Glutathione S-transferase mu 1 (GSTM1) encodes an enzyme that catalyzes the conjugation of electrophilic compounds with glutathione to facilitate their degradation or excretion. The loss of one or both copies of GSTM1 is common in many populations and has been associated with CKD progression.With the hypothesis that the loss of GSTM1 is also associated with incident kidney failure and heart failure, we estimated GSTM1 copy number using exome sequencing reads in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, a community- based prospective cohort of white and black participants. Overall, 51.2% and 39.8% of white participants and 25.6%and 48.5% of black participants had zero or one copy of GSTM1, respectively. Over amedian follow-up of 24.6 years, 256 kidney failure events occurred in 5715 participantswithout prevalent kidney failure, and 1028 heart failure events occurred in 5368 participants without prevalent heart failure. In analysis adjusted for demographics, diabetes, and hypertension, having zero or one copy of GSTM1 associated with higher risk of kidney failure and heart failure (adjusted hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] for zero or one versus two copies of GSTM1: kidney failure, 1.66 [1.27 to 2.17]; heart failure, 1.16 [1.04 to 1.29]). Risk did not differ significantly between participants with zero and one copy of GSTM1 (P.0.10). In summary, the loss of GSTM1 was significantly associated with incident kidney and heart failure, independent of traditional risk factors. These results suggest GSTM1 function is a potential treatment target for the prevention of kidney and heart failure.
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