Article ID: 53074
Aim: To examine the association between carotid plaque and variants in genes involved in inflammation and endothelial function.
Methods: This was a multicenter, cross-sectional survey in southwestern China. The residents aged ≥ 40 years volunteered to participate in the face-to-face survey in eight communities. A total of 2,377 subjects with high stroke risk were enrolled. Carotid plaque and plaque phenotype were assessed by carotid ultrasound. Genotypes of 19 variants in 10 genes related to inflammation and endothelial function were examined. Gene–gene interaction was analyzed by generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction (GMDR).
Results: Carotid plaques were found in 852 (35.8%) subjects, and 454 (53.3%) had stable plaques, whereas 398 (46.7%) had vulnerable plaques. PPARA rs4253655, HABP2 rs7923349, and IL1A rs1609682 were associated with the presence of carotid plaque, and NOS2A rs2297518 and PPARA rs4253655 were associated with vulnerable plaque in univariate analysis. The GMDR analysis revealed that there was a significant gene–gene interaction among HABP2 rs7923349, ITGA2 rs1991013, IL1A rs1609682, and NOS2A rs8081248, and the high-risk interactive genotype among the four variants was independently associated with a higher risk of carotid vulnerable plaque after adjusting the covariates (OR, 2.86, 95% CI: 1.32–7.13, P=0.003).
Conclusion: The prevalence of carotid plaque was very high in the high-risk stroke population in southwestern China. Variants in genes involved in the endothelial function and inflammation were associated with the carotid plaque. The high-risk interactive genotype among rs7923349, rs1991013, rs1609682, and rs8081248 was independently associated with a higher risk of vulnerable plaque.