Genetic and environmental covariance of serum cholesterol and blood pressure in female twins.

P.D. Williams, Ian Puddey, N.G. Martin, Lawrence Beilin

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    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Blood pressure elevation is frequently associated with elevated cholesterol, triglyceride or low density lipoprotein (LDL-C) or low high density lipoprotein (HDL-C). The relative importance of genetic and environmental factors in these associations is unclear. We examined the relative contribution of genetic and environmental influences to the association between blood pressure and serum lipids in 75 pairs of female twins using path analysis and maximum-likelihood model fitting. Associations between systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol (r = 0.44, P <0.001), and LDL-C (r = 0.38, P <0.001), but not HDL-C (r = 0.05, N.S.), remained significant after age and body mass index adjustment. Univariate models suggested genetic effects contributed 60-70% to the variance of total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C and systolic blood pressure. The remaining variance was explained by age and/or unique environmental influences. Using bivariate models, we demonstrated genetic (P = 0.017) and unique environmental covariance (P = 0.011) of cholesterol and systolic blood pressure. Significant genetic covariance (P = 0.038) was observed between LDL-C and systolic blood pressure. The association between blood pressure and total cholesterol in these twins results from shared genetic and similar unique environmental influences. The association between LDL-C and blood pressure is partly due to shared genetic influences. We conclude that both additive genetic and environmental factors unique to the individual are important determinants of the relationships between serum lipids and blood pressure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-31
    JournalAtherosclerosis
    Volume100
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1993

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