongest association at the rs173539 locus (Figure 1: OR 1.25, 95%CI 1.11-1.41; p=6.0x10-4) and no heterogeneity across studies (I2=0%). This association was replicated in 1625 cases (43% lobar hemorrhages) and 1845 controls (OR 1.12, 95%CI 1.02-1.24; p=0.03). A genetic score of independent CETP variants known to increase HDL-C by ~2.85 mg/dL was strongly associated with ICH risk (OR 1.86, 95%CI 1.44-2.40; p=1.4x10-6).Conclusion: Genetic variants in CETP associated with increased HDL-C raise the risk of ICH. Given ongoing therapeutic development in CETP inhibition and other HDL-raising strategies, further exploration of potential adverse cerebrovascular outcomes is warranted.

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