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Published online: 2019-09-06
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Genetic and environmental factors on heart rate, mean arterial pressure and carotid intima media thickness: a longitudinal twin study

Adam D. Tarnoki, Laszlo Szalontai, Corrado Fagnani, David L. Tarnoki, Pierleone Lucatelli, Pal Maurovich-Horvat, Adam L. Jermendy, Attila Kovacs, Andrea A. Molnar, Erika Godor, Bence Fejer, Anita Hernyes, Carlo Cirelli, Fabrizio Fanelli, Filippo Farina, Claudio Baracchini, Giorgio Meneghetti, Anna V. Gyarmathy, Gyorgy Jermendy, Bela Merkely, Giacomo Pucci, Giuseppe Schillaci, Maria A. Stazi, Emanuela Medda
DOI: 10.5603/CJ.a2019.0089
·
Pubmed: 31489962

open access

Ahead of print
Original articles
Published online: 2019-09-06

Abstract

Background: Heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) are moderately heritable cardiovascular traits, but the environmental effects on the longitudinal change of their heritability have never been investigated.

Methods: 368 Italian and Hungarian twins (107 monozygotic, 77 dizygotic) underwent oscillometric measurement and B-mode sonography of bilateral carotid arteries in 2009/10 and 2014. Within-individual/cross-study wave, cross-twin/within-study wave and cross-twin/cross-study wave correlations were estimated, and bivariate Cholesky models were fitted to decompose the total variance at each wave and covariance between study waves into additive genetic, shared and unique environmental components.

Results: For each trait, a moderate longitudinal stability was observed, with within-individual/cross-wave correlations of 0.42 (95% CI: 0.33–0.51) for HR, 0.34 (95% CI: 0.24–0.43) for MAP, and 0.23 (95% CI: 0.12–0.33) for cIMT. Cross-twin/cross-wave correlations in monozygotic pairs were all significant and substantially higher than the corresponding dizygotic correlations. Genetic continuity was the main source of longitudinal stability, with across-time genetic correlations of 0.52 (95% CI: 0.29–0.71) for HR, 0.56 (95% CI: 0.31–0.81) for MAP, and 0.36 (95% CI: 0.07–0.64) for cIMT. Overlapping genetic factors explained respectively 57%, 77%, and 68% of the longitudinal covariance of the HR, MAP and cIMT traits.

Conclusions: Genetic factors have a substantial role in the longitudinal change of HR, MAP and cIMT; however, the influence of unique environmental factors remains relevant. Further studies should better elucidate whether epigenetic mechanisms have a role in influencing the stability of the investigated traits over time.

Abstract

Background: Heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) are moderately heritable cardiovascular traits, but the environmental effects on the longitudinal change of their heritability have never been investigated.

Methods: 368 Italian and Hungarian twins (107 monozygotic, 77 dizygotic) underwent oscillometric measurement and B-mode sonography of bilateral carotid arteries in 2009/10 and 2014. Within-individual/cross-study wave, cross-twin/within-study wave and cross-twin/cross-study wave correlations were estimated, and bivariate Cholesky models were fitted to decompose the total variance at each wave and covariance between study waves into additive genetic, shared and unique environmental components.

Results: For each trait, a moderate longitudinal stability was observed, with within-individual/cross-wave correlations of 0.42 (95% CI: 0.33–0.51) for HR, 0.34 (95% CI: 0.24–0.43) for MAP, and 0.23 (95% CI: 0.12–0.33) for cIMT. Cross-twin/cross-wave correlations in monozygotic pairs were all significant and substantially higher than the corresponding dizygotic correlations. Genetic continuity was the main source of longitudinal stability, with across-time genetic correlations of 0.52 (95% CI: 0.29–0.71) for HR, 0.56 (95% CI: 0.31–0.81) for MAP, and 0.36 (95% CI: 0.07–0.64) for cIMT. Overlapping genetic factors explained respectively 57%, 77%, and 68% of the longitudinal covariance of the HR, MAP and cIMT traits.

Conclusions: Genetic factors have a substantial role in the longitudinal change of HR, MAP and cIMT; however, the influence of unique environmental factors remains relevant. Further studies should better elucidate whether epigenetic mechanisms have a role in influencing the stability of the investigated traits over time.

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Keywords

cardiovascular arterial stiffness; epigenetics; genetics

About this article
Title

Genetic and environmental factors on heart rate, mean arterial pressure and carotid intima media thickness: a longitudinal twin study

Journal

Cardiology Journal

Issue

Ahead of print

Article type

Research paper

Published online

2019-09-06

DOI

10.5603/CJ.a2019.0089

Pubmed

31489962

Keywords

cardiovascular arterial stiffness
epigenetics
genetics

Authors

Adam D. Tarnoki
Laszlo Szalontai
Corrado Fagnani
David L. Tarnoki
Pierleone Lucatelli
Pal Maurovich-Horvat
Adam L. Jermendy
Attila Kovacs
Andrea A. Molnar
Erika Godor
Bence Fejer
Anita Hernyes
Carlo Cirelli
Fabrizio Fanelli
Filippo Farina
Claudio Baracchini
Giorgio Meneghetti
Anna V. Gyarmathy
Gyorgy Jermendy
Bela Merkely
Giacomo Pucci
Giuseppe Schillaci
Maria A. Stazi
Emanuela Medda

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