Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Gene–environment interaction in dyslipidemia

Cole, Christopher B.a; Nikpay, Majidb; McPherson, Rutha,b

Current Opinion in Lipidology: April 2015 - Volume 26 - Issue 2 - p 133–138
doi: 10.1097/MOL.0000000000000160

Purpose of review Recent genome-wide association studies have identified numerous common genetic variants associated with plasma lipid traits and have provided new insights into the regulation of lipoprotein metabolism including the identification of novel biological processes. These findings add to a body of existing data on dietary and environmental factors affecting plasma lipids. Here we explore how interactions between genetic risk factors and other phenotypes may explain some of the missing heritability of plasma lipid traits.

Recent findings Recent studies have identified true statistical interaction between several environmental and genetic risk factors and their effects on plasma lipid fractions. These include interactions between behaviors such as smoking or exercise as well as specific dietary nutrients and the effect size of specific genetic variants on plasma lipid traits risk and modifying effects of measures of adiposity on the cumulative impact of a number of common genetic variants on each of plasma triglycerides and HDL cholesterol.

Summary Interactions between genetic risk factors and clinical phenotypes may account for some of the unexplained heritability of plasma lipid traits. Recent studies provide biological insight into specific genetic associations and may aid in the identification of dyslipidemic patients for whom specific lifestyle interventions are likely to be most effective.

aAtherogenomics Laboratory

bRuddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, Canada

Correspondence to Ruth McPherson, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, 40 Ruskin Street, H4203, Ottawa, ON K1Y 4W7, Canada. Tel: +1 613 761 5256; fax: +1 613 761 4676; e-mail:

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.