Publications by authors named "Emanuele Di Angelantonio"

186 Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mitochondrial DNA variants modulate N-formylmethionine, proteostasis and risk of late-onset human diseases.

Nat Med 2021 Sep 23;27(9):1564-1575. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Human Genetics Department, Wellcome Sanger Institute (WT), Hinxton, UK.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variants influence the risk of late-onset human diseases, but the reasons for this are poorly understood. Undertaking a hypothesis-free analysis of 5,689 blood-derived biomarkers with mtDNA variants in 16,220 healthy donors, here we show that variants defining mtDNA haplogroups Uk and H4 modulate the level of circulating N-formylmethionine (fMet), which initiates mitochondrial protein translation. In human cytoplasmic hybrid (cybrid) lines, fMet modulated both mitochondrial and cytosolic proteins on multiple levels, through transcription, post-translational modification and proteolysis by an N-degron pathway, abolishing known differences between mtDNA haplogroups. In a further 11,966 individuals, fMet levels contributed to all-cause mortality and the disease risk of several common cardiovascular disorders. Together, these findings indicate that fMet plays a key role in common age-related disease through pleiotropic effects on cell proteostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01441-3DOI Listing
September 2021

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

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

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

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

Effects of adiposity on the human plasma proteome: observational and Mendelian randomisation estimates.

Int J Obes (Lond) 2021 Jul 5. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Medical Research Council (MRC) Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Background: Variation in adiposity is associated with cardiometabolic disease outcomes, but mechanisms leading from this exposure to disease are unclear. This study aimed to estimate effects of body mass index (BMI) on an extensive set of circulating proteins.

Methods: We used SomaLogic proteomic data from up to 2737 healthy participants from the INTERVAL study. Associations between self-reported BMI and 3622 unique plasma proteins were explored using linear regression. These were complemented by Mendelian randomisation (MR) analyses using a genetic risk score (GRS) comprised of 654 BMI-associated polymorphisms from a recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) of adult BMI. A disease enrichment analysis was performed using DAVID Bioinformatics 6.8 for proteins which were altered by BMI.

Results: Observationally, BMI was associated with 1576 proteins (P < 1.4 × 10), with particularly strong evidence for a positive association with leptin and fatty acid-binding protein-4 (FABP4), and a negative association with sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Observational estimates were likely confounded, but the GRS for BMI did not associate with measured confounders. MR analyses provided evidence for a causal relationship between BMI and eight proteins including leptin (0.63 standard deviation (SD) per SD BMI, 95% CI 0.48-0.79, P = 1.6 × 10), FABP4 (0.64 SD per SD BMI, 95% CI 0.46-0.83, P = 6.7 × 10) and SHBG (-0.45 SD per SD BMI, 95% CI -0.65 to -0.25, P = 1.4 × 10). There was agreement in the magnitude of observational and MR estimates (R = 0.33) and evidence that proteins most strongly altered by BMI were enriched for genes involved in cardiovascular disease.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence for a broad impact of adiposity on the human proteome. Proteins strongly altered by BMI include those involved in regulating appetite, sex hormones and inflammation; such proteins are also enriched for cardiovascular disease-related genes. Altogether, results help focus attention onto new proteomic signatures of obesity-related disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41366-021-00896-1DOI Listing
July 2021

Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE): JACC Focus Seminar 4/8.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 Jun;77(24):3046-3057

University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Clinical estimation of the combined effect of several risk factors is unreliable and this resulted in the development of a number of risk estimation systems to guide clinical practice. Here, after defining general principles of risk estimation, the authors describe the evolution of the European Society of Cardiology's (ESC) Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) risk estimation system and some learnings from the data. They move on to describe the establishment of the ESC's Cardiovascular Risk Collaboration and outline its proposed research directions. First among these is the evolution of SCORE 2, which provides updated, calibrated risk estimates for total cardiovascular events for low, moderate, high, and very high-risk regions of Europe. The authors conclude by considering that the future of risk estimation may be to express risk as years of exposure to a cardiovascular risk factor profile rather than risk over a fixed time period, such as 10 years, and how advances in genetics may permit individualized lifetime risk estimation from childhood on.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.04.052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8091419PMC
June 2021

Plasma Proteomics of Renal Function: A Trans-ethnic Meta-analysis and Mendelian Randomization Study.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

M Prunotto, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: Studies on the relationship between renal function and the human plasma proteome have identified several potential biomarkers. However, investigations have been conducted largely in European populations, and causality of the associations between plasma proteins and kidney function has never been addressed.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 993 plasma proteins among 2,882 participants in four studies of European and admixed ancestries (KORA, INTERVAL, HUNT, QMDiab) identified trans-ethnic associations between eGFR/CKD and proteomic biomarkers. For the replicated associations, two-sample bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) was used to investigate potential causal relationships. Publicly available datasets and transcriptomic data from independent studies were used to examine the association between gene expression in kidney tissue and eGFR .

Results: Fifty-seven plasma proteins were associated with eGFR, including one novel protein. Twenty-three of these were additionally associated with CKD. The strongest inferred causal effect was the positive effect of eGFR on testican-2, in line with the known biological role of this protein and the expression of its protein-coding gene (SPOCK2) in renal tissue. We also observed suggestive evidence of an effect of melanoma inhibitory activity (MIA), carbonic anhydrase III, and cystatin-M on eGFR.

Conclusions: In a discovery-replication setting, we identified 57 proteins trans-ethnically associated with eGFR. The revealed causal relationships are an important stepping-stone in establishing testican-2 as a clinically relevant physiological marker of kidney disease progression, and point to additional proteins warranting further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2020071070DOI Listing
June 2021

Accuracy of four lateral flow immunoassays for anti SARS-CoV-2 antibodies: a head-to-head comparative study.

EBioMedicine 2021 Jun 4;68:103414. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Public Health England, UK.

Background: SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests are used for population surveillance and might have a future role in individual risk assessment. Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) can deliver results rapidly and at scale, but have widely varying accuracy.

Methods: In a laboratory setting, we performed head-to-head comparisons of four LFIAs: the Rapid Test Consortium's AbC-19 Rapid Test, OrientGene COVID IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette, SureScreen COVID-19 Rapid Test Cassette, and Biomerica COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test. We analysed blood samples from 2,847 key workers and 1,995 pre-pandemic blood donors with all four devices.

Findings: We observed a clear trade-off between sensitivity and specificity: the IgG band of the SureScreen device and the AbC-19 device had higher specificities but OrientGene and Biomerica higher sensitivities. Based on analysis of pre-pandemic samples, SureScreen IgG band had the highest specificity (98.9%, 95% confidence interval 98.3 to 99.3%), which translated to the highest positive predictive value across any pre-test probability: for example, 95.1% (95% uncertainty interval 92.6, 96.8%) at 20% pre-test probability. All four devices showed higher sensitivity at higher antibody concentrations ("spectrum effects"), but the extent of this varied by device.

Interpretation: The estimates of sensitivity and specificity can be used to adjust for test error rates when using these devices to estimate the prevalence of antibody. If tests were used to determine whether an individual has SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, in an example scenario in which 20% of individuals have antibodies we estimate around 5% of positive results on the most specific device would be false positives.

Funding: Public Health England.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103414DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8176919PMC
June 2021

Depression and Incident Cardiovascular Disease-Reply.

JAMA 2021 04;325(16):1680

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.2032DOI Listing
April 2021

Actionable druggable genome-wide Mendelian randomization identifies repurposing opportunities for COVID-19.

Nat Med 2021 04 9;27(4):668-676. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA.

Drug repurposing provides a rapid approach to meet the urgent need for therapeutics to address COVID-19. To identify therapeutic targets relevant to COVID-19, we conducted Mendelian randomization analyses, deriving genetic instruments based on transcriptomic and proteomic data for 1,263 actionable proteins that are targeted by approved drugs or in clinical phase of drug development. Using summary statistics from the Host Genetics Initiative and the Million Veteran Program, we studied 7,554 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and >1 million controls. We found significant Mendelian randomization results for three proteins (ACE2, P = 1.6 × 10; IFNAR2, P = 9.8 × 10 and IL-10RB, P = 2.3 × 10) using cis-expression quantitative trait loci genetic instruments that also had strong evidence for colocalization with COVID-19 hospitalization. To disentangle the shared expression quantitative trait loci signal for IL10RB and IFNAR2, we conducted phenome-wide association scans and pathway enrichment analysis, which suggested that IFNAR2 is more likely to play a role in COVID-19 hospitalization. Our findings prioritize trials of drugs targeting IFNAR2 and ACE2 for early management of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01310-zDOI Listing
April 2021

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

Am J Epidemiol 2021 Feb 17. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

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

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

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

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

deCODE genetics/Amgen Inc., Reykjavik, Iceland.

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

Polygenic risk scores in cardiovascular risk prediction: A cohort study and modelling analyses.

PLoS Med 2021 01 14;18(1):e1003498. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

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

Background: Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) can stratify populations into cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk groups. We aimed to quantify the potential advantage of adding information on PRSs to conventional risk factors in the primary prevention of CVD.

Methods And Findings: Using data from UK Biobank on 306,654 individuals without a history of CVD and not on lipid-lowering treatments (mean age [SD]: 56.0 [8.0] years; females: 57%; median follow-up: 8.1 years), we calculated measures of risk discrimination and reclassification upon addition of PRSs to risk factors in a conventional risk prediction model (i.e., age, sex, systolic blood pressure, smoking status, history of diabetes, and total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol). We then modelled the implications of initiating guideline-recommended statin therapy in a primary care setting using incidence rates from 2.1 million individuals from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. The C-index, a measure of risk discrimination, was 0.710 (95% CI 0.703-0.717) for a CVD prediction model containing conventional risk predictors alone. Addition of information on PRSs increased the C-index by 0.012 (95% CI 0.009-0.015), and resulted in continuous net reclassification improvements of about 10% and 12% in cases and non-cases, respectively. If a PRS were assessed in the entire UK primary care population aged 40-75 years, assuming that statin therapy would be initiated in accordance with the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines (i.e., for persons with a predicted risk of ≥10% and for those with certain other risk factors, such as diabetes, irrespective of their 10-year predicted risk), then it could help prevent 1 additional CVD event for approximately every 5,750 individuals screened. By contrast, targeted assessment only among people at intermediate (i.e., 5% to <10%) 10-year CVD risk could help prevent 1 additional CVD event for approximately every 340 individuals screened. Such a targeted strategy could help prevent 7% more CVD events than conventional risk prediction alone. Potential gains afforded by assessment of PRSs on top of conventional risk factors would be about 1.5-fold greater than those provided by assessment of C-reactive protein, a plasma biomarker included in some risk prediction guidelines. Potential limitations of this study include its restriction to European ancestry participants and a lack of health economic evaluation.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that addition of PRSs to conventional risk factors can modestly enhance prediction of first-onset CVD and could translate into population health benefits if used at scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003498DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7808664PMC
January 2021

ACE inhibition and cardiometabolic risk factors, lung and gene expression, and plasma ACE2 levels: a Mendelian randomization study.

R Soc Open Sci 2020 Nov 18;7(11):200958. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Computer Science Department and Center for Statistics and Machine Learning, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and serine protease TMPRSS2 have been implicated in cell entry for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The expression of and in the lung epithelium might have implications for the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity of COVID-19. We use human genetic variants that proxy angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor drug effects and cardiovascular risk factors to investigate whether these exposures affect lung and gene expression and circulating ACE2 levels. We observed no consistent evidence of an association of genetically predicted serum ACE levels with any of our outcomes. There was weak evidence for an association of genetically predicted serum ACE levels with gene expression in the Lung eQTL Consortium ( = 0.014), but this finding did not replicate. There was evidence of a positive association of genetic liability to type 2 diabetes mellitus with lung gene expression in the Gene-Tissue Expression (GTEx) study ( = 4 × 10) and with circulating plasma ACE2 levels in the INTERVAL study ( = 0.03), but not with lung expression in the Lung eQTL Consortium study ( = 0.68). There were no associations of genetically proxied liability to the other cardiometabolic traits with any outcome. This study does not provide consistent evidence to support an effect of serum ACE levels (as a proxy for ACE inhibitors) or cardiometabolic risk factors on lung and expression or plasma ACE2 levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.200958DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7735342PMC
November 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Association Between Depressive Symptoms and Incident Cardiovascular Diseases.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quantifying the contribution of established risk factors to cardiovascular mortality differences between Russia and Norway.

Sci Rep 2020 11 27;10(1):20796. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK.

Surprisingly few attempts have been made to quantify the simultaneous contribution of well-established risk factors to CVD mortality differences between countries. We aimed to develop and critically appraise an approach to doing so, applying it to the substantial CVD mortality gap between Russia and Norway using survey data in three cities and mortality risks from the Emerging Risk Factor Collaboration. We estimated the absolute and relative differences in CVD mortality at ages 40-69 years between countries attributable to the risk factors, under the counterfactual that the age- and sex-specific risk factor profile in Russia was as in Norway, and vice-versa. Under the counterfactual that Russia had the Norwegian risk factor profile, the absolute age-standardized CVD mortality gap would decline by 33.3% (95% CI 25.1-40.1) among men and 22.1% (10.4-31.3) among women. In relative terms, the mortality rate ratio (Russia/Norway) would decline from 9-10 to 7-8. Under the counterfactual that Norway had the Russian risk factor profile, the mortality gap reduced less. Well-established CVD risk factors account for a third of the male and around a quarter of the female CVD mortality gap between Russia and Norway. However, these estimates are based on widely held epidemiological assumptions that deserve further scrutiny.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77877-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7695740PMC
November 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Large genome-wide association study identifies three novel risk variants for restless legs syndrome.

Commun Biol 2020 11 25;3(1):703. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

The National Institute for Health Research Blood and Transplant Unit in Donor Health and Genomics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB1 8RN, UK.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common neurological sensorimotor disorder often described as an unpleasant sensation associated with an urge to move the legs. Here we report findings from a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of RLS including 480,982 Caucasians (cases = 10,257) and a follow up sample of 24,977 (cases = 6,651). We confirm 19 of the 20 previously reported RLS sequence variants at 19 loci and report three novel RLS associations; rs112716420-G (OR = 1.25, P = 1.5 × 10), rs10068599-T (OR = 1.09, P = 6.9 × 10) and rs10769894-A (OR = 0.90, P = 9.4 × 10). At four of the 22 RLS loci, cis-eQTL analysis indicates a causal impact on gene expression. Through polygenic risk score for RLS we extended prior epidemiological findings implicating obesity, smoking and high alcohol intake as risk factors for RLS. To improve our understanding, with the purpose of seeking better treatments, more genetics studies yielding deeper insights into the disease biology are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01430-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7689502PMC
November 2020

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

Accuracy of UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) "AbC-19 Rapid Test" for detection of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in key workers: test accuracy study.

BMJ 2020 11 11;371:m4262. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Public Health England, London, UK

Objective: To assess the accuracy of the AbC-19 Rapid Test lateral flow immunoassay for the detection of previous severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

Design: Test accuracy study.

Setting: Laboratory based evaluation.

Participants: 2847 key workers (healthcare staff, fire and rescue officers, and police officers) in England in June 2020 (268 with a previous polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive result (median 63 days previously), 2579 with unknown previous infection status); and 1995 pre-pandemic blood donors.

Main Outcome Measures: AbC-19 sensitivity and specificity, estimated using known negative (pre-pandemic) and known positive (PCR confirmed) samples as reference standards and secondly using the Roche Elecsys anti-nucleoprotein assay, a highly sensitive laboratory immunoassay, as a reference standard in samples from key workers.

Results: Test result bands were often weak, with positive/negative discordance by three trained laboratory staff for 3.9% of devices. Using consensus readings, for known positive and negative samples sensitivity was 92.5% (95% confidence interval 88.8% to 95.1%) and specificity was 97.9% (97.2% to 98.4%). Using an immunoassay reference standard, sensitivity was 94.2% (90.7% to 96.5%) among PCR confirmed cases but 84.7% (80.6% to 88.1%) among other people with antibodies. This is consistent with AbC-19 being more sensitive when antibody concentrations are higher, as people with PCR confirmation tended to have more severe disease whereas only 62% (218/354) of seropositive participants had had symptoms. If 1 million key workers were tested with AbC-19 and 10% had actually been previously infected, 84 700 true positive and 18 900 false positive results would be projected. The probability that a positive result was correct would be 81.7% (76.8% to 85.8%).

Conclusions: AbC-19 sensitivity was lower among unselected populations than among PCR confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the scope for overestimation of assay performance in studies involving only PCR confirmed cases, owing to "spectrum bias." Assuming that 10% of the tested population have had SARS-CoV-2 infection, around one in five key workers testing positive with AbC-19 would be false positives.

Study Registration: ISRCTN 56609224.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4262DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7656121PMC
November 2020

The Polygenic and Monogenic Basis of Blood Traits and Diseases.

Cell 2020 09;182(5):1214-1231.e11

Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Science, National Institute on Aging/NIH, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.

Blood cells play essential roles in human health, underpinning physiological processes such as immunity, oxygen transport, and clotting, which when perturbed cause a significant global health burden. Here we integrate data from UK Biobank and a large-scale international collaborative effort, including data for 563,085 European ancestry participants, and discover 5,106 new genetic variants independently associated with 29 blood cell phenotypes covering a range of variation impacting hematopoiesis. We holistically characterize the genetic architecture of hematopoiesis, assess the relevance of the omnigenic model to blood cell phenotypes, delineate relevant hematopoietic cell states influenced by regulatory genetic variants and gene networks, identify novel splice-altering variants mediating the associations, and assess the polygenic prediction potential for blood traits and clinical disorders at the interface of complex and Mendelian genetics. These results show the power of large-scale blood cell trait GWAS to interrogate clinically meaningful variants across a wide allelic spectrum of human variation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7482360PMC
September 2020

Trans-ethnic and Ancestry-Specific Blood-Cell Genetics in 746,667 Individuals from 5 Global Populations.

Cell 2020 09;182(5):1198-1213.e14

Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA; Department of Medicine, Division on Aging, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Most loci identified by GWASs have been found in populations of European ancestry (EUR). In trans-ethnic meta-analyses for 15 hematological traits in 746,667 participants, including 184,535 non-EUR individuals, we identified 5,552 trait-variant associations at p < 5 × 10, including 71 novel associations not found in EUR populations. We also identified 28 additional novel variants in ancestry-specific, non-EUR meta-analyses, including an IL7 missense variant in South Asians associated with lymphocyte count in vivo and IL-7 secretion levels in vitro. Fine-mapping prioritized variants annotated as functional and generated 95% credible sets that were 30% smaller when using the trans-ethnic as opposed to the EUR-only results. We explored the clinical significance and predictive value of trans-ethnic variants in multiple populations and compared genetic architecture and the effect of natural selection on these blood phenotypes between populations. Altogether, our results for hematological traits highlight the value of a more global representation of populations in genetic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.06.045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7480402PMC
September 2020

Correlation between left atrial spontaneous echocardiographic contrast and 5-year stroke/death in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Arch Cardiovasc Dis 2020 Aug - Sep;113(8-9):525-533. Epub 2020 Aug 29.

Service de Cardiologie, Hôpitaux Saint-Antoine and Tenon, AP-HP, 75012 Paris, France; INSERM UMRS-ICAN 1166, "Unité de recherche sur les maladies cardiovasculaires, du métabolisme et de la nutrition", 75013 Paris, France. Electronic address:

Background: Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) can be used to detect the presence of left atrial thrombus and left atrial spontaneous echocardiographic contrast (LASEC).

Aim: To evaluate the prognostic value of TTE and TOE in predicting stroke and all-cause death at 5-year follow-up in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).

Methods: This study included patients hospitalised with electrocardiography-diagnosed NVAF in Saint-Antoine University Hospital, Paris, between July 1998 and December 2011, who underwent TTE and TOE evaluation within 24hours of admission. Cox proportional-hazards models were used to identify predictors of the composite outcome (stroke or all-cause death).

Results: During 5 years of follow-up, stroke/death occurred in 185/903 patients (20.5%). By multivariable analysis, independent predictors of stroke/death were CHADS-VASc score (hazard ratio [HR] 1.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25-1.47; P<0.001), left atrial area>20 cm (HR 1.59, 95% CI 1.08-2.35; P=0.018), moderate LASEC (HR 1.72, 95% CI 1.13-2.62; P=0.012) and severe LASEC (HR 2.04, 95% CI 1.16-3.58; P=0.013). Independent protective predictors were dyslipidaemia (HR 0.60, 95% CI 0.43-0.83; P=0.002) and discharge prescription of anti-arrhythmics (HR 0.59, 95% CI 0.40-0.87; P=0.008). Adding LASEC to the CHADS-VASc score modestly improved predictive accuracy and risk classification, with a C index of 0.71 vs. 0.69 (P=0.004).

Conclusions: In this retrospective monocentric study, the presence of moderate/severe LASEC was an independent predictor of stroke/death at 5-year follow-up in patients with NVAF. The inclusion of LASEC in stroke risk scores could modestly improve risk stratification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acvd.2020.02.003DOI Listing
September 2020

Validation of a Genome-Wide Polygenic Score for Coronary Artery Disease in South Asians.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2020 08;76(6):703-714

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Background: Genome-wide polygenic scores (GPS) integrate information from many common DNA variants into a single number. Because rates of coronary artery disease (CAD) are substantially higher among South Asians, a GPS to identify high-risk individuals may be particularly useful in this population.

Objectives: This analysis used summary statistics from a prior genome-wide association study to derive a new GPS for South Asians.

Methods: This GPS was validated in 7,244 South Asian UK Biobank participants and tested in 491 individuals from a case-control study in Bangladesh. Next, a static ancestry and GPS reference distribution was built using whole-genome sequencing from 1,522 Indian individuals, and a framework was tested for projecting individuals onto this static ancestry and GPS reference distribution using 1,800 CAD cases and 1,163 control subjects newly recruited in India.

Results: The GPS, containing 6,630,150 common DNA variants, had an odds ratio (OR) per SD of 1.58 in South Asian UK Biobank participants and 1.60 in the Bangladeshi study (p < 0.001 for each). Next, individuals of the Indian case-control study were projected onto static reference distributions, observing an OR/SD of 1.66 (p < 0.001). Compared with the middle quintile, risk for CAD was most pronounced for those in the top 5% of the GPS distribution-ORs of 4.16, 2.46, and 3.22 in the South Asian UK Biobank, Bangladeshi, and Indian studies, respectively (p < 0.05 for each).

Conclusions: The new GPS has been developed and tested using 3 distinct South Asian studies, and provides a generalizable framework for ancestry-specific GPS assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.06.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7592606PMC
August 2020

Development and validation of a universal blood donor genotyping platform: a multinational prospective study.

Blood Adv 2020 08;4(15):3495-3506

British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Each year, blood transfusions save millions of lives. However, under current blood-matching practices, sensitization to non-self-antigens is an unavoidable adverse side effect of transfusion. We describe a universal donor typing platform that could be adopted by blood services worldwide to facilitate a universal extended blood-matching policy and reduce sensitization rates. This DNA-based test is capable of simultaneously typing most clinically relevant red blood cell (RBC), human platelet (HPA), and human leukocyte (HLA) antigens. Validation was performed, using samples from 7927 European, 27 South Asian, 21 East Asian, and 9 African blood donors enrolled in 2 national biobanks. We illustrated the usefulness of the platform by analyzing antibody data from patients sensitized with multiple RBC alloantibodies. Genotyping results demonstrated concordance of 99.91%, 99.97%, and 99.03% with RBC, HPA, and HLA clinically validated typing results in 89 371, 3016, and 9289 comparisons, respectively. Genotyping increased the total number of antigen typing results available from 110 980 to >1 200 000. Dense donor typing allowed identification of 2 to 6 times more compatible donors to serve 3146 patients with multiple RBC alloantibodies, providing at least 1 match for 176 individuals for whom previously no blood could be found among the same donors. This genotyping technology is already being used to type thousands of donors taking part in national genotyping studies. Extraction of dense antigen-typing data from these cohorts provides blood supply organizations with the opportunity to implement a policy of genomics-based precision matching of blood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001894DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7422129PMC
August 2020

The influence of rare variants in circulating metabolic biomarkers.

PLoS Genet 2020 03 9;16(3):e1008605. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Circulating metabolite levels are biomarkers for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Here we studied, association of rare variants and 226 serum lipoproteins, lipids and amino acids in 7,142 (discovery plus follow-up) healthy participants. We leveraged the information from multiple metabolite measurements on the same participants to improve discovery in rare variant association analyses for gene-based and gene-set tests by incorporating correlated metabolites as covariates in the validation stage. Gene-based analysis corrected for the effective number of tests performed, confirmed established associations at APOB, APOC3, PAH, HAL and PCSK (p<1.32x10-7) and identified novel gene-trait associations at a lower stringency threshold with ACSL1, MYCN, FBXO36 and B4GALNT3 (p<2.5x10-6). Regulation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) complex was associated for the first time, in gene-set analyses also corrected for effective number of tests, with IDL and LDL parameters, as well as circulating cholesterol (pMETASKAT<2.41x10-6). In conclusion, using an approach that leverages metabolite measurements obtained in the same participants, we identified novel loci and pathways involved in the regulation of these important metabolic biomarkers. As large-scale biobanks continue to amass sequencing and phenotypic information, analytical approaches such as ours will be useful to fully exploit the copious amounts of biological data generated in these efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008605DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108731PMC
March 2020
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