Publications by authors named "Barbara McKnight"

162 Publications

Association of Trimethylamine N-Oxide and Related Metabolites in Plasma and Incident Type 2 Diabetes: The Cardiovascular Health Study.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Aug 2;4(8):e2122844. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Although rodent studies suggest that trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) influences glucose homeostasis and risk of type 2 diabetes, evidence in humans is limited.

Objective: To examine the associations of serial measures of plasma TMAO and related metabolite concentrations with incident type 2 diabetes, fasting plasma insulin and glucose levels, and the Gutt insulin sensitivity index (ISI).

Design, Setting, And Participants: This prospective cohort design assessed the association of plasma TMAO and related metabolite concentrations with diabetes outcome, whereas a cross-sectional design assessed the association with insulin and glucose levels and Gutt ISI. The participants were a cohort of older US adults from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). Data from June 1989 to May 1990, from November 1992 to June 1993, and from June 1995 to June 1997 were included, with follow-up through June 2010. Levels of TMAO and related metabolites were measured in CHS plasma samples. Data were analyzed from July 2019 to September 2020.

Exposures: Plasma concentrations of TMAO, carnitine, betaine, choline, crotonobetaine, and γ-butyrobetaine, measured by high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Linear regression for associations of TMAO and related metabolites with insulin and glucose levels and Gutt ISI, and proportional hazards regression for associations with diabetes.

Results: The study included 4442 participants without diabetes at baseline (mean [SD] age, 73 [6] years at entry; 2710 [61%] women). In multivariable analyses, plasma TMAO, carnitine, crotonobetaine, and γ-butyrobetaine concentrations were positively associated with fasting insulin level (insulin mean geometric ratio comparing fifth with first quintiles of metabolite concentration: 1.07 [95% CI, 1.04-1.10] for TMAO; 1.07 [95% CI, 1.03-1.10] for carnitine; 1.05 [95% CI, 1.02-1.08] for crotonobetaine; and 1.06 [95% CI, 1.02-1.09] for γ-butyrobetaine). In contrast, betaine and choline concentrations were associated with greater insulin sensitivity (mean difference in Gutt ISI comparing fifth with first quintiles: 6.46 [95% CI, 4.32-8.60] and 2.27 [95% CI, 0.16-4.38], respectively). Incident diabetes was identified in 661 participants during a median 12.1 (interquartile range, 6.9-17.1) years of follow-up. In multivariable analyses, TMAO and metabolites were not significantly associated with type 2 diabetes risk (hazard ratios of diabetes comparing fifth with first quintile: 1.20 [95% CI, 0.94-1.55] for TMAO; 0.96 [95% CI, 0.74-1.24] for choline; 0.88 [95% CI, 0.67-1.15] for betaine; 1.07 [95% CI, 0.83-1.37] for carnitine; 0.79 [95% CI, 0.60-1.04] for γ-butyrobetaine; and 1.06 [95% CI, 0.83-1.35] for crotonobetaine).

Conclusions And Relevance: Plasma TMAO and related metabolites were not significantly associated with type 2 diabetes among older adults. The metabolites TMAO, carnitine, γ-butyrobetaine, and crotonobetaine may be associated with insulin resistance, and betaine and choline may be associated with greater insulin sensitivity, but temporality of the associations was not established.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.22844DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8397925PMC
August 2021

Longitudinal Plasma Measures of Trimethylamine N-Oxide and Risk of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Events in Community-Based Older Adults.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Sep 16;10(17):e020646. Epub 2021 Aug 16.

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Tufts University Boston MA.

Background Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is a gut microbiota-dependent metabolite of dietary choline, L-carnitine, and phosphatidylcholine-rich foods. On the basis of experimental studies and patients with prevalent disease, elevated plasma TMAO may increase risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). TMAO is also renally cleared and may interact with and causally contribute to renal dysfunction. Yet, how serial TMAO levels relate to incident and recurrent ASCVD in community-based populations and the potential mediating or modifying role of renal function are not established. Methods and Results We investigated associations of serial measures of plasma TMAO, assessed at baseline and 7 years, with incident and recurrent ASCVD in a community-based cohort of 4131 (incident) and 1449 (recurrent) older US adults. TMAO was measured using stable isotope dilution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (laboratory coefficient of variation, <6%). Incident ASCVD (myocardial infarction, fatal coronary heart disease, stroke, sudden cardiac death, or other atherosclerotic death) was centrally adjudicated using medical records. Risk was assessed by multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression, including time-varying demographics, lifestyle factors, medical history, laboratory measures, and dietary habits. Potential mediating effects and interaction by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were assessed. During prospective follow-up, 1766 incident and 897 recurrent ASCVD events occurred. After multivariable adjustment, higher levels of TMAO were associated with a higher risk of incident ASCVD, with extreme quintile hazard ratio (HR) compared with the lowest quintile=1.21 (95% CI, 1.02-1.42; -trend=0.029). This relationship appeared mediated or confounded by eGFR (eGFR-adjusted HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.90-1.27), as well as modified by eGFR (-interaction <0.001). High levels of TMAO were associated with higher incidence of ASCVD in the presence of impaired renal function (eGFR <60 mL/min per 1.73 m: HR, 1.56 [95% CI, 1.13-2.14]; -trend=0.007), but not normal or mildly reduced renal function (eGFR ≥60 mL/min per 1.73 m: HR, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.85-1.25]; -trend=0.668). Among individuals with prior ASCVD, TMAO associated with higher risk of recurrent ASCVD (HR, 1.25 [95% CI, 1.01-1.56]; -trend=0.009), without significant modification by eGFR. Conclusions In this large community-based cohort of older US adults, serial measures of TMAO were associated with higher risk of incident ASCVD, with apparent modification by presence of impaired renal function and with higher risk of recurrent ASCVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.020646DOI Listing
September 2021

Assessment of Plasma Phospholipid Very-Long-Chain Saturated Fatty Acid Levels and Healthy Aging.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Aug 2;4(8):e2120616. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, University of Washington, Seattle.

Importance: Identifying novel factors that protect against age-related diseases and promote healthy aging is critical to public health. Higher levels of circulating very-long-chain saturated fatty acids (VLSFAs) are integrated biomarkers of diet and metabolism shown to have beneficial associations in cardiovascular disease and total mortality, but whether they are associated with overall healthy aging is unknown.

Objective: To examine the association of circulating levels of 3 VLSFAs with unhealthy aging events, including incident chronic disease (cardiovascular disease, cancer, lung disease or severe kidney disease), physical dysfunction, and cognitive decline.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study used 1992 to 2014 data from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). The CHS is a multicenter, population-based study of cardiovascular disease among older adults. Among the 4559 CHS participants with available fatty acid data, 1879 participants who had an age-related event before their first measurement were excluded. Data analysis was performed in 2020.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Plasma phospholipid VLSFA levels were measured by thin-layer chromatography followed by gas chromatography. The main outcome was the hazard ratio (HR) of an incident unhealthy aging event associated with serial measures of plasma arachidic acid, behenic acid, and lignoceric acid.

Results: Among the 2680 study participants (976 men [36.4%]), the mean (SD) age was 74.7 (4.8) years old at entry. During a median (interquartile range) of 6.4 (2.9-12.9) years of follow-up, 2484 participants experienced an unhealthy event. Compared with the lowest quintile, levels of behenic acid in the highest quintile of the fatty acid distribution were associated with 15% lower risk of an unhealthy event (HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.74-0.97; P for trend = .01) after adjustment for demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, and clinical conditions. In analogous comparisons, levels of lignoceric acid were similarly associated with 16% lower risk of an unhealthy event (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.73-0.95; P for trend = .001).

Conclusions And Relevance: These findings suggest that higher levels of circulating behenic acid and lignoceric acid are associated with lower risk of unhealthy aging events. These results highlight the need to explore determinants of circulating VLSFAs for potential novel efforts to promote healthy aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.20616DOI Listing
August 2021

Genetic insights into biological mechanisms governing human ovarian ageing.

Nature 2021 08 4;596(7872):393-397. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Genome Integrity and Instability Group, Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain.

Reproductive longevity is essential for fertility and influences healthy ageing in women, but insights into its underlying biological mechanisms and treatments to preserve it are limited. Here we identify 290 genetic determinants of ovarian ageing, assessed using normal variation in age at natural menopause (ANM) in about 200,000 women of European ancestry. These common alleles were associated with clinical extremes of ANM; women in the top 1% of genetic susceptibility have an equivalent risk of premature ovarian insufficiency to those carrying monogenic FMR1 premutations. The identified loci implicate a broad range of DNA damage response (DDR) processes and include loss-of-function variants in key DDR-associated genes. Integration with experimental models demonstrates that these DDR processes act across the life-course to shape the ovarian reserve and its rate of depletion. Furthermore, we demonstrate that experimental manipulation of DDR pathways highlighted by human genetics increases fertility and extends reproductive life in mice. Causal inference analyses using the identified genetic variants indicate that extending reproductive life in women improves bone health and reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, but increases the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers. These findings provide insight into the mechanisms that govern ovarian ageing, when they act, and how they might be targeted by therapeutic approaches to extend fertility and prevent disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03779-7DOI Listing
August 2021

Admission respiratory status predicts mortality in COVID-19.

Influenza Other Respir Viruses 2021 09 24;15(5):569-572. Epub 2021 May 24.

Division of Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

COVID-19 has significant case fatality. Glucocorticoids are the only treatment shown to improve survival, but only among patients requiring supplemental oxygen. WHO advises patients to seek medical care for "trouble breathing," but hypoxemic patients frequently have no respiratory symptoms. Our cohort study of hospitalized COVID-19 patients shows that respiratory symptoms are uncommon and not associated with mortality. By contrast, objective signs of respiratory compromise-oxygen saturation and respiratory rate-are associated with markedly elevated mortality. Our findings support expanding guidelines to include at-home assessment of oxygen saturation and respiratory rate in order to expedite life-saving treatments patients to high-risk COVID-19 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/irv.12869DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8242415PMC
September 2021

Longitudinal Measures of Blood Pressure and Subclinical Atrial Arrhythmias: The MESA and the ARIC Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Jun 20;10(11):e020260. Epub 2021 May 20.

Cardiovascular Division Department of Medicine University of Minnesota Medical School Minneapolis MN.

Background High blood pressure (BP) is a well-known risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF), but a single BP measurement may provide limited information about AF risk in older adults. Methods and Results This study included 1256 MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) and 1948 ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study participants who underwent extended ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring and who were free of clinically detected cardiovascular disease, including AF. Using BP measurements from 6 examinations (2000-2018 in MESA and 1987-2017 in ARIC study), we calculated individual long-term mean, trend, and detrended visit-to-visit variability in systolic BP and pulse pressure for each participant. Outcomes, assessed at examination 6, included subclinical AF and supraventricular ectopy. Results from each study were combined with inverse variance-weighted meta-analysis. At examination 6, the mean age was 73 years in MESA and 79 years in ARIC study, and 4% had subclinical AF. Higher visit-to-visit detrended variability in systolic BP was associated with a greater prevalence of subclinical AF (odds ratio [OR], 1.20; 95% CI, 1.02-1.38) and with more premature atrial contractions/hour (geometric mean ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.01-1.15). For pulse pressure as well, higher visit-to-visit detrended variability was associated with a greater prevalence of AF (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.00-1.37). In addition, higher long-term mean pulse pressure was associated with a greater prevalence of subclinical AF (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.08-1.70). Conclusions Antecedent visit-to-visit variability in systolic BP and pulse pressure, but not current BP, is associated with a higher prevalence of subclinical atrial arrhythmias. Prior longitudinal BP assessment, rather than current BP, may be more helpful in identifying older adults who are at higher risk of atrial arrhythmias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.020260DOI Listing
June 2021

Comparison of adaptive multiple phenotype association tests using summary statistics in genome-wide association studies.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Jul;30(15):1371-1383

Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 USA.

Genome-wide association studies have been successful mapping loci for individual phenotypes, but few studies have comprehensively interrogated evidence of shared genetic effects across multiple phenotypes simultaneously. Statistical methods have been proposed for analyzing multiple phenotypes using summary statistics, which enables studies of shared genetic effects while avoiding challenges associated with individual-level data sharing. Adaptive tests have been developed to maintain power against multiple alternative hypotheses because the most powerful single-alternative test depends on the underlying structure of the associations between the multiple phenotypes and a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Here we compare the performance of six such adaptive tests: two adaptive sum of powered scores (aSPU) tests, the unified score association test (metaUSAT), the adaptive test in a mixed-models framework (mixAda) and two principal-component-based adaptive tests (PCAQ and PCO). Our simulations highlight practical challenges that arise when multivariate distributions of phenotypes do not satisfy assumptions of multivariate normality. Previous reports in this context focus on low minor allele count (MAC) and omit the aSPU test, which relies less than other methods on asymptotic and distributional assumptions. When these assumptions are not satisfied, particularly when MAC is low and/or phenotype covariance matrices are singular or nearly singular, aSPU better preserves type I error, sometimes at the cost of decreased power. We illustrate this trade-off with multiple phenotype analyses of six quantitative electrocardiogram traits in the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab126DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8283209PMC
July 2021

FGL1 as a modulator of plasma D-dimer levels: Exome-wide marker analysis of plasma tPA, PAI-1, and D-dimer.

J Thromb Haemost 2021 08 30;19(8):2019-2028. Epub 2021 May 30.

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background: Use of targeted exome-arrays with common, rare variants and functionally enriched variation has led to discovery of new genes contributing to population variation in risk factors. Plasminogen activator-inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), and the plasma product D-dimer are important components of the fibrinolytic system. There have been few large-scale genome-wide or exome-wide studies of PAI-1, tPA, and D-dimer.

Objectives: We sought to discover new genetic loci contributing to variation in these traits using an exome-array approach.

Methods: Cohort-level analyses and fixed effects meta-analyses of PAI-1 (n = 15 603), tPA (n = 6876,) and D-dimer (n = 19 306) from 12 cohorts of European ancestry with diverse study design were conducted, including single-variant analyses and gene-based burden testing.

Results: Five variants located in NME7, FGL1, and the fibrinogen locus, all associated with D-dimer levels, achieved genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10 ). Replication was sought for these 5 variants, as well as 45 well-imputed variants with P < 1 × 10 in the discovery using an independent cohort. Replication was observed for three out of the five significant associations, including a novel and uncommon (0.013 allele frequency) coding variant p.Trp256Leu in FGL1 (fibrinogen-like-1) with increased plasma D-dimer levels. Additionally, a candidate-gene approach revealed a suggestive association for a coding variant (rs143202684-C) in SERPINB2, and suggestive associations with consistent effect in the replication analysis include an intronic variant (rs11057830-A) in SCARB1 associated with increased D-dimer levels.

Conclusion: This work provides new evidence for a role of FGL1 in hemostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.15345DOI Listing
August 2021

Plasma epoxyeicosatrienoic acids and dihydroxyeicosatrieonic acids, insulin, glucose and risk of diabetes: The strong heart study.

EBioMedicine 2021 Apr 19;66:103279. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Background: Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are metabolites of arachidonic acid with multiple biological functions. Rodent experiments suggest EETs play a role in insulin sensitivity and diabetes, but evidence in humans is limited. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a case-cohort study in the Strong Heart Family Study, a prospective cohort among American Indians.

Methods: We measured 4 EET species and 4 species of corresponding downstream metabolites, dihydroxyeicosatrieonic acids (DHETs), in plasma samples from 1161 participants, including 310 with type 2 diabetes. We estimated the associations of total (esterified and free) EETs and DHETs with incident diabetes risk, adjusting for known risk factors. We also examined cross-sectional associations with plasma fasting insulin and glucose in the case-cohort and in 271 participants without diabetes from the older Strong Heart Study cohort, and meta-analyzed the results from the 2 cohorts.

Findings: We observed no significant association of total EET or DHET levels with incident diabetes. In addition, plasma EETs were not associated with plasma insulin or plasma glucose. However, higher plasma 14,15-DHET was associated with lower plasma insulin and lower plasma glucose.

Interpretation: In this first prospective study of EETs and diabetes, we found no evidence for a role of total plasma EETs in diabetes. The novel associations of 14,15-DHET with insulin and glucose warrant replication and exploration of possible mechanisms.

Funding: US National Institutes of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103279DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010619PMC
April 2021

Discovery and fine-mapping of height loci via high-density imputation of GWASs in individuals of African ancestry.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 04 12;108(4):564-582. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

The Charles R. Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Although many loci have been associated with height in European ancestry populations, very few have been identified in African ancestry individuals. Furthermore, many of the known loci have yet to be generalized to and fine-mapped within a large-scale African ancestry sample. We performed sex-combined and sex-stratified meta-analyses in up to 52,764 individuals with height and genome-wide genotyping data from the African Ancestry Anthropometry Genetics Consortium (AAAGC). We additionally combined our African ancestry meta-analysis results with published European genome-wide association study (GWAS) data. In the African ancestry analyses, we identified three novel loci (SLC4A3, NCOA2, ECD/FAM149B1) in sex-combined results and two loci (CRB1, KLF6) in women only. In the African plus European sex-combined GWAS, we identified an additional three novel loci (RCCD1, G6PC3, CEP95) which were equally driven by AAAGC and European results. Among 39 genome-wide significant signals at known loci, conditioning index SNPs from European studies identified 20 secondary signals. Two of the 20 new secondary signals and none of the 8 novel loci had minor allele frequencies (MAF) < 5%. Of 802 known European height signals, 643 displayed directionally consistent associations with height, of which 205 were nominally significant (p < 0.05) in the African ancestry sex-combined sample. Furthermore, 148 of 241 loci contained ≤20 variants in the credible sets that jointly account for 99% of the posterior probability of driving the associations. In summary, trans-ethnic meta-analyses revealed novel signals and further improved fine-mapping of putative causal variants in loci shared between African and European ancestry populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.02.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8059339PMC
April 2021

Serum Individual Nonesterified Fatty Acids and Risk of Heart Failure in Older Adults.

Cardiology 2021;146(3):351-358. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

New York Academy of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.

Background: Heart failure (HF) is highly prevalent among older adults and is associated with high costs. Although serum total nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) have been positively associated with HF risk, the contribution of each individual NEFA to HF risk has not been examined.

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the association of individual fasting NEFAs with HF risk in older adults.

Methods: In this prospective cohort study of older adults, we measured 35 individual NEFAs in 2,140 participants of the Cardiovascular Health Study using gas chromatography. HF was ascertained using review of medical records by an endpoint committee.

Results: The mean age was 77.7 ± 4.4 years, and 38.8% were male. During a median follow-up of 9.7 (maximum 19.0) years, 655 new cases of HF occurred. In a multivariable Cox regression model controlling for demographic and anthropometric variables, field center, education, serum albumin, glomerular filtration rate, physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, hormone replacement therapy, unintentional weight loss, and all other measured NEFAs, we observed inverse associations (HR [95% CI] per standard deviation) of nonesterified pentadecanoic (15:0) (0.73 [0.57-0.94]), γ-linolenic acid (GLA) (0.87 [0.75-1.00]), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (0.73 [0.61-0.88]) acids with HF, and positive associations of nonesterified stearic (18:0) (1.30 [1.04-1.63]) and nervonic (24:1n-9) (1.17 [1.06-1.29]) acids with HF.

Conclusion: Our data are consistent with a higher risk of HF with nonesterified stearic and nervonic acids and a lower risk with nonesterified 15:0, GLA, and DHA in older adults. If confirmed in other studies, specific NEFAs may provide new targets for HF prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000513917DOI Listing
August 2021

Cooking for Health: a healthy food budgeting, purchasing, and cooking skills randomized controlled trial to improve diet among American Indians with type 2 diabetes.

BMC Public Health 2021 02 15;21(1):356. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, 1410 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA.

Background: The prevalence of poor diet quality and type 2 diabetes are exceedingly high in many rural American Indian (AI) communities. Because of limited resources and infrastructure in some communities, implementation of interventions to promote a healthy diet is challenging-which may exacerbate health disparities by region (urban/rural) and ethnicity (AIs/other populations). It is critical to adapt existing evidence-based healthy food budgeting, purchasing, and cooking programs to be relevant to underserved populations with a high burden of diabetes and related complications. The Cooking for Health Study will work in partnership with an AI community in South Dakota to develop a culturally-adapted 12-month distance-learning-based healthy food budgeting, purchasing, and cooking intervention to improve diet among AI adults with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: The study will enroll 165 AIs with physician-diagnosed type 2 diabetes who reside on the reservation. Participants will be randomized to an intervention or control arm. The intervention arm will receive a 12-month distance-learning curriculum adapted from Cooking Matters® that focuses on healthy food budgeting, purchasing, and cooking skills. In-person assessments at baseline, month 6 and month 12 will include completion of the Nutrition Assessment Shared Resources Food Frequency Questionnaire and a survey to assess frequency of healthy and unhealthy food purchases. Primary outcomes of interest are: (1) change in self-reported intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs); and (2) change in the frequency of healthy and unhealthy food purchases. Secondary outcomes include: (1) change in self-reported food budgeting skills; (2) change in self-reported cooking skills; and (3) a mixed-methods process evaluation to assess intervention reach, fidelity, satisfaction, and dose delivered/received.

Discussion: Targeted and sustainable interventions are needed to promote optimal health in rural AI communities. If effective, this intervention will reduce intake of SSBs and the purchase of unhealthy foods; increase the purchase of healthy foods; and improve healthy food budgeting and cooking skills among AIs with type 2 diabetes - a population at high risk of poor health outcomes. This work will help inform future health promotion efforts in resource-limited settings.

Trial Registration: This study was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov on October 9, 2018 with Identifier NCT03699709 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10308-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7883757PMC
February 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

Genetic Studies of Leptin Concentrations Implicate Leptin in the Regulation of Early Adiposity.

Diabetes 2020 12 11;69(12):2806-2818. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Leptin influences food intake by informing the brain about the status of body fat stores. Rare mutations associated with congenital leptin deficiency cause severe early-onset obesity that can be mitigated by administering leptin. However, the role of genetic regulation of leptin in polygenic obesity remains poorly understood. We performed an exome-based analysis in up to 57,232 individuals of diverse ancestries to identify genetic variants that influence adiposity-adjusted leptin concentrations. We identify five novel variants, including four missense variants, in , , , and , and one intergenic variant near The missense variant Val94Met (rs17151919) in was common in individuals of African ancestry only, and its association with lower leptin concentrations was specific to this ancestry ( = 2 × 10, = 3,901). Using in vitro analyses, we show that the Met94 allele decreases leptin secretion. We also show that the Met94 allele is associated with higher BMI in young African-ancestry children but not in adults, suggesting that leptin regulates early adiposity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db20-0070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7679778PMC
December 2020

Effect of Out-of-Hospital Tranexamic Acid vs Placebo on 6-Month Functional Neurologic Outcomes in Patients With Moderate or Severe Traumatic Brain Injury.

JAMA 2020 09;324(10):961-974

Department of Emergency Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Importance: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability due to trauma. Early administration of tranexamic acid may benefit patients with TBI.

Objective: To determine whether tranexamic acid treatment initiated in the out-of-hospital setting within 2 hours of injury improves neurologic outcome in patients with moderate or severe TBI.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Multicenter, double-blinded, randomized clinical trial at 20 trauma centers and 39 emergency medical services agencies in the US and Canada from May 2015 to November 2017. Eligible participants (N = 1280) included out-of-hospital patients with TBI aged 15 years or older with Glasgow Coma Scale score of 12 or less and systolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher.

Interventions: Three interventions were evaluated, with treatment initiated within 2 hours of TBI: out-of-hospital tranexamic acid (1 g) bolus and in-hospital tranexamic acid (1 g) 8-hour infusion (bolus maintenance group; n = 312), out-of-hospital tranexamic acid (2 g) bolus and in-hospital placebo 8-hour infusion (bolus only group; n = 345), and out-of-hospital placebo bolus and in-hospital placebo 8-hour infusion (placebo group; n = 309).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was favorable neurologic function at 6 months (Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended score >4 [moderate disability or good recovery]) in the combined tranexamic acid group vs the placebo group. Asymmetric significance thresholds were set at 0.1 for benefit and 0.025 for harm. There were 18 secondary end points, of which 5 are reported in this article: 28-day mortality, 6-month Disability Rating Scale score (range, 0 [no disability] to 30 [death]), progression of intracranial hemorrhage, incidence of seizures, and incidence of thromboembolic events.

Results: Among 1063 participants, a study drug was not administered to 96 randomized participants and 1 participant was excluded, resulting in 966 participants in the analysis population (mean age, 42 years; 255 [74%] male participants; mean Glasgow Coma Scale score, 8). Of these participants, 819 (84.8%) were available for primary outcome analysis at 6-month follow-up. The primary outcome occurred in 65% of patients in the tranexamic acid groups vs 62% in the placebo group (difference, 3.5%; [90% 1-sided confidence limit for benefit, -0.9%]; P = .16; [97.5% 1-sided confidence limit for harm, 10.2%]; P = .84). There was no statistically significant difference in 28-day mortality between the tranexamic acid groups vs the placebo group (14% vs 17%; difference, -2.9% [95% CI, -7.9% to 2.1%]; P = .26), 6-month Disability Rating Scale score (6.8 vs 7.6; difference, -0.9 [95% CI, -2.5 to 0.7]; P = .29), or progression of intracranial hemorrhage (16% vs 20%; difference, -5.4% [95% CI, -12.8% to 2.1%]; P = .16).

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients with moderate to severe TBI, out-of-hospital tranexamic acid administration within 2 hours of injury compared with placebo did not significantly improve 6-month neurologic outcome as measured by the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01990768.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.8958DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7489866PMC
September 2020

Opioid, gabapentinoid, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication use and the risks of atrial fibrillation and supraventricular ectopy in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2020 09 17;29(9):1175-1182. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit and Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Purpose: Opioids, gabapentinoids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have adverse cardiovascular effects. We evaluated whether these medications were associated with incident clinically detected atrial fibrillation (AF) or monitor-detected supraventricular ectopy (SVE), including premature atrial contractions (PACs) and supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).

Methods: We used data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), a cohort study that enrolled 6814 Americans without clinically detected cardiovascular disease in 2000 to 2002. At the 2016 to 2018 examination, 1557 individuals received ambulatory electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring. Longitudinal analyses investigated time-varying medication exposures at the first five exams (through 2011) in relation to incident clinically detected AF through 2015 using Cox proportional hazards regression models. Cross-sectional analyses investigated medication exposures at 2016 to 2018 examination and the risk of monitor-detected SVE using linear regression models.

Results: The longitudinal cohort included 6652 participants. During 12.4 years of mean follow-up, 982 participants (14.7%) experienced incident clinically detected AF. Use of opioids, gabapentinoids, and NSAIDs were not associated with incident AF. The cross-sectional analysis included 1435 participants with ECG monitoring. Gabapentinoid use was associated with an 84% greater average frequency of PACs/hour (95% CI, 25%-171%) and a 44% greater average number of runs of SVT/day (95% CI, 3%-100%). No associations were found with use of opioids or NSAIDs in cross-sectional analyses.

Conclusions: In this study, gabapentinoid use was associated with SVE. Given the rapid increase in gabapentinoid use, additional studies are needed to clarify whether these medications cause cardiovascular complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pds.5036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933496PMC
September 2020

Fatty acids in the de novo lipogenesis pathway and incidence of type 2 diabetes: A pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies.

PLoS Med 2020 06 12;17(6):e1003102. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Background: De novo lipogenesis (DNL) is the primary metabolic pathway synthesizing fatty acids from carbohydrates, protein, or alcohol. Our aim was to examine associations of in vivo levels of selected fatty acids (16:0, 16:1n7, 18:0, 18:1n9) in DNL with incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Methods And Findings: Seventeen cohorts from 12 countries (7 from Europe, 7 from the United States, 1 from Australia, 1 from Taiwan; baseline years = 1970-1973 to 2006-2010) conducted harmonized individual-level analyses of associations of DNL-related fatty acids with incident T2D. In total, we evaluated 65,225 participants (mean ages = 52.3-75.5 years; % women = 20.4%-62.3% in 12 cohorts recruiting both sexes) and 15,383 incident cases of T2D over the 9-year follow-up on average. Cohort-specific association of each of 16:0, 16:1n7, 18:0, and 18:1n9 with incident T2D was estimated, adjusted for demographic factors, socioeconomic characteristics, alcohol, smoking, physical activity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, menopausal status, and adiposity. Cohort-specific associations were meta-analyzed with an inverse-variance-weighted approach. Each of the 4 fatty acids positively related to incident T2D. Relative risks (RRs) per cohort-specific range between midpoints of the top and bottom quintiles of fatty acid concentrations were 1.53 (1.41-1.66; p < 0.001) for 16:0, 1.40 (1.33-1.48; p < 0.001) for 16:1n-7, 1.14 (1.05-1.22; p = 0.001) for 18:0, and 1.16 (1.07-1.25; p < 0.001) for 18:1n9. Heterogeneity was seen across cohorts (I2 = 51.1%-73.1% for each fatty acid) but not explained by lipid fractions and global geographical regions. Further adjusted for triglycerides (and 16:0 when appropriate) to evaluate associations independent of overall DNL, the associations remained significant for 16:0, 16:1n7, and 18:0 but were attenuated for 18:1n9 (RR = 1.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.94-1.13). These findings had limitations in potential reverse causation and residual confounding by imprecisely measured or unmeasured factors.

Conclusions: Concentrations of fatty acids in the DNL were positively associated with T2D incidence. Our findings support further work to investigate a possible role of DNL and individual fatty acids in the development of T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292352PMC
June 2020

CYP2J2 Modulates Diverse Transcriptional Programs in Adult Human Cardiomyocytes.

Sci Rep 2020 03 24;10(1):5329. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, Department of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.

CYP2J2, a member of the Cytochrome P450 family of enzymes, is the most abundant epoxygenase in the heart and has multifunctional properties including bioactivation of arachidonic acid to epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, which, in turn, have been implicated in mediating several cardiovascular conditions. Using a proteomic approach, we found that CYP2J2 expression is lower in cardiac tissue from patients with cardiomyopathy compared to controls. In order to better elucidate the complex role played by CYP2J2 in cardiac cells, we performed targeted silencing of CYP2J2 expression in human adult ventricular cardiomyocytes and interrogated whole genome transcriptional responses. We found that knockdown of CYP2J2 elicits widespread alterations in gene expression of ventricular cardiomyocytes and leads to the activation of a diverse repertoire of programs, including those involved in ion channel signaling, development, extracellular matrix, and metabolism. Several members of the differentially up-regulated ion channel module have well-known pathogenetic roles in cardiac dysrhythmias. By leveraging causal network and upstream regulator analysis, we identified several candidate drivers of the observed transcriptional response to CYP2J2 silencing; these master regulators have been implicated in aberrant cardiac remodeling, heart failure, and myocyte injury and repair. Collectively, our study demonstrates that CYP2J2 plays a central and multifaceted role in cardiomyocyte homeostasis and provides a framework for identifying critical regulators and pathways influenced by this gene in cardiovascular health and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62174-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7093536PMC
March 2020

Incorporating sampling weights into robust estimation of Cox proportional hazards regression model, with illustration in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

BMC Med Res Methodol 2020 03 14;20(1):62. Epub 2020 Mar 14.

Department of Epidemiolgy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Background: Cox proportional hazards regression models are used to evaluate associations between exposures of interest and time-to-event outcomes in observational data. When exposures are measured on only a sample of participants, as they are in a case-cohort design, the sampling weights must be incorporated into the regression model to obtain unbiased estimating equations.

Methods: Robust Cox methods have been developed to better estimate associations when there are influential outliers in the exposure of interest, but these robust methods do not incorporate sampling weights. In this paper, we extend these robust methods, which already incorporate influence weights, so that they also accommodate sampling weights.

Results: Simulations illustrate that in the presence of influential outliers, the association estimate from the weighted robust method is closer to the true value than the estimate from traditional weighted Cox regression. As expected, in the absence of outliers, the use of robust methods yields a small loss of efficiency. Using data from a case-cohort study that is nested within the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) longitudinal cohort study, we illustrate differences between traditional and robust weighted Cox association estimates for the relationships between immune cell traits and risk of stroke.

Conclusions: Robust weighted Cox regression methods are a new tool to analyze time-to-event data with sampling, e.g. case-cohort data, when exposures of interest contain outliers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12874-020-00945-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071747PMC
March 2020

Serial Biomarkers of De Novo Lipogenesis Fatty Acids and Incident Heart Failure in Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 02 5;9(4):e014119. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Tufts University Boston MA.

Background De novo lipogenesis (DNL) is an endogenous pathway that converts excess dietary starch, sugar, protein, and alcohol into specific fatty acids (FAs). Although elevated DNL is linked to several metabolic abnormalities, little is known about how long-term habitual levels and changes in levels of FAs in the DNL pathway relate to incident heart failure (HF). Methods and Results We investigated whether habitual levels and changes in serial measures of FAs in the DNL pathway were associated with incident HF among 4249 participants free of HF at baseline. Plasma phospholipid FAs were measured at baseline, 6 years, and 13 years using gas chromatography, and risk factors for HF were measured using standardized methods. Incident HF was centrally adjudicated using medical records. We prospectively evaluated associations with HF risk of (1) habitual FA levels, using cumulative updating to assess long-term exposure, and (2) changes in FA levels over time. During 22.1 years of follow-up, 1304 HF cases occurred. After multivariable adjustment, habitual levels and changes in levels of palmitic acid (16:0) were positively associated with incident HF (interquintile hazard ratio [95% CI]=1.17 [1.00-1.36] and 1.26 [1.03-1.55], respectively). Changes in levels of 7-hexadecenoic acid (16:1n-9) and vaccenic acid (18:1n-7) were each positively associated with risk of HF (1.36 [1.13-1.62], and 1.43 [1.18-1.72], respectively). Habitual levels and changes in levels of myristic acid (14:0), palmitoleic acid (16:1n-7), stearic acid (18:0), and oleic acid (18:1n-9) were not associated with incident HF. Conclusions Both habitual levels and changes in levels of 16:0 were positively associated with incident HF in older adults. Changes in 16:1n-9 and 18:1n-7 were also positively associated with incident HF. These findings support a potential role of DNL or these DNL-related FAs in the development of HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.014119DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7070205PMC
February 2020

Plasma Ceramides and Sphingomyelins in Relation to Atrial Fibrillation Risk: The Cardiovascular Health Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 02 5;9(4):e012853. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit Department of Medicine University of Washington Seattle WA.

Background Ceramides exhibit multiple biological activities that may influence the pathophysiological characteristics of atrial fibrillation (AF). Whether the length of the saturated fatty acid carried by the ceramide or their sphingomyelin precursors are associated with AF risk is not known. Methods and Results Among 4206 CHS (Cardiovascular Health Study) participants (mean age, 76 years; 40% men) who were free of prevalent AF at baseline, we identified 1198 incident AF cases over a median 8.7 years of follow-up. We examined 8 sphingolipid species: ceramide and sphingomyelin species with palmitic acid and species with very-long-chain saturated fatty acids: arachidic; behenic; and lignoceric. In adjusted Cox regression analyses, ceramides and sphingomyelins with very-long-chain saturated fatty acids were associated with reduced AF risk (ie, per 2-fold higher ceramide with behenic acid hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.59-0.86; sphingomyelin with behenic acid hazard ratio, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.46-0.77). In contrast, ceramides and sphingomyelins with palmitic acid were associated with increased AF risk (ceramide with palmitic acid hazard ratio, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.03-1.66; sphingomyelin with palmitic acid hazard ratio, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.18-2.55). Associations were attenuated with adjustment for NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide), but did not differ significantly by age, sex, race, body mass index, or history of coronary heart disease. Conclusions Our findings suggest that several ceramide and sphingomyelin species are associated with incident AF, and that these associations differ on the basis of the fatty acid. Ceramides and sphingomyelins with palmitic acid were associated with increased AF risk, whereas ceramides and sphingomyelins with very-long-chain saturated fatty acids were associated with reduced AF risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.012853DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7070192PMC
February 2020

Serial Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids in the De Novo Lipogenesis Pathway and Total Mortality, Cause-Specific Mortality, and Cardiovascular Diseases in the Cardiovascular Health Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2019 11 12;8(22):e012881. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Tufts University Boston MA.

Background Synthesized fatty acids (FAs) from de novo lipogenesis may affect cardiometabolic health, but longitudinal associations between serially measured de novo lipogenesis-related fatty acid biomarkers and mortality or cardiovascular disease (CVD) are not well established. Methods and Results We investigated longitudinal associations between de novo lipogenesis-related fatty acids with all-cause mortality, cause-specific mortality, and incident CVD among 3869 older US adults, mean (SD) age 75 (5) years and free of prevalent CVD at baseline. Levels of plasma phospholipid palmitic (16:0), palmitoleic (16:1n-7), stearic (18:0), oleic acid (18:1n-9), and other risk factors were serially measured at baseline, 6 years, and 13 years. All-cause mortality, cause-specific mortality, and incident fatal and nonfatal CVD were centrally adjudicated. Risk was assessed in multivariable-adjusted Cox models with time-varying FAs and covariates. During 13 years, median follow-up (maximum 22.4 years), participants experienced 3227 deaths (1131 CVD, 2096 non-CVD) and 1753 incident CVD events. After multivariable adjustment, higher cumulative levels of 16:0, 16:1n-7, and 18:1n-9 were associated with higher all-cause mortality, with extreme-quintile hazard ratios (95% CIs) of 1.35 (1.17-1.56), 1.40 (1.21-1.62), and 1.56 (1.35-1.80), respectively, whereas higher levels of 18:0 were associated with lower mortality (hazard ratio=0.76; 95% CI=0.66-0.88). Associations were generally similar for CVD mortality versus non-CVD mortality, as well as total incident CVD. Changes in levels of 16:0 were positively, and 18:0 inversely, associated with all-cause mortality (hazard ratio=1.23, 95% CI=1.08-1.41; and hazard ratio=0.78, 95% CI=0.68-0.90). Conclusions Higher long-term levels of 16:0, 16:1n-7, and 18:1n-9 and changes in 16:0 were positively, whereas long-term levels and changes in 18:0 were inversely, associated with all-cause mortality in older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.012881DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6915264PMC
November 2019

Plasma Ceramide Species Are Associated with Diabetes Risk in Participants of the Strong Heart Study.

J Nutr 2020 05;150(5):1214-1222

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Background: Few studies have assessed the associations of ceramides and sphingomyelins (SMs) with diabetes in humans.

Objective: We assessed associations of 15 circulating ceramides and SM species with incident diabetes in 2 studies.

Methods: The analysis included 435 American-Indian participants from the Strong Heart Study (nested case-control design for analyses; mean age: 57 y; 34% male; median time until diabetes 4.3 y for cases) and 1902 participants from the Strong Heart Family Study (prospective design for analyses; mean age: 37 y; 39% male; median 12.5 y of follow-up). Sphingolipid species were measured using stored plasma samples by sequential LC and MS. Using logistic regression and parametric survival models within studies, and an inverse-variance-weighted meta-analysis across studies, we examined associations of 15 ceramides and SM species with incident diabetes.

Results: There were 446 cases of incident diabetes across the studies. Higher circulating concentrations of ceramides containing stearic acid (Cer-18), arachidic acid (Cer-20), and behenic acid (Cer-22) were each associated with a higher risk of diabetes. The RRs for incident diabetes per 1 SD of each log ceramide species (μM) were 1.22 (95% CI: 1.09, 1.37) for Cer-18, 1.18 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.31) for Cer-20, and 1.20 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.32) for Cer-22. Although the magnitude of the risk estimates for the association of ceramides containing lignoceric acid (Cer-24) with diabetes was similar to those for Cer-18, Cer-20, and Cer-22 (RR = 1.13; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.26), the association was not statistically significant after correction for multiple testing (P = 0.007). Ceramides carrying palmitic acid (Cer-16), SMs, glucosyl-ceramides, or a lactosyl-ceramide were not associated with diabetes risk.

Conclusions: Higher concentrations of circulating Cer-18, Cer-20, and Cer-22 were associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes in 2 studies of American-Indian adults. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00005134.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxz259DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198314PMC
May 2020

Genomic and transcriptomic association studies identify 16 novel susceptibility loci for venous thromboembolism.

Blood 2019 11;134(19):1645-1657

Boston VA Healthcare System, Boston, MA.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality. To advance our understanding of the biology contributing to VTE, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of VTE and a transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) based on imputed gene expression from whole blood and liver. We meta-analyzed GWAS data from 18 studies for 30 234 VTE cases and 172 122 controls and assessed the association between 12 923 718 genetic variants and VTE. We generated variant prediction scores of gene expression from whole blood and liver tissue and assessed them for association with VTE. Mendelian randomization analyses were conducted for traits genetically associated with novel VTE loci. We identified 34 independent genetic signals for VTE risk from GWAS meta-analysis, of which 14 are newly reported associations. This included 11 newly associated genetic loci (C1orf198, PLEK, OSMR-AS1, NUGGC/SCARA5, GRK5, MPHOSPH9, ARID4A, PLCG2, SMG6, EIF5A, and STX10) of which 6 replicated, and 3 new independent signals in 3 known genes. Further, TWAS identified 5 additional genetic loci with imputed gene expression levels differing between cases and controls in whole blood (SH2B3, SPSB1, RP11-747H7.3, RP4-737E23.2) and in liver (ERAP1). At some GWAS loci, we found suggestive evidence that the VTE association signal for novel and previously known regions colocalized with expression quantitative trait locus signals. Mendelian randomization analyses suggested that blood traits may contribute to the underlying risk of VTE. To conclude, we identified 16 novel susceptibility loci for VTE; for some loci, the association signals are likely mediated through gene expression of nearby genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019000435DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6871304PMC
November 2019

Plasma Ceramides and Sphingomyelins in Relation to Heart Failure Risk.

Circ Heart Fail 2019 07 12;12(7):e005708. Epub 2019 Jul 12.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, Department of Medicine (R.N.L., P.N.J., B.M.P., S.R.H., N.S.), University of Washington, Seattle.

Background: Ceramides exhibit multiple biological activities that may influence the pathophysiology of heart failure. These activities may be influenced by the saturated fatty acid carried by the ceramide (Cer). However, the associations of different circulating Cer species, and their sphingomyelin (SM) precursors, with heart failure have received limited attention.

Methods And Results: We studied the associations of plasma Cer and SM species with incident heart failure in the Cardiovascular Health Study. We examined 8 species: Cer and SM with palmitic acid (Cer-16 and SM-16), species with arachidic acid (Cer-20 and SM-20), species with behenic acid (Cer-22 and SM-22), and species with lignoceric acid (Cer-24 and SM-24). During a median follow-up of 9.4 years, we identified 1179 cases of incident heart failure among 4249 study participants. In Cox regression analyses adjusted for risk factors, higher levels of Cer-16 and SM-16 were associated with higher risk of incident heart failure (hazard ratio for one SD increase:1.25 [95% CI, 1.16-1.36] and 1.28 [1.18-1.40], respectively). In contrast, higher levels of Cer-22 were associated with lower risk of heart failure in multivariable analyses further adjusted for Cer-16 (hazard ratio, 0.85 [0.78-0.92]); and higher levels of SM-20, SM-22 and SM-24 were associated with lower risk of heart failure in analyses further adjusted for SM-16 (hazard ratios, 0.83 [0.77-0.90], 0.81 [0.75-0.88], and 0.83 [0.77-0.90], respectively). No statistically significant interactions with age, sex, black race, body mass index, or baseline coronary heart disease were detected. Similar associations were observed for heart failure with preserved (n=529) or reduced (n=348) ejection fraction.

Conclusions: This study shows associations of higher plasma levels of Cer-16 and SM-16 with increased risk of heart failure and higher levels of Cer-22, SM-20, SM-22, and SM-24 with decreased risk of heart failure.

Clinical Trial Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov . Unique identifier: NCT00005133.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.118.005708DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6629465PMC
July 2019

GWAS of QRS duration identifies new loci specific to Hispanic/Latino populations.

PLoS One 2019 28;14(6):e0217796. Epub 2019 Jun 28.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States of America.

Background: The electrocardiographically quantified QRS duration measures ventricular depolarization and conduction. QRS prolongation has been associated with poor heart failure prognosis and cardiovascular mortality, including sudden death. While previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 32 QRS SNPs across 26 loci among European, African, and Asian-descent populations, the genetics of QRS among Hispanics/Latinos has not been previously explored.

Methods: We performed a GWAS of QRS duration among Hispanic/Latino ancestry populations (n = 15,124) from four studies using 1000 Genomes imputed genotype data (adjusted for age, sex, global ancestry, clinical and study-specific covariates). Study-specific results were combined using fixed-effects, inverse variance-weighted meta-analysis.

Results: We identified six loci associated with QRS (P<5x10-8), including two novel loci: MYOCD, a nuclear protein expressed in the heart, and SYT1, an integral membrane protein. The top SNP in the MYOCD locus, intronic SNP rs16946539, was found in Hispanics/Latinos with a minor allele frequency (MAF) of 0.04, but is monomorphic in European and African descent populations. The most significant QRS duration association was with intronic SNP rs3922344 (P = 1.19x10-24) in SCN5A/SCN10A. Three other previously identified loci, CDKN1A, VTI1A, and HAND1, also exceeded the GWAS significance threshold among Hispanics/Latinos. A total of 27 of 32 previously identified QRS duration SNPs were shown to generalize in Hispanics/Latinos.

Conclusions: Our QRS duration GWAS, the first in Hispanic/Latino populations, identified two new loci, underscoring the utility of extending large scale genomic studies to currently under-examined populations.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0217796PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6599128PMC
February 2020

Exome-Derived Adiponectin-Associated Variants Implicate Obesity and Lipid Biology.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 07 6;105(1):15-28. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, Department of Pediatrics, LABioMed at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA 90502, USA.

Circulating levels of adiponectin, an adipocyte-secreted protein associated with cardiovascular and metabolic risk, are highly heritable. To gain insights into the biology that regulates adiponectin levels, we performed an exome array meta-analysis of 265,780 genetic variants in 67,739 individuals of European, Hispanic, African American, and East Asian ancestry. We identified 20 loci associated with adiponectin, including 11 that had been reported previously (p < 2 × 10). Comparison of exome array variants to regional linkage disequilibrium (LD) patterns and prior genome-wide association study (GWAS) results detected candidate variants (r > .60) spanning as much as 900 kb. To identify potential genes and mechanisms through which the previously unreported association signals act to affect adiponectin levels, we assessed cross-trait associations, expression quantitative trait loci in subcutaneous adipose, and biological pathways of nearby genes. Eight of the nine loci were also associated (p < 1 × 10) with at least one obesity or lipid trait. Candidate genes include PRKAR2A, PTH1R, and HDAC9, which have been suggested to play roles in adipocyte differentiation or bone marrow adipose tissue. Taken together, these findings provide further insights into the processes that influence circulating adiponectin levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.05.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6612516PMC
July 2019

Mendelian randomization evaluation of causal effects of fibrinogen on incident coronary heart disease.

PLoS One 2019 10;14(5):e0216222. Epub 2019 May 10.

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

Background: Fibrinogen is an essential hemostatic factor and cardiovascular disease risk factor. Early attempts at evaluating the causal effect of fibrinogen on coronary heart disease (CHD) and myocardial infraction (MI) using Mendelian randomization (MR) used single variant approaches, and did not take advantage of recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) or multi-variant, pleiotropy robust MR methodologies.

Methods And Findings: We evaluated evidence for a causal effect of fibrinogen on both CHD and MI using MR. We used both an allele score approach and pleiotropy robust MR models. The allele score was composed of 38 fibrinogen-associated variants from recent GWAS. Initial analyses using the allele score used a meta-analysis of 11 European-ancestry prospective cohorts, free of CHD and MI at baseline, to examine incidence CHD and MI. We also applied 2 sample MR methods with data from a prevalent CHD and MI GWAS. Results are given in terms of the hazard ratio (HR) or odds ratio (OR), depending on the study design, and associated 95% confidence interval (CI). In single variant analyses no causal effect of fibrinogen on CHD or MI was observed. In multi-variant analyses using incidence CHD cases and the allele score approach, the estimated causal effect (HR) of a 1 g/L higher fibrinogen concentration was 1.62 (CI = 1.12, 2.36) when using incident cases and the allele score approach. In 2 sample MR analyses that accounted for pleiotropy, the causal estimate (OR) was reduced to 1.18 (CI = 0.98, 1.42) and 1.09 (CI = 0.89, 1.33) in the 2 most precise (smallest CI) models, out of 4 models evaluated. In the 2 sample MR analyses for MI, there was only very weak evidence of a causal effect in only 1 out of 4 models.

Conclusions: A small causal effect of fibrinogen on CHD is observed using multi-variant MR approaches which account for pleiotropy, but not single variant MR approaches. Taken together, results indicate that even with large sample sizes and multi-variant approaches MR analyses still cannot exclude the null when estimating the causal effect of fibrinogen on CHD, but that any potential causal effect is likely to be much smaller than observed in epidemiological studies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0216222PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6510421PMC
January 2020

Associations of circulating very-long-chain saturated fatty acids and incident type 2 diabetes: a pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies.

Am J Clin Nutr 2019 04;109(4):1216-1223

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit.

Background: Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) of different chain lengths have unique metabolic and biological effects, and a small number of recent studies suggest that higher circulating concentrations of the very-long-chain SFAs (VLSFAs) arachidic acid (20:0), behenic acid (22:0), and lignoceric acid (24:0) are associated with a lower risk of diabetes. Confirmation of these findings in a large and diverse population is needed.

Objective: We investigated the associations of circulating VLSFAs 20:0, 22:0, and 24:0 with incident type 2 diabetes in prospective studies.

Methods: Twelve studies that are part of the Fatty Acids and Outcomes Research Consortium participated in the analysis. Using Cox or logistic regression within studies and an inverse-variance-weighted meta-analysis across studies, we examined the associations of VLSFAs 20:0, 22:0, and 24:0 with incident diabetes among 51,431 participants.

Results: There were 14,276 cases of incident diabetes across participating studies. Higher circulating concentrations of 20:0, 22:0, and 24:0 were each associated with a lower risk of incident diabetes. Pooling across cohorts, the RR (95% CI) for incident diabetes comparing the 90th percentile to the 10th percentile was 0.78 (0.70, 0.87) for 20:0, 0.84 (0.77, 0.91) for 22:0, and 0.75 (0.69, 0.83) for 24:0 after adjustment for demographic, lifestyle, adiposity, and other health factors. Results were fully attenuated in exploratory models that adjusted for circulating 16:0 and triglycerides.

Conclusions: Results from this pooled analysis indicate that higher concentrations of circulating VLSFAs 20:0, 22:0, and 24:0 are each associated with a lower risk of diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqz005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6500926PMC
April 2019
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