Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure (PP), and body mass index (BMI) are heritable traits in human metabolic health but their common genetic and environmental backgrounds are not well investigated. The aim of this article was to explore the phenotypic and genetic associations among PP, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and BMI. The studied sample contained 615 twin pairs (17-84 years) collected in the Qingdao municipality. Univariate and multivariate structural equation models were fitted for assessing the genetic and environmental contributions. The AE model combining additive genetic (A) and unique environmental (E) factors produced the best fit for each four phenotypes. Heritability estimated in univariate analysis ranged from 0.42 to 0.74 with the highest for BMI (95% CI 0.70-0.78), and the lowest for PP (95% CI 0.34-0.49). The multivariate model estimated (1) high genetic correlations for DBP with SBP (0.87), PP with SBP (0.75); (2) low-moderate genetic correlations between PP and DBP (0.32), each BP component and BMI (0.24-0.37); (3) moderate unique environmental correlation for PP with SBP (0.68) and SBP with DBP (0.63); (4) there was no significant unique environmental correlation between PP and BMI. Overall, our multivariate analyses revealed common genetic and environmental backgrounds for PP, BP, and BMI in Chinese twins.
Twin Research and Human Genetics, 2015, Vol 18, Issue 1, p. 73-78
blood pressure; pulse pressure; body mass index; twin study; multivariate model