Relationship of plasma interleukin-6 and its genetic variants with hypertension in Hong Kong chinese

Bernard M.Y. Cheung, Kwok Leung Ong, Annette W.K. Tso, Raymond Y.H. Leung, Stacey S. Cherny, Pak Chung Sham, G. Neil Thomas, Tai Hing Lam, Karen S.L. Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Interleukin-6 (IL6) plays a central role in inflammation, insulin resistance, and atherogenesis. We investigated the associations of plasma IL6 and its genetic variants with hypertension in both cross-sectional and prospective study designs. Methods Plasma IL6 was measured in 648 normotensive and 294 hypertensive subjects from the Hong Kong Cardiovascular Risk Factor Prevalence Study (CRISPS)-2 in 2000-2004 and three tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL6 gene were genotyped. Among subjects normotensive in CRISPS-2 (baseline), 515 subjects were followed-up in CRISPS-3 in 2005-2008 and 100 of them had developed hypertension. Results At baseline, plasma IL6 correlated with systolic blood pressure (SBP) (r = 0.128, P < 0.001). Hypertensive subjects had significantly higher plasma IL6 after adjusting for age and sex (geometric mean (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.60 (0.54-0.65) vs. 0.47 (0.44-0.50) ng/l, P = 0.021). In multiple logistic regression, higher plasma IL6 was associated with hypertension in women (P = 0.009), but not in men. The minor G allele of SNP rs1800796 was associated with lower plasma IL6 (geometric mean (95% CI) = 0.46 (0.41-0.51) ng/l for CG and 0.49 (0.39-0.62) ng/l for GG vs. 0.53 (0.50-0.57) ng/l for CC, P = 0.005). However, this SNP was not associated with hypertension or blood pressure at baseline. Among subjects normotensive in CRISPS-2, plasma IL6 was not associated with the development of hypertension in CRISPS-3. Conclusion The SNP rs1800796 affected plasma IL6 with a small effect size. Elevated plasma IL6 is associated with prevalent hypertension in women, but not incident hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1337
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • blood pressure
  • hypertension
  • interleukin-6
  • single-nucleotide polymorphism


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship of plasma interleukin-6 and its genetic variants with hypertension in Hong Kong chinese'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this