This study assessed major gene effects for baseline HDL-C, LDL-C, TG, and their training responses (post-training minus baseline) in 527 individuals from 99 White families and 326 individuals from 113 Black families in the HERITAGE Family Study. The baseline phenotypes were adjusted for the effects of age and BMI, and the training response phenotypes were adjusted for the effects of age, BMI, and their respective baseline values, within each of the sex-by-generation-by-race groups, prior to genetic analyses. In Whites, we found that LDL-C at baseline and HDL-C training response were under influence of major recessive genes (accounting for 2--30 % of the variance) and multifactorial (polygenic and familial environmental) effects. Interactions of these major genes with sex, age, and BMI were tested, and found to be nonsignificant. In Blacks, we found that baseline HDL-C was influenced by a major dominant gene without a multifactorial component. This major gene effect accounted for 45 % of the variance, and exhibited no significant genotype-specific interactions with age, sex, and BMI. Evidence of major genes for the remaining phenotypes at baseline and in response to endurance training were not found in both races, though some were influenced by major effects that did not follow Mendelian expectations or were with ambiguous transmission from parents to offspring. In summary, major gene effects that influence baseline plasma HDL-C and LDL-C levels as well as changes in HDL-C levels in response to regular exercise were detected in the current study.
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