GWAS of QRS duration identifies new loci specific to Hispanic/Latino populations
Petty, Lauren E.
Below, Jennifer E.
Background The electrocardiographically quantified QRS duration measures ventricular depolarization and conduction. QRS prolongation has been associated with poor heart failure prognosis and cardiovascular mortality, including sudden death. While previous genome-wide association studies ( GWAS) have identified 32 QRS SNPs across 26 loci among European, African, and Asian-descent populations, the genetics of QRS among Hispanics/Latinos has not been previously explored. Methods We performed a GWAS of QRS duration among Hispanic/Latino ancestry populations ( n = 15,124) from four studies using 1000 Genomes imputed genotype data ( adjusted for age, sex, global ancestry, clinical and study-specific covariates). Study-specific results were combined using fixed-effects, inverse variance-weighted meta-analysis. Results We identified six loci associated with QRS ( P<5x10(-8)), including two novel loci: MYOCD, a nuclear protein expressed in the heart, and SYT1, an integral membrane protein. The top SNP in the MYOCD locus, intronic SNP rs16946539, was found in Hispanics/Latinos with a minor allele frequency ( MAF) of 0.04, but is monomorphic in European and African descent populations. The most significant QRS duration association was with intronic SNP rs3922344 ( P = 1.19x10(-24)) in SCN5A/SCN10A. Three other previously identified loci, CDKN1A, VTI1A, and HAND1, also exceeded the GWAS significance threshold among Hispanics/Latinos. A total of 27 of 32 previously identified QRS duration SNPs were shown to generalize in Hispanics/Latinos. Conclusions Our QRS duration GWAS, the first in Hispanic/Latino populations, identified two new loci, underscoring the utility of extending large scale genomic studies to currently under-examined populations.