Publications by authors named "Eero Kajantie"

397 Publications

Effect of High-Dose vs Standard-Dose Vitamin D Supplementation on Neurodevelopment of Healthy Term Infants: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Sep 1;4(9):e2124493. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Psychology/Welfare Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.

Importance: Vitamin D may be important for neurodevelopment. The optimal daily dose of vitamin D for early brain development is not known.

Objectives: To test whether a higher (1200 IU) vs standard (400 IU) dose of vitamin D3 has beneficial effects on neurodevelopment in the first 2 years of life and whether serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration is associated with neurodevelopment.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This double-blind, interventional randomized clinical trial involved healthy infants born full-term between January 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, at a maternity hospital in Helsinki, Finland, at the 60th northern latitude. Two-year follow-up was conducted by May 30, 2016. Data analysis was by the intention-to-treat principle. Data were analyzed from November 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021.

Interventions: Randomization of 404 infants to receive 400 IU of oral vitamin D3 supplementation daily and 397 infants to receive 1200 IU of oral vitamin D3 supplementation daily from 2 weeks to 24 months of age.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary outcomes were child total developmental milestone scores at 12 and 24 months of age measured using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (total score is calculated as a mean of the 5 subscale scores: total score range, 0-60, where 0 indicates delay in all developmental domains and 60 indicates that the child can master all age-specific skills) as well as externalizing, internalizing, and dysregulation problems and competencies scores at 24 months measured using the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (range 0-2, where 0 indicates no problems or no competencies and 2 indicates a high level of problems or a high level of competencies; variables were standardized to the mean [SD] of 0 [1]). Secondary outcomes were specific skills, problems, and competencies derived from these questionnaires.

Results: Of the 987 families recruited, 495 children were randomly assigned to receive 400 IU of vitamin D3, and 492 children were randomly assigned to receive 1200 IU of vitamin D3. A total of 801 families participated in the follow-up at 12 and/or 24 months, with 404 children (207 girls [51.2%]) in the 400-IU group and 397 children (198 girls [49.9%]) in the 1200-IU group. All children were of Northern European ethnicity. No differences were found between the 400-IU group and the 1200-IU group in the mean (SD) adjusted Ages and Stages Questionnaire total score at 12 months (45.0 [7.1] vs 46.2 [7.9]; mean difference [MD], 1.17 [95% CI, -0.06 to 2.38]) or 24 months (50.9 [5.3] vs 51.5 [5.5]; MD, 0.48 [95% CI, -0.40 to 1.36]). No differences were found between the 400-IU group and the 1200-IU group at 24 months in the mean (SD) adjusted Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment externalizing domain score (-0.07 [1.00] vs 0.07 [0.98]; MD, 0.15 [95% CI, -0.01 to 0.31]), internalizing domain score (0.04 [1.06] vs -0.02 [0.98]; MD, -0.07 [95% CI, -0.24 to 0.1.0]), dysregulation domain score (-0.00 [1.04] vs 0.02 [0.96]; MD, 0.02 [95% CI, -0.14 to 0.18]), or competencies score (-0.02 [1.02] vs 0.01 [1.02]; MD, 0.03 [95% CI, -0.13 to 0.20]). The 1200-IU group did have a higher risk in the adjusted model of scoring 1.5 SDs or more on the externalizing domain score (odds ratio, 2.33 [95% CI, 1.19-4.56]; P = .01). Levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D were not associated with the primary outcomes.

Conclusions And Relevance: Higher-than-standard vitamin D3 doses provide no systematic benefits for child neurodevelopment up to 2 years of age. However, the potential disadvantageous effects of higher doses could not be fully excluded; even if minimal, the potential nonbeneficial effects of higher-than-standard doses warrant further studies in which both safety and benefits should be evaluated.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01723852.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.24493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8427371PMC
September 2021

Betamethasone administration during pregnancy is associated with placental epigenetic changes with implications for inflammation.

Clin Epigenetics 2021 Aug 26;13(1):165. Epub 2021 Aug 26.

Institute of Medical Psychology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Luisenstr. 57, 10117, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Glucocorticoids (GCs) play a pivotal role in fetal programming. Antenatal treatment with synthetic GCs (sGCs) in individuals in danger of preterm labor is common practice. Adverse short- and long-term effects of antenatal sGCs have been reported, but their effects on placental epigenetic characteristics have never been systematically studied in humans.

Results: We tested the association between exposure to the sGC betamethasone (BET) and placental DNA methylation (DNAm) in 52 exposed cases and 84 gestational-age-matched controls. We fine-mapped associated loci using targeted bisulfite sequencing. The association of placental DNAm with gene expression and co-expression analysis on implicated genes was performed in an independent cohort including 494 placentas. Exposure to BET was significantly associated with lower placenta DNAm at an enhancer of FKBP5. FKBP5 (FK506-binding protein 51) is a co-chaperone that modulates glucocorticoid receptor activity. Lower DNAm at this enhancer site was associated with higher expression of FKBP5 and a co-expressed gene module. This module is enriched for genes associated with preeclampsia and involved in inflammation and immune response.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that BET exposure during pregnancy associates with few but lasting changes in placental DNAm and may promote a gene expression profile associated with placental dysfunction and increased inflammation. This may represent a pathway mediating GC-associated negative long-term consequences and health outcomes in offspring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-021-01153-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8393766PMC
August 2021

Preterm birth and subsequent timing of pubertal growth, menarche, and voice break.

Pediatr Res 2021 Aug 24. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

Department of Public Health and Welfare, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki and Oulu, Finland.

Background: We evaluated pubertal growth and pubertal timing of participants born preterm compared to those born at term.

Methods: In the ESTER Preterm Birth Study, we collected growth data and measured final height of men/women born very or moderately preterm (<34 gestational weeks, n = 52/55), late preterm (34-<37 weeks, 94/106), and term (≥37 weeks, 131/151), resulting in median 9 measurements at ≥6 years. Timing of menarche or voice break was self-reported. Peak height velocity (PHV, cm/year) and age at PHV (years) were compared with SuperImposition by Translation And Rotation (SITAR) model (sexes separately).

Results: Age at PHV (years) and PHV (cm/year) were similar in all gestational age groups. Compared to term controls, insignificant differences in age at PHV were 0.1 (95% CI: -0.2 to 0.4) years/0.2 (-0.1 to 0.4) for very or moderately/late preterm born men and -0.0 (-0.3 to 0.3)/-0.0 (-0.3 to 0.2) for women, respectively. Being born small for gestational age was not associated with pubertal growth. Age at menarche or voice break was similar in all the gestational age groups.

Conclusions: Timing of pubertal growth and age at menarche or voice break were similar in participants born preterm and at term.

Impact: Pubertal growth and pubertal timing were similar in preterm and term participants in a relatively large cohort with a wide range of gestational ages. Previous literature indicates that small for gestational age is a risk for early puberty in term born children. This was not shown in preterm children. While our study had limited power for children born very preterm, all children born preterm were not at increased risk for early puberty.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41390-021-01690-5DOI Listing
August 2021

Longitudinal metabolic profiling of maternal obesity, gestational diabetes and hypertensive pregnancy disorders.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 Jun 29. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Helsinki, Finland; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Context: Comprehensive assessment of metabolism in maternal obesity and pregnancy disorders can provide information about the shared maternal-fetal milieu and give insight into both maternal long-term health and intergenerational transmission of disease burden.

Objective: To assess levels, profiles and change in the levels of metabolic measures during pregnancies complicated by obesity, gestational diabetes (GDM) or hypertensive disorders.

Design, Setting And Participants: A secondary analysis of two study cohorts, PREDO and RADIEL, including 741 pregnant women.

Main Outcome Measures: We assessed 225 metabolic measures by nuclear magnetic resonance in blood samples collected at median 13 (interquartile range, 12.4-13.7), 20 (19.3-23.0) and 28 (27.0-35.0) weeks of gestation.

Results: Across all three time points women with obesity (body mass index, BMI≥30kg/m 2) in comparison to normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.99 kg/m 2) had significantly higher levels of most very-low-density-lipoprotein-related measures, many fatty and most amino acids and more adverse metabolic profiles. The change in the levels of most metabolic measures during pregnancy was smaller in obese than in normal weight women. GDM, preeclampsia and chronic hypertension were associated with metabolic alterations similar to obesity. The associations of obesity held after adjustment for GDM and hypertensive disorders, but many of the associations with GDM and hypertensive disorders were rendered non-significant after adjustment for BMI and the other pregnancy disorder.

Conclusions: This study shows that the pregnancy-related metabolic change is smaller in women with obesity, who display metabolic perturbations already in early pregnancy. Metabolic alterations of obesity and pregnancy disorders resembled each other suggesting a shared metabolic origin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab475DOI Listing
June 2021

Normal Gestational Weight Gain Protects From Large-for-Gestational-Age Birth Among Women With Obesity and Gestational Diabetes.

Front Public Health 2021 31;9:550860. Epub 2021 May 31.

PEDEGO Research Unit, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Pre-pregnancy obesity, excess gestational weight gain (GWG), and gestational diabetes (GDM) increase fetal growth. Our aim was to assess whether normal GWG is associated with lower risk for a large-for-gestational-age (LGA; over the 90th percentile of birth weight for sex and gestational age) infant and lower birth weight standard deviation (SD) score in the presence of GDM and maternal obesity. This multicenter case-control study is part of the Finnish Gestational Diabetes (FinnGeDi) Study and includes singleton pregnancies of 1,055 women with GDM and 1,032 non-diabetic controls. Women were divided into 12 subgroups according to their GDM status, pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI; kg/m), and GWG. Non-diabetic women with normal BMI and normal GWG (according to Institute of Medicine recommendations) served as a reference group. The prevalence of LGA birth was 12.2% among women with GDM and 6.2% among non-diabetic women ( < 0.001). Among all women, normal GWG was associated with lower odds of LGA [odds ratio (OR) 0.57, 95% CI: 0.41-0.78]. Among women with both obesity and GDM, the odds for giving birth to a LGA infant was 2.25-fold (95% CI: 1.04-4.85) among those with normal GWG and 7.63-fold (95% CI: 4.25-13.7) among those with excess GWG compared with the reference group. Compared with excess GWG, normal GWG was associated with 0.71 SD (95% CI: 0.47-0.97) lower birth weight SD score among women with GDM and obesity. Newborns of normal weight women with GDM and normal GWG had 0.28 SD (95% CI: 0.05-0.51) lower birth weight SD scores compared with their counterparts with excess GWG. In addition, in the group of normal weight non-diabetic women, normal GWG was associated with 0.46 SD (95% CI: 0.30-0.61) lower birth weight SD scores compared with excess GWG. GDM, obesity, and excess GWG are associated with higher risk for LGA infants. Interventions aiming at normal GWG have the potential to lower LGA rate and birth weight SD scores even when GDM and obesity are present.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.550860DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8200493PMC
July 2021

Epigenome-Wide Association Study Reveals Methylation Loci Associated With Offspring Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Exposure and Maternal Methylome.

Diabetes Care 2021 Sep 11;44(9):1992-1999. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Inserm U1283, CNRS UMR 8199, European Genomic Institute for Diabetes, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Lille, France.

Objective: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with an increased risk of obesity and insulin resistance in offspring later in life, which might be explained by epigenetic changes in response to maternal hyperglycemic exposure.

Research Design And Methods: We explored the association between GDM exposure and maternal blood and newborn cord blood methylation in 536 mother-offspring pairs from the prospective FinnGeDi cohort using Illumina MethylationEPIC 850K BeadChip arrays. We assessed two hypotheses. First, we tested for shared maternal and offspring epigenetic effects resulting from GDM exposure. Second, we tested whether GDM exposure and maternal methylation had an epigenetic effect on the offspring.

Results: We did not find any epigenetic marks (differentially methylated CpG probes) with shared and consistent effects between mothers and offspring. After including maternal methylation in the model, we identified a single significant (false discovery rate 1.38 × 10) CpG at the cg22790973 probe ( associated with GDM. We identified seven additional FDR-significant interactions of maternal methylation and GDM status, with the strongest association at the same cg22790973 probe (, as well as cg03456133, cg24440941 (), cg20002843 (, cg19107264, and cg11493553 located within the gene and cg17065901 in both susceptibility genes for type 2 diabetes and BMI, and cg23355087 within the gene, known to be involved in insulin resistance during pregnancy.

Conclusions: Our study reveals the potential complexity of the epigenetic transmission between mothers with GDM and their offspring, likely determined by not only GDM exposure but also other factors indicated by maternal epigenetic status, such as maternal metabolic history.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc20-2960DOI Listing
September 2021

Serum Inhibin-A and PAPP-A2 in the prediction of pre-eclampsia during the first and second trimesters in high-risk women.

Pregnancy Hypertens 2021 Aug 2;25:116-122. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Medical and Clinical Genetics, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, Helsinki Institute of Life Science, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital and Tampere University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere, Finland.

Objectives: Maternal serum inhibin-A, pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) and PAPP-A2 together with placental growth factor (PlGF), maternal risk factors and uterine artery pulsatility index (UtA PI) were analysed to study their ability to predict pre-eclampsia (PE).

Study Design: Serial serum samples for the nested case-control study were collected prospectively at 12-14, 18-20 and 26-28 weeks of gestation from 11 women who later developed early-onset PE (EO PE, diagnosis < 34 + 0 weeks of gestation), 34 women who developed late-onset PE (LO PE, diagnosis ≥ 34 + 0 weeks) and 89 controls.

Main Outcome Measures: Gestational age -adjusted multiples of the median (MoM) values were calculated for biomarker concentrations. Multivariate regression analyses were performed to combine first trimester biomarkers, previously reported results on PlGF, maternal risk factors and UtA PI. Area under curve (AUC) values and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the prediction of PE and its subtypes were calculated.

Results: A high first trimester inhibin-A predicted PE (AUC 0.618, 95%CI, 0.513-0.724), whereas PAPP-A and PlGF predicted only EO PE (0.701, 0.562-0.840 and 0.798, 0.686-0.909, respectively). At 26-28 weeks PAPP-A2 and inhibin-A predicted all PE subtypes. In the multivariate setting inhibin-A combined with maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index, prior PE and mean UtA PI predicted PE (0.811,0.726-0.896) and LO PE (0.824, 0.733-0.914).

Conclusions: At first trimester inhibin-A show potential ability to predict not only EO PE but also LO PE whereas PlGF and PAPP-A predict only EO PE. At late second trimester inhibin-A and PAPP-A2 might be useful for short-term prediction of PE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.preghy.2021.05.024DOI Listing
August 2021

Clinical and biochemical signs of polycystic ovary syndrome in young women born preterm.

Eur J Endocrinol 2021 Jul 1;185(2):279-288. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Population Health Unit, Oulu and Helsinki, Finland.

Objective: It has been suggested that adverse early life exposures increase the risk of developing polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in later life. We hypothesized that women born preterm would have more biochemical and clinical signs of PCOS than women born at term.

Design: The ESTER Preterm Birth Study participants were born in Northern Finland and identified from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort and the Finnish Medical Birth Register. Altogether, 74 women born very or moderately preterm (<34 gestational weeks, VMPT), 127 born late preterm (at 34-36 weeks, LPT), and 184 born full term (≥37 weeks, controls) were included in the analysis (mean age: 23.2 years).

Methods: We measured serum total testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and calculated the free androgen index (FAI). PCOS according to the clinical and biochemical signs was defined either as hirsutism and oligoamenorrhea (via questionnaire) or as oligoamenorrhea and elevated testosterone levels (>2.4 nmol/L).

Results: Women born VMPT/LPT exhibited 33.0% (8.7, 62.8)/16.4% (-2.0, 38.1) higher testosterone, 28.5% (5.3, 45.9)/24.1% (5.6, 38.9) lower SHBG levels, and 64.6% (19.4, 127.1)/42.5% (11.1, 82.9) higher FAI than controls after adjusting for age and recruitment cohort, maternal BMI, smoking, and pregnancy disorders, parental education, history of hypertension, diabetes, myocardial infarction or stroke, and subject's birth weight s.d. Odds ratios for having PCOS were 1.67 (0.44, 6.23)/3.11 (1.26, 7.70).

Conclusions: Women born preterm have a more hyperandrogenic hormonal profile, and those born LPT are approximately three times more likely at risk to have PCOS compared to women born at term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EJE-20-1462DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8284903PMC
July 2021

Cardiovascular disease in people born to unmarried mothers in two historical periods: The Helsinki Birth Cohort Study 1934-1944.

Scand J Public Health 2021 May 31:14034948211019792. Epub 2021 May 31.

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland.

Socio-economic conditions in early life are important contributors to cardiovascular disease - the leading cause of mortality globally - in later life. We studied coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke in adulthood among people born out of wedlock in two historical periods: before and during World War II in Finland. We compared offspring born out of wedlock before (1934-1939) and during (1940-1944) World War II with the offspring of married mothers in the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. The war affected the position of unmarried mothers in society. We followed the study subjects from 1971 to 2014 and identified deaths and hospital admissions from CHD and stroke. Data were analysed using a Cox regression, adjusting for other childhood and adulthood socio-economic circumstances. The rate of out-of-wedlock births was 240/4052 (5.9%) before World War II and 397/9197 (4.3%) during World War II. Among those born before World War II, out-of-wedlock birth was associated with an increased risk of stroke (hazard ratio (HR)=1.44; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00-2.07) and CHD (HR=1.37; 95% CI 1.02-1.86). Among those born out of wedlock during World War II, the risks of stroke (HR=0.89; 95% CI 0.58-1.36) and CHD (HR=0.70; 95% CI 0.48=1.03) were similar to those observed for the offspring of married mothers. The -values for interaction of unmarried×World War II were (=0.015) for stroke and (=0.003) for CHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14034948211019792DOI Listing
May 2021

Association of Very Preterm Birth or Very Low Birth Weight With Intelligence in Adulthood: An Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis.

JAMA Pediatr 2021 Aug 2;175(8):e211058. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.

Importance: Birth before 32 weeks' gestation (very preterm [VPT]) and birth weight below 1500 g (very low birth weight [VLBW]) have been associated with lower cognitive performance in childhood. However, there are few investigations of the association of neonatal morbidities and maternal educational levels with the adult cognitive performance of individuals born VPT or VLBW (VPT/VLBW).

Objective: To assess differences in adult IQ between VPT/VLBW and term-born individuals and to examine the association of adult IQ with cohort factors, neonatal morbidities, and maternal educational level among VPT/VLBW participants.

Data Sources: Systematic review of published data from PubMed and meta-analysis of individual participant data (IPD) of cohorts from 2 consortia (Research on European Children and Adults Born Preterm [RECAP] and Adults Born Preterm International Collaboration [APIC]).

Study Selection: The meta-analysis included prospective longitudinal cohort studies that assessed the full-scale IQ of adults born VPT or VLBW and respective control groups comprising term-born adults.

Data Extraction And Synthesis: The study followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) reporting guideline for analyses of individual participant data and identified 8 studies that provided data from 2135 adults (1068 VPT/VLBW and 1067 term-born participants) born between 1978 and 1995. Meta-analyses of IPD were performed using a 1-stage approach, treating VPT birth or VLBW and cohort as random effects.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Full-scale IQ scores were converted to z scores within each cohort using the combined SD of VPT/VLBW participants and a control group of term-born participants, with scores centered on the mean of the control group.

Results: A total of 426 records were identified and screened. After exclusions, 13 studies were included in the aggregate meta-analysis. The IPD meta-analysis included 8 of the 9 RECAP and APIC cohorts with adult IQ data. The mean (SD) age among the 8 IPD cohorts was 24.6 (4.3) years, and 1163 participants (54.5%) were women. In unadjusted analyses, VPT/VLBW participants had mean adult IQ scores that were 0.78 SD (95% CI, -0.90 to -0.66 SD) lower than term-born participants, equivalent to a difference of 12 IQ points. Among VPT/VLBW participants, lower gestational age (score difference per week of gestation, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.07-0.14), lower birth weight z scores (score difference per 1.0 SD, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.14-0.28), the presence of neonatal bronchopulmonary dysplasia (score difference, -0.16; 95% CI, -0.30 to -0.02) or any grade of intraventricular hemorrhage (score difference, -0.19; 95% CI, -0.33 to -0.05), and lower maternal educational level (score difference, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.17-0.35) were all significantly associated with lower IQ scores in adulthood.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this IPD meta-analysis, lower gestational age, lower weight for gestational age, neonatal morbidities, and lower maternal educational levels were all important risk factors associated with lower IQ among young adults born VPT or VLBW.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.1058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8329745PMC
August 2021

Characteristics of epigenetic aging across gestational and perinatal tissues.

Clin Epigenetics 2021 Apr 29;13(1):97. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Department of Translational Psychiatry, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, München, Germany.

Background: Epigenetic clocks have been used to indicate differences in biological states between individuals of same chronological age. However, so far, only few studies have examined epigenetic aging in newborns-especially regarding different gestational or perinatal tissues. In this study, we investigated which birth- and pregnancy-related variables are most important in predicting gestational epigenetic age acceleration or deceleration (i.e., the deviation between gestational epigenetic age estimated from the DNA methylome and chronological gestational age) in chorionic villus, placenta and cord blood tissues from two independent study cohorts (ITU, n = 639 and PREDO, n = 966). We further characterized the correspondence of epigenetic age deviations between these tissues.

Results: Among the most predictive factors of epigenetic age deviations in single tissues were child sex, birth length, maternal smoking during pregnancy, maternal mental disorders until childbirth, delivery mode and parity. However, the specific factors related to epigenetic age deviation and the direction of association differed across tissues. In individuals with samples available from more than one tissue, relative epigenetic age deviations were not correlated across tissues.

Conclusion: Gestational epigenetic age acceleration or deceleration was not related to more favorable or unfavorable factors in one direction in the investigated tissues, and the relative epigenetic age differed between tissues of the same person. This indicates that epigenetic age deviations associate with distinct, tissue specific, factors during the gestational and perinatal period. Our findings suggest that the epigenetic age of the newborn should be seen as a characteristic of a specific tissue, and less as a general characteristic of the child itself.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-021-01080-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8082803PMC
April 2021

Advanced glycation end products measured by skin autofluorescence are associated with melancholic depressive symptoms - Findings from Helsinki Birth Cohort Study.

J Psychosom Res 2021 06 10;145:110488. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland; Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: Millions of people live with depression and its burden of disease. Depression has an increased comorbidity and mortality that has remained unexplained. Studies have reported connections between advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and various disease processes, including mental health. The present study evaluated associations between AGEs, depressive symptoms, and types of depressive symptoms.

Methods: From the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, 815 participants with a mean age of 76 years were recruited for this cross-sectional study. Characteristics regarding self-reported lifestyle and medical history, as well as blood tests were obtained along with responses regarding depressive symptoms according to the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Mental Health Inventory-5. Each participant had their AGE level measured non-invasively with skin autofluorescence (SAF). Statistical analyses looked at relationships between types of depressive symptoms and AGE levels by sex.

Results: Of women, 27% scored ≥10 on the BDI and 18% of men, respectively. Men had higher crude AGE levels (mean [standard deviation], arbitrary units) (2.49 [0.51]) compared to women (2.33 [0.46]) (p < 0.001). The highest crude AGE levels were found in those with melancholic depressive symptoms (2.61 [0.57]), followed by those with non-melancholic depressive symptoms (2.45 [0.45]) and those with no depressive symptoms (2.38 [0.49]) (p = 0.013). These findings remained significant in the fully adjusted model.

Conclusions: The current study shows an association between depressive symptoms and higher AGE levels. The association is likely part of a multi-factorial effect, and hence no directionality, causality, or effect can be inferred solely based on the results of this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2021.110488DOI Listing
June 2021

Higher carotid-radial pulse wave velocity is associated with non-melancholic depressive symptoms in men - findings from Helsinki Birth Cohort Study.

Ann Med 2021 12;53(1):531-540

Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: Depression and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are major causes of global disease burden that are interrelated through mostly unknown mechanisms. We studied the relationship of melancholic and non-melancholic depressive symptoms with arterial stiffness, an important underlying mechanism of CVD.

Methods: The Helsinki Birth Cohort Study recruited 683 previously extensively phenotyped subjects for this sub-study. Cross-sectional data along with responses regarding depressive symptoms were obtained for each participant. For evaluation of depressive symptoms, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)and subscales were used to measure melancholic and non-melancholic depressive symptoms. Arterial stiffness was assessed as pulse wave velocity (PWV) that was measured between the carotid and radial artery, and carotid and femoral artery.

Results: Of the participants, 532 scored <10 on the BDI and were classified as not having depressive symptoms. Of the 151 participants that scored ≥10 on the BDI, 122 were classified as having non-melancholic depressive symptoms and 29 as having melancholic depressive symptoms. Men had higher carotid-radial PWV (crPWV) values than women ( < .001). A positive relationship between BDI scores and crPWV ( < .001) was found in men. We also found higher crPWV in men with non-melancholic depressive symptoms compared to all others. No such differences were found in women.

Discussion: Arterial stiffness has a relationship with depressive symptoms and subtypes of depressive symptoms, at least in men. There is a significant relationship between higher PWV and non-melancholic depressive symptoms in men. Due to the intricate nature of the disease causality or directionality is impossible to infer solely based on this study. Further studies into the subtypes of depressive symptoms may be of benefit to understanding depression.KEY MESSAGESIt is known that arterial stiffness contributes to cardiovascular disease, and is associated with depression.Higher Beck Depression Inventory scores are associated with higher carotid-radial pulse wave velocity in men.Non-melancholic depressive symptoms are associated with higher carotid-radial pulse wave velocity in men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07853890.2021.1904277DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8011688PMC
December 2021

Pregnancy Risk Factors as Predictors of Offspring Cerebrovascular Disease: The Northern Finland Birth Cohort Study 1966.

Stroke 2021 Apr 25;52(4):1347-1354. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Center for Life Course Health Research (M.K., J.M., M.P.), University of Oulu, Finland.

[Figure: see text].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.031618DOI Listing
April 2021

Physical Activity, Mental Health, and Well-Being in Very Pre-Term and Term Born Adolescents: An Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis of Two Accelerometry Studies.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 10;18(4). Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.

This study examined whether physical activity is associated with better mental health and well-being among very preterm (≤32 weeks) and term born (≥37 weeks) adolescents alike or whether the associations are stronger in either of the groups. Physical activity was measured with accelerometry in children born very preterm and at term in two cohorts, the Basel Study of Preterm Children (BSPC; 40 adolescents born ≤32 weeks of gestation and 59 term born controls aged 12.3 years) and the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS; 45 adolescents born ≤32 weeks of gestation and 3137 term born controls aged 14.2 years on average). In both cohorts, emotional and behavioral problems were mother-reported using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Subjective well-being was self-reported using the Kidscreen-52 Questionnaire in the BSPC and single items in the MCS. Hierarchical regressions with 'preterm status × physical activity'-interaction effects were subjected to individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis. IPD meta-analysis showed that higher levels of physical activity were associated with lower levels of peer problems, and higher levels of psychological well-being, better self-perception/body image, and school related well-being. Overall, the effect-sizes were small and the associations did not differ significantly between very preterm and term born adolescents. Future research may examine the mechanisms behind effects of physical activity on mental health and wellbeing in adolescence as well as which type of physical activity might be most beneficial for term and preterm born children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041735DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7916780PMC
February 2021

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

Hum Mol Genet 2021 04;30(5):393-409

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

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

Glucose regulation and grip strength in adults: Findings from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study.

Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2021 May-Jun;94:104348. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland; Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore; Obstetrics & Gynecology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore and National University Health System, Singapore.

Aim: This study aimed to assess the association between grip strength and glucose regulation in a cross-sectional setting.

Methods: Using data from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, 924 men and 953 women were studied at a mean age of 61.6 years. Grip strength was assessed in the dominant hand using a Newtest Grip Force dynamometer. A standard 2-h 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was used to define glucose regulation. The participants were classified into four groups: normoglycaemia, prediabetes (impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance), newly diagnosed diabetes and previously known diabetes. The association between grip strength and glucose regulation was assessed using multiple linear regression models.

Results: Prediabetes was diagnosed in 32.2% and diabetes in 8.4% using the OGTT. A total of 7.8% of the individuals had previously known diabetes. Compared to individuals with normoglycaemia, grip strength was lower for those with newly diagnosed diabetes (-1.8 kg, 95% CI -3.2 to -0.5) as well as those with previously known diabetes (-1.8 kg, 95% CI -3.2 to -0.4) after adjusting for covariates (age, sex, body mass index, physical activity, education and smoking). No difference in grip strength was found when comparing those with prediabetes and normoglycaemia.

Conclusion: In adults, grip strength was lower among those with known and newly diagnosed diabetes compared to those with normoglycaemia. Together with previous findings on associations between grip strength and chronic diseases, these results support the use of grip strength as an overall health marker in adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2021.104348DOI Listing
May 2021

Mortality Among Young Adults Born Preterm and Early Term in 4 Nordic Nations.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 01 4;4(1):e2032779. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Importance: Adverse long-term outcomes in individuals born before full gestation are not confined to individuals born at extreme gestational ages. Little is known regarding mortality patterns among individuals born in the weeks close to ideal gestation, and the exact causes are not well understood; both of these are crucial for public health, with the potential for modification of risk.

Objective: To examine the risk of all-cause and noncommunicable diseases (NCD) deaths among young adults born preterm and early term.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multinational population-based cohort study used nationwide birth cohorts from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland for individuals born between 1967 and 2002. Individuals identified at birth who had not died or emigrated were followed up for mortality from age 15 years to 2017. Analyses were performed from June 2019 to May 2020.

Exposures: Categories of gestational age (ie, moderate preterm birth and earlier [23-33 weeks], late preterm [34-36 weeks], early term [37-38 weeks], full term [39-41 weeks] and post term [42-44 weeks]).

Main Outcomes And Measures: All-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality from NCD, defined as cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Results: A total of 6 263 286 individuals were followed up for mortality from age 15 years. Overall, 339 403 (5.4%) were born preterm, and 3 049 100 (48.7%) were women. Compared with full-term birth, the adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) for all-cause mortality were 1.44 (95% CI, 1.34-1.55) for moderate preterm birth and earlier; 1.23 (95% CI, 1.18-1.29) for late preterm birth; and 1.12 (95% CI, 1.09-1.15) for early-term birth. The association between gestational age and all-cause mortality were stronger in women than in men (P for interaction = .03). Preterm birth was associated with 2-fold increased risks of death from CVD (aHR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.45-2.47), diabetes (aHR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.44-2.73), and chronic lung disease (aHR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.36-3.82). The main associations were replicated across countries and could not be explained by familial or individual confounding factors.

Conclusions And Relevance: The findings of this study strengthen the evidence of increased risk of death from NCDs in young adults born preterm. Importantly, the increased death risk was found across gestational ages up to the ideal term date and includes the much larger group with early-term birth. Excess mortality associated with shorter gestational age was most pronounced for CVDs, chronic lung disease, and diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.32779DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794670PMC
January 2021

Maternal anxiety during pregnancy and newborn epigenome-wide DNA methylation.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Jun 7;26(6):1832-1845. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Generation R Study Group, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Maternal anxiety during pregnancy is associated with adverse foetal, neonatal, and child outcomes, but biological mechanisms remain unclear. Altered foetal DNA methylation (DNAm) has been proposed as a potential underlying mechanism. In the current study, we performed a meta-analysis to examine the associations between maternal anxiety, measured prospectively during pregnancy, and genome-wide DNAm from umbilical cord blood. Sixteen non-overlapping cohorts from 12 independent longitudinal studies of the Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics Consortium participated, resulting in a combined dataset of 7243 mother-child dyads. We examined prenatal anxiety in relation to genome-wide DNAm and differentially methylated regions. We observed no association between the general symptoms of anxiety during pregnancy or pregnancy-related anxiety, and DNAm at any of the CpG sites, after multiple-testing correction. Furthermore, we identify no differentially methylated regions associated with maternal anxiety. At the cohort-level, of the 21 associations observed in individual cohorts, none replicated consistently in the other cohorts. In conclusion, contrary to some previous studies proposing cord blood DNAm as a promising potential mechanism explaining the link between maternal anxiety during pregnancy and adverse outcomes in offspring, we found no consistent evidence for any robust associations between maternal anxiety and DNAm in cord blood. Larger studies and analysis of DNAm in other tissues may be needed to establish subtle or subgroup-specific associations between maternal anxiety and the foetal epigenome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-00976-0DOI Listing
June 2021

The Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation During Infancy on Growth During the First 2 Years of Life.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 03;106(3):e1140-e1155

Children's Hospital, Pediatric Research Center, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, HUS, Helsinki, Finland.

Context: The relationship between maternal and infant vitamin D and early childhood growth remains inadequately understood.

Objective: This work aimed to investigate how maternal and child 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and vitamin D supplementation affect growth during the first 2 years of life.

Methods: A randomized, double-blinded, single-center intervention study was conducted from pregnancy until offspring age 2 years. Altogether 812 term-born children with complete data were recruited at a maternity hospital. Children received daily vitamin D3 supplementation of 10 μg (group 10) or 30 μg (group 30) from age 2 weeks to 2 years. Anthropometry and growth rate were measured at age 1 and 2 years.

Results: Toddlers born to mothers with pregnancy 25(OH)D greater than 125 nmol/L were at 2 years lighter and thinner than the reference group with 25(OH)D of 50 to 74.9 nmol/L (P < .010). Mean 2-year 25(OH)D concentrations were 87 nmol/L in group 10 and 118 nmol/L in group 30 (P < .001). When group 30 was compared with group 10, difference in body size was not statistically significant (P > .053), but group 30 had slower growth in length and head circumference between 6 months and 1 year (P < .047), and more rapid growth in weight and length-adjusted weight between 1 and 2 years (P < .043). Toddlers in the highest quartile of 25(OH)D (> 121 nmol/L) were shorter (mean difference 0.2 SD score [SDS], P = .021), lighter (mean difference 0.4 SDS, P = .001), and thinner (in length-adjusted weight) (mean difference 0.4 SDS, P = .003) compared with the lowest quartile (< 81.2 nmol/L).

Conclusion: Vitamin D and early childhood growth may have an inverse U-shaped relationship.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa943DOI Listing
March 2021

A polyepigenetic glucocorticoid exposure score at birth and childhood mental and behavioral disorders.

Neurobiol Stress 2020 Nov 21;13:100275. Epub 2020 Nov 21.

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

Background: Maternal depression and anxiety during pregnancy may enhance fetal exposure to glucocorticoids (GCs) and harm neurodevelopment. We tested whether a novel cross-tissue polyepigenetic biomarker indicative of exposure to GC is associated with mental and behavioral disorders and their severity in children, possibly mediating the associations between maternal prenatal depressive and anxiety symptoms and these child outcomes.

Methods: Children (n = 814) from the Prediction and Prevention of Preeclampsia and Intrauterine Growth Restriction (PREDO) study were followed-up from birth to age 7.1-10.7 years. A weighted polyepigenetic GC exposure score was calculated based on the methylation profile of 24 CpGs from umbilical cord blood. Child diagnosis of mental and behavioral disorder (n = 99) and its severity, defined as the number of days the child had received treatment (all 99 had received outpatient treatment and 8 had been additionally in inpatient treatment) for mental or behavioral disorder as the primary diagnosis, came from the Care Register for Health Care. Mothers (n = 408) reported on child total behavior problems at child's age of 2.3-5.8 years and their own depressive and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy (n = 583).

Results: The fetal polyepigenetic GC exposure score at birth was not associated with child hazard of mental and behavioral disorder (HR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.54; 1.24, p = 0.35) or total behavior problems (unstandardized beta = -0.10, 95% CI -0.31; 0.10, p = 0.33). However, for one standard deviation decrease in the polyepigenetic score, the child had spent 2.94 (95%CI 1.59; 5.45, p < 0.001) more days in inpatient or outpatient treatment with any mental and behavioral disorder as the primary diagnosis. Criteria for mediation tests were not met.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that fetal polyepigenetic GC exposure score at birth was not associated with any mental or behavioral disorder diagnosis or mother-rated total behavior problems, but it may contribute to identifying children at birth who are at risk for more severe mental or behavioral disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ynstr.2020.100275DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739178PMC
November 2020

Validation and development of models using clinical, biochemical and ultrasound markers for predicting pre-eclampsia: an individual participant data meta-analysis.

Health Technol Assess 2020 12;24(72):1-252

Background: Pre-eclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Early identification of women at risk is needed to plan management.

Objectives: To assess the performance of existing pre-eclampsia prediction models and to develop and validate models for pre-eclampsia using individual participant data meta-analysis. We also estimated the prognostic value of individual markers.

Design: This was an individual participant data meta-analysis of cohort studies.

Setting: Source data from secondary and tertiary care.

Predictors: We identified predictors from systematic reviews, and prioritised for importance in an international survey.

Primary Outcomes: Early-onset (delivery at < 34 weeks' gestation), late-onset (delivery at ≥ 34 weeks' gestation) and any-onset pre-eclampsia.

Analysis: We externally validated existing prediction models in UK cohorts and reported their performance in terms of discrimination and calibration. We developed and validated 12 new models based on clinical characteristics, clinical characteristics and biochemical markers, and clinical characteristics and ultrasound markers in the first and second trimesters. We summarised the data set-specific performance of each model using a random-effects meta-analysis. Discrimination was considered promising for -statistics of ≥ 0.7, and calibration was considered good if the slope was near 1 and calibration-in-the-large was near 0. Heterogeneity was quantified using and τ. A decision curve analysis was undertaken to determine the clinical utility (net benefit) of the models. We reported the unadjusted prognostic value of individual predictors for pre-eclampsia as odds ratios with 95% confidence and prediction intervals.

Results: The International Prediction of Pregnancy Complications network comprised 78 studies (3,570,993 singleton pregnancies) identified from systematic reviews of tests to predict pre-eclampsia. Twenty-four of the 131 published prediction models could be validated in 11 UK cohorts. Summary -statistics were between 0.6 and 0.7 for most models, and calibration was generally poor owing to large between-study heterogeneity, suggesting model overfitting. The clinical utility of the models varied between showing net harm to showing minimal or no net benefit. The average discrimination for IPPIC models ranged between 0.68 and 0.83. This was highest for the second-trimester clinical characteristics and biochemical markers model to predict early-onset pre-eclampsia, and lowest for the first-trimester clinical characteristics models to predict any pre-eclampsia. Calibration performance was heterogeneous across studies. Net benefit was observed for International Prediction of Pregnancy Complications first and second-trimester clinical characteristics and clinical characteristics and biochemical markers models predicting any pre-eclampsia, when validated in singleton nulliparous women managed in the UK NHS. History of hypertension, parity, smoking, mode of conception, placental growth factor and uterine artery pulsatility index had the strongest unadjusted associations with pre-eclampsia.

Limitations: Variations in study population characteristics, type of predictors reported, too few events in some validation cohorts and the type of measurements contributed to heterogeneity in performance of the International Prediction of Pregnancy Complications models. Some published models were not validated because model predictors were unavailable in the individual participant data.

Conclusion: For models that could be validated, predictive performance was generally poor across data sets. Although the International Prediction of Pregnancy Complications models show good predictive performance on average, and in the singleton nulliparous population, heterogeneity in calibration performance is likely across settings.

Future Work: Recalibration of model parameters within populations may improve calibration performance. Additional strong predictors need to be identified to improve model performance and consistency. Validation, including examination of calibration heterogeneity, is required for the models we could not validate.

Study Registration: This study is registered as PROSPERO CRD42015029349.

Funding: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in ; Vol. 24, No. 72. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3310/hta24720DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780127PMC
December 2020

Maternal haemoglobin levels in pregnancy and child DNA methylation: a study in the pregnancy and childhood epigenetics consortium.

Epigenetics 2021 Jan 11:1-13. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Department of Immunobiochemistry, National Institute of Perinatology, Mexico City, Mexico.

Altered maternal haemoglobin levels during pregnancy are associated with pre-clinical and clinical conditions affecting the fetus. Evidence from animal models suggests that these associations may be partially explained by differential DNA methylation in the newborn with possible long-term consequences. To test this in humans, we meta-analyzed the epigenome-wide associations of maternal haemoglobin levels during pregnancy with offspring DNA methylation in 3,967 newborn cord blood and 1,534 children and 1,962 adolescent whole-blood samples derived from 10 cohorts. DNA methylation was measured using Illumina Infinium Methylation 450K or MethylationEPIC arrays covering 450,000 and 850,000 methylation sites, respectively. There was no statistical support for the association of maternal haemoglobin levels with offspring DNA methylation either at individual methylation sites or clustered in regions. For most participants, maternal haemoglobin levels were within the normal range in the current study, whereas adverse perinatal outcomes often arise at the extremes. Thus, this study does not rule out the possibility that associations with offspring DNA methylation might be seen in studies with more extreme maternal haemoglobin levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15592294.2020.1864171DOI Listing
January 2021

Migraine in children and adults born preterm: A nationwide register linkage study.

Cephalalgia 2021 05 9;41(6):677-689. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Objective: Being born preterm is related to adverse health effects later in life. We studied whether preterm birth predicts the risk of migraine.

Methods: In this nationwide register study, we linked data from six administrative registers for all 235,624 children live-born in Finland (January 1987 to September 1990) and recorded in the Finnish Medical Birth Register. n = 228,610 (97.0%) had adequate data and were included. Migraine served as primary outcome variable and was stringently defined as a diagnosis from specialised health care and/or ≥2 reimbursed purchases of triptans. We applied sex- and birth year-stratified Cox proportional hazard regression models to compute hazard ratios and confidence intervals (95% confidence intervals) for the association between preterm categories and migraine. The cohort was followed up until an average age of 25.1 years (range: 23.3-27.0).

Results: Among individuals born extremely preterm (23-27 completed weeks of gestation), the adjusted hazard ratios for migraine was 0.55 (0.25-1.24) when compared with the full-term reference group (39-41 weeks). The corresponding adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the other preterm categories were: Very preterm (28-31 weeks); 0.95 (0.68-1.31), moderately preterm (32-33 weeks); 0.96 (0.73-1.27), late preterm (34-36 weeks); 1.01 (0.91-1.11), early term (37-38 weeks); 0.98 (0.93-1.03), and post term (42 weeks); 0.98 (0.89-1.08). Migraine was predicted by parental migraine, lower socioeconomic position, maternal hypertensive disorder and maternal smoking during pregnancy.

Conclusion: We found no evidence for a higher risk of migraine among individuals born preterm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0333102420978357DOI Listing
May 2021

Discovery of rare variants associated with blood pressure regulation through meta-analysis of 1.3 million individuals.

Nat Genet 2020 12 23;52(12):1314-1332. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark.

Genetic studies of blood pressure (BP) to date have mainly analyzed common variants (minor allele frequency > 0.05). In a meta-analysis of up to ~1.3 million participants, we discovered 106 new BP-associated genomic regions and 87 rare (minor allele frequency ≤ 0.01) variant BP associations (P < 5 × 10), of which 32 were in new BP-associated loci and 55 were independent BP-associated single-nucleotide variants within known BP-associated regions. Average effects of rare variants (44% coding) were ~8 times larger than common variant effects and indicate potential candidate causal genes at new and known loci (for example, GATA5 and PLCB3). BP-associated variants (including rare and common) were enriched in regions of active chromatin in fetal tissues, potentially linking fetal development with BP regulation in later life. Multivariable Mendelian randomization suggested possible inverse effects of elevated systolic and diastolic BP on large artery stroke. Our study demonstrates the utility of rare-variant analyses for identifying candidate genes and the results highlight potential therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-00713-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610439PMC
December 2020

Association between DNA methylation and ADHD symptoms from birth to school age: a prospective meta-analysis.

Transl Psychiatry 2020 11 12;10(1):398. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Clinical Child & Family Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood disorder with a substantial genetic component. However, the extent to which epigenetic mechanisms play a role in the etiology of the disorder is unknown. We performed epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) within the Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) Consortium to identify DNA methylation sites associated with ADHD symptoms at two methylation assessment periods: birth and school age. We examined associations of both DNA methylation in cord blood with repeatedly assessed ADHD symptoms (age 4-15 years) in 2477 children from 5 cohorts and of DNA methylation at school age with concurrent ADHD symptoms (age 7-11 years) in 2374 children from 9 cohorts, with 3 cohorts participating at both timepoints. CpGs identified with nominal significance (p < 0.05) in either of the EWAS were correlated between timepoints (ρ = 0.30), suggesting overlap in associations; however, top signals were very different. At birth, we identified nine CpGs that predicted later ADHD symptoms (p < 1 × 10), including ERC2 and CREB5. Peripheral blood DNA methylation at one of these CpGs (cg01271805 in the promoter region of ERC2, which regulates neurotransmitter release) was previously associated with brain methylation. Another (cg25520701) lies within the gene body of CREB5, which previously was associated with neurite outgrowth and an ADHD diagnosis. In contrast, at school age, no CpGs were associated with ADHD with p < 1 × 10. In conclusion, we found evidence in this study that DNA methylation at birth is associated with ADHD. Future studies are needed to confirm the utility of methylation variation as biomarker and its involvement in causal pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-01058-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665047PMC
November 2020

External validation of prognostic models predicting pre-eclampsia: individual participant data meta-analysis.

BMC Med 2020 11 2;18(1):302. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

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

Background: Pre-eclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Early identification of women at risk during pregnancy is required to plan management. Although there are many published prediction models for pre-eclampsia, few have been validated in external data. Our objective was to externally validate published prediction models for pre-eclampsia using individual participant data (IPD) from UK studies, to evaluate whether any of the models can accurately predict the condition when used within the UK healthcare setting.

Methods: IPD from 11 UK cohort studies (217,415 pregnant women) within the International Prediction of Pregnancy Complications (IPPIC) pre-eclampsia network contributed to external validation of published prediction models, identified by systematic review. Cohorts that measured all predictor variables in at least one of the identified models and reported pre-eclampsia as an outcome were included for validation. We reported the model predictive performance as discrimination (C-statistic), calibration (calibration plots, calibration slope, calibration-in-the-large), and net benefit. Performance measures were estimated separately in each available study and then, where possible, combined across studies in a random-effects meta-analysis.

Results: Of 131 published models, 67 provided the full model equation and 24 could be validated in 11 UK cohorts. Most of the models showed modest discrimination with summary C-statistics between 0.6 and 0.7. The calibration of the predicted compared to observed risk was generally poor for most models with observed calibration slopes less than 1, indicating that predictions were generally too extreme, although confidence intervals were wide. There was large between-study heterogeneity in each model's calibration-in-the-large, suggesting poor calibration of the predicted overall risk across populations. In a subset of models, the net benefit of using the models to inform clinical decisions appeared small and limited to probability thresholds between 5 and 7%.

Conclusions: The evaluated models had modest predictive performance, with key limitations such as poor calibration (likely due to overfitting in the original development datasets), substantial heterogeneity, and small net benefit across settings. The evidence to support the use of these prediction models for pre-eclampsia in clinical decision-making is limited. Any models that we could not validate should be examined in terms of their predictive performance, net benefit, and heterogeneity across multiple UK settings before consideration for use in practice.

Trial Registration: PROSPERO ID: CRD42015029349 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01766-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7604970PMC
November 2020

Maternal Antenatal Corticosteroid Treatment and Childhood Mental and Behavioral Disorders-Reply.

JAMA 2020 10;324(15):1570-1571

Department of Public Health Solutions, THL Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.15449DOI Listing
October 2020

Birth weight modifies the association between a healthy Nordic diet and office blood pressure in old age.

J Hum Hypertens 2020 Oct 13. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland.

A healthy diet reduces risk for high blood pressure. A small body size at birth increases risk for high blood pressure. Our aim was to study whether birth weight modifies the association between a healthy Nordic diet, characterized by high intake of Nordic vegetables, fruits, and berries, whole-grain rye, oat, and barley, and rapeseed oil, and blood pressure. Finnish men and women (n = 960) born in 1934-1944 attended clinical visits including clinical measurements, and questionnaires in 2001-2004 and 2011-2013. Linear regression was applied to investigate the interactions between birth weight and Nordic diet (measured by the Baltic sea diet score (BSDS)) on blood pressure change during the 10-year follow-up. Baseline Nordic diet and birth weight showed a significant interaction on systolic blood pressure (SBP) (p = 0.02), and pulse pressure (PP) (p < 0.01) over a 10-year follow-up. In the lowest birth weight category (women < 2951 g, men < 3061 g), predicted SBP decreased across BSDS thirds (lowest (T1): 155 mmHg, highest (T3): 145 mmHg, p for linearity = 0.01) as did predicted PP (T1: 71 mmHg, T3: 63 mmHg, p < 0.01). In the middle birth weight category, predicted SBP increased across BSDS thirds (T1: 151 mmHg, T3: 155 mmHg, p = 0.02) as did predicted PP (T1: 67 mmHg, T3: 71 mmHg, p < 0.01). In the highest birth weight category, no associations were found. Higher adherence to a healthy Nordic diet was associated with lower SBP and PP in individuals with low birth weight but with higher SBP and PP in those with average birth weight.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41371-020-00423-1DOI Listing
October 2020
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