BACKGROUND: APOL1 high-risk genotypes are associated with increased risk for hypertension-attributed kidney disease among Black adults in the United States. Biopsy studies show differences in kidney vasculature by APOL1 status; less is known about the variants’ associations with systemic vascular and endothelial function. Whether APOL1 risk variants are associated with blood pressure (BP) is also uncertain. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using linear regression, we examined cross-sectional associations of APOL1 risk genotypes (high=2 risk alleles, low=0 or 1 risk allele) with subclinical measures of vascular function (small arterial elasticity, n=1586; large arterial elasticity, n=1586; ascending aortic distensibility, n=985) and endothelial function (flow-mediated dilation, n=777). Using linear mixed-effects models, we studied longitudinal associations of APOL1 risk genotypes with BP (n=1619), adjusting for age, sex, and African ancestry. Among 1619 (12% APOL1 high-risk) Black participants in MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis), mean age was 62 years old, 58% had hypertension, and mean systolic BP was 131 mm Hg at baseline. At examination 1 (2000–2002), there was no significant difference in small arterial elasticity, large arterial elasticity, ascending aortic distensibility, or flow-mediated dilation in participants with APOL1 high-versus low-risk genotypes (P>0.05 for all). Over a mean follow-up of 7.8 years, relative annual changes in systolic and diastolic BP and pulse pressure did not differ significantly by APOL1 risk status (between-group differences of −0.20, −0.14, and −0.25, respectively; P>0.05 for all). CONCLUSIONS: Among Black participants in MESA, APOL1 high-risk genotypes were not associated with subclinical vascular and endothelial function or BP trajectories. The relationship of APOL1 with kidney disease may be intrinsic to the kidney rather than through peripheral effects on systemic vasculature or BP.
- Apolipoprotein L1
- Arterial stiffness
- Blood pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine