Objectives: It is well known that among hypertensive patients, an increased left ventricular mass (LVM) is a powerful predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, the mechanisms underlying LVM in hypertension are not completely understood, as the absolute value of blood pressure and other risk factors associated do not predict alone a definite LVM progression. Recently, the 9p21 chromosomal region has been consistently associated with coronary heart disease.
Methods and results: We examined the association of 384 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the short arm of chromosome 9 with LVM in 821 hypertensive individuals from northern Italy. We identified a SNP (rs894379) in the intronic region of the centlein, centrosomal protein (CNTLN) gene on chromosome 9p22, whose minor allele G is associated with an increased LVM. We performed a follow-up validation analysis for the top SNP in 1038 hypertensive individuals from southern Italy. We then combined the results and found a nominal association for rs894379 (β = 2.46, P = 0.0026).
Conclusion: We describe a new variant associated with echocardiography LVM. This result, though it needs to be further investigated, may improve our understanding of the genetic determination of this prognostically relevant trait.