The effect of genotype-by-environment interaction on longitudinal triglyceride profiles in the Bogalusa Heart Study

Melissa Anne Richard, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Triglyceride levels are a component of plasma lipids that are thought to be an important risk factor for coronary heart disease and are influenced by genetic and environmental factors, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), alcohol intake, and smoking. This study used longitudinal data from the Bogalusa Heart Study, a biracial community-based survey of cardiovascular disease risk factors. A sample of 1191 individuals, 4 to 38 years of age, was measured multiple times from 1973 to 2000. The study sample consisted of 730 white and 461 African American participants. Individual growth models were developed in order to assess gene-environment interactions affecting plasma triglycerides over time. After testing for inclusion of significant covariates and interactions, final models, each accounting for the effects of a different SNP, were assessed for fit and normality. After adjustment for all other covariates and interactions, LIPC -514C/T was found to interact with age3, age2, and age and a non-significant interaction of CETP -971G/A genotype with smoking status was found (p = 0.0812). Ever-smokers had higher triglyceride levels than never smokers, but persons heterozygous at this locus, about half of both races, had higher triglyceride levels after smoking cessation compared to current smokers. Since tobacco products increase free fatty acids circulating in the bloodstream, smoking cessation programs have the potential to ultimately reduce triglyceride levels for many persons. However, due to the effect of smoking cessation on the triglyceride levels of CETP -971G/A heterozygotes, the need for smoking prevention programs is also demonstrated. Both smoking cessation and prevention programs would have a great public health impact on minimizing triglyceride levels and ultimately reducing heart disease.

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Recommended Citation

Richard, Melissa Anne, "The effect of genotype-by-environment interaction on longitudinal triglyceride profiles in the Bogalusa Heart Study" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1462423.