Publications by authors named "Abbas Dehghan"

275 Publications

Genetic susceptibility, obesity, and lifetime risk of type 2 diabetes: The ARIC study and Rotterdam Study.

Diabet Med 2021 Jul 10:e14639. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Aims: Both lifestyle factors and genetic background contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. Estimation of the lifetime risk of diabetes based on genetic information has not been presented, and the extent to which a normal body weight can offset a high lifetime genetic risk is unknown.

Methods: We used data from 15,671 diabetes-free participants of European ancestry aged 45 years and older from the prospective population-based ARIC study and Rotterdam Study (RS). We quantified the remaining lifetime risk of diabetes stratified by genetic risk and quantified the effect of normal weight in terms of relative and lifetime risks in low, intermediate, and high genetic risk.

Results: At age 45 years, the lifetime risk of type 2 diabetes in ARIC in the low, intermediate, and high genetic risk category was 33.2%, 41.3%, and 47.2%, and in RS 22.8%, 30.6%, and 35.5%, respectively. The absolute lifetime risk for individuals with normal weight compared to individuals with obesity was 24% lower in ARIC and 8.6% lower in RS in the low genetic risk group, 36.3% lower in ARIC and 31.3% lower in RS in the intermediate genetic risk group, and 25.0% lower in ARIC and 29.4% lower in RS in the high genetic risk group.

Conclusions: Genetic variants for type 2 diabetes have value in estimating the lifetime risk of type 2 diabetes. Normal weight mitigates partly the deleterious effect of high genetic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dme.14639DOI Listing
July 2021

A multi-ethnic epigenome-wide association study of leukocyte DNA methylation and blood lipids.

Nat Commun 2021 06 28;12(1):3987. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Here we examine the association between DNA methylation in circulating leukocytes and blood lipids in a multi-ethnic sample of 16,265 subjects. We identify 148, 35, and 4 novel associations among Europeans, African Americans, and Hispanics, respectively, and an additional 186 novel associations through a trans-ethnic meta-analysis. We observe a high concordance in the direction of effects across racial/ethnic groups, a high correlation of effect sizes between high-density lipoprotein and triglycerides, a modest overlap of associations with epigenome-wide association studies of other cardio-metabolic traits, and a largely non-overlap with lipid loci identified to date through genome-wide association studies. Thirty CpGs reached significance in at least 2 racial/ethnic groups including 7 that showed association with the expression of an annotated gene. CpGs annotated to CPT1A showed evidence of being influenced by triglycerides levels. DNA methylation levels of circulating leukocytes show robust and consistent association with blood lipid levels across multiple racial/ethnic groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23899-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8238961PMC
June 2021

Genetic correlation and causal relationships between cardio-metabolic traits and lung function impairment.

Genome Med 2021 Jun 21;13(1):104. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place, London, W2 1PG, UK.

Background: Associations of low lung function with features of poor cardio-metabolic health have been reported. It is, however, unclear whether these co-morbidities reflect causal associations, shared genetic heritability or are confounded by environmental factors.

Methods: We performed three analyses: (1) cardio-metabolic health to lung function association tests in Northern Finland Birth cohort 1966, (2) cross-trait linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC) to compare genetic backgrounds and (3) Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis to assess the causal effect of cardio-metabolic traits and disease on lung function, and vice versa (bidirectional MR). Genetic associations were obtained from the UK Biobank data or published large-scale genome-wide association studies (N > 82,000).

Results: We observed a negative genetic correlation between lung function and cardio-metabolic traits and diseases. In Mendelian Randomisation analysis (MR), we found associations between type 2 diabetes (T2D) instruments and forced vital capacity (FVC) as well as FEV1/FVC. Body mass index (BMI) instruments were associated to all lung function traits and C-reactive protein (CRP) instruments to FVC. These genetic associations provide evidence for a causal effect of cardio-metabolic traits on lung function. Multivariable MR suggested independence of these causal effects from other tested cardio-metabolic traits and diseases. Analysis of lung function specific SNPs revealed a potential causal effect of FEV1/FVC on blood pressure.

Conclusions: The present study overcomes many limitations of observational studies by using Mendelian Randomisation. We provide evidence for an independent causal effect of T2D, CRP and BMI on lung function with some of the T2D effect on lung function being attributed to inflammatory mechanisms. Furthermore, this analysis suggests a potential causal effect of FEV1/FVC on blood pressure. Our detailed analysis of the interplay between cardio-metabolic traits and impaired lung function provides the opportunity to improve the quality of existing intervention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-021-00914-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8215837PMC
June 2021

Meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies of carotid intima-media thickness.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Jun 6. Epub 2021 Jun 6.

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK.

Common carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) is an index of subclinical atherosclerosis that is associated with ischemic stroke and coronary artery disease (CAD). We undertook a cross-sectional epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) of measures of cIMT in 6400 individuals. Mendelian randomization analysis was applied to investigate the potential causal role of DNA methylation in the link between atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk factors and cIMT or clinical cardiovascular disease. The CpG site cg05575921 was associated with cIMT (beta = -0.0264, p value = 3.5 × 10) in the discovery panel and was replicated in replication panel (beta = -0.07, p value = 0.005). This CpG is located at chr5:81649347 in the intron 3 of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor gene (AHRR). Our results indicate that DNA methylation at cg05575921 might be in the pathway between smoking, cIMT and stroke. Moreover, in a region-based analysis, 34 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were identified of which a DMR upstream of ALOX12 showed the strongest association with cIMT (p value = 1.4 × 10). In conclusion, our study suggests that DNA methylation may play a role in the link between cardiovascular risk factors, cIMT and clinical cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-021-00759-zDOI Listing
June 2021

The trans-ancestral genomic architecture of glycemic traits.

Nat Genet 2021 06 31;53(6):840-860. Epub 2021 May 31.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Glycemic traits are used to diagnose and monitor type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic health. To date, most genetic studies of glycemic traits have focused on individuals of European ancestry. Here we aggregated genome-wide association studies comprising up to 281,416 individuals without diabetes (30% non-European ancestry) for whom fasting glucose, 2-h glucose after an oral glucose challenge, glycated hemoglobin and fasting insulin data were available. Trans-ancestry and single-ancestry meta-analyses identified 242 loci (99 novel; P < 5 × 10), 80% of which had no significant evidence of between-ancestry heterogeneity. Analyses restricted to individuals of European ancestry with equivalent sample size would have led to 24 fewer new loci. Compared with single-ancestry analyses, equivalent-sized trans-ancestry fine-mapping reduced the number of estimated variants in 99% credible sets by a median of 37.5%. Genomic-feature, gene-expression and gene-set analyses revealed distinct biological signatures for each trait, highlighting different underlying biological pathways. Our results increase our understanding of diabetes pathophysiology by using trans-ancestry studies for improved power and resolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00852-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610958PMC
June 2021

Epigenome-wide association meta-analysis of DNA methylation with coffee and tea consumption.

Nat Commun 2021 05 14;12(1):2830. Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Coffee and tea are extensively consumed beverages worldwide which have received considerable attention regarding health. Intake of these beverages is consistently linked to, among others, reduced risk of diabetes and liver diseases; however, the mechanisms of action remain elusive. Epigenetics is suggested as a mechanism mediating the effects of dietary and lifestyle factors on disease onset. Here we report the results from epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) on coffee and tea consumption in 15,789 participants of European and African-American ancestries from 15 cohorts. EWAS meta-analysis of coffee consumption reveals 11 CpGs surpassing the epigenome-wide significance threshold (P-value <1.1×10), which annotated to the AHRR, F2RL3, FLJ43663, HDAC4, GFI1 and PHGDH genes. Among them, cg14476101 is significantly associated with expression of the PHGDH and risk of fatty liver disease. Knockdown of PHGDH expression in liver cells shows a correlation with expression levels of genes associated with circulating lipids, suggesting a role of PHGDH in hepatic-lipid metabolism. EWAS meta-analysis on tea consumption reveals no significant association, only two CpGs annotated to CACNA1A and PRDM16 genes show suggestive association (P-value <5.0×10). These findings indicate that coffee-associated changes in DNA methylation levels may explain the mechanism of action of coffee consumption in conferring risk of diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22752-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8121846PMC
May 2021

Genetic analysis in European ancestry individuals identifies 517 loci associated with liver enzymes.

Nat Commun 2021 05 10;12(1):2579. Epub 2021 May 10.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Serum concentration of hepatic enzymes are linked to liver dysfunction, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. We perform genetic analysis on serum levels of alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) using data on 437,438 UK Biobank participants. Replication in 315,572 individuals from European descent from the Million Veteran Program, Rotterdam Study and Lifeline study confirms 517 liver enzyme SNPs. Genetic risk score analysis using the identified SNPs is strongly associated with serum activity of liver enzymes in two independent European descent studies (The Airwave Health Monitoring study and the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966). Gene-set enrichment analysis using the identified SNPs highlights involvement in liver development and function, lipid metabolism, insulin resistance, and vascular formation. Mendelian randomization analysis shows association of liver enzyme variants with coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke. Genetic risk score for elevated serum activity of liver enzymes is associated with higher fat percentage of body, trunk, and liver and body mass index. Our study highlights the role of molecular pathways regulated by the liver in metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22338-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8110798PMC
May 2021

Investigating the relationships between unfavourable habitual sleep and metabolomic traits: evidence from multi-cohort multivariable regression and Mendelian randomization analyses.

BMC Med 2021 Mar 18;19(1):69. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Human Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Sleep traits are associated with cardiometabolic disease risk, with evidence from Mendelian randomization (MR) suggesting that insomnia symptoms and shorter sleep duration increase coronary artery disease risk. We combined adjusted multivariable regression (AMV) and MR analyses of phenotypes of unfavourable sleep on 113 metabolomic traits to investigate possible biochemical mechanisms linking sleep to cardiovascular disease.

Methods: We used AMV (N = 17,368) combined with two-sample MR (N = 38,618) to examine effects of self-reported insomnia symptoms, total habitual sleep duration, and chronotype on 113 metabolomic traits. The AMV analyses were conducted on data from 10 cohorts of mostly Europeans, adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index. For the MR analyses, we used summary results from published European-ancestry genome-wide association studies of self-reported sleep traits and of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) serum metabolites. We used the inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method and complemented this with sensitivity analyses to assess MR assumptions.

Results: We found consistent evidence from AMV and MR analyses for associations of usual vs. sometimes/rare/never insomnia symptoms with lower citrate (- 0.08 standard deviation (SD)[95% confidence interval (CI) - 0.12, - 0.03] in AMV and - 0.03SD [- 0.07, - 0.003] in MR), higher glycoprotein acetyls (0.08SD [95% CI 0.03, 0.12] in AMV and 0.06SD [0.03, 0.10) in MR]), lower total very large HDL particles (- 0.04SD [- 0.08, 0.00] in AMV and - 0.05SD [- 0.09, - 0.02] in MR), and lower phospholipids in very large HDL particles (- 0.04SD [- 0.08, 0.002] in AMV and - 0.05SD [- 0.08, - 0.02] in MR). Longer total sleep duration associated with higher creatinine concentrations using both methods (0.02SD per 1 h [0.01, 0.03] in AMV and 0.15SD [0.02, 0.29] in MR) and with isoleucine in MR analyses (0.22SD [0.08, 0.35]). No consistent evidence was observed for effects of chronotype on metabolomic measures.

Conclusions: Whilst our results suggested that unfavourable sleep traits may not cause widespread metabolic disruption, some notable effects were observed. The evidence for possible effects of insomnia symptoms on glycoprotein acetyls and citrate and longer total sleep duration on creatinine and isoleucine might explain some of the effects, found in MR analyses of these sleep traits on coronary heart disease, which warrant further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-01939-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7971964PMC
March 2021

Genetic susceptibility, elevated blood pressure, and risk of atrial fibrillation: a Mendelian randomization study.

Genome Med 2021 Mar 4;13(1):38. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Deep Medicine, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, 1st Floor, Hayes House, 75 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2BQ, UK.

Background: Whether elevated blood pressure (BP) is a modifiable risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF) is not established. We tested (1) whether the association between BP and risk of AF is causal, (2) whether it varies according to individual's genetic susceptibility for AF, and (3) the extent to which specific BP-lowering drugs are expected to reduce this risk.

Methods: First, causality of association was assessed through two-sample Mendelian randomization, using data from two independent genome-wide association studies that included a population of one million Europeans in total. Second, the UK Biobank data of 329,237 participants at baseline was used to study the effect of BP on AF according to genetic susceptibility of developing AF. Third, a possible treatment effect with major BP-lowering drug classes on AF risk was predicted through genetic variants in genes encode the therapeutic targets of each drug class. Estimated drug effects were compared with effects on incident coronary heart disease, for which direct trial evidence exists.

Results: The two-sample Mendelian randomization analysis indicated that, on average, exposure to a higher systolic BP increased the risk of AF by 19% (odds ratio per each 10-mmHg [OR] 1.19 [1.12 to 1.27]). This association was replicated in the UK biobank using individual participant data. However, in a further genetic risk-stratified analysis, there was evidence for a linear gradient in the relative effects of systolic BP on AF; while there was no conclusive evidence of an effect in those with low genetic risk, a strong effect was observed among those with high genetic susceptibility for AF. The comparison of predicted treatment effects using genetic proxies for three main drug classes (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers) suggested similar average effects for the prevention of atrial fibrillation and coronary heart disease.

Conclusions: The effect of elevated BP on the risk of AF is likely to be causal, suggesting that BP-lowering treatment may be effective in AF prevention. However, average effects masked clinically important variations, with a more pronounced effect in individuals with high genetic susceptibility risk for AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-021-00849-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7934395PMC
March 2021

Epicardial fat volume and the risk of cardiometabolic diseases among women and men from the general population.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2021 Feb 18. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC-University Medical Center, office Na-2714 PO Box 2040, 3000 CA, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa026DOI Listing
February 2021

Effect of metabolic genetic variants on long-term disease comorbidity in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 2;11(1):2794. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Underlying genetic determinants contribute to developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) future diseases. The present study aimed to identify which genetic variants are associated with the incident of the major T2D co-morbid disease. First, we conducted a discovery study by investigating the genetic associations of comorbid diseases within the framework of the Utrecht Cardiovascular Pharmacogenetic studies by turning information of > 25 years follow-up data of 1237 subjects whom were genotyped and included in the discovery study. We performed Cox proportional-hazards regression to examine associations between genetic variants and comorbid diseases including cardiovascular diseases (CVD), chronic eye disease, cancer, neurologic diseases and chronic kidney disease. Secondly, we replicated our findings in two independent cohorts consisting of 1041 subjects. Finally, we performed a meta-analysis by combining the discovery and two replication cohorts. We ascertained 390 (39.7%) incident cases of CVD, 182 (16.2%) of chronic eye disease, 155 (13.8%) of cancer, 31 (2.7%) of neurologic disease and 13 (1.1%) of chronic kidney disease during a median follow-up of 10.2 years. In the discovery study, we identified a total of 39 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with comorbid diseases. The replication study, confirmed that rs1870849 and rs8051326 may play a role in the incidence of chronic eye disease in T2D patients. Half of patients developed at least one comorbid disease, with CVD occurring most often and earliest followed by chronic eye disease. Further research is needed to confirm the associations of two associated SNPs with chronic eye disease in T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-82276-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7854581PMC
February 2021

Genome-wide association study of circulating interleukin 6 levels identifies novel loci.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Apr;30(5):393-409

Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties with a heritability estimate of up to 61%. The circulating levels of IL-6 in blood have been associated with an increased risk of complex disease pathogenesis. We conducted a two-staged, discovery and replication meta genome-wide association study (GWAS) of circulating serum IL-6 levels comprising up to 67 428 (ndiscovery = 52 654 and nreplication = 14 774) individuals of European ancestry. The inverse variance fixed effects based discovery meta-analysis, followed by replication led to the identification of two independent loci, IL1F10/IL1RN rs6734238 on chromosome (Chr) 2q14, (Pcombined = 1.8 × 10-11), HLA-DRB1/DRB5 rs660895 on Chr6p21 (Pcombined = 1.5 × 10-10) in the combined meta-analyses of all samples. We also replicated the IL6R rs4537545 locus on Chr1q21 (Pcombined = 1.2 × 10-122). Our study identifies novel loci for circulating IL-6 levels uncovering new immunological and inflammatory pathways that may influence IL-6 pathobiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098112PMC
April 2021

Intermittent fasting for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 01 29;1:CD013496. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Lifestyle changes are at the forefront of preventing the disease. This includes advice such as increasing physical activity and having a healthy balanced diet to reduce risk factors. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a popular dietary plan involving restricting caloric intake to certain days in the week such as alternate day fasting and periodic fasting, and restricting intake to a number of hours in a given day, otherwise known as time-restricted feeding. IF is being researched for its benefits and many randomised controlled trials have looked at its benefits in preventing CVD.

Objectives: To determine the role of IF in preventing and reducing the risk of CVD in people with or without prior documented CVD.

Search Methods: We conducted our search on 12 December 2019; we searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE and Embase. We also searched three trials registers and searched the reference lists of included papers. Systematic reviews were also viewed for additional studies. There was no language restriction applied.

Selection Criteria: We included randomised controlled trials comparing IF to ad libitum feeding (eating at any time with no specific caloric restriction) or continuous energy restriction (CER). Participants had to be over the age of 18 and included those with and without cardiometabolic risk factors. Intermittent fasting was categorised into alternate-day fasting, modified alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting and time-restricted feeding.

Data Collection And Analysis: Five review authors independently selected studies for inclusion and extraction. Primary outcomes included all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction, and heart failure. Secondary outcomes include the absolute change in body weight, and glucose. Furthermore, side effects such as headaches and changes to the quality of life were also noted. For continuous data, pooled mean differences (MD) (with 95% confidence intervals (CIs)) were calculated. We contacted trial authors to obtain missing data. We used GRADE to assess the certainty of the evidence.  MAIN RESULTS: Our search yielded 39,165 records after the removal of duplicates. From this, 26 studies met our criteria, and 18 were included in the pooled analysis. The 18 studies included 1125 participants and observed outcomes ranging from four weeks to six months. No studies included data on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction, and heart failure at any point during follow-up. Of quantitatively analysed data, seven studies compared IF with ab libitum feeding, eight studies compared IF with CER, and three studies compared IF with both ad libitum feeding and CER. Outcomes were reported at short term (≤ 3 months) and medium term (> 3 months to 12 months) follow-up. Body weight was reduced with IF compared to ad libitum feeding in the short term (MD -2.88 kg, 95% CI -3.96 to -1.80; 224 participants; 7 studies; low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain of the effect of IF when compared to CER in the short term (MD -0.88 kg, 95% CI -1.76 to 0.00; 719 participants; 10 studies; very low-certainty evidence) and there may be no effect in the medium term (MD -0.56 kg, 95% CI -1.68 to 0.56; 279 participants; 4 studies; low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain about the effect of IF on glucose when compared to ad libitum feeding in the short term (MD -0.03 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.26 to 0.19; 95 participants; 3 studies; very-low-certainty of evidence) and when compared to CER  in the short term: MD -0.02 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.16 to 0.12; 582 participants; 9 studies; very low-certainty; medium term: MD 0.01, 95% CI -0.10 to 0.11; 279 participants; 4 studies; low-certainty evidence). The changes in body weight and glucose were not deemed to be clinically significant. Four studies reported data on side effects, with some participants complaining of mild headaches. One study reported on the quality of life using the RAND SF-36 score. There was a modest increase in the physical component summary score.

Authors' Conclusions: Intermittent fasting was seen to be superior to ad libitum feeding in reducing weight. However, this was not clinically significant. There was no significant clinical difference between IF and CER in improving cardiometabolic risk factors to reduce the risk of CVD. Further research is needed to understand the safety and risk-benefit analysis of IF in specific patient groups (e.g. patients with diabetes or eating disorders) as well as the effect on longer-term outcomes such as all-cause mortality and myocardial infarction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013496.pub2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8092432PMC
January 2021

A Mendelian randomization of γ' and total fibrinogen levels in relation to venous thromboembolism and ischemic stroke.

Blood 2020 12;136(26):3062-3069

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX.

Fibrinogen is a key component of the coagulation cascade, and variation in its circulating levels may contribute to thrombotic diseases, such as venous thromboembolism (VTE) and ischemic stroke. Gamma prime (γ') fibrinogen is an isoform of fibrinogen that has anticoagulant properties. We applied 2-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) to estimate the causal effect of total circulating fibrinogen and its isoform, γ' fibrinogen, on risk of VTE and ischemic stroke subtypes using summary statistics from genome-wide association studies. Genetic instruments for γ' fibrinogen and total fibrinogen were selected, and the inverse-variance weighted MR approach was used to estimate causal effects in the main analysis, complemented by sensitivity analyses that are more robust to the inclusion of pleiotropic variants, including MR-Egger, weighted median MR, and weighted mode MR. The main inverse-variance weighted MR estimates based on a combination of 16 genetic instruments for γ' fibrinogen and 75 genetic instruments for total fibrinogen indicated a protective effect of higher γ' fibrinogen and higher total fibrinogen on VTE risk. There was also a protective effect of higher γ' fibrinogen levels on cardioembolic and large artery stroke risk. Effect estimates were consistent across sensitivity analyses. Our results provide evidence to support effects of genetically determined γ' fibrinogen on VTE and ischemic stroke risk. Further research is needed to explore mechanisms underlying these effects and their clinical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019004781DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7770565PMC
December 2020

Urate, Blood Pressure, and Cardiovascular Disease: Evidence From Mendelian Randomization and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials.

Hypertension 2021 02 28;77(2):383-392. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health (D.G., V.K., V.Z., E.E., P.E., A.D., I.T.), Imperial College London, United Kingdom.

Serum urate has been implicated in hypertension and cardiovascular disease, but it is not known whether it is exerting a causal effect. To investigate this, we performed Mendelian randomization analysis using data from UK Biobank, Million Veterans Program and genome-wide association study consortia, and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The main Mendelian randomization analyses showed that every 1-SD increase in genetically predicted serum urate was associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (odds ratio, 1.19 [95% CI, 1.10-1.30]; =4×10), peripheral artery disease (1.12 [95% CI, 1.03-1.21]; =9×10), and stroke (1.11 [95% CI, 1.05-1.18]; =2×10). In Mendelian randomization mediation analyses, elevated blood pressure was estimated to mediate approximately one-third of the effect of urate on cardiovascular disease risk. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials showed a favorable effect of urate-lowering treatment on systolic blood pressure (mean difference, -2.55 mm Hg [95% CI, -4.06 to -1.05]; =1×10) and major adverse cardiovascular events in those with previous cardiovascular disease (odds ratio, 0.40 [95% CI, 0.22-0.73]; =3×10) but no significant effect on major adverse cardiovascular events in all individuals (odds ratio, 0.67 [95% CI, 0.44-1.03]; =0.07). In summary, these Mendelian randomization and clinical trial data support an effect of higher serum urate on increasing blood pressure, which may mediate a consequent effect on cardiovascular disease risk. High-quality trials are necessary to provide definitive evidence on the specific clinical contexts where urate lowering may be of cardiovascular benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.16547DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7803439PMC
February 2021

Lifetime risk to progress from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes among women and men: comparison between American Diabetes Association and World Health Organization diagnostic criteria.

BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care 2020 11;8(2)

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Introduction: Pre-diabetes, a status conferring high risk of overt diabetes, is defined differently by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the WHO. We investigated the impact of applying definitions of pre-diabetes on lifetime risk of diabetes in women and men from the general population.

Research Design And Methods: We used data from 8844 women without diabetes and men aged ≥45 years from the prospective population-based Rotterdam Study in the Netherlands. In both gender groups, we calculated pre-diabetes prevalence according to ADA and WHO criteria and estimated the 10-year and lifetime risk to progress to overt diabetes with adjustment for competing risk of death.

Results: Out of 8844 individuals, pre-diabetes was identified in 3492 individuals (prevalence 40%, 95% CI 38% to 41%) according to ADA and 1382 individuals (prevalence 16%, 95% CI 15% to 16%) according to WHO criteria. In both women and men and each age category, ADA prevalence estimates doubled WHO-defined pre-diabetes. For women and men aged 45 years having ADA-defined pre-diabetes, the 10-year risk of diabetes was 14.2% (95% CI 6.0% to 22.5%) and 9.2% (95% CI 3.4% to 15.0%) compared with 23.2% (95% CI 6.8% to 39.6%) and 24.6% (95% CI 8.4% to 40.8%) in women and men with WHO-defined pre-diabetes. At age 45 years, the remaining lifetime risk to progress to overt diabetes was 57.5% (95% CI 51.8% to 63.2%) vs 80.2% (95% CI 74.1% to 86.3%) in women and 46.1% (95% CI 40.8% to 51.4%) vs 68.4% (95% CI 58.3% to 78.5%) in men with pre-diabetes according to ADA and WHO definitions, respectively.

Conclusion: Prevalence of pre-diabetes differed considerably in both women and men when applying ADA and WHO pre-diabetes definitions. Women with pre-diabetes had higher lifetime risk to progress to diabetes. The lifetime risk of diabetes was lower in women and men with ADA-defined pre-diabetes as compared with WHO. Improvement of pre-diabetes definition considering appropriate sex-specific and age-specific glycemic thresholds may lead to better identification of individuals at high risk of diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjdrc-2020-001529DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7678236PMC
November 2020

Accelerated MRI-predicted brain ageing and its associations with cardiometabolic and brain disorders.

Sci Rep 2020 11 17;10(1):19940. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, St Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, London, W2 1PG, UK.

Brain structure in later life reflects both influences of intrinsic aging and those of lifestyle, environment and disease. We developed a deep neural network model trained on brain MRI scans of healthy people to predict "healthy" brain age. Brain regions most informative for the prediction included the cerebellum, hippocampus, amygdala and insular cortex. We then applied this model to data from an independent group of people not stratified for health. A phenome-wide association analysis of over 1,410 traits in the UK Biobank with differences between the predicted and chronological ages for the second group identified significant associations with over 40 traits including diseases (e.g., type I and type II diabetes), disease risk factors (e.g., increased diastolic blood pressure and body mass index), and poorer cognitive function. These observations highlight relationships between brain and systemic health and have implications for understanding contributions of the latter to late life dementia risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-76518-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7672070PMC
November 2020

Genetic loci associated with prevalent and incident myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium.

PLoS One 2020 13;15(11):e0230035. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, Department of Pediatrics, The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California, United States of America.

Background: Genome-wide association studies have identified multiple genomic loci associated with coronary artery disease, but most are common variants in non-coding regions that provide limited information on causal genes and etiology of the disease. To overcome the limited scope that common variants provide, we focused our investigation on low-frequency and rare sequence variations primarily residing in coding regions of the genome.

Methods And Results: Using samples of individuals of European ancestry from ten cohorts within the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium, both cross-sectional and prospective analyses were conducted to examine associations between genetic variants and myocardial infarction (MI), coronary heart disease (CHD), and all-cause mortality following these events. For prevalent events, a total of 27,349 participants of European ancestry, including 1831 prevalent MI cases and 2518 prevalent CHD cases were used. For incident cases, a total of 55,736 participants of European ancestry were included (3,031 incident MI cases and 5,425 incident CHD cases). There were 1,860 all-cause deaths among the 3,751 MI and CHD cases from six cohorts that contributed to the analysis of all-cause mortality. Single variant and gene-based analyses were performed separately in each cohort and then meta-analyzed for each outcome. A low-frequency intronic variant (rs988583) in PLCL1 was significantly associated with prevalent MI (OR = 1.80, 95% confidence interval: 1.43, 2.27; P = 7.12 × 10-7). We conducted gene-based burden tests for genes with a cumulative minor allele count (cMAC) ≥ 5 and variants with minor allele frequency (MAF) < 5%. TMPRSS5 and LDLRAD1 were significantly associated with prevalent MI and CHD, respectively, and RC3H2 and ANGPTL4 were significantly associated with incident MI and CHD, respectively. No loci were significantly associated with all-cause mortality following a MI or CHD event.

Conclusion: This study identified one known locus (ANGPTL4) and four new loci (PLCL1, RC3H2, TMPRSS5, and LDLRAD1) associated with cardiovascular disease risk that warrant further investigation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230035PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665790PMC
December 2020

A population-based phenome-wide association study of cardiac and aortic structure and function.

Nat Med 2020 10 24;26(10):1654-1662. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Biomedical Image Analysis Group, Department of Computing, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Differences in cardiac and aortic structure and function are associated with cardiovascular diseases and a wide range of other types of disease. Here we analyzed cardiovascular magnetic resonance images from a population-based study, the UK Biobank, using an automated machine-learning-based analysis pipeline. We report a comprehensive range of structural and functional phenotypes for the heart and aorta across 26,893 participants, and explore how these phenotypes vary according to sex, age and major cardiovascular risk factors. We extended this analysis with a phenome-wide association study, in which we tested for correlations of a wide range of non-imaging phenotypes of the participants with imaging phenotypes. We further explored the associations of imaging phenotypes with early-life factors, mental health and cognitive function using both observational analysis and Mendelian randomization. Our study illustrates how population-based cardiac and aortic imaging phenotypes can be used to better define cardiovascular disease risks as well as heart-brain health interactions, highlighting new opportunities for studying disease mechanisms and developing image-based biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1009-yDOI Listing
October 2020

Sleep, major depressive disorder, and Alzheimer disease: A Mendelian randomization study.

Neurology 2020 10 19;95(14):e1963-e1970. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

From the MRC Centre for Environment and Health (J.H., V.Z., P.E., J.T., A.D.), Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, St. Mary's Campus, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place; UK Dementia Research Institute at Imperial College London (J.H., P.M.M., J.T., A.D.); Imperial College NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (J.H., P.E.); Department of Brain Sciences (P.M.M., P.E.), Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London; Health Data Research UK-London; and Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology (P.E., J.T.), University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece.

Objective: To explore the causal relationships between sleep, major depressive disorder (MDD), and Alzheimer disease (AD).

Methods: We conducted bidirectional 2-sample Mendelian randomization analyses. Genetic associations were obtained from the largest genome-wide association studies currently available in UK Biobank (n = 446,118), Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (n = 18,759), and International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (n = 63,926). We used the inverse variance-weighted Mendelian randomization method to estimate causal effects and weighted median and Mendelian randomization-Egger for sensitivity analyses to test for pleiotropic effects.

Results: We found that higher risk of AD was significantly associated with being a "morning person" (odds ratio [OR] 1.01, = 0.001), shorter sleep duration (self-reported: β = -0.006, = 1.9 × 10; accelerometer based: β = -0.015, = 6.9 × 10), less likely to report long sleep (β = -0.003, = 7.3 × 10), earlier timing of the least active 5 hours (β = -0.024, = 1.7 × 10), and a smaller number of sleep episodes (β = -0.025, = 5.7 × 10) after adjustment for multiple comparisons. We also found that higher risk of AD was associated with lower risk of insomnia (OR 0.99, = 7 × 10). However, we did not find evidence that these abnormal sleep patterns were causally related to AD or for a significant causal relationship between MDD and risk of AD.

Conclusion: We found that AD may causally influence sleep patterns. However, we did not find evidence supporting a causal role of disturbed sleep patterns for AD or evidence for a causal relationship between MDD and AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010463DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682841PMC
October 2020

Estimated 24-Hour Urinary Sodium Excretion and Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality Among 398 628 Individuals in UK Biobank.

Hypertension 2020 09 6;76(3):683-691. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

From the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health (P.E., D.C.M., D.S.-L., R.P., E.E., A.D., B.N., I.T.), Imperial College London, United Kingdom.

We report on an analysis to explore the association between estimated 24-hour urinary sodium excretion (surrogate for sodium intake) and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. Data were obtained from 398 628 UK Biobank prospective cohort study participants (40-69 years) recruited between 2006 and 2010, with no history of CVD, renal disease, diabetes mellitus or cancer, and cardiovascular events and mortality recorded during follow-up. Hazard ratios between 24-hour sodium excretion were estimated from spot urinary sodium concentrations across incident CVD and its components and all-cause and cause-specific mortality. In restricted cubic splines analyses, there was little evidence for an association between estimated 24-hour sodium excretion and CVD, coronary heart disease, or stroke; hazard ratios for CVD (95% CIs) for the 15th and 85th percentiles (2.5 and 4.2 g/day, respectively) compared with the 50th percentile of estimated sodium excretion (3.2 g/day) were 1.05 (1.01-1.10) and 0.96 (0.92-1.00), respectively. An inverse association was observed with heart failure, but that was no longer apparent in sensitivity analysis. A J-shaped association was observed between estimated sodium excretion and mortality. Our findings do not support a J-shaped association of estimated sodium excretion with CVD, although such an association was apparent for all-cause and cause-specific mortality across a wide range of diseases. Reasons for these differences are unclear; methodological limitations, including the use of estimating equations based on spot urinary data, need to be considered in interpreting our findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.119.14302DOI Listing
September 2020

What is new in the exposome?

Environ Int 2020 10 30;143:105887. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

MRC Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place, W2 1PG London, UK.

The exposome concept refers to the totality of exposures from a variety of external and internal sources including chemical agents, biological agents, or radiation, from conception onward, over a complete lifetime. It encompasses also "psychosocial components" including the impact of social relations and socio-economic position on health. In this review we provide examples of recent contributions from exposome research, where we believe their application will be of the greatest value for moving forward. So far, environmental epidemiology has mainly focused on hard outcomes, such as mortality, disease exacerbation and hospitalizations. However, there are many subtle outcomes that can be related to environmental exposures, and investigations can be facilitated by an improved understanding of internal biomarkers of exposure and response, through the application of omic technologies. Second, though we have a wealth of studies on environmental pollutants, the assessment of causality is often difficult because of confounding, reverse causation and other uncertainties. Biomarkers and omic technologies may allow better causal attribution, for example using instrumental variables in triangulation, as we discuss here. Even more complex is the understanding of how social relationships (in particular socio-economic differences) influence health and imprint on the fundamental biology of the individual. The identification of molecular changes that are intermediate between social determinants and disease status is a way to fill the gap. Another field in which biomarkers and omics are relevant is the study of mixtures. Epidemiology often deals with complex mixtures (e.g. ambient air pollution, food, smoking) without fully disentangling the compositional complexity of the mixture, or with rudimentary approaches to reflect the overall effect of multiple exposures or components. From the point of view of disease mechanisms, most models hypothesize that several stages need to be transitioned through health to the induction of disease, but very little is known about the characteristics and temporal sequence of such stages. Exposome models reinforce the idea of a biography-to-biology transition, in that everyone's disease is the product of the individual history of exposures, superimposed on their underlying genetic susceptibilities. Finally, exposome research is facilitated by technological developments that complement traditional epidemiological study designs. We describe in depth one such new tools, adductomics. In general, the development of high-resolution and high-throughput technologies interrogating multiple -omics (such as epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, adductomics and metabolomics) yields an unprecedented perspective into the impact of the environment in its widest sense on disease. The world of the exposome is rapidly evolving, though a huge gap still needs to be filled between the original expectations and the concrete achievements. Perhaps the most urgent need is for the establishment of a new generation of cohort studies with appropriately specified biosample collection, improved questionnaire data (including social variables), and the deployment of novel technologies that allow better characterization of individual environmental exposures, ranging from personal monitoring to satellite based observations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.105887DOI Listing
October 2020

Genetically determined blood pressure, antihypertensive drug classes, and risk of stroke subtypes.

Neurology 2020 07 1;95(4):e353-e361. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

From the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD), University Hospital (M.K.G., R.M., M.D.), and Graduate School for Systemic Neurosciences (M.K.G.), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität LMU, Munich, Germany; Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health (D.G., E.E., C.L.M.S., A.D., I.T.), UK Dementia Research Institute (P.E., A.D.), Health Data Research-UK London (P.E.), and MRC-PHE Centre for Environment, School of Public Health (I.T.), Imperial College London; Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia, Department of Clinical Neurosciences (A.J.S.W.), University of Oxford, UK; Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology (E.E., I.T.), University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece; National Institute for Health Research Imperial College Biomedical Research Centre (P.E.), London; Institute for Genetics and Molecular Medicine (C.L.M.S.), University of Edinburgh, UK; Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy) (M.D.); and German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) (M.D.), Munich, Germany.

Objective: We employed Mendelian randomization to explore whether the effects of blood pressure (BP) and BP-lowering through different antihypertensive drug classes on stroke risk vary by stroke etiology.

Methods: We selected genetic variants associated with systolic and diastolic BP and BP-lowering variants in genes encoding antihypertensive drug targets from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on 757,601 individuals. Applying 2-sample Mendelian randomization, we examined associations with any stroke (67,162 cases; 454,450 controls), ischemic stroke and its subtypes (large artery, cardioembolic, small vessel stroke), intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH, deep and lobar), and the related small vessel disease phenotype of white matter hyperintensities (WMH).

Results: Genetic predisposition to higher systolic and diastolic BP was associated with higher risk of any stroke, ischemic stroke, and ICH. We found associations between genetically determined BP and all ischemic stroke subtypes with a higher risk of large artery and small vessel stroke compared to cardioembolic stroke, as well as associations with deep, but not lobar ICH. Genetic proxies for calcium channel blockers, but not β-blockers, were associated with lower risk of any stroke and ischemic stroke. Proxies for calcium channel blockers showed particularly strong associations with small vessel stroke and the related radiologic phenotype of WMH.

Conclusions: This study supports a causal role of hypertension in all major stroke subtypes except lobar ICH. We find differences in the effects of BP and BP-lowering through antihypertensive drug classes between stroke subtypes and identify calcium channel blockade as a promising strategy for preventing manifestations of cerebral small vessel disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000009814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7455321PMC
July 2020

Long-term prognosis after kidney donation: a propensity score matched comparison of living donors and non-donors from two population cohorts.

Eur J Epidemiol 2020 Jul 21;35(7):699-707. Epub 2020 May 21.

Department of Surgery, Division of HPB and Transplant Surgery, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Live donor nephrectomy is a safe procedure. However, long-term donor prognosis is debated, necessitating high-quality studies.

Methods: A follow-up study of 761 living kidney donors was conducted, who visited the outpatient clinic and were propensity score matched and compared to 1522 non-donors from population-based cohort studies. Primary outcome was kidney function. Secondary outcomes were BMI (kg/m), incidences of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular events, cardiovascular and overall mortality, and quality of life.

Results: Median follow-up after donation was 8.0 years. Donors had an increase in serum creatinine of 26 μmol/l (95% CI 24-28), a decrease in eGFR of 27 ml/min/1.73 m (95% CI - 29 to - 26), and an eGFR decline of 32% (95% CI 30-33) as compared to non-donors. There was no difference in outcomes between the groups for ESRD, microalbuminuria, BMI, incidence of diabetes or cardiovascular events, and mortality. A lower risk of new-onset hypertension (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.33-0.62) was found among donors. The EQ-5D health-related scores were higher among donors, whereas the SF-12 physical and mental component scores were lower.

Conclusion: Loss of kidney mass after live donation does not translate into negative long-term outcomes in terms of morbidity and mortality compared to non-donors.

Trial Registration: Dutch Trial Register NTR3795.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-020-00647-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7387377PMC
July 2020

Early exposure to social disadvantages and later life body mass index beyond genetic predisposition in three generations of Finnish birth cohorts.

BMC Public Health 2020 May 18;20(1):708. Epub 2020 May 18.

Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, P.O.Box 5000, Fin-90014, Oulu, Finland.

Background: The study aimed to explore the association between early life and life-course exposure to social disadvantage and later life body mass index (BMI) accounting for genetic predisposition and maternal BMI.

Methods: We studied participants of Helsinki Birth Cohort Study born in 1934-1944 (HBCS1934-1944, n = 1277) and Northern Finland Birth Cohorts born in 1966 and 1986 (NFBC1966, n = 5807, NFBC1986, n = 6717). Factor analysis produced scores of social disadvantage based on social and economic elements in early life and adulthood/over the life course, and was categorized as high, intermediate and low. BMI was measured at 62 years in HBCS1934-1944, at 46 years in NFBC1966 and at 16 years in NFBC1986. Multivariable linear regression analysis was used to explore associations between social disadvantages and BMI after adjustments for polygenic risk score for BMI (PRS BMI), maternal BMI and sex.

Results: The association between exposure to high early social disadvantage and increased later life BMI persisted after adjustments (β = 0.79, 95% CI, 0.33, 1.25, p < 0.001) in NFBC1966. In NFBC1986 this association was attenuated by PRS BMI (p = 0.181), and in HBCS1934-1944 there was no association between high early social disadvantage and increased later life BMI (β 0.22, 95% CI -0.91,1.35, p = 0.700). In HBCS1934-1944 and NFBC1966, participants who had reduced their exposure to social disadvantage during the life-course had lower later life BMI than those who had increased their exposure (β - 1.34, [- 2.37,-0.31], p = 0.011; β - 0.46, [- 0.89,-0.03], p = 0.038, respectively).

Conclusions: High social disadvantage in early life appears to be associated with higher BMI in later life. Reducing exposure to social disadvantage during the life-course may be a potential pathway for obesity reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-08763-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7236362PMC
May 2020

Trajectories of BMI Before Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes: The Rotterdam Study.

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2020 06 7;28(6):1149-1156. Epub 2020 May 7.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: People with diabetes show great variability in weight gain and duration of obesity at the time of diagnosis. BMI trajectories and other cardiometabolic risk factors prior to type 2 diabetes were investigated.

Methods: A total of 6,223 participants from the Rotterdam Study cohort were included. BMI patterns before diagnosis of diabetes were identified through latent class trajectories.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 13.7 years, 565 participants developed type 2 diabetes. Three distinct trajectories of BMI were identified, including the "progressive overweight" group (n = 481, 85.1%), "progressive weight loss" group (n = 59, 10.4%), and "persistently high BMI" group (n = 25, 4.4%). The majority, the progressive overweight group, was characterized by a steady increase of BMI in the overweight range 10 years before diabetes diagnosis. The progressive weight loss group had fluctuations of glucose and marked beta cell function loss. The persistently high BMI group was characterized by a slight increase in insulin levels and sharp increase of insulin resistance accompanied by a rapid decrease of beta cell function.

Conclusions: Heterogeneity of BMI changes prior to type 2 diabetes was found in a middle-aged and elderly white population. Prevention strategies should be tailored rather than focusing only on high-risk individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.22802DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7317538PMC
June 2020

Could vitamin D reduce obesity-associated inflammation? Observational and Mendelian randomization study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2020 05;111(5):1036-1047

Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Background: Obesity is associated with inflammation but the role of vitamin D in this process is not clear.

Objectives: We aimed to assess the associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], BMI, and 16 inflammatory biomarkers, and to assess the role of vitamin D as a potential mediator in the association between higher BMI and inflammation.

Methods: Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC1966) 31-y data on 3586 individuals were analyzed to examine the observational associations between BMI, 25(OH)D, and 16 inflammatory biomarkers. Multivariable regression analyses and 2-sample regression-based Mendelian randomization (MR) mediation analysis were performed to assess any role of vitamin D in mediating a causal effect of BMI on inflammatory biomarkers [soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP)] for which observational associations were detected. For MR, genome-wide association study summary results ranging from 5163 to 806,834 individuals were used for biomarkers, 25(OH)D, and BMI. Findings were triangulated with a literature review of vitamin D supplementation trials.

Results: In NFBC1966, mean BMI (kg/m2) was 24.8 (95% CI: 24.7, 25.0) and mean 25(OH)D was 50.3 nmol/L (95% CI: 49.8, 50.7 nmol/L). Inflammatory biomarkers correlated as 4 independent clusters: interleukins, adhesion molecules, acute-phase proteins, and chemokines. BMI was positively associated with 9 inflammatory biomarkers and inversely with 25(OH)D (false discovery rate < 0.05). 25(OH)D was inversely associated with sICAM-1, hs-CRP, and AGP, which were positively associated with BMI. The MR analyses showed causal association of BMI on these 3 inflammatory biomarkers. There was no observational or MR evidence that circulating 25(OH)D concentrations mediated the association between BMI and these 3 inflammatory markers. Review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) supported our findings showing no impact of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory biomarkers.

Conclusions: The findings from our observational study and causal MR analyses, together with data from RCTs, do not support a beneficial role of vitamin D supplementation on obesity-related inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198294PMC
May 2020

Plasma lipids and risk of aortic valve stenosis: a Mendelian randomization study.

Eur Heart J 2020 10;41(40):3913-3920

The George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, 1st Floor, Hayes House, 75 George Street, Oxford OX1 2BQ, UK.

Aims: Aortic valve stenosis is commonly considered a degenerative disorder with no recommended preventive intervention, with only valve replacement surgery or catheter intervention as treatment options. We sought to assess the causal association between exposure to lipid levels and risk of aortic stenosis.

Methods And Results: Causality of association was assessed using two-sample Mendelian randomization framework through different statistical methods. We retrieved summary estimations of 157 genetic variants that have been shown to be associated with plasma lipid levels in the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium that included 188 577 participants, mostly European ancestry, and genetic association with aortic stenosis as the main outcome from a total of 432 173 participants in the UK Biobank. Secondary negative control outcomes included aortic regurgitation and mitral regurgitation. The odds ratio for developing aortic stenosis per unit increase in lipid parameter was 1.52 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22-1.90; per 0.98 mmol/L] for low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, 1.03 (95% CI 0.80-1.31; per 0.41 mmol/L) for high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, and 1.38 (95% CI 0.92-2.07; per 1 mmol/L) for triglycerides. There was no evidence of a causal association between any of the lipid parameters and aortic or mitral regurgitation.

Conclusion: Lifelong exposure to high LDL-cholesterol increases the risk of symptomatic aortic stenosis, suggesting that LDL-lowering treatment may be effective in its prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7654932PMC
October 2020

Predictive Accuracy of a Polygenic Risk Score-Enhanced Prediction Model vs a Clinical Risk Score for Coronary Artery Disease.

JAMA 2020 02;323(7):636-645

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Importance: The incremental value of polygenic risk scores in addition to well-established risk prediction models for coronary artery disease (CAD) is uncertain.

Objective: To examine whether a polygenic risk score for CAD improves risk prediction beyond pooled cohort equations.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Observational study of UK Biobank participants enrolled from 2006 to 2010. A case-control sample of 15 947 prevalent CAD cases and equal number of age and sex frequency-matched controls was used to optimize the predictive performance of a polygenic risk score for CAD based on summary statistics from published genome-wide association studies. A separate cohort of 352 660 individuals (with follow-up to 2017) was used to evaluate the predictive accuracy of the polygenic risk score, pooled cohort equations, and both combined for incident CAD.

Exposures: Polygenic risk score for CAD, pooled cohort equations, and both combined.

Main Outcomes And Measures: CAD (myocardial infarction and its related sequelae). Discrimination, calibration, and reclassification using a risk threshold of 7.5% were assessed.

Results: In the cohort of 352 660 participants (mean age, 55.9 years; 205 297 women [58.2%]) used to evaluate the predictive accuracy of the examined models, there were 6272 incident CAD events over a median of 8 years of follow-up. CAD discrimination for polygenic risk score, pooled cohort equations, and both combined resulted in C statistics of 0.61 (95% CI, 0.60 to 0.62), 0.76 (95% CI, 0.75 to 0.77), and 0.78 (95% CI, 0.77 to 0.79), respectively. The change in C statistic between the latter 2 models was 0.02 (95% CI, 0.01 to 0.03). Calibration of the models showed overestimation of risk by pooled cohort equations, which was corrected after recalibration. Using a risk threshold of 7.5%, addition of the polygenic risk score to pooled cohort equations resulted in a net reclassification improvement of 4.4% (95% CI, 3.5% to 5.3%) for cases and -0.4% (95% CI, -0.5% to -0.4%) for noncases (overall net reclassification improvement, 4.0% [95% CI, 3.1% to 4.9%]).

Conclusions And Relevance: The addition of a polygenic risk score for CAD to pooled cohort equations was associated with a statistically significant, yet modest, improvement in the predictive accuracy for incident CAD and improved risk stratification for only a small proportion of individuals. The use of genetic information over the pooled cohort equations model warrants further investigation before clinical implementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2019.22241DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7042853PMC
February 2020
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