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Common Variants in Cardiac Ion Channel Genes Are Associated with Sudden Cardiac Death.

Christine M Albert, Calum A MacRae, Daniel I Chasman, Martin Vandenburgh, Julie E Buring, Joann E Manson, Nancy R Cook, Christopher H Newton-Cheh

, 2010 Apr 17 , ,

BACKGROUND: -Rare variants in cardiac ion channel genes are associated with sudden cardiac death (SCD) in rare primary arrhythmic syndromes; however, it is unknown whether common variation in these same genes may contribute to SCD risk at the population level. METHODS AND RESULTS: -We examined the association between 147 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (137 tag, 5 non-coding SNPs associated with QT interval duration and 5 nonsynonymous SNPs) in 5 cardiac ion channel genes, KCNQ1, KCNH2, SCN5A, KCNE1 and KCNE2 and sudden and/or arrhythmic death in a combined nested case-control analysis among 516 cases and 1522 matched controls of European ancestry enrolled in six prospective cohort studies. After accounting for multiple testing, two SNPs (rs2283222 located in intron 11 in KCNQ1 and rs11720524 located in intron 1 in SCN5A) remained significantly associated with sudden/arrhythmic death (FDR = 0.01 and 0.03 respectively). Each increasing copy of the major T allele of rs2283222 or the major C allele of rs1172052 was associated with an OR = 1.36 (95% CI 1.16-1.60, P=0.0002) and 1.30 (95% CI 1.12-1.51, P=0.0005) respectively. Control for cardiovascular risk factors and/or limiting the analysis to definite SCDs did not significantly alter these relationships. CONCLUSIONS: -In this combined analysis of 6 prospective cohort studies, two common intronic variants in KCNQ1 and SCN5A were associated with SCD in individuals of European ancestry. Further study in other populations and investigation into the functional abnormalities associated with non-coding variation in these genes may lead to important insights into predisposition to lethal arrhythmias.