The association of genetic factors, educational attainment, and their interaction, with kidney function outcomes

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Both genetic predisposition and low educational attainment (EA) are associated with higher risk of chronic kidney disease. We examined the interaction of EA and genetic risk in kidney function outcomes. We included 3,597 participants from the Prevention of REnal and Vascular ENd stage Disease Cohort Study, a longitudinal study in a community-based sample from Groningen, the Netherlands (median follow-up 11 years, 1997-2012). Kidney function was approximated by estimating glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) from serum creatinine and cystatin C. Individual longitudinal linear eGFR trajectories were derived from linear mixed models. Genotype data on 63 single nucleotide polymorphisms, with known associations to eGFR, were used to calculate an allele-weighted genetic score (WGS). EA was categorized into high, medium, and low. In ordinary least squares analysis, higher WGS and lower EA showed additive effects on reduced baseline eGFR; the interaction term was non-significant. In analysis of eGFR decline, the significant interaction term suggested amplification of genetic risk by low EA. Adjustment for known renal risk factors did not affect our results. This study presents the first evidence of gene-environment interaction between EA and a WGS on eGFR decline, and provides population-level insights into the mechanisms underlying socioeconomic disparities in chronic kidney disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberkwaa237
Number of pages29
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

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