Neuregulin-1 genotype moderates the association between job strain and early atherosclerosis in young men
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Background: Although it is known that a given level of strain does not induce a corresponding CHD risk in all individuals, factors that predict groups at risk have remained unclear. Neuregulin-1 (NRG-1) has various roles in the development and function of the heart and autonomic nervous system.Purpose: We examined whether polymorphic variation in NRG-1 moderates the association between job strain and early atherosclerosis.Methods: The participants (Mage=32.5) were 349 women and 357 men derived from the population-based Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study. Job strain was defined as the joint effect of job demands and job control. Preclinical atherosclerosis was measured using carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) ultrasound.Results: NRG-1 single nucleotide polymorphism SNP8NRG221533 (T to C) was found to moderate the association between job strain and IMT in men (p=.04). Job strain was significantly associated with increased IMT among men with T/T genotype but not among the others. A direct association between NRG-1 and IMT was found in women.Conclusions: Our results suggest that the effect of job strain on early ather osclerosis is dependent on NRG-1 genotype in men. Gene×Environment Interaction approach seems to offer important additional information in stress research.
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