Fibroblast Growth Factor-23 and Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Background Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23) is associated with a range of cardiovascular and noncardiovascular diseases in conventional epidemiological studies, but substantial residual confounding may exist. Mendelian randomization approaches can help control for such confounding. Methods SCALLOP Consortium data of 19,195 participants were used to generate an FGF-23 genetic score. Data from 337,448 UK Biobank participants were used to estimate associations between higher genetically predicted FGF-23 concentration and the odds of any atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (n=26,266 events), nonatherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (n=12,652), and noncardiovascular diseases previously linked to FGF-23. Measurements of carotid intima-media thickness and left ventricular mass were available in a subset. Associations with cardiovascular outcomes were also tested in three large case-control consortia: CARDIOGRAMplusC4D (coronary artery disease, n=181,249 cases), MEGASTROKE (stroke, n=34,217), and HERMES (heart failure, n=47,309). Results We identified 34 independent variants for circulating FGF-23, which formed a validated genetic score. There were no associations between genetically predicted FGF-23 and any of the cardiovascular or noncardiovascular outcomes. In UK Biobank, the odds ratio (OR) for any atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease per 1-SD higher genetically predicted logFGF-23 was 1.03 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.98 to 1.08), and for any nonatherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, it was 1.01 (95% CI, 0.94 to 1.09). The ORs in the case-control consortia were 1.00 (95% CI, 0.97 to 1.03) for coronary artery disease, 1.01 (95% CI, 0.95 to 1.07) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI, 0.95 to 1.05) for heart failure. In those with imaging, logFGF-23 was not associated with carotid or cardiac abnormalities. Conclusions Genetically predicted FGF-23 levels are not associated with atherosclerotic and nonatherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases, suggesting no important causal link. Podcast This article contains a podcast at


  • Donovan, Killian
  • Herrington, William G
  • Pare, Guillaume
  • Pigeyre, Marie Eva
  • Haynes, Richard
  • Sardell, Rebecca
  • Butterworth, Adam S
  • Folkersen, Lasse
  • Gustafsson, Stefan
  • Wang, Qin
  • Baigent, Colin
  • Mälarstig, Anders
  • Holmes, Michael V
  • Staplin, Natalie

publication date

  • January 2023