Publications by authors named "Craig E Pennell"

172 Publications

Genome-wide analysis of thyroid function in Australian adolescents highlights SERPINA7 and NCOA3.

Eur J Endocrinol 2021 Oct 11;185(5):743-753. Epub 2021 Oct 11.

Department of Endocrinology & Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia.

Objective: Genetic factors underpin the narrow intraindividual variability of thyroid function, although precise contributions of environmental vs genetic factors remain uncertain. We sought to clarify the heritability of thyroid function traits and thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) positivity and identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) contributing to the trait variance.

Methods: Heritability of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free T4 (fT4), free T3 (fT3) and TPOAb in a cohort of 2854 euthyroid, dizygous and monozygous twins (age range 11.9-16.9 years) from the Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study (BLTS) was assessed using structural equation modelling. A genome-wide analysis was conducted on 2832 of these individuals across 7 522 526 SNPs as well as gene-based association analyses. Replication analysis of the association results was performed in the Raine Study (n = 1115) followed by meta-analysis to maximise power for discovery.

Results: Heritability of thyroid function parameters in the BLTS was 70.8% (95% CI: 66.7-74.9%) for TSH, 67.5% (59.8-75.3%) for fT4, 59.7% (54.4-65.0%) for fT3 and 48.8% (40.6-56.9%) for TPOAb. The genome-wide association study (GWAS) in the discovery cohort identified a novel association between rs2026401 upstream of NCOA3 and TPOAb. GWAS meta-analysis found associations between TPOAb and rs445219, also near NCOA3, and fT3 and rs12687280 near SERPINA7. Gene-based association analysis highlighted SERPINA7 for fT3 and NPAS3 for fT4.

Conclusion: Our findings resolve former contention regarding heritability estimates of thyroid function traits and TPOAb positivity. GWAS and gene-based association analysis identified variants accounting for a component of this heritability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EJE-21-0614DOI Listing
October 2021

Genomic and phenotypic insights from an atlas of genetic effects on DNA methylation.

Nat Genet 2021 09 6;53(9):1311-1321. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Estonian Genome Center, Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

Characterizing genetic influences on DNA methylation (DNAm) provides an opportunity to understand mechanisms underpinning gene regulation and disease. In the present study, we describe results of DNAm quantitative trait locus (mQTL) analyses on 32,851 participants, identifying genetic variants associated with DNAm at 420,509 DNAm sites in blood. We present a database of >270,000 independent mQTLs, of which 8.5% comprise long-range (trans) associations. Identified mQTL associations explain 15-17% of the additive genetic variance of DNAm. We show that the genetic architecture of DNAm levels is highly polygenic. Using shared genetic control between distal DNAm sites, we constructed networks, identifying 405 discrete genomic communities enriched for genomic annotations and complex traits. Shared genetic variants are associated with both DNAm levels and complex diseases, but only in a minority of cases do these associations reflect causal relationships from DNAm to trait or vice versa, indicating a more complex genotype-phenotype map than previously anticipated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00923-xDOI Listing
September 2021

Genetic association study of childhood aggression across raters, instruments, and age.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 07 30;11(1):413. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Childhood aggressive behavior (AGG) has a substantial heritability of around 50%. Here we present a genome-wide association meta-analysis (GWAMA) of childhood AGG, in which all phenotype measures across childhood ages from multiple assessors were included. We analyzed phenotype assessments for a total of 328 935 observations from 87 485 children aged between 1.5 and 18 years, while accounting for sample overlap. We also meta-analyzed within subsets of the data, i.e., within rater, instrument and age. SNP-heritability for the overall meta-analysis (AGG) was 3.31% (SE = 0.0038). We found no genome-wide significant SNPs for AGG. The gene-based analysis returned three significant genes: ST3GAL3 (P = 1.6E-06), PCDH7 (P = 2.0E-06), and IPO13 (P = 2.5E-06). All three genes have previously been associated with educational traits. Polygenic scores based on our GWAMA significantly predicted aggression in a holdout sample of children (variance explained = 0.44%) and in retrospectively assessed childhood aggression (variance explained = 0.20%). Genetic correlations (r) among rater-specific assessment of AGG ranged from r = 0.46 between self- and teacher-assessment to r = 0.81 between mother- and teacher-assessment. We obtained moderate-to-strong rs with selected phenotypes from multiple domains, but hardly with any of the classical biomarkers thought to be associated with AGG. Significant genetic correlations were observed with most psychiatric and psychological traits (range [Formula: see text]: 0.19-1.00), except for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Aggression had a negative genetic correlation (r = ~-0.5) with cognitive traits and age at first birth. Aggression was strongly genetically correlated with smoking phenotypes (range [Formula: see text]: 0.46-0.60). The genetic correlations between aggression and psychiatric disorders were weaker for teacher-reported AGG than for mother- and self-reported AGG. The current GWAMA of childhood aggression provides a powerful tool to interrogate the rater-specific genetic etiology of AGG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01480-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8324785PMC
July 2021

The interactions between genetics and early childhood nutrition influence adult cardiometabolic risk factors.

Sci Rep 2021 07 21;11(1):14826. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

It is well established that genetics, environment, and interplay between them play a crucial role in adult disease. We aimed to evaluate the role of genetics, early life nutrition, and the interaction between them, on optimal adult health. As part of a large international consortium (n ~ 154,000), we identified 60 SNPs associated with both birthweight and adult disease. Utilising the Raine Study, we developed a birthweight polygenic score (BW-PGS) based on the 60 SNPs and examined relationships between BW-PGS and adulthood cardiovascular risk factors, specifically evaluating interactions with early life nutrition. Healthy nutrition was beneficial for all individuals; longer duration of any breastfeeding was particularly associated with lower BMI and lower Systolic Blood Pressure in those with higher BW-PGS. Optimal breastfeeding offers the greatest benefit to reduce adult obesity and hypertension in those genetically predisposed to high birthweight. This provides an example of how precision medicine in early life can improve adult health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-94206-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8295375PMC
July 2021

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption May Modify Associations Between Genetic Variants in the CHREBP (Carbohydrate Responsive Element Binding Protein) Locus and HDL-C (High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol) and Triglyceride Concentrations.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 Aug 16;14(4):e003288. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology (R.L.G., D.O.M.-K., F.R.R., R.dM.), Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands.

Background: ChREBP (carbohydrate responsive element binding protein) is a transcription factor that responds to sugar consumption. Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and genetic variants in the locus have separately been linked to HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) and triglyceride concentrations. We hypothesized that SSB consumption would modify the association between genetic variants in the locus and dyslipidemia.

Methods: Data from 11 cohorts from the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium (N=63 599) and the UK Biobank (N=59 220) were used to quantify associations of SSB consumption, genetic variants, and their interaction on HDL-C and triglyceride concentrations using linear regression models. A total of 1606 single nucleotide polymorphisms within or near were considered. SSB consumption was estimated from validated questionnaires, and participants were grouped by their estimated intake.

Results: In a meta-analysis, rs71556729 was significantly associated with higher HDL-C concentrations only among the highest SSB consumers (β, 2.12 [95% CI, 1.16-3.07] mg/dL per allele; <0.0001), but not significantly among the lowest SSB consumers (=0.81; <0.0001). Similar results were observed for 2 additional variants (rs35709627 and rs71556736). For triglyceride, rs55673514 was positively associated with triglyceride concentrations only among the highest SSB consumers (β, 0.06 [95% CI, 0.02-0.09] ln-mg/dL per allele, =0.001) but not the lowest SSB consumers (=0.84; =0.0005).

Conclusions: Our results identified genetic variants in the locus that may protect against SSB-associated reductions in HDL-C and other variants that may exacerbate SSB-associated increases in triglyceride concentrations. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT00005133, NCT00005121, NCT00005487, and NCT00000479.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8373451PMC
August 2021

Preterm labor is a distinct process from term labor following computational analysis of human myometrium.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Mothers and Babies Research Centre, The Priority Research Centre for Reproductive Sciences, School of Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of Health & Medicine, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Anatomical Pathology, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: The onset of the term human parturition involves myometrial gene expression changes to transform the uterus from a quiescent to a contractile phenotype. It is uncertain whether the same changes occur in the uterus during preterm labor.

Objective: This study aimed to compare the myometrial gene expression between term and preterm labor and to determine whether the presence of acute clinical chorioamnionitis or twin gestation affects these signatures.

Study Design: Myometrial specimens were collected during cesarean delivery from the following 7 different groups of patients: term not in labor (n=31), term labor (n=13), preterm not in labor (n=21), preterm labor with acute clinical chorioamnionitis (n=6), preterm labor with no acute clinical chorioamnionitis (n=9), twin preterm not in labor (n=8), and twin preterm labor with no acute clinical chorioamnionitis (n=5). RNA was extracted, reverse transcribed and quantitative polymerase chain reactions were performed on 44 candidate genes (with evidence for differential expression in human term labor) using the Fluidigm platform. Computational analysis was performed using 2-class unpaired Wilcoxon tests and principal component analysis.

Results: Computational analysis revealed that gene expression in the preterm myometrium, irrespective of whether in labor or not in labor, clustered tightly and is clearly different from the term labor and term not-in-labor groups. This was true for both singleton and twin pregnancies. Principal component analysis showed that 57% of the variation was explained by 3 principal components. These 44 genes interact in themes of prostaglandin activity and inflammatory signaling known to be important during term labor, but are not a full representation of the myometrium transcriptional activity.

Conclusion: The myometrial contractions associated with preterm labor are associated with a pattern of gene expression that is distinct from term labor. Therefore, preterm labor may be initiated by a different myometrial process or processes outside the myometrium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2021.07.002DOI Listing
July 2021

Effectiveness of combined vaginal progesterone and cervical cerclage in preventing preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol.

BMJ Open 2021 06 25;11(6):e050086. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

School of Medicine and Public Health, College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia

Introduction: Preterm birth (PTB) is the leading cause of death in children under 5 years. Preventive therapies targeted towards women with risk factors such as a prior PTB or a short cervix reduce the rate of PTB. Cervical cerclage, vaginal progesterone and a combination of the two have been used with no consensus as to whether combined treatment is more effective than any single treatment alone. The objective of this review is to determine the efficacy of combined treatment compared with cerclage alone and combined treatment compared with progesterone alone.

Methods And Analysis: Studies will be sourced from the electronic databases Medline (Ovid), EMBASE (Ovid), PsycINFO (Ovid), Scopus, CINAHL (EBSCOhost) and Cochrane Library (Wiley) and reference lists. We will not exclude any papers due to publication date. Randomised control trials (RCTs), non-RCTs and cohort studies assessing single therapy (either progesterone or cerclage) versus combined therapy in women with a singleton pregnancy will be included. Two independent reviewers will conduct study screening (at abstract and full-text level), data extraction and risk of bias assessment with disagreements resolved by an experienced researcher. Random or fixed effects models will be used depending on data heterogeneity and data will be presented as risk ratio for dichotomous data or mean difference for continuous data with a CI of 95% used for all outcomes.

Ethics And Dissemination: Not applicable due to nature of the study type.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42020195975.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050086DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8237739PMC
June 2021

Variants associated with expression have sex-differential effects on lung function.

Wellcome Open Res 2020 24;5:111. Epub 2021 May 24.

Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU, UK.

Lung function is highly heritable and differs between the sexes throughout life. However, little is known about sex-differential genetic effects on lung function. We aimed to conduct the first genome-wide genotype-by-sex interaction study on lung function to identify genetic effects that differ between males and females. We tested for interactions between 7,745,864 variants and sex on spirometry-based measures of lung function in UK Biobank (N=303,612), and sought replication in 75,696 independent individuals from the SpiroMeta consortium. Five independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showed genome-wide significant (P<5x10 ) interactions with sex on lung function, and 21 showed suggestive interactions (P<1x10 ). The strongest signal, from rs7697189 (chr4:145436894) on forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV ) (P=3.15x10 ), was replicated (P=0.016) in SpiroMeta. The C allele increased FEV more in males (untransformed FEV β=0.028 [SE 0.0022] litres) than females (β=0.009 [SE 0.0014] litres), and this effect was not accounted for by differential effects on height, smoking or pubertal age. rs7697189 resides upstream of the hedgehog-interacting protein ( ) gene and was previously associated with lung function and lung expression. We found expression was significantly different between the sexes (P=6.90x10 ), but we could not detect sex differential effects of rs7697189 on expression. We identified a novel genotype-by-sex interaction at a putative enhancer region upstream of the gene. Establishing the mechanism by which SNPs have different effects on lung function in males and females will be important for our understanding of lung health and diseases in both sexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15846.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938335.2PMC
May 2021

The trans-ancestral genomic architecture of glycemic traits.

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

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

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

Vaginal progesterone for prevention of preterm birth in asymptomatic high-risk women with a normal cervical length: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol.

Syst Rev 2021 05 21;10(1):152. Epub 2021 May 21.

School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.

Background: Preterm birth (PTB) is estimated to affect 14.9 million babies globally every year. Global rates of PTB continue to increase from 9.8 to 10.6% over a 15-year period from 2000 to 2014. Vaginal progesterone is commonly used by clinicians as a prevention strategy, with recent evidence affirming the benefit of vaginal (micronised) progesterone to prevent PTB in women with a shortened cervix (< 25 mm). Given the low incidence of a short cervix at mid-gestation in high-risk populations further evidence is required. The objective of this review is to determine if vaginal progesterone reduces spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) before 37 weeks in asymptomatic high-risk women with a singleton pregnancy with a normal mid-gestation cervical length.

Methods: Studies will be sourced from MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Register of Trials (CENTRAL) from their inception onwards with the search terms 'progesterone' and 'preterm birth'. Studies will be screened and included if they assess vaginal progesterone compared to placebo in women with a normal cervical length. The primary outcome will be sPTB < 37 weeks, with secondary outcomes of sPTB < 34 weeks. Two independent reviewers will conduct study screening at abstract and full text level, data extraction and risk of bias assessment with disagreements resolved by an experienced researcher. The Mantel-Haenszel statistical method and random effects analysis model will be used to produce treatment effect odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals.

Discussion: This review will assess the current body of evidence and provide clarity regarding the potential benefits and best practice of use of vaginal progesterone in asymptomatic women with high-risk singleton pregnancies and normal cervical length.

Trial Registration: PROSPERO CRD42020152051.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-021-01702-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8139044PMC
May 2021

A Life Course Approach to the Relationship Between Fetal Growth and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 Aug;106(9):2646-2659

School of Medicine and Public Health, College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, The University of Newcastle, New South Wales 2308, Australia.

Context: Human and animal studies suggest that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-A) function may be programmed in utero; however, these findings are inconsistent. Given the powerful metabolic actions of cortisol, it is important to clarify the influence of early life on adult HPA-A function.

Objective: To determine the relationship between fetal growth and HPA-A stress response to a psychosocial stressor in young adults.

Design: Multigenerational, prospective cohort study (the Raine Study) conducted between 1989 and 1991.

Setting: King Edward Memorial Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

Participants: A total of 917 participants aged 18 years from Gen2 of the Raine Study.

Main Outcome Measures: Measures of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function before and after exposure to the Trier Social Stress Test.

Results: In fully adjusted models, an inverse linear relationship was observed between birthweight and plasma measures of (1) baseline cortisol (β = -0.90%, 95% CI: -1.73 to -0.07; P = 0.03); (2) peak cortisol (β = -0.78%, 95% CI -1.51 to -0.06; P = 0.03); (3) area under the curve with respect to ground (β = -0.89%, 95% CI -1.60 to -0.18; P = 0.01); and (4) adrenal sensitivity (β = -1.02, 95% CI: -1.85 to -0.18; P = 0.02). Similar results were demonstrated for percent optimal birthweight. No consistent quadratic relationships were identified. No associations were found between measures of fetal adiposity and HPA-A function at age 18 years, or fetal growth and HPA-A response pattern. Removal of anticipatory responders from the models substantially attenuated the observed relationships.

Conclusion: We observed an inverse linear relationship between fetal growth and HPA-A function at age 18 years. This differs from the inverse parabolic relationship (inverted U curve) reported in adults of advanced age. Altered adrenal sensitivity may underlie this relationship.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8372661PMC
August 2021

McDonald versus Shirodkar cerclage technique in women requiring a prophylactic cerclage: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol.

Syst Rev 2021 05 1;10(1):130. Epub 2021 May 1.

School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.

Background: Preterm birth (PTB) is the leading cause of death in children under five years. Spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) is the major cause of preterm delivery. The key risk factors for SPTB are women who have a short cervix and women who have had previous preterm birth. Cervical cerclage has been used for several decades and has shown to decrease rates of preterm birth. The most commonly used cerclage techniques were described by Shirodkar and McDonald, with no current consensus on the preferred technique. The objective of this review is to determine and compare the effectiveness of both techniques.

Methods: Studies will be sourced from six electronic databases, as well as from experts in the field, reference lists, and grey literature. Eligible studies will include pregnant women, with a singleton or twin pregnancy, requiring a cervical cerclage, using either the Shirodkar or McDonald technique and run comparative analyses between the two techniques. Randomized control trials (RCT)s, non-randomized control trials, and cohort studies will be eligible. Two independent reviewers will conduct study screening at abstract and full-text level, data extraction and risk of bias assessment. Discrepancies will be resolved by a consensus third reviewer if required. Fixed-effects or random-effects models will be used where appropriate to synthesize results. Alternative synthesis methods will be investigated in instances where a meta-analysis is not appropriate, such as summarizing effect estimates, combining P values, vote counting based on direction of effect, or synthesis in narrative form.

Discussion: This review will synthesize the evidence on both the Shirodkar and McDonald cerclage method, and will help clinicians and health services to determine and deliver best practice antenatal care that has the potential to make an impact on preterm birth.

Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO on 25 of May, 2020 with registration number CRD42020177386.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-021-01679-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8088063PMC
May 2021

Maternal prenatal stress exposure and sex-specific risk of severe infection in offspring.

PLoS One 2021 29;16(1):e0245747. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, Australia.

Background: Maternal stressful life events during pregnancy have been associated with immune dysregulation and increased risk for asthma and atopy in offspring. Few studies have investigated whether prenatal stress is associated with increased overall or specific infectious diseases in childhood, nor explored sex differences. We sought to examine the relationship between the nature and timing of maternal stress in pregnancy and hospitalisation with infection in offspring.

Methods: Between 1989 and 1992, exposure data on stressful life events were collected from pregnant women (Gen1) in the Raine Study at 18 and 34 weeks' gestation and linked to statutory state-wide hospital morbidity data. We examined associations between the number, category and timing of maternal prenatal stress events and overall and clinical groups of offspring (Gen2) infection-related hospitalisation until age 16 years, adjusting for maternal age, education, and smoking in pregnancy in addition to the presence of siblings at birth.

Results: Of 2,141 offspring with complete stress in pregnancy data available, 1,089 had at least one infection-related hospitalisation, with upper respiratory tract infections the most common (n = 556). Each additional stressful life event during pregnancy was associated with increased risk in male offspring for hospitalisation with all infection types. There was little evidence of these associations in girls.

Conclusions: Increased exposure to stressful life events in utero is associated with sex-specific infection-related hospitalisations in childhood. Prenatal stress may adversely affect early immune development for boys and increase the risk of more severe infections. Mechanistic understanding would inform preventative interventions.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0245747PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7845992PMC
June 2021

Variation in the SERPINA6/SERPINA1 locus alters morning plasma cortisol, hepatic corticosteroid binding globulin expression, gene expression in peripheral tissues, and risk of cardiovascular disease.

J Hum Genet 2021 Jun 20;66(6):625-636. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Centre for Global Health Research, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG, Scotland.

The stress hormone cortisol modulates fuel metabolism, cardiovascular homoeostasis, mood, inflammation and cognition. The CORtisol NETwork (CORNET) consortium previously identified a single locus associated with morning plasma cortisol. Identifying additional genetic variants that explain more of the variance in cortisol could provide new insights into cortisol biology and provide statistical power to test the causative role of cortisol in common diseases. The CORNET consortium extended its genome-wide association meta-analysis for morning plasma cortisol from 12,597 to 25,314 subjects and from ~2.2 M to ~7 M SNPs, in 17 population-based cohorts of European ancestries. We confirmed the genetic association with SERPINA6/SERPINA1. This locus contains genes encoding corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) and α1-antitrypsin. Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analyses undertaken in the STARNET cohort of 600 individuals showed that specific genetic variants within the SERPINA6/SERPINA1 locus influence expression of SERPINA6 rather than SERPINA1 in the liver. Moreover, trans-eQTL analysis demonstrated effects on adipose tissue gene expression, suggesting that variations in CBG levels have an effect on delivery of cortisol to peripheral tissues. Two-sample Mendelian randomisation analyses provided evidence that each genetically-determined standard deviation (SD) increase in morning plasma cortisol was associated with increased odds of chronic ischaemic heart disease (0.32, 95% CI 0.06-0.59) and myocardial infarction (0.21, 95% CI 0.00-0.43) in UK Biobank and similarly in CARDIoGRAMplusC4D. These findings reveal a causative pathway for CBG in determining cortisol action in peripheral tissues and thereby contributing to the aetiology of cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s10038-020-00895-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8144017PMC
June 2021

Novel loci for childhood body mass index and shared heritability with adult cardiometabolic traits.

PLoS Genet 2020 10 12;16(10):e1008718. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Public Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The genetic background of childhood body mass index (BMI), and the extent to which the well-known associations of childhood BMI with adult diseases are explained by shared genetic factors, are largely unknown. We performed a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of BMI in 61,111 children aged between 2 and 10 years. Twenty-five independent loci reached genome-wide significance in the combined discovery and replication analyses. Two of these, located near NEDD4L and SLC45A3, have not previously been reported in relation to either childhood or adult BMI. Positive genetic correlations of childhood BMI with birth weight and adult BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, diastolic blood pressure and type 2 diabetes were detected (Rg ranging from 0.11 to 0.76, P-values <0.002). A negative genetic correlation of childhood BMI with age at menarche was observed. Our results suggest that the biological processes underlying childhood BMI largely, but not completely, overlap with those underlying adult BMI. The well-known observational associations of BMI in childhood with cardio-metabolic diseases in adulthood may reflect partial genetic overlap, but in light of previous evidence, it is also likely that they are explained through phenotypic continuity of BMI from childhood into adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008718DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7581004PMC
October 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

Live-streamed ward rounds: a tool for clinical teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Med J Aust 2020 10 9;213(7):306-308.e1. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.5694/mja2.50765DOI Listing
October 2020

Are antenatal interventions effective in improving multiple health behaviours among pregnant women? A systematic review protocol.

Syst Rev 2020 09 2;9(1):204. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Hunter New England Population Health, Hunter New England Local Health District, Locked Bag 10, Wallsend, New South Wales, 2287, Australia.

Background: Maternal behaviours in pregnancy associated with adverse pregnancy, birth and health outcomes include tobacco smoking, poor nutrition, alcohol consumption and low physical activity, collectively referred to as the SNAP risk factors. Due to the high prevalence, co-occurrence and possible interactive health effects of such health behaviours in pregnancy, antenatal interventions that support pregnant women to improve multiple SNAP behaviours have a greater potential impact on the health outcomes of women and their children than interventions addressing single behaviours. The objective of this review is to determine the effectiveness of interventions delivered as part of antenatal care that aim to improve multiple SNAP behaviours among pregnant women.

Methods: Seven electronic databases will be searched for potentially eligible studies. Eligible studies will include those where pregnant women are attending antenatal care. Studies that examine the effect of an intervention that addresses multiple SNAP behaviours (≥ 2 behaviours) during pregnancy and are delivered or instigated through antenatal care in a healthcare service will be included. Systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials (RCTs), RCTs, cluster RCTs, stepped-wedge RCTs and non-randomised control trials will be eligible. Studies that include a no-intervention control, wait-list control group, standard/usual care, or another active single behavioural intervention (e.g. addressing one behaviour only) will be considered. Two independent reviewers will conduct study screening, data extraction and risk of bias assessment. Discrepancies will be resolved by consensus or a third reviewer if required. A random effects model will be used to synthesise the results. Alternative synthesis methods will be investigated in instances where a meta-analysis is not appropriate, such as summarising effect estimates, combining P values, vote counting based on direction of effect, or synthesis in narrative form.

Discussion: The review will synthesise the evidence on the effect of interventions that address multiple SNAP behaviours in antenatal care and will help researchers, policy-makers and health services to develop and deliver best practice integrated models of antenatal care that have the potential to impact on both the short- and long-term health outcomes for women and their children.

Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO CRD42018095315.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-020-01453-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7469269PMC
September 2020

Mendelian randomization analysis does not support causal associations of birth weight with hypertension risk and blood pressure in adulthood.

Eur J Epidemiol 2020 Jul 7;35(7):685-697. Epub 2020 May 7.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Unit, Skåne University Hospital Malmö, Lund University, 21741, Malmö, Sweden.

Epidemiology studies suggested that low birthweight was associated with a higher risk of hypertension in later life. However, little is known about the causality of such associations. In our study, we evaluated the causal association of low birthweight with adulthood hypertension following a standard analytic protocol using the study-level data of 183,433 participants from 60 studies (CHARGE-BIG consortium), as well as that with blood pressure using publicly available summary-level genome-wide association data from EGG consortium of 153,781 participants, ICBP consortium and UK Biobank cohort together of 757,601 participants. We used seven SNPs as the instrumental variable in the study-level analysis and 47 SNPs in the summary-level analysis. In the study-level analyses, decreased birthweight was associated with a higher risk of hypertension in adults (the odds ratio per 1 standard deviation (SD) lower birthweight, 1.22; 95% CI 1.16 to 1.28), while no association was found between genetically instrumented birthweight and hypertension risk (instrumental odds ratio for causal effect per 1 SD lower birthweight, 0.97; 95% CI 0.68 to 1.41). Such results were consistent with that from the summary-level analyses, where the genetically determined low birthweight was not associated with blood pressure measurements either. One SD lower genetically determined birthweight was not associated with systolic blood pressure (β = - 0.76, 95% CI - 2.45 to 1.08 mmHg), 0.06 mmHg lower diastolic blood pressure (β = - 0.06, 95% CI - 0.93 to 0.87 mmHg), or pulse pressure (β = - 0.65, 95% CI - 1.38 to 0.69 mmHg, all p > 0.05). Our findings suggest that the inverse association of birthweight with hypertension risk from observational studies was not supported by large Mendelian randomization analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-020-00638-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7867117PMC
July 2020

Do Levels of Stress Markers Influence the Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in Young Adults?

J Glaucoma 2020 07;29(7):587-592

Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Lions Eye Institute, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA.

Precis: Although mental or emotional stress may result raise in intraocular pressure (IOP) we found weak associations between endogenous stress markers concentrations and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, thus limited evidence that stress affects retinal ganglion cells integrity.

Purpose: Increased exposure to glucocorticoids is linked to elevated IOP, which is a risk factor for glaucoma. We explored the RNFL thickness for changes that may mimic preclinical glaucomatous changes, in relation to the hormonal stress response.

Materials And Methods: Young healthy adults (n=863) underwent a Trier Social Stress Test. Endogenous plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol were measured for those who provided biological samples, and adrenal sensitivity was calculated. On the basis of cortisol levels before and after the Trier Social Stress Test, participants were categorized into one of 3 stress response types: anticipatory-responders, reactive-responders, and nonresponders. Participants underwent an eye examination that included spectral-domain optical coherence tomography to measure peripapillary RNFL thickness.

Results: Higher levels of ACTH were associated with thinner RNFL globally (P=0.009), and at the inferotemporal (P=0.015), superotemporal (P=0.044), and temporal sectors (P=0.046). Lower adrenal sensitivity was associated with thinner RNFL inferotemporally (P<0.001) and temporally (P=0.037). However, these effect sizes were small; for example, a 10 pg/mL increase in baseline ACTH was associated with only a 3 µm thinner RNFL. RNFL thickness was not associated with plasma cortisol levels and or significantly different between groups of acute stress response patterns.

Conclusions: Although there was a link between ACTH or adrenal sensitivity and RNFL thickness, this association was weak and its clinical significance is unclear. Despite the close associations between levels of endogenous stress markers and IOP, we found limited evidence of a link to RNFL integrity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/IJG.0000000000001511DOI Listing
July 2020

The prevalence of common sleep disorders in young adults: a descriptive population-based study.

Sleep 2020 10;43(10)

Centre for Sleep Science, School of Human Sciences, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia.

Sleep disorders in adults are associated with adverse health effects including reduced quality of life and increased mortality. However, there is little information on sleep disorders in young adults. A cross-sectional observational study was undertaken in 1,227 young adults participating in the Western Australian Pregnancy (Raine) Study (2012-2014) to describe the prevalence of common sleep disorders. In-laboratory polysomnography (PSG) and validated survey methods were used, including the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Symptom Questionnaire-Insomnia, and International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group criteria. A total of 1,146 participants completed a core questionnaire, 1,051 completed a sleep-focused questionnaire and 935 had analyzable PSG data. Participants had a mean age of 22.2 years and female to male ratio of 1.1 to 1. The respective sleep disorder prevalences in females and males were: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI]: ≥5 events/hour) 14.9% (95% CI: 11.8-18.5) and 26.9% (95% CI: 22.9-31.2); chronic insomnia, 19.3% (95% CI: 16.7-23.9) and 10.6% (95% CI: 8.3-13.9); restless legs syndrome, 3.8% (95% CI: 2.4-5.6) and 1.9% (95% CI: 0.9-3.4); and abnormal periodic leg movements during sleep (>5 movements/hour), 8.6% (95% CI: 6.3-11.5) and 9.6% (95% CI: 7.1-12.7). There were statistically significant differences in prevalence between sexes for OSA and insomnia, which persisted after adjustment for body mass index and education. In those with complete data on all sleep-related assessments (n = 836), at least one sleep disorder was present in 41.0% of females and 42.3% of males. Sleep disorders are very common in young adults. Health practitioners should be aware of these high prevalences, as early identification and treatment can improve quality of life and may reduce later morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsaa072DOI Listing
October 2020

Genome-wide association meta-analysis of corneal curvature identifies novel loci and shared genetic influences across axial length and refractive error.

Commun Biol 2020 03 19;3(1):133. Epub 2020 Mar 19.

Department of Ophthalmology, Erasmus Medical Center, 3000 CA, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Corneal curvature, a highly heritable trait, is a key clinical endophenotype for myopia - a major cause of visual impairment and blindness in the world. Here we present a trans-ethnic meta-analysis of corneal curvature GWAS in 44,042 individuals of Caucasian and Asian with replication in 88,218 UK Biobank data. We identified 47 loci (of which 26 are novel), with population-specific signals as well as shared signals across ethnicities. Some identified variants showed precise scaling in corneal curvature and eye elongation (i.e. axial length) to maintain eyes in emmetropia (i.e. HDAC11/FBLN2 rs2630445, RBP3 rs11204213); others exhibited association with myopia with little pleiotropic effects on eye elongation. Implicated genes are involved in extracellular matrix organization, developmental process for body and eye, connective tissue cartilage and glycosylation protein activities. Our study provides insights into population-specific novel genes for corneal curvature, and their pleiotropic effect in regulating eye size or conferring susceptibility to myopia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-0802-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081241PMC
March 2020

Healthcare factors associated with the risk of antepartum and intrapartum stillbirth in migrants in Western Australia (2005-2013): A retrospective cohort study.

PLoS Med 2020 03 17;17(3):e1003061. Epub 2020 Mar 17.

School of Population and Global Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

Background: Migrant women, especially from Indian and African ethnicity, have a higher risk of stillbirth than native-born populations in high-income countries. Differential access or timing of ANC and the uptake of other services may play a role. We investigated the pattern of healthcare utilisation among migrant women and its relationship with the risk of stillbirth (SB)-antepartum stillbirth (AnteSB) and intrapartum stillbirth (IntraSB)-in Western Australia (WA).

Methods And Findings: A retrospective cohort study using de-identified linked data from perinatal, birth, death, hospital, and birth defects registrations through the WA Data Linkage System was undertaken. All (N = 260,997) non-Indigenous births (2005-2013) were included. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios and 95% CI for AnteSB and IntraSB comparing migrant women from white, Asian, Indian, African, Māori, and 'other' ethnicities with Australian-born women controlling for risk factors and potential healthcare-related covariates. Of all the births, 66.1% were to Australian-born and 33.9% to migrant women. The mean age (years) was 29.5 among the Australian-born and 30.5 among the migrant mothers. For parity, 42.3% of Australian-born women, 58.2% of Indian women, and 29.3% of African women were nulliparous. Only 5.3% of Māori and 9.2% of African migrants had private health insurance in contrast to 43.1% of Australian-born women. Among Australian-born women, 14% had smoked in pregnancy whereas only 0.7% and 1.9% of migrants from Indian and African backgrounds, respectively, had smoked in pregnancy. The odds of AnteSB was elevated in African (odds ratio [OR] 2.22, 95% CI 1.48-2.13, P < 0.001), Indian (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.13-2.44, P = 0.013), and other women (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.07-1.97, P = 0.016) whereas IntraSB was higher in African (OR 5.24, 95% CI 3.22-8.54, P < 0.001) and 'other' women (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.35-3.54, P = 0.002) compared with Australian-born women. When migrants were stratified by timing of first antenatal visit, the odds of AnteSB was exclusively increased in those who commenced ANC later than 14 weeks gestation in women from Indian (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.18-3.95, P = 0.013), Māori (OR 3.03, 95% CI 1.43-6.45, P = 0.004), and 'other' (OR 2.19, 95% CI 1.34-3.58, P = 0.002) ethnicities. With midwife-only intrapartum care, the odds of IntraSB for viable births in African and 'other' migrants (combined) were more than 3 times that of Australian-born women (OR 3.43, 95% CI 1.28-9.19, P = 0.014); however, with multidisciplinary intrapartum care, the odds were similar to that of Australian-born group (OR 1.34, 95% CI 0.30-5.98, P = 0.695). Compared with Australian-born women, migrant women who utilised interpreter services had a lower risk of SB (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.27-0.96, P = 0.035); those who did not utilise interpreters had a higher risk of SB (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.07-1.35, P < 0.001). Covariates partially available in the data set comprised the main limitation of the study.

Conclusion: Late commencement of ANC, underutilisation of interpreter services, and midwife-only intrapartum care are associated with increased risk of SB in migrant women. Education to improve early engagement with ANC, better uptake of interpreter services, and the provision of multidisciplinary-team intrapartum care to women specifically from African and 'other' backgrounds may reduce the risk of SB in migrants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003061DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7077810PMC
March 2020

GWAS on longitudinal growth traits reveals different genetic factors influencing infant, child, and adult BMI.

Sci Adv 2019 09 4;5(9):eaaw3095. Epub 2019 Sep 4.

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

Early childhood growth patterns are associated with adult health, yet the genetic factors and the developmental stages involved are not fully understood. Here, we combine genome-wide association studies with modeling of longitudinal growth traits to study the genetics of infant and child growth, followed by functional, pathway, genetic correlation, risk score, and colocalization analyses to determine how developmental timings, molecular pathways, and genetic determinants of these traits overlap with those of adult health. We found a robust overlap between the genetics of child and adult body mass index (BMI), with variants associated with adult BMI acting as early as 4 to 6 years old. However, we demonstrated a completely distinct genetic makeup for peak BMI during infancy, influenced by variation at the locus. These findings suggest that different genetic factors control infant and child BMI. In light of the obesity epidemic, these findings are important to inform the timing and targets of prevention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaw3095DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6904961PMC
September 2019

Associations of autozygosity with a broad range of human phenotypes.

Nat Commun 2019 10 31;10(1):4957. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Department of Neurology, Brain Centre Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, 3584 CX, The Netherlands.

In many species, the offspring of related parents suffer reduced reproductive success, a phenomenon known as inbreeding depression. In humans, the importance of this effect has remained unclear, partly because reproduction between close relatives is both rare and frequently associated with confounding social factors. Here, using genomic inbreeding coefficients (F) for >1.4 million individuals, we show that F is significantly associated (p < 0.0005) with apparently deleterious changes in 32 out of 100 traits analysed. These changes are associated with runs of homozygosity (ROH), but not with common variant homozygosity, suggesting that genetic variants associated with inbreeding depression are predominantly rare. The effect on fertility is striking: F equivalent to the offspring of first cousins is associated with a 55% decrease [95% CI 44-66%] in the odds of having children. Finally, the effects of F are confirmed within full-sibling pairs, where the variation in F is independent of all environmental confounding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12283-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823371PMC
October 2019

A trans-ancestral meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies reveals loci associated with childhood obesity.

Hum Mol Genet 2019 10;28(19):3327-3338

Unidad de Investigacion Medica en Bioquımica, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Medico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mexico City, Mexico.

Although hundreds of genome-wide association studies-implicated loci have been reported for adult obesity-related traits, less is known about the genetics specific for early-onset obesity and with only a few studies conducted in non-European populations to date. Searching for additional genetic variants associated with childhood obesity, we performed a trans-ancestral meta-analysis of 30 studies consisting of up to 13 005 cases (≥95th percentile of body mass index (BMI) achieved 2-18 years old) and 15 599 controls (consistently <50th percentile of BMI) of European, African, North/South American and East Asian ancestry. Suggestive loci were taken forward for replication in a sample of 1888 cases and 4689 controls from seven cohorts of European and North/South American ancestry. In addition to observing 18 previously implicated BMI or obesity loci, for both early and late onset, we uncovered one completely novel locus in this trans-ancestral analysis (nearest gene, METTL15). The variant was nominally associated with only the European subgroup analysis but had a consistent direction of effect in other ethnicities. We then utilized trans-ancestral Bayesian analysis to narrow down the location of the probable causal variant at each genome-wide significant signal. Of all the fine-mapped loci, we were able to narrow down the causative variant at four known loci to fewer than 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (FAIM2, GNPDA2, MC4R and SEC16B loci). In conclusion, an ethnically diverse setting has enabled us to both identify an additional pediatric obesity locus and further fine-map existing loci.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddz161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6859434PMC
October 2019

Variants in the fetal genome near pro-inflammatory cytokine genes on 2q13 associate with gestational duration.

Nat Commun 2019 09 2;10(1):3927. Epub 2019 Sep 2.

Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics, Department of Oral Biology School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

The duration of pregnancy is influenced by fetal and maternal genetic and non-genetic factors. Here we report a fetal genome-wide association meta-analysis of gestational duration, and early preterm, preterm, and postterm birth in 84,689 infants. One locus on chromosome 2q13 is associated with gestational duration; the association is replicated in 9,291 additional infants (combined P = 3.96 × 10). Analysis of 15,588 mother-child pairs shows that the association is driven by fetal rather than maternal genotype. Functional experiments show that the lead SNP, rs7594852, alters the binding of the HIC1 transcriptional repressor. Genes at the locus include several interleukin 1 family members with roles in pro-inflammatory pathways that are central to the process of parturition. Further understanding of the underlying mechanisms will be of great public health importance, since giving birth either before or after the window of term gestation is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11881-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6718389PMC
September 2019

Single dose v two-dose antenatal anti-D prophylaxis: a randomised controlled trial.

Med J Aust 2019 09 14;211(6):261-265. Epub 2019 Jul 14.

University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW.

Objective: To compare rates of detectability of circulating Rh(D)-immunoglobulin (anti-D) at delivery with single and two-dose antenatal anti-D prophylaxis (RAADP) regimens; to compare compliance with the two regimens.

Design: Open label, randomised controlled trial between May 2013 and November 2015.

Setting, Participants: 277 women who attended a tertiary obstetric referral hospital in Perth for antenatal care and were at least 18 years of age, less than 30 weeks pregnant and yet to receive RAADP, Rh(D)-negative (negative antibody screen), and who intended to deliver their baby at the hospital. Exclusion criteria were prior anti-D sensitisation, any contraindication of anti-D administration, and a history of isolated IgA deficiency.

Interventions: One 1500 IU anti-D dose at 28 weeks of pregnancy (single dose regimen); two doses of 625 IU each at 28 and 34 weeks of pregnancy (two-dose regimen).

Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was the proportion of women with detectable anti-D levels at delivery; the secondary outcome was compliance with the allocated RAADP regimen.

Results: Circulating anti-D was detectable at delivery in a greater proportion of women in the two-dose group (111 of 129, 86%) than in the single dose group (70 of 125, 56%; P < 0.001). Compliance was not significantly different between the single dose (86 of 138, 61%) and two-dose groups (70 of 139, 50%; P = 0.06).

Conclusions: The two-dose RAADP schedule currently recommended in Australia provides better protection against Rh(D) sensitisation than a one-dose regimen.

Trial Registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12613000661774).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5694/mja2.50266DOI Listing
September 2019
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