We examined whether specifically statins, of the major lipid modifiers (statins, proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors and ezetimibe) have pleiotropic effects on ischemic heart disease (IHD) via testosterone in men or women. As a validation, we similarly assessed whether a drug that unexpectedly likely increases IHD also operates via testosterone. Using previously published genetic instruments we conducted a sex-specific univariable and multivariable Mendelian randomization study in the UK Biobank, including 179918 men with 25410 IHD cases and 212080 women with 12511 IHD cases. Of these three lipid modifiers, only genetically mimicking the effects of statins in men affected testosterone, which partly mediated effects on IHD. Correspondingly, genetically mimicking effects of anakinra on testosterone and IHD presented a reverse pattern to that for statins. These insights may facilitate the development of new interventions for cardiovascular diseases as well as highlighting the importance of sex-specific explanations, investigations, prevention and treatment.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
The authors declare that there was no funding for this work
Human subjects: This study is analysis of summary data previously collected with full consent
- Edward D Janus, University of Melbourne, Australia
© 2020, Schooling et al.
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