Prior studies reported associations of APOL1 nephropathy risk variants with subclinical atherosclerosis. However, these findings were limited to older individuals with high comorbidities. To evaluate this in younger individuals, we calculated associations of APOL1 risk variants (high risk [2 risk variants] vs. low risk [0-1 risk variant]) with prevalent, incident, or progressive coronary artery calcification, a carotid intima media thickness over the 90th percentile, and left ventricular hypertrophy in 1315 black participants of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. The mean age of this cohort was 44.6 years and their mean estimated glomerular filtration rate was 102.5 ml/min/1.73m. High-risk participants were found to be younger and have a higher prevalence of albuminuria than low-risk participants. In Poisson regression models adjusted for comorbidities and kidney function, the risk of prevalent coronary artery calcification (relative risk [95% confidence interval] 1.12 [0.72,1.71]), the incident coronary artery calcification (1.50 [0.87,2.59]), and the progression of coronary artery calcification (1.40 [0.88,2.23]) did not significantly differ in high vs. low-risk participants. Furthermore, the risk of carotid intima media thickness over the 90th percentile (1.28 [0.78,2.10]) and left ventricular hypertrophy (1.02[0.73,1.43]) did not significantly differ in high vs. low-risk participants in fully-adjusted models. Thus, APOL1 risk variants did not associate with subclinical markers of atherosclerosis or left ventricular hypertrophy in middle-aged black adults with preserved kidney function.
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