Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Human and Molecular Genetics

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Eric Boerwinkle, PhD

Committee Member

Craig L. Hanis, PhD

Committee Member

James E. Hixson, PhD

Committee Member

Alanna Morrison, PhD

Committee Member

Linda B. Piller, MD, MPH


Response to pharmacological treatment is variable among individuals. Some patients respond favorably to a drug while others develop adverse reactions. Early investigations showed evidence of variation in genes that code for drug receptors, drug transporters, and drug metabolizing enzymes; and pharmacogenetics appeared as the science that studies the relationship between drug response and genetic variation.

Thiazide diuretics are the recommended first-line monotherapy for hypertension (i.e. SBP>140 or DBP>90). Even so, diuretics are associated with adverse metabolic side effects, such as hyperglycemia, which increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Published approaches testing variation in candidate genes (e.g. the renin-angiotensin-aldosteron system (RAAS) and salt–sensitivity genes) have met with only limited success.

We conducted the first genome wide association study to identify genes influencing hyperglycemia as an adverse effect of thiazide diuretics in non-Hispanic White hypertensive patients participating in the Genetic Epidemiology of Responses to Antihypertensives (GERA) and Pharmacogenomic Evaluation of Antihypertensive Responses (PEAR) clinical trials. No SNP reached the a priori defined threshold of statistical significance (p<5x10-8). We detected 50 SNPs in 9 genomic regions with suggestive p-values (p<1x10-5). Two of them, rs6870564 (p-value=3.28 X 10-6) and rs7702121 (p-value=5.09 X 10-6), were located close to biologic candidate genes, MYO and MGAT1, and one SNP in a genomic region in chromosome 6, rs7762018 (p-value=4.59 X 10-6) has been previously related to Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM8).

I conclude that 1) there are unlikely to be common SNPs with large effects on the adverse metabolic effects to hydrochlorothiazide treatment and 2) larger sample sizes are needed for pharmacogenetic studies of inter-individual variation in response to commonly prescribed medication.


pharmacogenetics, GWAS, hyperglycemia, hydrochlorothiazide