Context: Glucocorticoids contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Four polymorphisms in the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene have been reported to alter glucocorticoid sensitivity and have been associated with cardiovascular risk factors. Studies on the relationship between these GR variants and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, however, have yielded conflicting results. Objective: We sought to determine whether haplotypes based on functional polymorphisms in the GR gene influenced susceptibility to CVD in a high-risk population. Design, Setting, and Participants: In a multicenter cohort study, 1830 patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia were genotyped for the functional ER22/23EK, N363S, BclI, and 9 variants. We analyzed the combined effect of all GR variants by constructing haplotypes and using a Cox proportional hazards regression model with adjustment for year of birth and smoking. The analyses were stratified for sex. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measure was CVD defined as coronary, cerebral, and peripheral artery disease. Results: A total of 359 men (40.8%) and 224 women (23.6%) had a cardiovascular event. In men, the BclI haplotype was associated with a 34% higher CVD risk (confidence interval 1.02-1.76; P= 0.03) and the 9β haplotype with a 41% higher CVD risk (confidence interval 1.02-1.94; P = 0.04). In women, none of the GR haplotypes was significantly related with CVD. We did not find differences in cardiovascular risk factors between GR haplotypes. Conclusions: In this large cohort of high-risk individuals, two common haplotypes in the GR gene modified CVD susceptibility among men. Copyright,
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Koeijvoets, K.C.M.C, van der Net, J.B, van Rossum, E.F.C, Steyerberg, E.W, Defesche, J.C, Kastelein, J.J.P, … Sijbrands, E.J.G. (2008). Two common haplotypes of the glucocorticoid receptor gene are associated with increased susceptibility to cardiovascular disease in men with familial hypercholesterolemia. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 93(12), 4902–4908. doi:10.1210/jc.2008-0813