Novel genetic associations for blood pressure identified via gene-alcohol interaction in up to 570K individuals across multiple ancestries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Heavy alcohol consumption is an established risk factor for hypertension; the mechanism by which alcohol consumption impact blood pressure (BP) regulation remains unknown. We hypothesized that a genome-wide association study accounting for gene-alcohol consumption interaction for BP might identify additional BP loci and contribute to the understanding of alcohol-related BP regulation. We conducted a large two-stage investigation incorporating joint testing of main genetic effects and single nucleotide variant (SNV)-alcohol consumption interactions. In Stage 1, genome-wide discovery meta-analyses in ≈131K individuals across several ancestry groups yielded 3, 514 SNVs (245 loci) with suggestive evidence of association (P < 1.0 × 10-5). In Stage 2, these SNVs were tested for independent external replication in ≈440K individuals across multiple ancestries. We identified and replicated (at Bonferroni correction threshold) five novel BP loci (380 SNVs in 21 genes) and 49 previously reported BP loci (2, 159 SNVs in 109 genes) in European ancestry, and in multi-ancestry meta-analyses (P < 5.0 × 10-8). For African ancestry samples, we detected 18 potentially novel BP loci (P < 5.0 × 10-8) in Stage 1 that warrant further replication. Additionally, correlated meta-analysis identified eight novel BP loci (11 genes). Several genes in these loci (e.g., PINX1, GATA4, BLK, FTO and GABBR2) have been previously reported to be associated with alcohol consumption. These findings provide insights into the role of alcohol consumption in the genetic architecture of hypertension.


  • Mary F. Feitosa
  • Aldi T. Kraja
  • Daniel I. Chasman
  • Yun J. Sung
  • Thomas W. Winkler
  • Ioanna Ntalla
  • Xiuqing Guo
  • Nora Franceschini
  • Ching Yu Cheng
  • Xueling Sim
  • Dina Vojinovic
  • Jonathan Marten
  • Solomon K. Musani
  • Changwei Li
  • Amy R. Bentley
  • Michael R. Brown
  • Karen Schwander
  • Melissa A. Richard
  • Raymond Noordam
  • Hugues Aschard
  • Traci M. Bartz
  • Lawrence F. Bielak
  • Rajkumar Dorajoo
  • Virginia Fisher
  • Fernando P. Hartwig
  • Andrea R.V.R. Horimoto
  • Kurt K. Lohman
  • Alisa K. Manning
  • Tuomo Rankinen
  • Albert V. Smith
  • Salman M. Tajuddin
  • Mary K. Wojczynski
  • Maris Alver
  • Mathilde Boissel
  • Qiuyin Cai
  • Archie Campbell
  • Jin Fang Chai
  • Xu Chen
  • Jasmin Divers
  • Chuan Gao
  • Anuj Goel
  • Yanick Hagemeijer
  • Sarah E. Harris
  • Meian He
  • Fang Chi Hsu
  • Anne U. Jackson
  • Mika Kähönen
  • Anuradhani Kasturiratne
  • Kenneth Rice
  • Alanna C Morrison
  • Paul Elliott
  • Mark J. Caulfield
  • Patricia B. Munroe
  • Dabeeru C. Rao
  • Michael A Province
  • Daniel Levy
External organisations
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital / Harvard Medical School
  • Harvard Medical School
  • University of Regensburg
  • Queen Mary University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of North Carolina
  • Singapore Eye Research Institute
  • Duke–NUS Medical School
  • National University of Singapore
  • National University Health System
  • Erasmus University Medical Center
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • University of Georgia
  • National Human Genome Research Institute
  • University of Texas
  • Leiden University Medical Centre
  • Harvard University
  • Pasteur Institute
  • University of Washington
  • University of Michigan
  • A*Star, Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS)
  • Boston University
  • Federal University of Pelotas
  • University of Bristol
  • University of São Paulo
  • Wake Forest University
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Icelandic Heart Association
  • University of Iceland
  • National Institute on Aging, United States
  • University of Tartu
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • University of Oxford
  • University Medical Center Groningen
  • Huazhong University of Science and Technology
  • Tampere University Hospital
  • University of Tampere
  • University of Kelaniya
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • University of Lille
  • Imperial College London
  • Framingham Heart Study
  • National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Genetics
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0198166
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1
Publication categoryResearch