Thiazide diuretics, commonly used antihypertensives, may cause QT interval (QT) prolongation, a risk factor for highly fatal and difficult to predict ventricular arrhythmias. We examined whether common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) modified the association between thiazide use and QT or its component parts (QRS interval, JT interval) by performing ancestry-specific, trans-ethnic and cross-phenotype genome-wide analyses of European (66%), African American (15%) and Hispanic (19%) populations (N=78 199), leveraging longitudinal data, incorporating corrected standard errors to account for underestimation of interaction estimate variances and evaluating evidence for pathway enrichment. Although no loci achieved genome-wide significance (P<5 × 10-8m), we found suggestive evidence (P<5 × 10-6) for SNPs modifying the thiazide-QT association at 22 loci, including ion transport loci (for example, NELL1, KCNQ3). The biologic plausibility of our suggestive results and simulations demonstrating modest power to detect interaction effects at genome-wide significant levels indicate that larger studies and innovative statistical methods are warranted in future efforts evaluating thiazide-SNP interactions.

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Seyerle, A.A. (A. A.), Sitlani, C.M, Noordam, R, Gogarten, S.M, Li, J. (J.), Li, X, … Avery, C.L. (2018). Pharmacogenomics study of thiazide diuretics and QT interval in multi-ethnic populations. The Pharmacogenomics Journal, 18(2), 215–226. doi:10.1038/tpj.2017.10