Genetic admixture and cardiovascular disease risk in postmenopausal Hispanic women
Background: Hispanics are a heterogeneous population with differences in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its related risk factors among ethnic sub-groups. This study evaluated the association of genetic admixture and CVD in self-identified Hispanic women from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI).
Methods: Data came from the WHI Observational Study and the Clinical Trial Components conducted among postmenopausal women. The CVD outcomes included coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. The proportions of European (EUR), sub-Saharan African (AFR), and Amerindian (AMI) admixture were estimated using 92 ancestry-informative markers. Cox regression models were used to assess the relationship between genetic admixture and CVD adjusting for age, lifestyle risk factors, known risk factors, and neighborhood socioeconomic status.
Results: Among 5195 participants EUR ancestry was associated with a lower CHD risk after adjusting for age (HR 0.41, p = 0.02), and in the fully adjusted model (HR 0.40, p = 0.03). AFR ancestry was associated with a higher CHD risk after adjusting for age (HR 2.91, p = 0.03), but it only showed a trend in in the fully adjusted model (HR 2.46, p = 0.10). AMI ancestry was not statistically significantly associated with CHD and none of the genetic admixture proportions were statistically significantly associated with stroke (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: EUR ancestry was associated with a lower risk of CHD in Hispanic women. This highlights the need to account for genetic admixture in future CVD studies to consider different heritage groups to understand the role that genetic, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and environmental factors contribute to CVD health disparities in Hispanic women.