3 years ago

CETP Gene Variants and Risk for Vascular and Nonvascular Diseases

Holmes MV, Bennett DA, Millwood IY, et al.


Increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol through pharmacologic inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) is a potentially important strategy for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD).


To use genetic variants in theCETPgene to assess potential risks and benefits of lifelong lower CETP activity on CVD and other outcomes.

Design, Setting, and Participants

This prospective biobank study included 151 217 individuals aged 30 to 79 years who were enrolled from 5 urban and 5 rural areas of China from June 25, 2004, through July 15, 2008. All participants had baseline genotype data, 17 854 of whom had lipid measurements and 4657 of whom had lipoprotein particle measurements. Median follow-up of 9.2 years (interquartile range, 8.2-10.1 years) was completed January 1, 2016, through linkage to health insurance records and death and disease registries.


FiveCETPvariants, including an East Asian loss-of-function variant (rs2303790), combined in a genetic score weighted to associations with HDL cholesterol levels.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Baseline levels of lipids and lipoprotein particles, cardiovascular risk factors, incidence of carotid plaque and predefined major vascular and nonvascular diseases, and a phenome-wide range of diseases.


Among the 151 217 individuals included in this study (58.4% women and 41.6% men), the mean (SD) age was 52.3 (10.9) years. Overall, the mean (SD) low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level was 91 (27) mg/dL; HDL cholesterol level, 48 (12) mg/dL.CETPvariants were strongly associated with higher concentrations of HDL cholesterol (eg, 6.1 [SE, 0.4] mg/dL perrs2303790-Gallele;P = 9.4 × 10−47) but were not associated with lower LDL cholesterol levels. Within HDL particles, cholesterol esters were increased and triglycerides reduced, whereas within very low-density lipoprotein particles, cholesterol esters were reduced and triglycerides increased. When scaled to 10-mg/dL higher levels of HDL cholesterol, theCETPgenetic score was not associated with occlusive CVD (18 550 events; odds ratio [OR], 0.98; 95% CI, 0.91-1.06), major coronary events (5767 events; OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.95-1.22), myocardial infarction (3118 events; OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.97-1.35), ischemic stroke (13 759 events; OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.86-1.02), intracerebral hemorrhage (6532 events; OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.83-1.06), or other vascular diseases or carotid plaque. Similarly,rs2303790was not associated with any vascular diseases or plaque. No associations with nonvascular diseases were found other than an increased risk for eye diseases withrs2303790(4090 events; OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.13-1.80;P = .003).

Conclusions and Relevance

CETPvariants were associated with altered HDL metabolism but did not lower LDL cholesterol levels and had no significant association with risk for CVD. These results suggest that in the absence of reduced LDL cholesterol levels, increasing HDL cholesterol levels by inhibition of CETP may not confer significant benefits for CVD.

Publisher URL: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamacardiology/fullarticle/2661813

DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2017.4177

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