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J Epidemiol. 2013 Sep 5;23(5):389-95. Epub 2013 Jul 27.

Associations between polymorphisms in the glucocorticoid-receptor gene and cardiovascular risk factors in a Chinese population.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.



Glucocorticoid is an important regulator of energy homeostasis. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene polymorphisms that contribute to variability in glucocorticoid sensitivity have been identified. We explored the associations of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the GR gene with traditional cardiovascular risk factors in the Chinese Han population.


We recruited 762 consecutive adults who underwent a regular physical examination at Beijing Xuanwu Hospital. Blood pressure, glucose, lipid levels (total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol and triglycerides), body mass index (BMI), and waist-to-hip ratio were measured. Fourteen tag SNPs and 5 functional SNPs were selected and genotyped using the high-throughput Sequenom genotyping platform. Differences between genotypes/alleles for each SNP were adjusted for sex and age and tested using a general linear model procedure. Various models of inheritance, including additive, dominant, and recessive, were tested.


Among the 19 SNPs examined, 5 markers were associated with cardiovascular risk factors. The rs41423247 GG genotype and the rs7701443 AA genotype were associated with higher BMI and systolic blood pressure (P < 0.0004), and the rs17209251 GG genotype was associated with higher systolic blood pressure (P < 0.0004). Lower systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol were observed among rs10052957 A allele carriers (P < 0.0004), and lower plasma glucose and LDL-cholesterol concentrations were observed among rs2963156 TT carriers (P < 0.0004).


Polymorphism of the GR gene was associated with cardiovascular risk factors and may contribute to susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.

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