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Cardiovascular Disease Related Proteomic Biomarkers of Alcohol Consumption

By Xianbang Sun, Jennifer E. Ho, He Gao, Evangelos Evangelou, Chen Yao, Tianxiao Huan, Shih-Jen Hwang, Paul Courchesne, Martin G. Larson, Daniel Levy, Jiantao Ma, Chunyu Liu

Posted 17 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.17.332197

The relationship between alcohol consumption, circulating proteins, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk has not been well studied. We performed association analyses of alcohol consumption with three CVD risk factors and 71 CVD-related circulating proteins measured in 6,745 Framingham Heart Study participants (mean age, 49 years; 53% women). We found that an increase in alcohol consumption was associated with a higher risk of incident hypertension (P=7.2E-3) but a lower risk of incident obesity (P=5.7E-4) and type 2 diabetes (P=1.4E-5) in a 14-year of follow-up. Using independent discovery (n=4,348) and validation (n=2,397) samples, we identified 20 alcohol-associated proteins (FDR<0.05 in discovery and P<0.05/n in validation), with majority (18 of 20 proteins) inversely associated with alcohol consumption. The alcohol-protein associations remained similar after removing heavy drinkers. Four proteins demonstrated consistent triangular relationships, as expected, with alcohol consumption and CVD risk factors. For example, a greater level of APOA1, which was associated with a higher alcohol consumption (P=1.2E-65), was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (P=3.1E-5). However, several others showed inconsistent triangular relationships, e.g., a greater level of GDF15, which was associated with a lower alcohol consumption (P=1.0E-13), was associated with an increased risk of hypertension (P=2.4E-4). In conclusion, we identified 20 alcohol-associated proteins and demonstrated complex relationships between alcohol consumption, circulating proteins and CVD risk factors. Future studies with integration of more proteomic markers and larger sample size are warranted to unravel the complex relationship between alcohol consumption and CVD risk. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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