Publications by authors named "Angela M Wood"

85 Publications

Polygenic basis and biomedical consequences of telomere length variation.

Nat Genet 2021 10 5;53(10):1425-1433. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.

Telomeres, the end fragments of chromosomes, play key roles in cellular proliferation and senescence. Here we characterize the genetic architecture of naturally occurring variation in leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and identify causal links between LTL and biomedical phenotypes in 472,174 well-characterized UK Biobank participants. We identified 197 independent sentinel variants associated with LTL at 138 genomic loci (108 new). Genetically determined differences in LTL were associated with multiple biological traits, ranging from height to bone marrow function, as well as several diseases spanning neoplastic, vascular and inflammatory pathologies. Finally, we estimated that, at the age of 40 years, people with an LTL >1 s.d. shorter than the population mean had a 2.5-year-lower life expectancy compared with the group with ≥1 s.d. longer LDL. Overall, we furnish new insights into the genetic regulation of LTL, reveal wide-ranging influences of LTL on physiological traits, diseases and longevity, and provide a powerful resource available to the global research community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00944-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8492471PMC
October 2021

Risk factors and prediction models for incident heart failure with reduced and preserved ejection fraction.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Sep 16. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), Cardiology Section, VA Boston Healthcare System, 1400 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, Boston, MA, 02132, USA.

Aims: This study aims to develop the first race-specific and sex-specific risk prediction models for heart failure with preserved (HFpEF) and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).

Methods And Results: We created a cohort of 1.8 million individuals who had an outpatient clinic visit between 2002 and 2007 within the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System and obtained information on HFpEF, HFrEF, and several risk factors from electronic health records (EHR). Variables were selected for the risk prediction models in a 'derivation cohort' that consisted of individuals with baseline date in 2002, 2003, or 2004 using a forward stepwise selection based on a change in C-index threshold. Discrimination and calibration were assessed in the remaining participants (internal 'validation cohort'). A total of 66 831 individuals developed HFpEF, and 92 233 developed HFrEF (52 679 and 71 463 in the derivation cohort) over a median of 11.1 years of follow-up. The HFpEF risk prediction model included age, diabetes, BMI, COPD, previous MI, antihypertensive treatment, SBP, smoking status, atrial fibrillation, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), while the HFrEF model additionally included previous CAD. For the HFpEF model, C-indices were 0.74 (SE = 0.002) for white men, 0.76 (0.005) for black men, 0.79 (0.015) for white women, and 0.77 (0.026) for black women, compared with 0.72 (0.002), 0.72 (0.004), 0.77 (0.017), and 0.75 (0.028), respectively, for the HFrEF model. These risk prediction models were generally well calibrated in each race-specific and sex-specific stratum of the validation cohort.

Conclusions: Our race-specific and sex-specific risk prediction models, which used easily obtainable clinical variables, can be a useful tool to implement preventive strategies or subtype-specific prevention trials in the nine million users of the VA healthcare system and the general population after external validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13429DOI Listing
September 2021

Genome-wide analysis of blood lipid metabolites in over 5000 South Asians reveals biological insights at cardiometabolic disease loci.

BMC Med 2021 09 10;19(1):232. Epub 2021 Sep 10.

Core Metabolomics and Lipidomics Laboratory, National Institute for Health Research, Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK.

Background: Genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors can lead to perturbations in circulating lipid levels and increase the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. However, how changes in individual lipid species contribute to disease risk is often unclear. Moreover, little is known about the role of lipids on cardiovascular disease in Pakistan, a population historically underrepresented in cardiovascular studies.

Methods: We characterised the genetic architecture of the human blood lipidome in 5662 hospital controls from the Pakistan Risk of Myocardial Infarction Study (PROMIS) and 13,814 healthy British blood donors from the INTERVAL study. We applied a candidate causal gene prioritisation tool to link the genetic variants associated with each lipid to the most likely causal genes, and Gaussian Graphical Modelling network analysis to identify and illustrate relationships between lipids and genetic loci.

Results: We identified 253 genetic associations with 181 lipids measured using direct infusion high-resolution mass spectrometry in PROMIS, and 502 genetic associations with 244 lipids in INTERVAL. Our analyses revealed new biological insights at genetic loci associated with cardiometabolic diseases, including novel lipid associations at the LPL, MBOAT7, LIPC, APOE-C1-C2-C4, SGPP1, and SPTLC3 loci.

Conclusions: Our findings, generated using a distinctive lipidomics platform in an understudied South Asian population, strengthen and expand the knowledge base of the genetic determinants of lipids and their association with cardiometabolic disease-related loci.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-02087-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8431908PMC
September 2021

Shorter leukocyte telomere length is associated with adverse COVID-19 outcomes: A cohort study in UK Biobank.

EBioMedicine 2021 Aug 23;70:103485. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom; NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Background Older age is the most powerful risk factor for adverse coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) outcomes. It is uncertain whether leucocyte telomere length (LTL), previously proposed as a marker of biological age, is also associated with COVID-19 outcomes. Methods We associated LTL values obtained from participants recruited into UK Biobank (UKB) during 2006-2010 with adverse COVID-19 outcomes recorded by 30 November 2020, defined as a composite of any of the following: hospital admission, need for critical care, respiratory support, or mortality. Using information on 130 LTL-associated genetic variants, we conducted exploratory Mendelian randomisation (MR) analyses in UKB to evaluate whether observational associations might reflect cause-and-effect relationships. Findings Of 6775 participants in UKB who tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the community, there were 914 (13.5%) with adverse COVID-19 outcomes. The odds ratio (OR) for adverse COVID-19 outcomes was 1·17 (95% CI 1·05-1·30; P = 0·004) per 1-SD shorter usual LTL, after adjustment for age, sex and ethnicity. Similar ORs were observed in analyses that: adjusted for additional risk factors; disaggregated the composite outcome and reduced the scope for selection or collider bias. In MR analyses, the OR for adverse COVID-19 outcomes was directionally concordant but non-significant. Interpretation Shorter LTL is associated with higher risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes, independent of several major risk factors for COVID-19 including age. Further data are needed to determine whether this association reflects causality. Funding UK Medical Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and British Heart Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103485DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8299112PMC
August 2021

The Inverse Association of Body Mass Index with Lung Cancer: Exploring Residual Confounding, Metabolic Aberrations and Within-Person Variability in Smoking.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Aug 22;30(8):1489-1497. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Background: The inverse observational association between body mass index (BMI) and lung cancer risk remains unclear. We assessed whether the association is explained by metabolic aberrations, residual confounding, and within-person variability in smoking, and compared against other smoking-related cancers.

Methods: We investigated the association between BMI, and its combination with a metabolic score (MS) of mid-blood pressure, glucose, and triglycerides, with lung cancer and other smoking-related cancers in 778,828 individuals. We used Cox regression, adjusted and corrected for within-person variability in smoking (status/pack-years), calculated from 600,201 measurements in 221,958 participants.

Results: Over a median follow-up of 20 years, 20,242 smoking-related cancers (6,735 lung cancers) were recorded. Despite adjustment and correction for substantial within-person variability in smoking, BMI remained inversely associated with lung cancer [HR per standard deviation increase, 0.87 (95% confidence interval 0.85-0.89)]. Individuals with BMI less than 25 kg/m and high MS had the highest risk [HR 1.52 (1.44-1.60) vs. BMI ≥25 with low MS]. These associations were weaker and nonsignificant among nonsmokers. Similar associations were observed for head and neck cancers and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, whereas for other smoking-related cancers, we generally observed positive associations with BMI.

Conclusions: The increased lung cancer risk with low BMI and high MS is unlikely due to residual confounding and within-person variability in smoking. However, similar results for other cancers strongly related to smoking suggest a remaining, unknown, effect of smoking.

Impact: Extensive smoking-adjustments may not capture all the effects of smoking on the relationship between obesity-related factors and risk of smoking-related cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0058DOI Listing
August 2021

Waist circumference and a body shape index and prostate cancer risk and mortality.

Cancer Med 2021 04 12;10(8):2885-2896. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

We recently found a negative association between body mass index (BMI) and the risk of localised prostate cancer (PCa), no association with advanced PCa, and a positive association with PCa-specific mortality. In a 15% subpopulation of that study, we here investigated the measures of abdominal adiposity including waist circumference (WC) and A Body Shape Index (ABSI) in relation to PCa risk and mortality. We used data from 58,457 men from four Swedish cohorts to assess WC and ABSI in relation to PCa risk according to cancer risk category, including localised asymptomatic and symptomatic PCa and advanced PCa, and PCa-specific mortality. Cox regression models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). During, on average, 10 years of follow-up, 3290 men were diagnosed with PCa and 387 died of PCa. WC was negatively associated with the risk of total PCa (HR per 10 cm, 0.95; 95% CI 0.92-0.99), localised PCa (HR per 10 cm, 0.93, 95% CI 0.88-0.96) and localised asymptomatic PCa cases detected through a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test (HR per 10 cm, 0.87, 95% CI 0.81-0.94). WC was not associated with the risk of advanced PCa (HR per 10 cm, 1.02, 95% CI 0.93-1.14) or with PCa-specific mortality (HR per 10 cm, 1.04, 95% CI 0.92-1.19). ABSI showed no associations with the risk of PCa or PCa-specific mortality. While the negative association between WC and the risk of localised PCa was partially driven by PSA-detected PCa cases, no association was found between abdominal adiposity and clinically manifest PCa in our population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3827DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026929PMC
April 2021

Prediction of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Accounting for Future Initiation of Statin Treatment.

Am J Epidemiol 2021 10;190(10):2000-2014

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk-prediction models are used to identify high-risk individuals and guide statin initiation. However, these models are usually derived from individuals who might initiate statins during follow-up. We present a simple approach to address statin initiation to predict "statin-naive" CVD risk. We analyzed primary care data (2004-2017) from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink for 1,678,727 individuals (aged 40-85 years) without CVD or statin treatment history at study entry. We derived age- and sex-specific prediction models including conventional risk factors and a time-dependent effect of statin initiation constrained to 25% risk reduction (from trial results). We compared predictive performance and measures of public-health impact (e.g., number needed to screen to prevent 1 event) against models ignoring statin initiation. During a median follow-up of 8.9 years, 103,163 individuals developed CVD. In models accounting for (versus ignoring) statin initiation, 10-year CVD risk predictions were slightly higher; predictive performance was moderately improved. However, few individuals were reclassified to a high-risk threshold, resulting in negligible improvements in number needed to screen to prevent 1 event. In conclusion, incorporating statin effects from trial results into risk-prediction models enables statin-naive CVD risk estimation and provides moderate gains in predictive ability but had a limited impact on treatment decision-making under current guidelines in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwab031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8485151PMC
October 2021

A genome-wide meta-analysis yields 46 new loci associating with biomarkers of iron homeostasis.

Commun Biol 2021 02 3;4(1):156. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

deCODE genetics/Amgen Inc., Reykjavik, Iceland.

Iron is essential for many biological functions and iron deficiency and overload have major health implications. We performed a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies from Iceland, the UK and Denmark of blood levels of ferritin (N = 246,139), total iron binding capacity (N = 135,430), iron (N = 163,511) and transferrin saturation (N = 131,471). We found 62 independent sequence variants associating with iron homeostasis parameters at 56 loci, including 46 novel loci. Variants at DUOX2, F5, SLC11A2 and TMPRSS6 associate with iron deficiency anemia, while variants at TF, HFE, TFR2 and TMPRSS6 associate with iron overload. A HBS1L-MYB intergenic region variant associates both with increased risk of iron overload and reduced risk of iron deficiency anemia. The DUOX2 missense variant is present in 14% of the population, associates with all iron homeostasis biomarkers, and increases the risk of iron deficiency anemia by 29%. The associations implicate proteins contributing to the main physiological processes involved in iron homeostasis: iron sensing and storage, inflammation, absorption of iron from the gut, iron recycling, erythropoiesis and bleeding/menstruation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01575-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859200PMC
February 2021

Association between blood pressure and BMI with bladder cancer risk and mortality in 340,000 men in three Swedish cohorts.

Cancer Med 2021 02 16;10(4):1431-1438. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Department of Clinical Sciences in Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Background: The relation between obesity, blood pressure (BP) and bladder cancer (BC) risk and mortality remains unclear, partially due to potential confounding by smoking, the strongest risk factor for BC, and not accounting for tumor stage and grade in such studies. We investigated body mass index (BMI) and BP in relation to BC risk by stage and grade, and BC-specific mortality, including separately among never-smokers aimed at minimizing confounding by smoking.

Methods: We analyzed 338,910 men from three Swedish cohorts, with 4895 incident BC's (940 among never-smokers) during follow-up. Cox regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals adjusted for smoking status. HRs for BMI and BP were corrected for their regression dilution ratios, calculated from 280,456 individuals with 758,641 observations.

Results: Body mass index was positively associated with non-muscle invasive BC (NMIBC, HR per 5 kg/m , 1.10 [1.02-1.19]) and NMIBC grade 3 (HR 1.17 [1.01-1.34]) in the full cohort, with similar effect sizes, albeit non-significant, among never-smokers. Systolic BP was positively associated with muscle-invasive BC (MIBC, HR per 10 mmHg, 1.25 [1.00-1.55]) and BC-specific mortality (HR 1.10 [1.01-1.20]) among never-smokers, with weaker and non-significant associations in the full cohort.

Conclusions: In an analyses of BMI, BP and BC risk by stage and grade among men, we found modest positive associations between BMI and NMIBC and NMIBC grade 3. SBP was positively associated with MIBC and BC-specific mortality in an analysis of never-smokers, which may reflect the association, un-confounded by smoking, also in a broader population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3721DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7926028PMC
February 2021

A cross-platform approach identifies genetic regulators of human metabolism and health.

Nat Genet 2021 01 7;53(1):54-64. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Metabolic Research Laboratories, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

In cross-platform analyses of 174 metabolites, we identify 499 associations (P < 4.9 × 10) characterized by pleiotropy, allelic heterogeneity, large and nonlinear effects and enrichment for nonsynonymous variation. We identify a signal at GLP2R (p.Asp470Asn) shared among higher citrulline levels, body mass index, fasting glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide and type 2 diabetes, with β-arrestin signaling as the underlying mechanism. Genetically higher serine levels are shown to reduce the likelihood (by 95%) and predict development of macular telangiectasia type 2, a rare degenerative retinal disease. Integration of genomic and small molecule data across platforms enables the discovery of regulators of human metabolism and translation into clinical insights.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-00751-5DOI Listing
January 2021

Cardiovascular risk prediction using physical performance measures in COPD: results from a multicentre observational study.

BMJ Open 2020 12 28;10(12):e038360. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Division of Experimental Medicine and Immunotherapeutics, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Objectives: Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a common comorbidity associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it is unknown how to improve prediction of cardiovascular (CV) risk in individuals with COPD. Traditional CV risk scores have been tested in different populations but not uniquely in COPD. The potential of alternative markers to improve CV risk prediction in individuals with COPD is unknown. We aimed to determine the predictive value of conventional CVD risk factors in COPD and to determine if additional markers improve prediction beyond conventional factors.

Design: Data from the Evaluation of the Role of Inflammation in Chronic Airways disease cohort, which enrolled 729 individuals with Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage II-IV COPD were used. Linked hospital episode statistics and survival data were prospectively collected for a median 4.6 years of follow-up.

Setting: Five UK centres interested in COPD.

Participants: Population-based sample including 714 individuals with spirometry-defined COPD, smoked at least 10 pack years and who were clinically stable for >4 weeks.

Interventions: Baseline measurements included aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), C reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, spirometry and Body mass index, airflow Obstruction, Dyspnoea and Exercise capacity (BODE) Index, 6 min walk test (6MWT) and 4 m gait speed (4MGS) test.

Primary And Secondary Outcome Measures: New occurrence (first event) of fatal or non-fatal hospitalised CVD, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

Results: Out of 714 participants, 192 (27%) had CV hospitalisation and 6 died due to CVD. The overall CV risk model C-statistic was 0.689 (95% CI 0.688 to 0.691). aPWV and CIMT neither had an association with study outcome nor improved model prediction. CRP, fibrinogen, GOLD stage, BODE Index, 4MGS and 6MWT were associated with the outcome, independently of conventional risk factors (p<0.05 for all). However, only 6MWT improved model discrimination (C=0.727, 95% CI 0.726 to 0.728).

Conclusion: Poor physical performance defined by the 6MWT improves prediction of CV hospitalisation in individuals with COPD.

Trial Registration Number: ID 11101.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772292PMC
December 2020

Comparison of four methods to measure haemoglobin concentrations in whole blood donors (COMPARE): A diagnostic accuracy study.

Transfus Med 2021 Apr 20;31(2):94-103. Epub 2020 Dec 20.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Objective: To compare four haemoglobin measurement methods in whole blood donors.

Background: To safeguard donors, blood services measure haemoglobin concentration in advance of each donation. NHS Blood and Transplant's (NHSBT) customary method have been capillary gravimetry (copper sulphate), followed by venous spectrophotometry (HemoCue) for donors failing gravimetry. However, NHSBT's customary method results in 10% of donors being inappropriately bled (ie, with haemoglobin values below the regulatory threshold).

Methods: We compared the following four methods in 21 840 blood donors (aged ≥18 years) recruited from 10 NHSBT centres in England, with the Sysmex XN-2000 haematology analyser, the reference standard: (1) NHSBT's customary method; (2) "post donation" approach, that is, estimating current haemoglobin concentration from that measured by a haematology analyser at a donor's most recent prior donation; (3) "portable haemoglobinometry" (using capillary HemoCue); (4) non-invasive spectrometry (using MBR Haemospect or Orsense NMB200). We assessed sensitivity; specificity; proportion who would have been inappropriately bled, or rejected from donation ("deferred") incorrectly; and test preference.

Results: Compared with the reference standard, the methods ranged in test sensitivity from 17.0% (MBR Haemospect) to 79.0% (portable haemoglobinometry) in men, and from 19.0% (MBR Haemospect) to 82.8% (portable haemoglobinometry) in women. For specificity, the methods ranged from 87.2% (MBR Haemospect) to 99.9% (NHSBT's customary method) in men, and from 74.1% (Orsense NMB200) to 99.8% (NHSBT's customary method) in women. The proportion of donors who would have been inappropriately bled ranged from 2.2% in men for portable haemoglobinometry to 18.9% in women for MBR Haemospect. The proportion of donors who would have been deferred incorrectly with haemoglobin concentration above the minimum threshold ranged from 0.1% in men for NHSBT's customary method to 20.3% in women for OrSense. Most donors preferred non-invasive spectrometry.

Conclusion: In the largest study reporting head-to-head comparisons of four methods to measure haemoglobin prior to blood donation, our results support replacement of NHSBT's customary method with portable haemoglobinometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tme.12750DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8048787PMC
April 2021

Association Between Depressive Symptoms and Incident Cardiovascular Diseases.

JAMA 2020 12;324(23):2396-2405

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Importance: It is uncertain whether depressive symptoms are independently associated with subsequent risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).

Objective: To characterize the association between depressive symptoms and CVD incidence across the spectrum of lower mood.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A pooled analysis of individual-participant data from the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (ERFC; 162 036 participants; 21 cohorts; baseline surveys, 1960-2008; latest follow-up, March 2020) and the UK Biobank (401 219 participants; baseline surveys, 2006-2010; latest follow-up, March 2020). Eligible participants had information about self-reported depressive symptoms and no CVD history at baseline.

Exposures: Depressive symptoms were recorded using validated instruments. ERFC scores were harmonized across studies to a scale representative of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale (range, 0-60; ≥16 indicates possible depressive disorder). The UK Biobank recorded the 2-item Patient Health Questionnaire 2 (PHQ-2; range, 0-6; ≥3 indicates possible depressive disorder).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary outcomes were incident fatal or nonfatal coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and CVD (composite of the 2). Hazard ratios (HRs) per 1-SD higher log CES-D or PHQ-2 adjusted for age, sex, smoking, and diabetes were reported.

Results: Among 162 036 participants from the ERFC (73%, women; mean age at baseline, 63 years [SD, 9 years]), 5078 CHD and 3932 stroke events were recorded (median follow-up, 9.5 years). Associations with CHD, stroke, and CVD were log linear. The HR per 1-SD higher depression score for CHD was 1.07 (95% CI, 1.03-1.11); stroke, 1.05 (95% CI, 1.01-1.10); and CVD, 1.06 (95% CI, 1.04-1.08). The corresponding incidence rates per 10 000 person-years of follow-up in the highest vs the lowest quintile of CES-D score (geometric mean CES-D score, 19 vs 1) were 36.3 vs 29.0 for CHD events, 28.0 vs 24.7 for stroke events, and 62.8 vs 53.5 for CVD events. Among 401 219 participants from the UK Biobank (55% were women, mean age at baseline, 56 years [SD, 8 years]), 4607 CHD and 3253 stroke events were recorded (median follow-up, 8.1 years). The HR per 1-SD higher depression score for CHD was 1.11 (95% CI, 1.08-1.14); stroke, 1.10 (95% CI, 1.06-1.14); and CVD, 1.10 (95% CI, 1.08-1.13). The corresponding incidence rates per 10 000 person-years of follow-up among individuals with PHQ-2 scores of 4 or higher vs 0 were 20.9 vs 14.2 for CHD events, 15.3 vs 10.2 for stroke events, and 36.2 vs 24.5 for CVD events. The magnitude and statistical significance of the HRs were not materially changed after adjustment for additional risk factors.

Conclusions And Relevance: In a pooled analysis of 563 255 participants in 22 cohorts, baseline depressive symptoms were associated with CVD incidence, including at symptom levels lower than the threshold indicative of a depressive disorder. However, the magnitude of associations was modest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.23068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739139PMC
December 2020

Plant foods, dietary fibre and risk of ischaemic heart disease in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Int J Epidemiol 2021 03;50(1):212-222

Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health/Nutritional Research, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Background: Epidemiological evidence indicates that diets rich in plant foods are associated with a lower risk of ischaemic heart disease (IHD), but there is sparse information on fruit and vegetable subtypes and sources of dietary fibre. This study examined the associations of major plant foods, their subtypes and dietary fibre with risk of IHD in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Methods: We conducted a prospective analysis of 490 311 men and women without a history of myocardial infarction or stroke at recruitment (12.6 years of follow-up, n cases = 8504), in 10 European countries. Dietary intake was assessed using validated questionnaires, calibrated with 24-h recalls. Multivariable Cox regressions were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) of IHD.

Results: There was a lower risk of IHD with a higher intake of fruit and vegetables combined [HR per 200 g/day higher intake 0.94, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.90-0.99, P-trend = 0.009], and with total fruits (per 100 g/day 0.97, 0.95-1.00, P-trend = 0.021). There was no evidence for a reduced risk for fruit subtypes, except for bananas. Risk was lower with higher intakes of nuts and seeds (per 10 g/day 0.90, 0.82-0.98, P-trend = 0.020), total fibre (per 10 g/day 0.91, 0.85-0.98, P-trend = 0.015), fruit and vegetable fibre (per 4 g/day 0.95, 0.91-0.99, P-trend = 0.022) and fruit fibre (per 2 g/day 0.97, 0.95-1.00, P-trend = 0.045). No associations were observed between vegetables, vegetables subtypes, legumes, cereals and IHD risk.

Conclusions: In this large prospective study, we found some small inverse associations between plant foods and IHD risk, with fruit and vegetables combined being the most strongly inversely associated with risk. Whether these small associations are causal remains unclear.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyaa155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938513PMC
March 2021

Short physical performance battery as a practical tool to assess mortality risk in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Age Ageing 2021 05;50(3):795-801

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.

Rationale: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of mortality and common in older adults. The BODE Index is the most recognised mortality risk score in COPD but includes a 6-minute walk test (6MWT) that is seldom available in practise; the BODE Index may be better adopted if the 6MWT was replaced.

Objectives: we investigated whether a modified BODE Index in which 6MWT was replaced by an alternative measure of physical capacity, specifically the short physical performance battery (SPPB) or components, retained its predictive ability for mortality in individuals with COPD.

Methods: we analysed 630 COPD patients from the ERICA cohort study for whom UK Office for National Statistics verified mortality data were available. Variables tested at baseline included spirometry, 6MWT, SPPB and its components (4-m gait speed test [4MGS], chair stand and balance). Predictive models were developed using stratified multivariable Cox regression, and assessed by C-indices and calibration plots with 10-fold cross-validation and replication.

Results: during median 2 years of follow-up, 60 (10%) individuals died. There was no significant difference between the discriminative ability of BODE6MWT (C-index 0.709, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.680-0.737), BODESPPB (C-index 0.683, 95% CI, 0.647-0.712), BODE4MGS (C-index 0.676, 95% CI, 0.643-0.700) and BODEBALANCE (C-index 0.686, 95% CI, 0.651-0.713) for predicting mortality.

Conclusions: the SPPB, and its 4MGS and balance components, can potentially be used as an alternative to the 6MWT in the BODE Index without significant loss of predictive ability in all-cause mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afaa138DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098797PMC
May 2021

Independent influences of maternal obesity and fetal sex on maternal cardiovascular adaptation to pregnancy: a prospective cohort study.

Int J Obes (Lond) 2020 11 15;44(11):2246-2255. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cambridge, Box 223, The Rosie Hospital and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Cambridge, UK.

Background/objectives: Successful pregnancy requires the de novo creation of low-resistance utero-placental and feto-placental circulations and incomplete remodeling of this vasculature can lead to maternal or fetal compromise. Maternal BMI and fetal sex are known to influence vascular compliance and placental development, but it is unknown if these are independent or synergistic effects. Here we aim to investigate the impact of maternal obesity, fetal sex, and any interaction thereof on maternal cardiovascular adaptation to pregnancy, by assessing the physiological drop of uterine artery doppler pulsatility (UtA-PI) and umbilical artery doppler pulsatility index (UA-PI) over gestation.

Subjects/methods: Nulliparous women with a singleton pregnancy participating in a prospective cohort study (n = 4212) underwent serial UtA-PI and UA-PI measurements at 20-, 28- and 36-weeks gestation. Linear mixed regression models were employed to investigate the influence of maternal BMI, fetal sex and interactions thereof on the magnitude of change in UtA-PI and UA-PI.

Results: Throughout gestation, UtA-PI was higher for male fetuses and UA-PI was higher for female fetuses. The physiological drop of UtA-PI was significantly smaller in overweight (change -24.3% [95%CI -22.3, -26.2]) and obese women (change -21.3% [-18.3, -24.3]), compared to normal-weight women (change -25.7% [-24.3, -27.0]) but did not differ by fetal sex. The physiological drop in UA-PI was greater for female than male fetuses (-32.5% [-31.5, -33.5] vs. -30.7% [-29.8, -31.7]) but did not differ by maternal BMI. No interactions between maternal BMI and fetal sex were found.

Conclusions: Maternal cardiovascular adaptation to pregnancy is independently associated with maternal BMI and fetal sex. Our results imply sexual dimorphism in both maternal cardiovascular adaptation and feto-placental resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41366-020-0627-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7577853PMC
November 2020

Height, body mass index and prostate cancer risk and mortality by way of detection and cancer risk category.

Int J Cancer 2020 12 25;147(12):3328-3338. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Obesity is a risk factor for advanced, but not localised, prostate cancer (PCa), and for poor prognosis. However, the detection of localised PCa through asymptomatic screening might influence these associations. We investigated height and body mass index (BMI) among 431 902 men in five Swedish cohorts in relation to PCa risk, according to cancer risk category and detection mode, and PCa-specific mortality using Cox regression. Statistical tests were two-sided. Height was positively associated with localised intermediate-risk PCa (HR per 5 cm, 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.05), while overweight and obesity were negatively associated with localised low- and intermediate-risk PCa (HRs per 5 kg/m , 0.86, 95% CI 0.81-0.90, and 0.92, 95% CI 0.88-0.97). However, these associations were partially driven by PCa's detected by asymptomatic screening and, for height, also by symptoms unrelated to PCa. The HR of localised PCa's, per 5 kg/m , was 0.88, 95% CI 0.83 to 0.92 for screen-detected PCa's and 0.96, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.01 for PCa's detected through lower urinary tract symptoms. BMI was positively associated with PCa-specific mortality in the full population and in case-only analysis of each PCa risk category (HRs per 5 kg/m , 1.11-1.22, P for heterogeneity = .14). More active health-seeking behaviour among tall and normal-weight men may partially explain their higher risk of localised PCa. The higher PCa-specific mortality among obese men across all PCa risk categories in our study suggests obesity as a potential target to improve the prognosis of obese PCa patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33150DOI Listing
December 2020

Optimal individualized decision rules from a multi-arm trial: A comparison of methods and an application to tailoring inter-donation intervals among blood donors in the UK.

Stat Methods Med Res 2020 11 8;29(11):3113-3134. Epub 2020 May 8.

MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

There is a growing interest in precision medicine where individual heterogeneity is incorporated into decision-making and treatments are tailored to individuals to provide better healthcare. One important aspect of precision medicine is the estimation of the optimal individualized treatment rule (ITR) that optimizes the expected outcome. Most methods developed for this purpose are restricted to the setting with two treatments, while clinical studies with more than two treatments are common in practice. In this work, we summarize methods to estimate the optimal ITR in the multi-arm setting and compare their performance in large-scale clinical trials via simulation studies. We then illustrate their utilities with a case study using the data from the INTERVAL trial, which randomly assigned over 20,000 male blood donors from England to one of the three inter-donation intervals (12-week, 10-week, and eight-week) over two years. We estimate the optimal individualized donation strategies under three different objectives. Our findings are fairly consistent across five different approaches that are applied: when we target the maximization of the total units of blood collected, almost all donors are assigned to the eight-week inter-donation interval, whereas if we aim at minimizing the low hemoglobin deferral rates, almost all donors are assigned to donate every 12 weeks. However, when the goal is to maximize the utility score that "discounts" the total units of blood collected by the incidences of low hemoglobin deferrals, we observe some heterogeneity in the optimal inter-donation interval across donors and the optimal donor assignment strategy is highly dependent on the trade-off parameter in the utility function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0962280220920669DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682530PMC
November 2020

The associations of major foods and fibre with risks of ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke: a prospective study of 418 329 participants in the EPIC cohort across nine European countries.

Eur Heart J 2020 07;41(28):2632-2640

Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden.

Aim: To investigate the associations between major foods and dietary fibre with subtypes of stroke in a large prospective cohort.

Methods And Results: We analysed data on 418 329 men and women from nine European countries, with an average of 12.7 years of follow-up. Diet was assessed using validated country-specific questionnaires which asked about habitual intake over the past year, calibrated using 24-h recalls. Multivariable-adjusted Cox regressions were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke associated with consumption of red and processed meat, poultry, fish, dairy foods, eggs, cereals, fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and dietary fibre. For ischaemic stroke (4281 cases), lower risks were observed with higher consumption of fruit and vegetables combined (HR; 95% CI per 200 g/day higher intake, 0.87; 0.82-0.93, P-trend < 0.001), dietary fibre (per 10 g/day, 0.77; 0.69-0.86, P-trend < 0.001), milk (per 200 g/day, 0.95; 0.91-0.99, P-trend = 0.02), yogurt (per 100 g/day, 0.91; 0.85-0.97, P-trend = 0.004), and cheese (per 30 g/day, 0.88; 0.81-0.97, P-trend = 0.008), while higher risk was observed with higher red meat consumption which attenuated when adjusted for the other statistically significant foods (per 50 g/day, 1.07; 0.96-1.20, P-trend = 0.20). For haemorrhagic stroke (1430 cases), higher risk was associated with higher egg consumption (per 20 g/day, 1.25; 1.09-1.43, P-trend = 0.002).

Conclusion: Risk of ischaemic stroke was inversely associated with consumption of fruit and vegetables, dietary fibre, and dairy foods, while risk of haemorrhagic stroke was positively associated with egg consumption. The apparent differences in the associations highlight the importance of examining ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke subtypes separately.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7377582PMC
July 2020

Risk assessment for hospital admission in patients with COPD; a multi-centre UK prospective observational study.

PLoS One 2020 10;15(2):e0228940. Epub 2020 Feb 10.

Epidemiology, Value Evidence and Outcomes GSK, Uxbridge, England, United Kingdom.

In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acute exacerbation of COPD requiring hospital admission is associated with mortality and healthcare costs. The ERICA study assessed multiple clinical measures in people with COPD, including the short physical performance battery (SPPB), a simple test of physical function with 3 components (gait speed, balance and sit-to-stand). We tested the hypothesis that SPPB score would relate to risk of hospital admissions and length of hospital stay. Data were analysed from 714 of the total 729 participants (434 men and 280 women) with COPD. Data from this prospective observational longitudinal study were obtained from 4 secondary and 1 tertiary centres from England, Scotland, and Wales. The main outcome measures were to estimate the risk of hospitalisation with acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD and length of hospital stay derived from hospital episode statistics (HES). In total, 291 of 714 individuals experienced 762 hospitalised AECOPD during five-year follow up. Poorer performance of SPPB was associated with both higher rate (IRR 1.08 per 1 point decrease, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.14) and increased length of stay (IRR 1.18 per 1 point decrease, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.27) for hospitalised AECOPD. For the individual sit-to-stand component of the SPPB, the association was even stronger (IRR 1.14, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.26 for rate and IRR 1.32, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.49 for length of stay for hospitalised AECOPD). The SPPB, and in particular the sit-to-stand component can both evaluate the risk of H-AECOPD and length of hospital stay in COPD. The SPPB can aid in clinical decision making and when prioritising healthcare resources.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0228940PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7010290PMC
May 2020

Effect of interpregnancy weight change on perinatal outcomes: systematic review and meta-analysis.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2019 Oct 28;19(1):386. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, 2 Worth's Causeway Cambridge, Cambridge, CB1 8RN, UK.

Background: Although obesity is a well-known risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes, evidence is sparse about the effects of interpregnancy weight change on the risk of adverse perinatal complications in a subsequent pregnancy. The current study aims to assess the effect of interpregnancy weight change on the risk of developing gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension, preterm birth, or delivering a large- or small-for-gestational age neonate.

Methods: Pubmed, Ovid Embase, ClinicalTrial.gov and the Cochrane library were systematically searched up until July 24th, 2019. Interpregnancy weight change was defined as the difference between pre-pregnancy weight of an index pregnancy and a consecutive pregnancy. Inclusion criteria included full text original articles reporting quantitative data about interpregnancy weight change in multiparous women with any time interval between consecutive births and the risk of any perinatal complication of interest. Studies reporting adjusted odds ratios and a reference group of - 1 to + 1 BMI unit change between pregnancies were harmonised by meta-analysis.

Results: Twenty-three cohort studies identified a total of 671,906 women with two or more consecutive pregnancies. Seven of these studies were included in the meta-analysis (280,672 women). Interpregnancy weight gain was consistently associated with a higher risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension and large-for-gestational age births. In contrast, interpregnancy weight loss was associated with a lower risk of delivering a large-for-gestational age neonate. The effect magnitude (relative risk) of interpregnancy weight gain on pregnancy induced hypertension or delivering a large-for-gestational age neonate was greater among women with a normal BMI in the index pregnancy compared to women with a starting BMI ≥25 kg/m.

Conclusion: These findings confirm that interpregnancy weight change impacts the risk of developing perinatal complications in a subsequent pregnancy. This provides evidence in support of guidelines encouraging women to achieve post-partum weight loss, as their risk of perinatal complications might be minimised if they return to their pre-pregnancy weight before conceiving again. Prospectively registered with PROSPERO (CRD42017067326).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12884-019-2566-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6819632PMC
October 2019

Robust methods in Mendelian randomization via penalization of heterogeneous causal estimates.

PLoS One 2019 23;14(9):e0222362. Epub 2019 Sep 23.

Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB1 8RN, United Kingdom.

Methods have been developed for Mendelian randomization that can obtain consistent causal estimates under weaker assumptions than the standard instrumental variable assumptions. The median-based estimator and MR-Egger are examples of such methods. However, these methods can be sensitive to genetic variants with heterogeneous causal estimates. Such heterogeneity may arise from over-dispersion in the causal estimates, or specific variants with outlying causal estimates. In this paper, we develop three extensions to robust methods for Mendelian randomization with summarized data: 1) robust regression (MM-estimation); 2) penalized weights; and 3) Lasso penalization. Methods using these approaches are considered in two applied examples: one where there is evidence of over-dispersion in the causal estimates (the causal effect of body mass index on schizophrenia risk), and the other containing outliers (the causal effect of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol on Alzheimer's disease risk). Through an extensive simulation study, we demonstrate that robust regression applied to the inverse-variance weighted method with penalized weights is a worthwhile additional sensitivity analysis for Mendelian randomization to provide robustness to variants with outlying causal estimates. The results from the applied examples and simulation study highlight the importance of using methods that make different assumptions to assess the robustness of findings from Mendelian randomization investigations with multiple genetic variants.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0222362PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6756542PMC
March 2020

4-Hydroxyglutamate is a novel predictor of pre-eclampsia.

Int J Epidemiol 2020 02;49(1):301-311

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cambridge; NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Cambridge, UK.

Background: Pre-term pre-eclampsia is a major cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. A multi-centre randomized-controlled trial has shown that first-trimester screening followed by treatment of high-risk women with aspirin reduces the risk of pre-term pre-eclampsia. However, the biomarkers currently employed in risk prediction are only weakly associated with the outcome.

Methods: We conducted a case-cohort study within the Pregnancy Outcome Prediction study to analyse untargeted maternal serum metabolomics in samples from 12, 20, 28 and 36 weeks of gestational age (wkGA) in women with pre-eclampsia delivering at term (n = 165) and pre-term (n = 29), plus a random sample of the cohort (n = 325). We used longitudinal linear mixed models to identify candidate metabolites at 20/28 wkGA that differed by term pre-eclampsia status. Candidates were validated using measurements at 36 wkGA in the same women. We then tested the association between the 12-, 20- and 28-wkGA measurements and pre-term pre-eclampsia. We externally validated the association using 24- to 28-wkGA samples from the Born in Bradford study (25 cases and 953 controls).

Results: We identified 100 metabolites that differed most at 20/28 wkGA in term pre-eclampsia. Thirty-three of these were validated (P < 0.0005) at 36 wkGA. 4-Hydroxyglutamate and C-glycosyltryptophan were independently predictive at 36 wkGA of term pre-eclampsia. 4-Hydroxyglutamate was also predictive (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 95% confidence interval) of pre-term pre-eclampsia at 12 (0.673, 0.558-0.787), 20 (0.731, 0.657-0.806) and 28 wkGA (0.733, 0.627-0.839). The predictive ability of 4-hydroxyglutamate at 12 wkGA was stronger than two existing protein biomarkers, namely PAPP-A (0.567, 0.439-0.695) and placenta growth factor (0.589, 0.463-0.714). Finally, 4-hydroxyglutamate at 24-28 wkGA was positively associated with pre-eclampsia (term or pre-term) among women from the Born in Bradford study.

Conclusions: 4-hydroxyglutamate is a novel biochemical predictor of pre-eclampsia that provides better first-trimester prediction of pre-term disease than currently employed protein biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyz098DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7124498PMC
February 2020

Body mass index and all cause mortality in HUNT and UK Biobank studies: linear and non-linear mendelian randomisation analyses.

BMJ 2019 03 26;364:l1042. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Department of Public Health and Nursing, NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Objective: To investigate the shape of the causal relation between body mass index (BMI) and mortality.

Design: Linear and non-linear mendelian randomisation analyses.

Setting: Nord-Trøndelag Health (HUNT) Study (Norway) and UK Biobank (United Kingdom).

Participants: Middle to early late aged participants of European descent: 56 150 from the HUNT Study and 366 385 from UK Biobank.

Main Outcome Measures: All cause and cause specific (cardiovascular, cancer, and non-cardiovascular non-cancer) mortality.

Results: 12 015 and 10 344 participants died during a median of 18.5 and 7.0 years of follow-up in the HUNT Study and UK Biobank, respectively. Linear mendelian randomisation analyses indicated an overall positive association between genetically predicted BMI and the risk of all cause mortality. An increase of 1 unit in genetically predicted BMI led to a 5% (95% confidence interval 1% to 8%) higher risk of mortality in overweight participants (BMI 25.0-29.9) and a 9% (4% to 14%) higher risk of mortality in obese participants (BMI ≥30.0) but a 34% (16% to 48%) lower risk in underweight (BMI <18.5) and a 14% (-1% to 27%) lower risk in low normal weight participants (BMI 18.5-19.9). Non-linear mendelian randomisation indicated a J shaped relation between genetically predicted BMI and the risk of all cause mortality, with the lowest risk at a BMI of around 22-25 for the overall sample. Subgroup analyses by smoking status, however, suggested an always-increasing relation of BMI with mortality in never smokers and a J shaped relation in ever smokers.

Conclusions: The previously observed J shaped relation between BMI and risk of all cause mortality appears to have a causal basis, but subgroup analyses by smoking status revealed that the BMI-mortality relation is likely comprised of at least two distinct curves, rather than one J shaped relation. An increased risk of mortality for being underweight was only evident in ever smokers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l1042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6434515PMC
March 2019

An Unbiased Lipid Phenotyping Approach To Study the Genetic Determinants of Lipids and Their Association with Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors.

J Proteome Res 2019 06 26;18(6):2397-2410. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

Department of Biochemistry and Cambridge Systems Biology Centre , University of Cambridge , Cambridge CB2 1GA , U.K.

Direct infusion high-resolution mass spectrometry (DIHRMS) is a novel, high-throughput approach to rapidly and accurately profile hundreds of lipids in human serum without prior chromatography, facilitating in-depth lipid phenotyping for large epidemiological studies to reveal the detailed associations of individual lipids with coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. Intact lipid profiling by DIHRMS was performed on 5662 serum samples from healthy participants in the Pakistan Risk of Myocardial Infarction Study (PROMIS). We developed a novel semi-targeted peak-picking algorithm to detect mass-to-charge ratios in positive and negative ionization modes. We analyzed lipid partial correlations, assessed the association of lipid principal components with established CHD risk factors and genetic variants, and examined differences between lipids for a common genetic polymorphism. The DIHRMS method provided information on 360 lipids (including fatty acyls, glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, and sterol lipids), with a median coefficient of variation of 11.6% (range: 5.4-51.9). The lipids were highly correlated and exhibited a range of associations with clinical chemistry biomarkers and lifestyle factors. This platform can provide many novel insights into the effects of physiology and lifestyle on lipid metabolism, genetic determinants of lipids, and the relationship between individual lipids and CHD risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jproteome.8b00786DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6558644PMC
June 2019

Mendelian Randomization Study of and Cardiovascular Disease.

N Engl J Med 2019 03;380(11):1033-1042

From the Centre for Naturally Randomized Trials (B.A.F., T.B.F.), Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care (B.A.F., S.B., C.O.-W., A.M.W., A.S.B., E.D.A., J.D.), Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit (S.B.), and NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Donor Health and Genomics (A.S.B., E.D.A., J.D.), University of Cambridge, Cambridge, and Imperial Centre for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London (K.K.R.) - all in the United Kingdom; the Department of Pharmacologic and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Milan and Multimedica IRCCS, Milan (A.L.C.); Michigan State University, East Lansing (D.R.N.); the Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam (J.J.P.K.); and Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia (S.J.N.).

Background: ATP citrate lyase is an enzyme in the cholesterol-biosynthesis pathway upstream of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR), the target of statins. Whether the genetic inhibition of ATP citrate lyase is associated with deleterious outcomes and whether it has the same effect, per unit decrease in the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level, as the genetic inhibition of HMGCR is unclear.

Methods: We constructed genetic scores composed of independently inherited variants in the genes encoding ATP citrate lyase () and HMGCR to create instruments that mimic the effect of ATP citrate lyase inhibitors and HMGCR inhibitors (statins), respectively. We then compared the associations of these genetic scores with plasma lipid levels, lipoprotein levels, and the risk of cardiovascular events and cancer.

Results: A total of 654,783 participants, including 105,429 participants who had major cardiovascular events, were included in the study. The and scores were associated with similar patterns of changes in plasma lipid and lipoprotein levels and with similar effects on the risk of cardiovascular events per decrease of 10 mg per deciliter in the LDL cholesterol level: odds ratio for cardiovascular events, 0.823 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78 to 0.87; P = 4.0×10) for the score and 0.836 (95% CI, 0.81 to 0.87; P = 3.9×10) for the score. Neither lifelong genetic inhibition of ATP citrate lyase nor lifelong genetic inhibition of HMGCR was associated with an increased risk of cancer.

Conclusions: Genetic variants that mimic the effect of ATP citrate lyase inhibitors and statins appeared to lower plasma LDL cholesterol levels by the same mechanism of action and were associated with similar effects on the risk of cardiovascular disease per unit decrease in the LDL cholesterol level. (Funded by Esperion Therapeutics and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1806747DOI Listing
March 2019

Assessing the causal association of glycine with risk of cardio-metabolic diseases.

Nat Commun 2019 03 5;10(1):1060. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK.

Circulating levels of glycine have previously been associated with lower incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) but it remains uncertain if glycine plays an aetiological role. We present a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for glycine in 80,003 participants and investigate the causality and potential mechanisms of the association between glycine and cardio-metabolic diseases using genetic approaches. We identify 27 genetic loci, of which 22 have not previously been reported for glycine. We show that glycine is genetically associated with lower CHD risk and find that this may be partly driven by blood pressure. Evidence for a genetic association of glycine with T2D is weaker, but we find a strong inverse genetic effect of hyperinsulinaemia on glycine. Our findings strengthen evidence for a protective effect of glycine on CHD and show that the glycine-T2D association may be driven by a glycine-lowering effect of insulin resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08936-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6400990PMC
March 2019

Association of menopausal characteristics and risk of coronary heart disease: a pan-European case-cohort analysis.

Int J Epidemiol 2019 08;48(4):1275-1285

Department of Epidemiology, CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP),Madrid, Spain.

Background: Earlier age at menopause has been associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), but the shape of association and role of established cardiovascular risk factors remain unclear. Therefore, we examined the associations between menopausal characteristics and CHD risk; the shape of the association between age at menopause and CHD risk; and the extent to which these associations are explained by established cardiovascular risk factors.

Methods: We used data from EPIC-CVD, a case-cohort study, which includes data from 23 centres from 10 European countries. We included only women, of whom 10 880 comprise the randomly selected sub-cohort, supplemented with 4522 cases outside the sub-cohort. We conducted Prentice-weighted Cox proportional hazards regressions with age as the underlying time scale, stratified by country and adjusted for relevant confounders.

Results: After confounder and intermediate adjustment, post-menopausal women were not at higher CHD risk compared with pre-menopausal women. Among post-menopausal women, earlier menopause was linearly associated with higher CHD risk [HRconfounder and intermediate adjusted per-year decrease = 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.01-1.03, p = 0.001]. Women with a surgical menopause were at higher risk of CHD compared with those with natural menopause (HRconfounder-adjusted = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.10-1.42, p < 0.001), but this attenuated after additional adjustment for age at menopause and intermediates (HR = 1.12, 95% CI = 0.96-1.29, p = 0.15). A proportion of the association was explained by cardiovascular risk factors.

Conclusions: Earlier and surgical menopause were associated with higher CHD risk. These associations could partially be explained by differences in conventional cardiovascular risk factors. These women might benefit from close monitoring of cardiovascular risk factors and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyz016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6693816PMC
August 2019

Association of Triglyceride-Lowering LPL Variants and LDL-C-Lowering LDLR Variants With Risk of Coronary Heart Disease.

JAMA 2019 01;321(4):364-373

Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Milan, Multimedica IRCCS, Milano, Italy.

Importance: Triglycerides and cholesterol are both carried in plasma by apolipoprotein B (ApoB)-containing lipoprotein particles. It is unknown whether lowering plasma triglyceride levels reduces the risk of cardiovascular events to the same extent as lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels.

Objective: To compare the association of triglyceride-lowering variants in the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) gene and LDL-C-lowering variants in the LDL receptor gene (LDLR) with the risk of cardiovascular disease per unit change in ApoB.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Mendelian randomization analyses evaluating the associations of genetic scores composed of triglyceride-lowering variants in the LPL gene and LDL-C-lowering variants in the LDLR gene, respectively, with the risk of cardiovascular events among participants enrolled in 63 cohort or case-control studies conducted in North America or Europe between 1948 and 2017.

Exposures: Differences in plasma triglyceride, LDL-C, and ApoB levels associated with the LPL and LDLR genetic scores.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Odds ratio (OR) for coronary heart disease (CHD)-defined as coronary death, myocardial infarction, or coronary revascularization-per 10-mg/dL lower concentration of ApoB-containing lipoproteins.

Results: A total of 654 783 participants, including 91 129 cases of CHD, were included (mean age, 62.7 years; 51.4% women). For each 10-mg/dL lower level of ApoB-containing lipoproteins, the LPL score was associated with 69.9-mg/dL (95% CI, 68.1-71.6; P = 7.1 × 10-1363) lower triglyceride levels and 0.7-mg/dL (95% CI, 0.03-1.4; P = .04) higher LDL-C levels; while the LDLR score was associated with 14.2-mg/dL (95% CI, 13.6-14.8; P = 1.4 × 10-465) lower LDL-C and 1.9-mg/dL (95% CI, 0.1-3.9; P = .04) lower triglyceride levels. Despite these differences in associated lipid levels, the LPL and LDLR scores were associated with similar lower risk of CHD per 10-mg/dL lower level of ApoB-containing lipoproteins (OR, 0.771 [95% CI, 0.741-0.802], P = 3.9 × 10-38 and OR, 0.773 [95% CI, 0.747-0.801], P = 1.1 × 10-46, respectively). In multivariable mendelian randomization analyses, the associations between triglyceride and LDL-C levels with the risk of CHD became null after adjusting for differences in ApoB (triglycerides: OR, 1.014 [95% CI, 0.965-1.065], P = .19; LDL-C: OR, 1.010 [95% CI, 0.967-1.055], P = .19; ApoB: OR, 0.761 [95% CI, 0.723-0.798], P = 7.51 × 10-20).

Conclusions And Relevance: Triglyceride-lowering LPL variants and LDL-C-lowering LDLR variants were associated with similar lower risk of CHD per unit difference in ApoB. Therefore, the clinical benefit of lowering triglyceride and LDL-C levels may be proportional to the absolute change in ApoB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2018.20045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6439767PMC
January 2019

Cardiovascular Risk Factors Associated With Venous Thromboembolism.

JAMA Cardiol 2019 02;4(2):163-173

University of Padova, Padua, Italy.

Importance: It is uncertain to what extent established cardiovascular risk factors are associated with venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Objective: To estimate the associations of major cardiovascular risk factors with VTE, ie, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This study included individual participant data mostly from essentially population-based cohort studies from the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (ERFC; 731 728 participants; 75 cohorts; years of baseline surveys, February 1960 to June 2008; latest date of follow-up, December 2015) and the UK Biobank (421 537 participants; years of baseline surveys, March 2006 to September 2010; latest date of follow-up, February 2016). Participants without cardiovascular disease at baseline were included. Data were analyzed from June 2017 to September 2018.

Exposures: A panel of several established cardiovascular risk factors.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Hazard ratios (HRs) per 1-SD higher usual risk factor levels (or presence/absence). Incident fatal outcomes in ERFC (VTE, 1041; coronary heart disease [CHD], 25 131) and incident fatal/nonfatal outcomes in UK Biobank (VTE, 2321; CHD, 3385). Hazard ratios were adjusted for age, sex, smoking status, diabetes, and body mass index (BMI).

Results: Of the 731 728 participants from the ERFC, 403 396 (55.1%) were female, and the mean (SD) age at the time of the survey was 51.9 (9.0) years; of the 421 537 participants from the UK Biobank, 233 699 (55.4%) were female, and the mean (SD) age at the time of the survey was 56.4 (8.1) years. Risk factors for VTE included older age (ERFC: HR per decade, 2.67; 95% CI, 2.45-2.91; UK Biobank: HR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.71-1.92), current smoking (ERFC: HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.20-1.58; UK Biobank: HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.08-1.40), and BMI (ERFC: HR per 1-SD higher BMI, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.35-1.50; UK Biobank: HR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.32-1.41). For these factors, there were similar HRs for pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis in UK Biobank (except adiposity was more strongly associated with pulmonary embolism) and similar HRs for unprovoked vs provoked VTE. Apart from adiposity, these risk factors were less strongly associated with VTE than CHD. There were inconsistent associations of VTEs with diabetes and blood pressure across ERFC and UK Biobank, and there was limited ability to study lipid and inflammation markers.

Conclusions And Relevance: Older age, smoking, and adiposity were consistently associated with higher VTE risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2018.4537DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6386140PMC
February 2019
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