Effects of Platelet Count on Blood Pressure: Evidence from Observational and Genetic Investigations

Zhen He, Zekai Chen, Martin H. de Borst, Qingying Zhang, Harold Snieder*, Chris H.L. Thio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Platelet count has been associated with blood pressure, but whether this association reflects causality remains unclear. To strengthen the evidence, we conducted a traditional observational analysis in the Lifelines Cohort Study (n = 167,785), and performed bi-directional Mendelian randomization (MR) with summary GWAS data from the UK Biobank (n = 350,475) and the International Consortium of Blood Pressure (ICBP) (n = 299,024). Observational analyses showed positive associations between platelet count and blood pressure (OR = 1.12 per SD, 95% CI: 1.10 to 1.14 for hypertension; B = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.07 to 0.08 for SBP; B = 0.07 per SD, 95% CI: 0.06 to 0.07 for DBP). In MR, a genetically predicted higher platelet count was associated with higher SBP (B = 0.02 per SD, 95% CI = 0.00 to 0.04) and DBP (B = 0.03 per SD, 95% CI = 0.01 to 0.05). IVW models and sensitivity analyses of the association between platelet count and DBP were consistent, but not all sensitivity analyses were statistically significant for the platelet count-SBP relation. Our findings indicate that platelet count has modest but significant effects on SBP and DBP, suggesting causality and providing further insight into the pathophysiology of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2233
Number of pages10
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2023


  • blood pressure
  • Mendelian randomization
  • platelet count

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