BACKGROUNDBlood pressure (BP) variability has a genetic component, most of which has yet to be attributed to specific variants. One promising strategy for gene discovery is analysis of interactions between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and BP-related factors, including age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). Educational attainment, a marker for socioeconomic status, has effects on both BP and BMI.METHODSWe investigated SNP-education interaction effects on BP in genome-wide data on 3,836 subjects in families from the Framingham Heart Study. The ABEL suite was used to adjust for age, sex, BMI, medication use, and kinship and to perform 1 degree-of-freedrom (df) and 2 df SNP-education interaction tests.RESULTSAn SNP in PTN was associated with increased systolic BP (5.4mm Hg per minor allele) in those without a bachelor's degree but decreased systolic BP (1.6mm Hg per allele) in those with a bachelor's degree (2 df; P = 2.08×10-8). An SNP in TOX2 was associated with increased diastolic BP (DBP; 4.1mm Hg per minor allele) in those with no more educational attainment than high school but decreased DBP in those with education past high school (-0.7; 1 df; P = 3.74×10-8). Three suggestive associations were also found: in MYO16 (pulse pressure: 2 df; P = 2.89×10-7), in HAS2 (DBP: 1 df; P = 1.41×10 -7), and in DLEU2 (DBP: 2 df; P = 1.93×10-7). All 5 genes are related to BP, including roles in vasodilation and angiogenesis for PTN and TOX2.CONCLUSIONSPTN and TOX2 are associated with BP. Analyzing SNP-education interactions may detect novel associations. Education may be a surrogate for unmeasured exposures and behaviors modifying SNP effects on BP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-444
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • GWAS
  • blood pressure
  • educational attainment
  • gene-education interaction
  • hypertension
  • interaction


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