Effects of the renin-angiotensin system genes and salt sensitivity genes on blood pressure and atherosclerosis in the total population and patients with type 2 diabetes
Most studies on the genetic determinants of blood pressure and vascular complications of type 2 diabetes have focused on the effects of single genes. These studies often have yielded conflicting results. Therefore, we examined the combined effects of three renin-angiotensin system (RAS) genes and three salt sensitivity genes in relation to blood pressure and atherosclerosis in the total population and type 2 diabetic patients. The study was a part of the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort study. We have genotyped three RAS gene polymorphisms and three salt sensitivity gene polymorphisms. Diabetic patients with three risk genotypes of the RAS genes had a 6.9 mmHg higher systolic blood pressure (P for trend = 0.04) and a 6.0 mmHg higher pulse pressure (P for trend = 0.03) than those who did not carry any risk genotypes. Diabetic patients with three risk genotypes of the salt sensitivity genes had a 9.0 mmHg higher systolic blood pressure (P = 0.19) and a 13.1 mmHg higher pulse pressure (P = 0.02). Diabetic patients who carried three risk genotypes for the RAS genes had a higher mean intima-media thickness than those with two risk genotypes (mean difference 0.04 mm, P = 0.02). We found that among type 2 diabetic patients, mean systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, and risk of hypertension increased with the number of risk genotypes for the RAS genes and the salt sensitivity genes.