Mendelian randomization analysis of vitamin D in the secondary prevention of hypertensive-diabetic subjects: role of facilitating blood pressure control

Yap-Hang Chan, C Mary Schooling, Jie V Zhao, Shiu-Lun Au Yeung, Jo Jo Hai, G Neil Thomas, Kar-Keung Cheng, Chao-Qiang Jiang, Yuen-Kwun Wong, Ka-Wing Au, Clara S Tang, Chloe Y Y Cheung, Aimin Xu, Pak-Chung Sham, Tai-Hing Lam, Karen Siu-Ling Lam, Hung-Fat Tse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Vitamin D (Vit-D) promotes vascular repair and its deficiency is closely linked to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and hypertension. Whether genetially predicted vitamin D status (serological 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]) confers secondary protection against cardiovascular diseases (CVD) among high-risk hypertensive-diabetic subjects was unknown.

METHODS: This is a prospective, individual-data, two-sample Mendelian randomization study. We interrogated 12 prior GWAS-detected SNPs of comprehensive Vit-D mechanistic pathways using high-throughput exome chip analyses in a derivation subcohort (n = 1460) and constructed a genetic risk score (GRS) (rs2060793, rs4588, rs7041; F-statistic = 32, P < 0.001) for causal inference of comprehensive CVD hard clinical endpoints in an independent sample of hypertensive subjects (n = 3746) with prevailing co-morbid T2DM (79%) and serological 25(OH)D deficiency [< 20 ng/mL] 45%.

RESULTS: After 55.6 ± 28.9 months, 561 (15%) combined CVD events including myocardial infarction, unstable angina, ischemic stroke, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, and cardiovascular death had occurred. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that genetically predicted reduced vitamin D status was associated with reduced event-free survival from combined CVD events (log-rank = 13.5, P = 0.001). Multivariate-adjusted per-allele increase in GRS predicted reduced combined CVD events (HR = 0.90 [0.84 to 0.96], P = 0.002). Mendelian randomization indicates that increased Vit-D exposure, leveraged through each 1 ng/mL genetically instrumented rise of serum Vit-D, protects against combined CVD events (Wald's estimate: OR = 0.86 [95%CI 0.75 to 0.95]), and myocardial infarction (OR = 0.76 [95%CI 0.60 to 0.90]). Furthermore, genetically predicted increase in Vit-D status ameliorates risk of deviation from achieving guideline-directed hypertension control (JNC-8: systolic target < 150 mmHg) (OR = 0.89 [95%CI 0.80 to 0.96]).

CONCLUSIONS: Genetically predicted increase in Vit-D status [25(OH)D] may confer secondary protection against incident combined CVD events and myocardial infarction in a hypertensive-diabetic population where serological 25(OH)D deficiency is common, through facilitating blood pressure control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Number of pages11
JournalGenes and Nutrition
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s).


  • Chinese
  • Exome Chip
  • Hypertension
  • Mendelian randomization
  • Secondary prevention
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Vitamin D


Dive into the research topics of 'Mendelian randomization analysis of vitamin D in the secondary prevention of hypertensive-diabetic subjects: role of facilitating blood pressure control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this