Publications by authors named "David J Stott"

205 Publications

Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) for the detection of dementia within a general practice (primary care) setting.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 Jul 19;7:CD010771. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background: The IQCODE (Informant Questionnaire for Cognitive Decline in the Elderly) is a commonly used questionnaire based tool that uses collateral information to assess for cognitive decline and dementia. Brief tools that can be used for dementia "screening" or "triage" may have particular utility in primary care / general practice healthcare settings but only if they have suitable test accuracy. A synthesis of the available data regarding IQCODE accuracy in a primary care setting should help inform cognitive assessment strategies for clinical practice; research and policy.

Objectives: To determine the accuracy of the informant-based questionnaire IQCODE, for detection of dementia in a primary care setting.

Search Methods: A search was performed in the following sources on the 28th of January 2013: ALOIS (Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group), MEDLINE (Ovid SP), EMBASE (Ovid SP), PsycINFO (Ovid SP), BIOSIS (Ovid SP), ISI Web of Science and Conference Proceedings (ISI Web of Knowledge), CINHAL (EBSCOhost) and LILACs (BIREME). We also searched sources specific to diagnostic test accuracy: MEDION (Universities of Maastricht and Leuven); DARE (York University); HTA Database (Health Technology Assessments Database via The Cochrane Library) and ARIF (Birmingham University). We developed a sensitive search strategy; search terms were designed to cover key concepts using several different approaches run in parallel and included terms relating to cognitive tests, cognitive screening and dementia. We used standardized database subject headings such as MeSH terms (in MEDLINE) and other standardized headings (controlled vocabulary) in other databases, as appropriate.

Selection Criteria: We selected those studies performed in primary care settings, which included (not necessarily exclusively) IQCODE to assess for the presence of dementia and where dementia diagnosis was confirmed with clinical assessment. For the "primary care" setting, we included those healthcare settings where unselected patients, present for initial, non-specialist assessment of memory or non-memory related symptoms; often with a view to onward referral for more definitive assessment.

Data Collection And Analysis: We screened all titles generated by electronic database searches and abstracts of all potentially relevant studies were reviewed. Full papers were assessed for eligibility and data extracted by two independent assessors. Quality assessment (risk of bias and applicability) was determined using the QUADAS-2 tool. Reporting quality was determined using the STARDdem extension to the STARD tool.

Main Results: From 71 papers describing IQCODE test accuracy, we included 1 paper, representing data from 230 individuals (n=16 [7%] with dementia). The paper described those patients consulting a primary care service who self-identified as Japanese-American. Dementia diagnosis was made using Benson & Cummings criteria and the IQCODE was recorded as part of a longer interview with the informant. IQCODE accuracy was assessed at various test thresholds, with a "trade-off" between sensitivity and specificity across these cutpoints. At an IQCODE threshold of 3.2 sensitivity: 100%, specificity: 76%; for IQCODE 3.7 sensitivity: 75%, specificity: 98%. Applying the QUADAS-2 assessments, the study was at high risk of bias in all categories. In particular degree of blinding was unclear and not all participants were included in the final analysis.

Authors' Conclusions: It is not possible to give definitive guidance on the test accuracy of IQCODE for the diagnosis of dementia in a primary care setting based on the single study identified. We are surprised by the lack of research using the IQCODE in primary care as this is, arguably, the most appropriate setting for targeted case finding of those with undiagnosed dementia in order to maximise opportunities to intervene and provide support for the individual and their carers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD010771.pub3DOI Listing
July 2021

Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) for the detection of dementia within community dwelling populations.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 Jul 19;7:CD010079. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow , UK.

Background: Various tools exist for initial assessment of possible dementia with no consensus on the optimal assessment method. Instruments that use collateral sources to assess change in cognitive function over time may have particular utility. The most commonly used informant dementia assessment is the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE). A synthesis of the available data regarding IQCODE accuracy will help inform cognitive assessment strategies for clinical practice, research and policy.

Objectives: Our primary obective was to determine the accuracy of the informant-based questionnaire IQCODE for detection of dementia within community dwelling populations. Our secondary objective was to describe the effect of heterogeneity on the summary estimates. We were particularly interested in the traditional 26-item scale versus the 16-item short form; and language of administration. We explored the effect of varying the threshold IQCODE score used to define 'test positivity'.

Search Methods: We searched the following sources on 28 January 2013: ALOIS (Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group), MEDLINE (OvidSP), EMBASE (OvidSP), PsycINFO (OvidSP), BIOSIS Previews (ISI Web of Knowledge), Web of Science with Conference Proceedings (ISI Web of Knowledge), LILACS (BIREME). We also searched sources relevant or specific to diagnostic test accuracy: MEDION (Universities of Maastrict and Leuven); DARE (York University); ARIF (Birmingham University). We used sensitive search terms based on MeSH terms and other controlled vocabulary.

Selection Criteria: We selected those studies performed in community settings that used (not necessarily exclusively) the IQCODE to assess for presence of dementia and, where dementia diagnosis was confirmed with clinical assessment. Our intention with limiting the search to a 'community' setting was to include those studies closest to population level assessment. Within our predefined community inclusion criteria, there were relevant papers that fulfilled our definition of community dwelling but represented a selected population, for example stroke survivors. We included these studies but performed sensitivity analyses to assess the effects of these less representative populations on the summary results.

Data Collection And Analysis: We screened all titles generated by the electronic database searches and abstracts of all potentially relevant studies were reviewed. Full papers were assessed for eligibility and data extracted by two independent assessors. For quality assessment (risk of bias and applicability) we used the QUADAS 2 tool. We included test accuracy data on the IQCODE used at predefined diagnostic thresholds. Where data allowed, we performed meta-analyses to calculate summary values of sensitivity and specificity with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We pre-specified analyses to describe the effect of IQCODE format (traditional or short form) and language of administration for the IQCODE.

Main Results: From 16,144 citations, 71 papers described IQCODE test accuracy. We included 10 papers (11 independent datasets) representing data from 2644 individuals (n = 379 (14%) with dementia). Using IQCODE cut-offs commonly employed in clinical practice (3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6) the sensitivity and specificity of IQCODE for diagnosis of dementia across the studies were generally above 75%. Taking an IQCODE threshold of 3.3 (or closest available) the sensitivity was 0.80 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.85); specificity was 0.84 (95% CI 0.78 to 0.90); positive likelihood ratio was 5.2 (95% CI 3.7 to 7.5) and the negative likelihood ratio was 0.23 (95% CI 0.19 to 0.29). Comparative analysis suggested no significant difference in the test accuracy of the 16 and 26-item IQCODE tests and no significant difference in test accuracy by language of administration. There was little difference in sensitivity across our predefined diagnostic cut-points. There was substantial heterogeneity in the included studies. Sensitivity analyses removing potentially unrepresentative populations in these studies made little difference to the pooled data estimates. The majority of included papers had potential for bias, particularly around participant selection and sampling. The quality of reporting was suboptimal particularly regarding timing of assessments and descriptors of reproducibility and inter-observer variability.

Authors' Conclusions: Published data suggest that if using the IQCODE for community dwelling older adults, the 16 item IQCODE may be preferable to the traditional scale due to lesser test burden and no obvious difference in accuracy. Although IQCODE test accuracy is in a range that many would consider 'reasonable', in the context of community or population settings the use of the IQCODE alone would result in substantial misdiagnosis and false reassurance. Across the included studies there were issues with heterogeneity, several potential biases and suboptimal reporting quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD010079.pub3DOI Listing
July 2021

Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) for the detection of dementia within a secondary care setting.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 Jul 19;7:CD010772. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background: The diagnosis of dementia relies on the presence of new-onset cognitive impairment affecting an individual's functioning and activities of daily living. The Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) is a questionnaire instrument, completed by a suitable 'informant' who knows the patient well, designed to assess change in functional performance secondary to cognitive change; it is used as a tool for identifying those who may have dementia. In secondary care there are two specific instances where patients may be assessed for the presence of dementia. These are in the general acute hospital setting, where opportunistic screening may be undertaken, or in specialist memory services where individuals have been referred due to perceived cognitive problems. To ensure an instrument is suitable for diagnostic use in these settings, its test accuracy must be established.

Objectives: To determine the accuracy of the informant-based questionnaire IQCODE for detection of dementia in a secondary care setting.

Search Methods: We searched the following sources on the 28th of January 2013: ALOIS (Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group), MEDLINE (Ovid SP), EMBASE (Ovid SP), PsycINFO (Ovid SP), BIOSIS Previews (Thomson Reuters Web of Science), Web of Science Core Collection (includes Conference Proceedings Citation Index) (Thomson Reuters Web of Science), CINAHL (EBSCOhost) and LILACS (BIREME). We also searched sources specific to diagnostic test accuracy: MEDION (Universities of Maastricht and Leuven); DARE (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects - via the Cochrane Library); HTA Database (Health Technology Assessment Database via the Cochrane Library) and ARIF (Birmingham University). We also checked reference lists of relevant studies and reviews, used searches of known relevant studies in PubMed to track related articles, and contacted research groups conducting work on IQCODE for dementia diagnosis to try to find additional studies. We developed a sensitive search strategy; search terms were designed to cover key concepts using several different approaches run in parallel and included terms relating to cognitive tests, cognitive screening and dementia. We used standardised database subject headings such as MeSH terms (in MEDLINE) and other standardised headings (controlled vocabulary) in other databases, as appropriate.

Selection Criteria: We selected those studies performed in secondary-care settings, which included (not necessarily exclusively) IQCODE to assess for the presence of dementia and where dementia diagnosis was confirmed with clinical assessment. For the 'secondary care' setting we included all studies which assessed patients in hospital (e.g. acute unscheduled admissions, referrals to specialist geriatric assessment services etc.) and those referred for specialist 'memory' assessment, typically in psychogeriatric services.

Data Collection And Analysis: We screened all titles generated by electronic database searches, and reviewed abstracts of all potentially relevant studies. Two independent assessors checked full papers for eligibility and extracted data. We determined quality assessment (risk of bias and applicability) using the QUADAS-2 tool, and reporting quality using the STARD tool.

Main Results: From 72 papers describing IQCODE test accuracy, we included 13 papers, representing data from 2745 individuals (n = 1413 (51%) with dementia). Pooled analysis of all studies using data presented closest to a cut-off of 3.3 indicated that sensitivity was 0.91 (95% CI 0.86 to 0.94); specificity 0.66 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.75); the positive likelihood ratio was 2.7 (95% CI 2.0 to 3.6) and the negative likelihood ratio was 0.14 (95% CI 0.09 to 0.22). There was a statistically significant difference in test accuracy between the general hospital setting and the specialist memory setting (P = 0.019), suggesting that IQCODE performs better in a 'general' setting. We found no significant differences in the test accuracy of the short (16-item) versus the 26-item IQCODE, or in the language of administration. There was significant heterogeneity in the included studies, including a highly varied prevalence of dementia (10.5% to 87.4%). Across the included papers there was substantial potential for bias, particularly around sampling of included participants and selection criteria, which may limit generalisability. There was also evidence of suboptimal reporting, particularly around disease severity and handling indeterminate results, which are important if considering use in clinical practice.

Authors' Conclusions: The IQCODE can be used to identify older adults in the general hospital setting who are at risk of dementia and require specialist assessment; it is useful specifically for ruling out those without evidence of cognitive decline. The language of administration did not affect test accuracy, which supports the cross-cultural use of the tool. These findings are qualified by the significant heterogeneity, the potential for bias and suboptimal reporting found in the included studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD010772.pub3DOI Listing
July 2021

Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) for the early detection of dementia across a variety of healthcare settings.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 Jul 18;7:CD011333. Epub 2021 Jul 18.

Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background: The Informant Questionnaire for Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) is a structured interview based on informant responses that is used to assess for possible dementia. IQCODE has been used for retrospective or contemporaneous assessment of cognitive decline. There is considerable interest in tests that may identify those at future risk of developing dementia. Assessing a population free of dementia for the prospective development of dementia is an approach often used in studies of dementia biomarkers. In theory, questionnaire-based assessments, such as IQCODE, could be used in a similar way, assessing for dementia that is diagnosed on a later (delayed) assessment.

Objectives: To determine the accuracy of the informant-based questionnaire IQCODE for the early detection of dementia across a variety of health care settings.

Search Methods: We searched these sources on 16 January 2016: ALOIS (Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group), MEDLINE Ovid SP, Embase Ovid SP, PsycINFO Ovid SP, BIOSIS Previews on Thomson Reuters Web of Science, Web of Science Core Collection (includes Conference Proceedings Citation Index) on Thomson Reuters Web of Science, CINAHL EBSCOhost, and LILACS BIREME. We also searched sources specific to diagnostic test accuracy: MEDION (Universities of Maastricht and Leuven); DARE (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, in the Cochrane Library); HTA Database (Health Technology Assessment Database, in the Cochrane Library), and ARIF (Birmingham University). We checked reference lists of included studies and reviews, used searches of included studies in PubMed to track related articles, and contacted research groups conducting work on IQCODE for dementia diagnosis to try to find additional studies. We developed a sensitive search strategy; search terms were designed to cover key concepts using several different approaches run in parallel, and included terms relating to cognitive tests, cognitive screening, and dementia. We used standardised database subject headings, such as MeSH terms (in MEDLINE) and other standardised headings (controlled vocabulary) in other databases, as appropriate.

Selection Criteria: We selected studies that included a population free from dementia at baseline, who were assessed with the IQCODE and subsequently assessed for the development of dementia over time. The implication was that at the time of testing, the individual had a cognitive problem sufficient to result in an abnormal IQCODE score (defined by the study authors), but not yet meeting dementia diagnostic criteria.

Data Collection And Analysis: We screened all titles generated by the electronic database searches, and reviewed abstracts of all potentially relevant studies. Two assessors independently checked the full papers for eligibility and extracted data. We determined quality assessment (risk of bias and applicability) using the QUADAS-2 tool, and reported quality using the STARDdem tool.

Main Results: From 85 papers describing IQCODE, we included three papers, representing data from 626 individuals. Of this total, 22% (N = 135/626) were excluded because of prevalent dementia. There was substantial attrition; 47% (N = 295) of the study population received reference standard assessment at first follow-up (three to six months) and 28% (N = 174) received reference standard assessment at final follow-up (one to three years). Prevalence of dementia ranged from 12% to 26% at first follow-up and 16% to 35% at final follow-up. The three studies were considered to be too heterogenous to combine, so we did not perform meta-analyses to describe summary estimates of interest. Included patients were poststroke (two papers) and hip fracture (one paper). The IQCODE was used at three thresholds of positivity (higher than 3.0, higher than 3.12 and higher than 3.3) to predict those at risk of a future diagnosis of dementia. Using a cut-off of 3.0, IQCODE had a sensitivity of 0.75 (95%CI 0.51 to 0.91) and a specificity of 0.46 (95%CI 0.34 to 0.59) at one year following stroke. Using a cut-off of 3.12, the IQCODE had a sensitivity of 0.80 (95%CI 0.44 to 0.97) and specificity of 0.53 (95C%CI 0.41 to 0.65) for the clinical diagnosis of dementia at six months after hip fracture. Using a cut-off of 3.3, the IQCODE had a sensitivity of 0.84 (95%CI 0.68 to 0.94) and a specificity of 0.87 (95%CI 0.76 to 0.94) for the clinical diagnosis of dementia at one year after stroke. In generaI, the IQCODE was sensitive for identification of those who would develop dementia, but lacked specificity. Methods for both excluding prevalent dementia at baseline and assessing for the development of dementia were varied, and had the potential to introduce bias.

Authors' Conclusions: Included studies were heterogenous, recruited from specialist settings, and had potential biases. The studies identified did not allow us to make specific recommendations on the use of the IQCODE for the future detection of dementia in clinical practice. The included studies highlighted the challenges of delayed verification dementia research, with issues around prevalent dementia assessment, loss to follow-up over time, and test non-completion potentially limiting the studies. Future research should recognise these issues and have explicit protocols for dealing with them.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011333.pub3DOI Listing
July 2021

Comparing performance on the Months of the Year Backwards test in hospitalised patients with delirium, dementia, and no cognitive impairment: an exploratory study.

Eur Geriatr Med 2021 Jun 22. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Geriatric Medicine, Edinburgh Delirium Research Group, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Purpose: To investigate performance of the Months of the Year Backwards (MOTYB) test in older hospitalised patients with delirium, dementia, and no cognitive impairment.

Methods: Secondary analysis of data from a case-control study of 149 hospitalised patients aged ≥ 65 years with delirium [with or without dementia (N = 50)], dementia [without delirium (N = 46)], and no cognitive impairment (N = 53). Verbatim transcripts of MOTYB audio recordings were analysed to determine group differences in response patterns.

Results: In the total sample [median age 85y (IQR 80-88), 82% female], patients with delirium were more often unable to recite months backward to November (36/50 = 72%) than patients with dementia (21/46 = 46%; p < 0.01) and both differed significantly from patients without cognitive impairment (2/53 = 4%; p's < 0.001). 121/149 (81%) of patients were able to engage with the test. Patients with delirium were more often unable to engage with MOTYB (23/50 = 46%; e.g., due to reduced arousal) than patients with dementia (5/46 = 11%; p < 0.001); both groups differed significantly (p's < 0.001) from patients without cognitive impairment (0/53 = 0%). There was no statistically significant difference between patients with delirium (2/27 = 7%) and patients with dementia (8/41 = 20%) in completing MOTYB to January, but performance in both groups differed (p < 0.001 and p < 0.02, respectively) from patients without cognitive impairment (35/53 = 66%).

Conclusion: Delirium was associated with inability to engage with MOTYB and low rates of completion. In patients able to engage with the test, error-free completion rates were low in delirium and dementia. Recording of engagement and patterns of errors may add useful information to MOTYB scoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41999-021-00521-4DOI Listing
June 2021

Levothyroxine Treatment and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Older People With Subclinical Hypothyroidism: Pooled Individual Results of Two Randomised Controlled Trials.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2021 20;12:674841. Epub 2021 May 20.

Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands.

Background: The cardiovascular effects of treating older adults with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) are uncertain. Although concerns have been raised regarding a potential increase in cardiovascular side effects from thyroid hormone replacement, undertreatment may also increase the risk of cardiovascular events, especially for patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Objective: To determine the effects of levothyroxine treatment on cardiovascular outcomes in older adults with SCH.

Methods: Combined data of two parallel randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trials TRUST (Thyroid hormone Replacement for Untreated older adults with Subclinical hypothyroidism - a randomised placebo controlled Trial) and IEMO80+ (the Institute for Evidence-Based Medicine in Old Age 80-plus thyroid trial) were analysed as one-stage individual participant data. Participants aged ≥65 years for TRUST (n=737) and ≥80 years for IEMO80+ (n=105) with SCH, defined by elevated TSH with fT4 within the reference range, were included. Participants were randomly assigned to receive placebo or levothyroxine, with titration of the dose until TSH level was within the reference range. Cardiovascular events and cardiovascular side effects of overtreatment (new-onset atrial fibrillation and heart failure) were investigated, including stratified analyses according to CVD history and age.

Results: The median [IQR] age was 75.0 [69.7-81.1] years, and 448 participants (53.2%) were women. The mean TSH was 6.38± SD 5.7 mIU/L at baseline and decreased at 1 year to 5.66 ± 3.3 mIU/L in the placebo group, compared with 3.66 ± 2.1 mIU/L in the levothyroxine group (p<0.001), at a median dose of 50 μg. Levothyroxine did not significantly change the risk of any of the prespecified cardiovascular outcomes, including cardiovascular events (HR 0.74 [0.41-1.25]), atrial fibrillation (HR 0.69 [0.32-1.52]), or heart failure (0.41 [0.13-1.35]), or all-cause mortality (HR 1.28 [0.54-3.03]), irrespective of history of CVD and age.

Conclusion: Treatment with levothyroxine did not significantly change the risk of cardiovascular outcomes in older adults with subclinical hypothyroidism, irrespective of a history of cardiovascular disease and age.

Clinical Trial Registration: [ClinicalTrials.gov], identifier [NCT01660126] (TRUST); Netherlands Trial Register: NTR3851 (IEMO80+).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.674841DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8173189PMC
May 2021

Is Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Admission Avoidance Hospital at Home an Alternative to Hospital Admission for Older Persons? : A Randomized Trial.

Ann Intern Med 2021 Jul 20;174(7):889-898. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom (J.Y.).

Background: Delivering hospital-level care with comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) in the home is one approach to deal with the increased demand for bed-based hospital care, but clinical effectiveness is uncertain.

Objective: To assess the clinical effectiveness of admission avoidance hospital at home (HAH) with CGA for older persons.

Design: Multisite randomized trial. (ISRCTN registry number: ISRCTN60477865).

Setting: 9 hospital and community sites in the United Kingdom.

Patients: 1055 older persons who were medically unwell, were physiologically stable, and were referred for a hospital admission.

Intervention: Admission avoidance HAH with CGA versus hospital admission with CGA when available using 2:1 randomization.

Measurements: The primary outcome of living at home was measured at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were new admission to long-term residential care, death, health status, delirium, and patient satisfaction.

Results: Participants had a mean age of 83.3 years (SD, 7.0). At 6-month follow-up, 528 of 672 (78.6%) participants in the CGA HAH group versus 247 of 328 (75.3%) participants in the hospital group were living at home (relative risk [RR], 1.05 [95% CI, 0.95 to 1.15]; = 0.36); 114 of 673 (16.9%) versus 58 of 328 (17.7%) had died (RR, 0.98 [CI, 0.65 to 1.47]; = 0.92); and 37 of 646 (5.7%) versus 27 of 311 (8.7%) were in long-term residential care (RR, 0.58 [CI, 0.45 to 0.76]; < 0.001).

Limitation: The findings are most applicable to older persons referred from a hospital short-stay acute medical assessment unit; episodes of delirium may have been undetected.

Conclusion: Admission avoidance HAH with CGA led to similar outcomes as hospital admission in the proportion of older persons living at home as well as a decrease in admissions to long-term residential care at 6 months. This type of service can provide an alternative to hospitalization for selected older persons.

Primary Funding Source: The National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research Programme (12/209/66).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M20-5688DOI Listing
July 2021

Genetically determined NLRP3 inflammasome activation associates with systemic inflammation and cardiovascular mortality.

Eur Heart J 2021 05;42(18):1742-1756

Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute, Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine, 1462 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Aims: Inflammation plays an important role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) development. The NOD-like receptor protein-3 (NLRP3) inflammasome contributes to the development of atherosclerosis in animal models. Components of the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway such as interleukin-1β can therapeutically be targeted. Associations of genetically determined inflammasome-mediated systemic inflammation with CVD and mortality in humans are unknown.

Methods And Results: We explored the association of genetic NLRP3 variants with prevalent CVD and cardiovascular mortality in 538 167 subjects on the individual participant level in an explorative gene-centric approach without performing multiple testing. Functional relevance of single-nucleotide polymorphisms on NLRP3 inflammasome activation has been evaluated in monocyte-enriched peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Genetic analyses identified the highly prevalent (minor allele frequency 39.9%) intronic NLRP3 variant rs10754555 to affect NLRP3 gene expression. rs10754555 carriers showed significantly higher C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A plasma levels. Carriers of the G allele showed higher NLRP3 inflammasome activation in isolated human PBMCs. In carriers of the rs10754555 variant, the prevalence of coronary artery disease was significantly higher as compared to non-carriers with a significant interaction between rs10754555 and age. Importantly, rs10754555 carriers had significantly higher risk for cardiovascular mortality during follow-up. Inflammasome inducers (e.g. urate, triglycerides, apolipoprotein C3) modulated the association between rs10754555 and mortality.

Conclusion: The NLRP3 intronic variant rs10754555 is associated with increased systemic inflammation, inflammasome activation, prevalent coronary artery disease, and mortality. This study provides evidence for a substantial role of genetically driven systemic inflammation in CVD and highlights the NLRP3 inflammasome as a therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8244638PMC
May 2021

Cerebral small vessel disease genomics and its implications across the lifespan.

Nat Commun 2020 12 8;11(1):6285. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL, 35233, USA.

White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are the most common brain-imaging feature of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), hypertension being the main known risk factor. Here, we identify 27 genome-wide loci for WMH-volume in a cohort of 50,970 older individuals, accounting for modification/confounding by hypertension. Aggregated WMH risk variants were associated with altered white matter integrity (p = 2.5×10-7) in brain images from 1,738 young healthy adults, providing insight into the lifetime impact of SVD genetic risk. Mendelian randomization suggested causal association of increasing WMH-volume with stroke, Alzheimer-type dementia, and of increasing blood pressure (BP) with larger WMH-volume, notably also in persons without clinical hypertension. Transcriptome-wide colocalization analyses showed association of WMH-volume with expression of 39 genes, of which four encode known drug targets. Finally, we provide insight into BP-independent biological pathways underlying SVD and suggest potential for genetic stratification of high-risk individuals and for genetically-informed prioritization of drug targets for prevention trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19111-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722866PMC
December 2020

Association of circulating metabolites in plasma or serum and risk of stroke: Meta-analysis from seven prospective cohorts.

Neurology 2020 Dec 2. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands;

Objective: To conduct a comprehensive analysis of circulating metabolites and incident stroke in large prospective population-based settings.

Methods: We investigated the association of metabolites with risk of stroke in seven prospective cohort studies including 1,791 incident stroke events among 38,797 participants in whom circulating metabolites were measured by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (H-NMR) technology. The relationship between metabolites and stroke was assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression models. The analyses were performed considering all incident stroke events and ischemic and hemorrhagic events separately.

Results: The analyses revealed ten significant metabolite associations. Amino acid histidine (hazard ratio (HR) per standard deviation (SD) = 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.85, 0.94; = 4.45×10), glycolysis-related metabolite pyruvate (HR per SD = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.14; = 7.45×10), acute phase reaction marker glycoprotein acetyls (HR per SD = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.15; = 1.27×10), cholesterol in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) 2 and several other lipoprotein particles were associated with risk of stroke. When focusing on incident ischemic stroke, a significant association was observed with phenylalanine (HR per SD = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.19; 4.13×10) and total and free cholesterol in large HDL particles.

Conclusions: We found association of amino acids, glycolysis-related metabolites, acute phase reaction markers, and several lipoprotein subfractions with the risk of stroke. These findings support the potential of metabolomics to provide new insights into the metabolic changes preceding stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011236DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8055347PMC
December 2020

Association of common genetic variants with brain microbleeds: A genome-wide association study.

Neurology 2020 12 10;95(24):e3331-e3343. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

From the Departments of Epidemiology (M.J.K., H.H.H.A., D.V., S.J.v.d.L., P.Y., M.W.V., N.A., C.M.v.D., M.A.I.), Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (H.H.H.A., P.Y., A.v.d.L., M.W.V.), and Clinical Genetics (H.H.H.A.), Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Stroke Research Group, Department of Clinical Neurosciences (D.L., M.T., J.L., D.J.T., H.S.M.), University of Cambridge, UK; Department of Neurology (J.R.J.R., C.L.S., J.J.H., A.S.B., C.D., S. Seshadri), Boston University School of Medicine; The Framingham Heart Study (J.R.J.R., C.L.S., J.J.H., A.S.B., S. Seshadri), MA; Department of Biostatistics (A.V.S.), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Icelandic Heart Association (A.V.S., S. Sigurdsson, V.G.), Kopavogur, Iceland; Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, McGovern Medical School (M.F.), and Human Genetics Center, School of Public Health (M.F.), University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Clinical Division of Neurogeriatrics, Department of Neurology (E.H., L.P., R.S.), Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation (E.H.), and Gottfried Schatz Research Center, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (Y.S., H.S.), Medical University of Graz, Austria; Center of Cerebrovascular Diseases, Department of Neurology (J.L.), West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu; Stroke Research Centre, Queen Square Institute of Neurology (I.C.H., D.W., H.H., D.J.W.), University College London, UK; Department of Neurosurgery (I.C.H.), Klinikum rechts der Isar, University of Munich, Germany; Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, Psychology (M.L., D.C.M.L., M.E.B., I.J.D., J.M.W.), and Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, Edinburgh Imaging, UK Dementia Research Institute (M.E.B., J.M.W.), University of Edinburgh, UK; Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics (S.T.), Department of Cardiology (S.T., J.v.d.G., J.W.J.), Section of Molecular Epidemiology, Biomedical Data Sciences (E.B.v.d.A., M.B., P.E.S.), Leiden Computational Biology Center, Biomedical Data Sciences (E.B.v.d.A.), Department of Radiology (J.v.d.G.), and Einthoven Laboratory for Experimental Vascular Medicine (J.W.J.), Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands; Department of Neurology (A.-K.G., N.S.R.), Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Memory Aging and Cognition Center (S.H., C.C.), National University Health System, Singapore; Department of Pharmacology (S.H., C.C.) and Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (S.H.), National University of Singapore and National University Health System, Singapore; Pattern Recognition & Bioinformatics (E.B.v.d.A.), Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands; Department of Biostatistics (S.L., J.J.H., Q.Y., A.S.B.), Boston University School of Public Health, MA; Department of Radiology (C.R.J., K.K.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's & Neurodegenerative Diseases (C.L.S., S. Seshadri), UT Health San Antonio, TX; Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics (B.G.W., T.H.M), and Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Center (T.H.M.), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson; Singapore Eye Research Institute (C.Y.C., J.Y.K., T.Y.W.); Department of Neuroradiology (Z.M., J.M.W.), NHS Lothian, Edinburgh; Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences (D.J.S.), College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK; Division of Cerebrovascular Neurology (R.F.G.), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; Department of Neuroradiology (A.D.M.), Atkinson Morley Neurosciences Centre, St George's NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK; Department of Neurology (C.D.), University of California at Davis; Nuffield Department of Population Health (C.M.v.D.), University of Oxford, UK; Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences (L.J.L.), National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD; and Faculty of Medicine (V.G.), University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Objective: To identify common genetic variants associated with the presence of brain microbleeds (BMBs).

Methods: We performed genome-wide association studies in 11 population-based cohort studies and 3 case-control or case-only stroke cohorts. Genotypes were imputed to the Haplotype Reference Consortium or 1000 Genomes reference panel. BMBs were rated on susceptibility-weighted or T2*-weighted gradient echo MRI sequences, and further classified as lobar or mixed (including strictly deep and infratentorial, possibly with lobar BMB). In a subset, we assessed the effects of ε2 and ε4 alleles on BMB counts. We also related previously identified cerebral small vessel disease variants to BMBs.

Results: BMBs were detected in 3,556 of the 25,862 participants, of which 2,179 were strictly lobar and 1,293 mixed. One locus in the region reached genome-wide significance for its association with BMB (lead rs769449; odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval (CI)] 1.33 [1.21-1.45]; = 2.5 × 10). ε4 alleles were associated with strictly lobar (OR [95% CI] 1.34 [1.19-1.50]; = 1.0 × 10) but not with mixed BMB counts (OR [95% CI] 1.04 [0.86-1.25]; = 0.68). ε2 alleles did not show associations with BMB counts. Variants previously related to deep intracerebral hemorrhage and lacunar stroke, and a risk score of cerebral white matter hyperintensity variants, were associated with BMB.

Conclusions: Genetic variants in the region are associated with the presence of BMB, most likely due to the ε4 allele count related to a higher number of strictly lobar BMBs. Genetic predisposition to small vessel disease confers risk of BMB, indicating genetic overlap with other cerebral small vessel disease markers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010852DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836652PMC
December 2020

Effect of Thyroid Hormone Therapy on Fatigability in Older Adults With Subclinical Hypothyroidism: A Nested Study Within a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2020 09;75(9):e89-e94

Institute of Primary Health Care (BIHAM), University of Bern, Switzerland.

Background: Fatigue often triggers screening for and treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism. However, data on the impact of levothyroxine on fatigue is limited and previous studies might not have captured all aspects of fatigue.

Method: This study is nested within the randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter TRUST trial, including community-dwelling participants aged ≥65 and older, with persistent subclinical hypothyroidism (TSH 4.60-19.99 mIU/L, normal free thyroxine levels) from Switzerland and Ireland. Interventions consisted of daily levothyroxine starting with 50 μg (25 μg if weight <50 kg or known coronary heart diseases) together with dose adjustments to achieve a normal TSH and mock titration in the placebo group. Main outcome was the change in physical and mental fatigability using the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale over 1 year, assessed through multivariable linear regression with adjustment for country, sex, and levothyroxine starting dose.

Results: Among 230 participants, the mean ± standard deviation (SD) TSH was 6.2 ± 1.9 mIU/L at baseline and decreased to 3.1 ± 1.3 with LT4 (n = 119) versus 5.3 ± 2.3 with placebo (n = 111, p < .001) after 1 year. After adjustment we found no between-group difference at 1 year on perceived physical (0.2; 95% CI -1.8 to 2.1; p = .88), or mental fatigability (-1.0; 95% CI -2.8 to 0.8; p = .26). In participants with higher fatigability at baseline (≥15 points for the physical score [n = 88] or ≥13 points for the mental score [n = 41]), the adjusted between-group differences at 1 year were 0.4 (95% CI -3.6 to 2.8, p = .79) and -2.2 (95% CI -8.8 to 4.5, p = .51).

Conclusions: Levothyroxine in older adults with mild subclinical hypothyroidism provides no change in physical or mental fatigability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7494024PMC
September 2020

Common Genetic Variation Indicates Separate Causes for Periventricular and Deep White Matter Hyperintensities.

Stroke 2020 07 10;51(7):2111-2121. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Department of Psychiatry (C.F.-N.), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA.

Background And Purpose: Periventricular white matter hyperintensities (WMH; PVWMH) and deep WMH (DWMH) are regional classifications of WMH and reflect proposed differences in cause. In the first study, to date, we undertook genome-wide association analyses of DWMH and PVWMH to show that these phenotypes have different genetic underpinnings.

Methods: Participants were aged 45 years and older, free of stroke and dementia. We conducted genome-wide association analyses of PVWMH and DWMH in 26,654 participants from CHARGE (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology), ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro-Imaging Genetics Through Meta-Analysis), and the UKB (UK Biobank). Regional correlations were investigated using the genome-wide association analyses -pairwise method. Cross-trait genetic correlations between PVWMH, DWMH, stroke, and dementia were estimated using LDSC.

Results: In the discovery and replication analysis, for PVWMH only, we found associations on chromosomes 2 (), 10q23.1 (), and 10q24.33 ( In the much larger combined meta-analysis of all cohorts, we identified ten significant regions for PVWMH: chromosomes 2 (3 regions), 6, 7, 10 (2 regions), 13, 16, and 17q23.1. New loci of interest include 7q36.1 () and 16q24.2. In both the discovery/replication and combined analysis, we found genome-wide significant associations for the 17q25.1 locus for both DWMH and PVWMH. Using gene-based association analysis, 19 genes across all regions were identified for PVWMH only, including the new genes: (2q32.1), (3q27.1), (5q27.1), and (22q13.1). Thirteen genes in the 17q25.1 locus were significant for both phenotypes. More extensive genetic correlations were observed for PVWMH with small vessel ischemic stroke. There were no associations with dementia for either phenotype.

Conclusions: Our study confirms these phenotypes have distinct and also shared genetic architectures. Genetic analyses indicated PVWMH was more associated with ischemic stroke whilst DWMH loci were implicated in vascular, astrocyte, and neuronal function. Our study confirms these phenotypes are distinct neuroimaging classifications and identifies new candidate genes associated with PVWMH only.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.027544DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7365038PMC
July 2020

Association of High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol With Cognitive Function: Findings From the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk.

J Aging Health 2020 10 27;32(9):1267-1274. Epub 2020 May 27.

Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, NYC, NY.

We aimed to examine whether variability in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) over time was associated with cognitive function. We conducted a post hoc analysis of the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER) trial. Our sample included 4,428 participants with at least two repeated HDL-c measures between Months 3 and 24 postbaseline and with cognitive assessments at Month 30. HDL-c variability was defined as the intraindividual standard deviation over each person's repeated measurements. Higher HDL-c variability was associated with worse performance on the Letter-Digit Coding Test (β [95% confidence interval] [CI] = -4.39 [-7.36, -1.43], = .004), immediate recall on the 15-Picture Learning Test (β [95% CI] = -0.98 [-1.86, -0.11], = .027), and delayed recall on the 15-Picture Learning Test (β [95% CI] = -1.90 [-3.14, -0.67], = .002). The associations did not vary by treatment group. Our findings suggest that variability in HDL-c may be associated with poor cognitive function among older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0898264320916959DOI Listing
October 2020

L-Thyroxine Therapy for Older Adults With Subclinical Hypothyroidism and Hypothyroid Symptoms: Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Trial.

Ann Intern Med 2020 06 5;172(11):709-716. Epub 2020 May 5.

University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; and University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California (D.C.B.).

Background: L-thyroxine does not improve hypothyroid symptoms among adults with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH). However, those with greater symptom burden before treatment may still benefit.

Objective: To determine whether L-thyroxine improves hypothyroid symptoms and tiredness among older adults with SCH and greater symptom burden.

Design: Secondary analysis of the randomized, placebo-controlled trial TRUST (Thyroid Hormone Replacement for Untreated Older Adults with Subclinical Hypothyroidism Trial). (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01660126).

Setting: Switzerland, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Scotland.

Participants: 638 persons aged 65 years or older with persistent SCH (thyroid-stimulating hormone level of 4.60 to 19.9 mIU/L for >3 months and normal free thyroxine level) and complete outcome data.

Intervention: L-thyroxine or matching placebo with mock dose titration.

Measurements: 1-year change in Hypothyroid Symptoms and Tiredness scores (range, 0 to 100; higher scores indicate more symptoms) on the Thyroid-Related Quality-of-Life Patient-Reported Outcome Questionnaire among participants with high symptom burden (baseline Hypothyroid Symptoms score >30 or Tiredness score >40) versus lower symptom burden.

Results: 132 participants had Hypothyroid Symptoms scores greater than 30, and 133 had Tiredness scores greater than 40. Among the group with high symptom burden, the Hypothyroid Symptoms score improved similarly between those receiving L-thyroxine (mean within-group change, -12.3 [95% CI, -16.6 to -8.0]) and those receiving placebo (mean within-group change, -10.4 [CI, -15.3 to -5.4]) at 1 year; the adjusted between-group difference was -2.0 (CI, -5.5 to 1.5; = 0.27). Improvements in Tiredness scores were also similar between those receiving L-thyroxine (mean within-group change, -8.9 [CI, -14.5 to -3.3]) and those receiving placebo (mean within-group change, -10.9 [CI, -16.0 to -5.8]); the adjusted between-group difference was 0.0 (CI, -4.1 to 4.0; = 0.99). There was no evidence that baseline Hypothyroid Symptoms score or Tiredness score modified the effects of L-thyroxine versus placebo ( for interaction = 0.20 and 0.82, respectively).

Limitation: Post hoc analysis, small sample size, and examination of only patients with 1-year outcome data.

Conclusion: In older adults with SCH and high symptom burden at baseline, L-thyroxine did not improve hypothyroid symptoms or tiredness compared with placebo.

Primary Funding Source: European Union FP7.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M19-3193DOI Listing
June 2020

Alcohol and mortality in older people: understanding the J-shaped curve.

Authors:
David J Stott

Age Ageing 2020 04;49(3):332-333

Academic Section of Geriatric Medicine, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G31 2ER, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afaa027DOI Listing
April 2020

The Impact of Levothyroxine on Cardiac Function in Older Adults With Mild Subclinical Hypothyroidism: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Am J Med 2020 07 12;133(7):848-856.e5. Epub 2020 Mar 12.

Institute of Primary Health Care (BIHAM), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Department of General Internal Medicine, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Background: Subclinical hypothyroidism has been associated with heart failure, but only small trials assessed whether treatment with levothyroxine has an impact on cardiac function.

Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, trial nested within the TRUST trial, Swiss participants ages ≥65 years with subclinical hypothyroidism (thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH] 4.60-19.99 mIU/L; free thyroxine level within reference range) were randomized to levothyroxine (starting dose of 50 µg daily) to achieve TSH normalization or placebo. The primary outcomes were the left ventricular ejection fraction for systolic function and the ratio between mitral peak velocity of early filling to early diastolic mitral annular velocity (E/e' ratio) for diastolic function. Secondary outcomes included e' lateral/septal, left atrial volume index, and systolic pulmonary artery pressure.

Results: A total of 185 participants (mean age 74.1 years, 47% women) underwent echocardiography at the end of the trial. After a median treatment duration of 18.4 months, the mean TSH decreased from 6.35 mIU/L to 3.55 mIU/L with levothyroxine (n = 96), and it remained elevated at 5.29 mIU/L with placebo (n = 89). The adjusted between-group difference was not significant for the mean left ventricular ejection fraction (62.7% vs 62.5%, difference = 0.4%, 95% confidence interval -1.8% to 2.5%, P = 0.72) and the E/e' ratio (10.6 vs 10.1, difference 0.4, 95% confidence interval -0.7 to 1.4, P = 0.47). No differences were found for the secondary diastolic function parameters or for interaction according to sex, baseline TSH, preexisting heart failure, and treatment duration (P value >0.05).

Conclusion: Systolic and diastolic heart function did not differ after treatment with levothyroxine compared with placebo in older adults with mild subclinical hypothyroidism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.01.018DOI Listing
July 2020

The association of kidney function and cognitive decline in older patients at risk of cardiovascular disease: a longitudinal data analysis.

BMC Nephrol 2020 03 5;21(1):81. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, 2333ZA, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been identified as a significant direct marker for cognitive decline, but controversy exists regarding the magnitude of the association of kidney function with cognitive decline across the different CKD stages. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the association of kidney function with cognitive decline in older patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease, using data from the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER).

Methods: Data of 5796 patients of PROSPER were used. Strata were made according to clinical stages of CKD based on estimated glomerular filtration rate; < 30 ml/min/1.73m (stage 4), 30-45 ml/min/1.73m (stage 3b), 45-60 ml/min/1.73m (stage 3a) and ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73m (stage 1-2). Cognitive function and functional status was assessed at six different time points and means were compared at baseline and over time, adjusted for multiple prespecified variables. Stratified analyses for history of vascular disease were executed.

Results: Mean age was 75.3 years and 48.3% participants were male. Mean follow-up was 3.2 years. For all cognitive function tests CKD stage 4 compared to the other stages had the worst outcome at baseline and a trend for faster cognitive decline over time. When comparing stage 4 versus stage 1-2 over time the estimates (95% CI) were 2.23 (0.60-3.85; p = 0.009) for the Stroop-Colour-Word test, - 0.33 (- 0.66-0.001; p = 0.051) for the Letter-Digit-Coding test, 0.08 (- 0.06-0.21; p = 0.275) for the Picture-Word-Learning test with immediate recall and - 0.07 (- 0.02-0.05; p = 0.509) for delayed recall. This association was most present in patients with a history of vascular disease. No differences were found in functional status.

Conclusion: In older people with vascular burden, only severe kidney disease (CKD stage 4), but not mild to modest kidney disease (CKD stage 3a and b), seem to be associated with cognitive impairment at baseline and cognitive decline over time. The association of severe kidney failure with cognitive impairment and decline over time was more outspoken in patients with a history of vascular disease, possibly due to a higher probability of polyvascular damage, in both kidney and brain, in patients with proven cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12882-020-01745-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059260PMC
March 2020

New horizons in iron deficiency anaemia in older adults.

Age Ageing 2020 04;49(3):309-318

Academic Section of Geriatric Medicine, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is common in older adults and associated with a range of adverse outcomes. Differentiating iron deficiency from other causes of anaemia is important to ensure appropriate investigations and treatment. It is possible to make the diagnosis reliably using simple blood tests. Clinical evaluation and assessment are required to help determine the underlying cause and to initiate appropriate investigations. IDA in men and post-menopausal females is most commonly due to occult gastrointestinal blood loss until proven otherwise, although there is a spectrum of underlying causative pathologies. Investigation decisions should take account of the wishes of the patient and their competing comorbidities, individualising the approach. Management involves supplementation using oral or intravenous (IV) iron then consideration of treatment of the underlying cause of deficiency. Future research areas are outlined including the role of Hepcidin and serum soluble transferrin receptor measurement, quantitative faecal immunochemical testing, alternative dosing regimens and the potential role of IV iron preparations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afz199DOI Listing
April 2020

A smartphone-based test for the assessment of attention deficits in delirium: A case-control diagnostic test accuracy study in older hospitalised patients.

PLoS One 2020 24;15(1):e0227471. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

Edinburgh Delirium Research Group, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Background: Delirium is a common and serious acute neuropsychiatric syndrome which is often missed in routine clinical care. Inattention is the core cognitive feature. Diagnostic test accuracy (including cut-points) of a smartphone Delirium App (DelApp) for assessing attention deficits was assessed in older hospital inpatients.

Methods: This was a case-control study of hospitalised patients aged ≥65 years with delirium (with or without pre-existing cognitive impairment), who were compared to patients with dementia without delirium, and patients without cognitive impairment. Reference standard delirium assessment, which included a neuropsychological test battery, was based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 criteria. A separate blinded assessor administered the DelApp arousal assessment (score 0-4) and attention task (0-6) yielding an overall score of 0 to 10 (lower scores indicate poorer performance). Analyses included receiver operating characteristic curves and sensitivity and specificity. Optimal cut-points for delirium detection were determined using Youden's index.

Results: A total of 187 patients were recruited, mean age 83.8 (range 67-98) years, 152 (81%) women; n = 61 with delirium; n = 61 with dementia without delirium; and n = 65 without cognitive impairment. Patients with delirium performed poorly on the DelApp (median score = 4/10; inter-quartile range 3.0, 5.5) compared to patients with dementia (9.0; 5.5, 10.0) and those without cognitive impairment (10.0; 10.0, 10.0). Area under the curve for detecting delirium was 0.89 (95% Confidence Interval 0.84, 0.94). At an optimal cut-point of ≤8, sensitivity was 91.7% (84.7%, 98.7%) and specificity 74.2% (66.5%, 81.9%) for discriminating delirium from the other groups. Specificity was 68.3% (56.6%, 80.1%) for discriminating delirium from dementia (cut-point ≤6).

Conclusion: Patients with delirium (with or without pre-existing cognitive impairment) perform poorly on the DelApp compared to patients with dementia and those without cognitive impairment. A cut-point of ≤8/10 is suggested as having optimal sensitivity and specificity. The DelApp is a promising tool for assessment of attention deficits associated with delirium in older hospitalised adults, many of whom have prior cognitive impairment, and should be further validated in representative patient cohorts.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0227471PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6980392PMC
April 2020

Genome-wide association and Mendelian randomisation analysis provide insights into the pathogenesis of heart failure.

Nat Commun 2020 01 9;11(1):163. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

Department of Biostatistics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A small proportion of HF cases are attributable to monogenic cardiomyopathies and existing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have yielded only limited insights, leaving the observed heritability of HF largely unexplained. We report results from a GWAS meta-analysis of HF comprising 47,309 cases and 930,014 controls. Twelve independent variants at 11 genomic loci are associated with HF, all of which demonstrate one or more associations with coronary artery disease (CAD), atrial fibrillation, or reduced left ventricular function, suggesting shared genetic aetiology. Functional analysis of non-CAD-associated loci implicate genes involved in cardiac development (MYOZ1, SYNPO2L), protein homoeostasis (BAG3), and cellular senescence (CDKN1A). Mendelian randomisation analysis supports causal roles for several HF risk factors, and demonstrates CAD-independent effects for atrial fibrillation, body mass index, and hypertension. These findings extend our knowledge of the pathways underlying HF and may inform new therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13690-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6952380PMC
January 2020

Skeletal Effects of Levothyroxine for Subclinical Hypothyroidism in Older Adults: A TRUST Randomized Trial Nested Study.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 01;105(1)

Institute of Primary Health Care (BIHAM), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

Context: Both thyroid dysfunction and levothyroxine (LT4) therapy have been associated with bone loss, but studies on the effect of LT4 for subclinical hypothyroidism (SHypo) on bone yielded conflicting results.

Objective: To assess the effect of LT4 treatment on bone mineral density (BMD), Trabecular Bone Score (TBS), and bone turnover markers (BTMs) in older adults with SHypo.

Design And Intervention: Planned nested substudy of the double-blind placebo-controlled TRUST trial. Participants with SHypo were randomized to LT4 with dose titration versus placebo with computerized mock titration.

Setting And Participants: 196 community-dwelling adults over 65 years enrolled at the Swiss TRUST sites had baseline and 1-year follow-up bone examinations; 4 participants withdrew due to adverse events not related to treatment.

Main Outcome Measures: One-year percentage changes of BMD, TBS, and 2 serum BTMs (serum CTX-1 [sCTX] and procollagen type 1 N-terminal polypeptide [P1NP]). Student's t-test for unadjusted analyses and linear regression adjusted for clinical center and sex were performed.

Results: Mean age was 74.3 years ± 5.7, 45.4% were women, and 19.6% were osteoporotic. The unadjusted 1-year change in lumbar spine BMD was similar between LT4 (+0.8%) and placebo-treated groups (-0.6%; between-groups difference +1.4%: 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.1 to 2.9, P = .059). Likewise, there were no between-group differences in 1-year change in TBS (-1.3%: 95% CI -3.1 to 0.6, P = .19), total hip BMD (-0.2%: 95% CI -1.1 to 0.1, P = .61), or BTMs levels (sCTX +24.1%: 95% CI -7.9 to 56.2, P = .14), or after adjustment for clinical centers and sex.

Conclusions: Over 1-year levothyroxine had no effect on bone health in older adults with SHypo.

Registration: ClinicalTrial.gov NCT01660126 and NCT02491008.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgz058DOI Listing
January 2020

Association Between Levothyroxine Treatment and Thyroid-Related Symptoms Among Adults Aged 80 Years and Older With Subclinical Hypothyroidism.

JAMA 2019 Nov;322(20):1977-1986

Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Importance: It is unclear whether levothyroxine treatment provides clinically important benefits in adults aged 80 years and older with subclinical hypothyroidism.

Objective: To determine the association of levothyroxine treatment for subclinical hypothyroidism with thyroid-related quality of life in adults aged 80 years and older.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Prospectively planned combined analysis of data involving community-dwelling adults aged 80 years and older with subclinical hypothyroidism. Data from a randomized clinical trial were combined with a subgroup of participants aged 80 years and older from a second clinical trial. The trials were conducted between April 2013 and May 2018. Final follow-up was May 4, 2018.

Exposures: Participants were randomly assigned to receive levothyroxine (n = 112; 52 participants from the first trial and 60 from the second trial) or placebo (n = 139; 53 participants from the first trial and 86 from the second trial).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Co-primary outcomes were Thyroid-Related Quality of Life Patient-Reported Outcome (ThyPRO) questionnaire scores for the domains of hypothyroid symptoms and tiredness at 1 year (range, 0-100; higher scores indicate worse quality of life; minimal clinically important difference, 9).

Results: Of 251 participants (mean age, 85 years; 118 [47%] women), 105 were included from the first clinical trial and 146 were included from the second clinical trial. A total of 212 participants (84%) completed the study. The hypothyroid symptoms score decreased from 21.7 at baseline to 19.3 at 12 months in the levothyroxine group vs from 19.8 at baseline to 17.4 at 12 months in the placebo group (adjusted between-group difference, 1.3 [95% CI, -2.7 to 5.2]; P = .53). The tiredness score increased from 25.5 at baseline to 28.2 at 12 months in the levothyroxine group vs from 25.1 at baseline to 28.7 at 12 months in the placebo group (adjusted between-group difference, -0.1 [95% CI, -4.5 to 4.3]; P = .96). At least 1 adverse event occurred in 33 participants (29.5%) in the levothyroxine group (the most common adverse event was cerebrovascular accident, which occurred in 3 participants [2.2%]) and 40 participants (28.8%) in the placebo group (the most common adverse event was pneumonia, which occurred in 4 [3.6%] participants).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this prospectively planned analysis of data from 2 clinical trials involving adults aged 80 years and older with subclinical hypothyroidism, treatment with levothyroxine, compared with placebo, was not significantly associated with improvement in hypothyroid symptoms or fatigue. These findings do not support routine use of levothyroxine for treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism in adults aged 80 years and older.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01660126; Netherlands Trial Register: NTR3851.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2019.17274DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6822162PMC
November 2019

A pragmatic, multi-centered, stepped wedge, cluster randomized controlled trial pilot of the clinical and cost effectiveness of a complex Stroke Oral healthCare intervention pLan Evaluation II (SOCLE II) compared with usual oral healthcare in stroke wards.

Int J Stroke 2020 04 30;15(3):318-323. Epub 2019 Sep 30.

Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background: Patients with stroke-associated pneumonia experience poorer outcomes (increased hospital stays, costs, discharge dependency, and risk of death). High-quality, organized oral healthcare may reduce the incidence of stroke-associated pneumonia and improve oral health and quality of life.

Aims: We piloted a pragmatic, stepped-wedge, cluster randomized controlled trial of clinical and cost effectiveness of enhanced versus usual oral healthcare for people in stroke rehabilitation settings.

Methods: Scottish stroke rehabilitation wards were randomly allocated to stepped time-points for conversion from usual to enhanced oral healthcare. All admissions and nursing staff were eligible for inclusion. We piloted the viability of randomization, intervention, data collection, record linkage procedures, our sample size, screening, and recruitment estimates. The stepped-wedge trial design prevented full blinding of outcome assessors and staff. Predetermined criteria for progression included the validity of enhanced oral healthcare intervention (training, oral healthcare protocol, assessment, equipment), data collection, and stroke-associated pneumonia event rate and relationship between stroke-associated pneumonia and plaque.

Results: We screened 1548/2613 (59%) admissions to four wards, recruiting  = 325 patients and  = 112 nurses. We observed marked between-site diversity in admissions, recruitment populations, stroke-associated pneumonia events (0% to 21%), training, and resource use. No adverse events were reported. Oral healthcare documentation was poor. We found no evidence of a difference in stroke-associated pneumonia between enhanced versus usual oral healthcare ( = 0.62, odds ratio = 0.61, confidence interval: 0.08 to 4.42).

Conclusions: Our stepped-wedge cluster randomized control trial accommodated between-site diversity. The stroke-associated pneumonia event rate did not meet our predetermined progression criteria. We did not meet our predefined progression criteria including the SAP event rate and consequently were unable to establish whether there is a relationship between SAP and plaque. A wide confidence interval did not exclude the possibility that enhanced oral healthcare may result in a benefit or detrimental effect.

Trial Registration: NCT01954212.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1747493019871824DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7153219PMC
April 2020

Delirium in an Acute Stroke Setting, Occurrence, and Risk Factors.

Stroke 2019 11 26;50(11):3265-3268. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

From the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Scotland.

Background and Purpose- Delirium is a common and serious complication of acute illness. We describe delirium occurrence in an unselected, acute stroke population. Methods- We collected data from consecutive stroke admissions. We performed comprehensive cognitive assessment within the first week including Diagnostic Statistical Manual-5-based delirium diagnosis. We reported proportion with delirium and the clinical and demographic associations with delirium using multiple logistic regression. Results- Of 708 patients, median age of 71 years (interquartile range, 59-80), we recorded delirium in 187 of 708 (26.4%; 95% CI, 23.0-30.0). Across 395 patients with complete risk factor data (105 delirium), factors independently associated with delirium were: age (odds ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.03-1.08), drug/alcohol misuse (odds ratio, 2.64; 95% CI, 1.10-6.26), and stroke severity (odds ratio, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.14-1.31). Conclusions- Delirium is common in acute stroke, affecting 1 in 4. It may be possible to predict those at risk using prestroke and stroke-specific factors. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: researchregistry.com. Protocol: 1147.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.025993DOI Listing
November 2019

Genome-Wide Association Study of Apparent Treatment-Resistant Hypertension in the CHARGE Consortium: The CHARGE Pharmacogenetics Working Group.

Am J Hypertens 2019 11;32(12):1146-1153

Robertson Center for Biostatistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background: Only a handful of genetic discovery efforts in apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (aTRH) have been described.

Methods: We conducted a case-control genome-wide association study of aTRH among persons treated for hypertension, using data from 10 cohorts of European ancestry (EA) and 5 cohorts of African ancestry (AA). Cases were treated with 3 different antihypertensive medication classes and had blood pressure (BP) above goal (systolic BP ≥ 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm Hg) or 4 or more medication classes regardless of BP control (nEA = 931, nAA = 228). Both a normotensive control group and a treatment-responsive control group were considered in separate analyses. Normotensive controls were untreated (nEA = 14,210, nAA = 2,480) and had systolic BP/diastolic BP < 140/90 mm Hg. Treatment-responsive controls (nEA = 5,266, nAA = 1,817) had BP at goal (<140/90 mm Hg), while treated with one antihypertensive medication class. Individual cohorts used logistic regression with adjustment for age, sex, study site, and principal components for ancestry to examine the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms with case-control status. Inverse variance-weighted fixed-effects meta-analyses were carried out using METAL.

Results: The known hypertension locus, CASZ1, was a top finding among EAs (P = 1.1 × 10-8) and in the race-combined analysis (P = 1.5 × 10-9) using the normotensive control group (rs12046278, odds ratio = 0.71 (95% confidence interval: 0.6-0.8)). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in this locus were robustly replicated in the Million Veterans Program (MVP) study in consideration of a treatment-responsive control group. There were no statistically significant findings for the discovery analyses including treatment-responsive controls.

Conclusion: This genomic discovery effort for aTRH identified CASZ1 as an aTRH risk locus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpz150DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6856621PMC
November 2019

Should I stay or should I go? A retrospective propensity score-matched analysis using administrative data of hospital-at-home for older people in Scotland.

BMJ Open 2019 05 9;9(5):e023350. Epub 2019 May 9.

Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Objectives: To compare the characteristics of populations admitted to hospital-at-home services with the population admitted to hospital and assess the association of these services with healthcare costs and mortality.

Design: In a retrospective observational cohort study of linked patient level data, we used propensity score matching in combination with regression analysis.

Participants: Patients aged 65 years and older admitted to hospital-at-home or hospital.

Interventions: Three geriatrician-led admission avoidance hospital-at-home services in Scotland.

Outcome Measures: Healthcare costs and mortality.

Results: Patients in hospital-at-home were older and more socioeconomically disadvantaged, had higher rates of previous hospitalisation and there was a greater proportion of women and people with several chronic conditions compared with the population admitted to hospital. The cost of providing hospital-at-home varied between the three sites from £628 to £2928 per admission. Hospital-at-home was associated with 18% lower costs during the follow-up period in site 1 (ratio of means 0.82; 95% CI: 0.76 to 0.89). Limiting the analysis to costs during the 6 months following index discharge, patients in the hospital-at-home cohorts had 27% higher costs (ratio of means 1.27; 95% CI: 1.14 to 1.41) in site 1, 9% (ratio of means 1.09; 95% CI: 0.95 to 1.24) in site 2 and 70% in site 3 (ratio of means 1.70; 95% CI: 1.40 to 2.07) compared with patients in the control cohorts. Admission to hospital-at-home was associated with an increased risk of death during the follow-up period in all three sites (1.09, 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.19 site 1; 1.29, 95% CI: 1.15 to 1.44 site 2; 1.27, 95% CI: 1.06 to 1.54 site 3).

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that in these three cohorts, the populations admitted to hospital-at-home and hospital differ. We cannot rule out the risk of residual confounding, as our analysis relied on an administrative data set and we lacked data on disease severity and type of hospitalised care received in the control cohorts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023350DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6527981PMC
May 2019

Author Correction: Study of 300,486 individuals identifies 148 independent genetic loci influencing general cognitive function.

Nat Commun 2019 May 1;10(1):2068. Epub 2019 May 1.

Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, 00014, Finland.

Christina M. Lill, who contributed to analysis of data, was inadvertently omitted from the author list in the originally published version of this article. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10160-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6494826PMC
May 2019

Association of Chromosome 9p21 With Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease Events.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2019 04 21;12(4):e002471. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital (M.H.).

Background: Genetic variation at chromosome 9p21 is a recognized risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, its effect on disease progression and subsequent events is unclear, raising questions about its value for stratification of residual risk.

Methods: A variant at chromosome 9p21 (rs1333049) was tested for association with subsequent events during follow-up in 103 357 Europeans with established CHD at baseline from the GENIUS-CHD (Genetics of Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease) Consortium (73.1% male, mean age 62.9 years). The primary outcome, subsequent CHD death or myocardial infarction (CHD death/myocardial infarction), occurred in 13 040 of the 93 115 participants with available outcome data. Effect estimates were compared with case/control risk obtained from the CARDIoGRAMplusC4D consortium (Coronary Artery Disease Genome-wide Replication and Meta-analysis [CARDIoGRAM] plus The Coronary Artery Disease [C4D] Genetics) including 47 222 CHD cases and 122 264 controls free of CHD.

Results: Meta-analyses revealed no significant association between chromosome 9p21 and the primary outcome of CHD death/myocardial infarction among those with established CHD at baseline (GENIUS-CHD odds ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.99-1.05). This contrasted with a strong association in CARDIoGRAMPlusC4D odds ratio 1.20; 95% CI, 1.18-1.22; P for interaction <0.001 compared with the GENIUS-CHD estimate. Similarly, no clear associations were identified for additional subsequent outcomes, including all-cause death, although we found a modest positive association between chromosome 9p21 and subsequent revascularization (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.04-1.09).

Conclusions: In contrast to studies comparing individuals with CHD to disease-free controls, we found no clear association between genetic variation at chromosome 9p21 and risk of subsequent acute CHD events when all individuals had CHD at baseline. However, the association with subsequent revascularization may support the postulated mechanism of chromosome 9p21 for promoting atheroma development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002471DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6625876PMC
April 2019

Subsequent Event Risk in Individuals With Established Coronary Heart Disease.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2019 04 21;12(4):e002470. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, Centre for Pharmacogenomics (Y.G., R.M.C.-D., J.A.J.), University of Florida, Gainesville.

Background: The Genetics of Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease (GENIUS-CHD) consortium was established to facilitate discovery and validation of genetic variants and biomarkers for risk of subsequent CHD events, in individuals with established CHD.

Methods: The consortium currently includes 57 studies from 18 countries, recruiting 185 614 participants with either acute coronary syndrome, stable CHD, or a mixture of both at baseline. All studies collected biological samples and followed-up study participants prospectively for subsequent events.

Results: Enrollment into the individual studies took place between 1985 to present day with a duration of follow-up ranging from 9 months to 15 years. Within each study, participants with CHD are predominantly of self-reported European descent (38%-100%), mostly male (44%-91%) with mean ages at recruitment ranging from 40 to 75 years. Initial feasibility analyses, using a federated analysis approach, yielded expected associations between age (hazard ratio, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.14-1.16) per 5-year increase, male sex (hazard ratio, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.13-1.21) and smoking (hazard ratio, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.35-1.51) with risk of subsequent CHD death or myocardial infarction and differing associations with other individual and composite cardiovascular endpoints.

Conclusions: GENIUS-CHD is a global collaboration seeking to elucidate genetic and nongenetic determinants of subsequent event risk in individuals with established CHD, to improve residual risk prediction and identify novel drug targets for secondary prevention. Initial analyses demonstrate the feasibility and reliability of a federated analysis approach. The consortium now plans to initiate and test novel hypotheses as well as supporting replication and validation analyses for other investigators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002470DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6629546PMC
April 2019