Desmin-containing intermediate filaments are a part of muscle cytoskeleton. We have previously reported that the wild-type cytosine/cytosine genotype of a common Desmin synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (C > T) (rs1058261) associated with cardiovascular diseases in a cohort of subjects from the Tampere adult population cardiovascular risk study. We now examined whether rs1058261 also associates with early death by following the cohort of 801 subjects from the age of 50 up to the age of 65. Outcomes for death were collected from the National Statistics Centre. Linkage disequilibrium analysis and gene expression correlations for rs1058261 were done in silico. With follow-up, subjects with wild-type cytosine/cytosine genotype had higher incidence of cancer deaths (odds ratio [OR] 5.27, confidence interval [CI] 1.160-23.946, P = .031), combined deaths from cardiovascular diseases or cancers (OR 3.92, CI 1.453-10.596, P = .007), and "hard" acute cardiovascular disease events (early myocardial infarction and/or death) (OR 3.90, CI 1.287-11.855, P = .016) compared to subjects with the T-allele. The in silico results of linkage disequilibrium and gene expression analyses showed negative gene expression sizes associated with rs1058261, which theoretically decreases desmin expression. Our findings suggest that variation rs1058261 in Desmin may serve as a surrogate marker for other variations involved in decrease of deaths from combined cancer and cardiovascular disease.
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