Publications by authors named "Ilja Demuth"

123 Publications

Sociohistorical Change in Urban Older Adults' Perceived Speed of Time and Time Pressure.

J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2021 Jun 28. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Psychology, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.

Objectives: Perceptions of time are shaped by sociohistorical factors. Specifically, economic growth and modernization often engender a sense of acceleration. Research has primarily focused on one time perception dimension (perceived time pressure) in one subpopulation (working-age adults), but it is not clear whether historical changes extend to other dimensions (e.g., perceived speed of time) and other subpopulations, such as older adults who are no longer in the workforce and experience age-related shifts in time perception. We therefore examined sociohistorical and age-related trends in two dimensions of time perception in two cohorts of urban older adults.

Method: Using propensity score matching for age and education, samples were drawn from the Berlin Aging Study (1990-1993, n = 256, Mage = 77.49) and the Berlin Aging Study-II (2009-2014, n = 248, Mage = 77.49). Cohort differences in means, variances, covariance, and correlates of perceived speed of time and time pressure were examined using multigroup SEM.

Results: There were no cohort differences in the perceived speed of time, but later-born cohorts reported more time pressure than earlier-born cohorts. There were no significant age differences, but perceptions of speed of time were more heterogeneous in the 1990s than in the 2010s. Cohorts did not differ in how time perceptions were associated with sociodemographic, health, cognitive, and psychosocial correlates.

Discussion: These findings document sociohistorical trends toward greater perceived time pressure and reduced heterogeneity in perceived speed of time among later-born urban adults. Conceptualizations of social acceleration should thus consider the whole adult life span.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbab094DOI Listing
June 2021

Cohort profile: follow-up of a Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) subsample as part of the GendAge study.

BMJ Open 2021 06 23;11(6):e045576. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Psychology, Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Purpose: The study 'Sex- and gender-sensitive prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic disease in older adults in Germany', the GendAge study, focuses on major risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and on the development of major outcomes from intermediate phenotypes in the context of sex and gender differences. It is based on a follow-up examination of a subsample (older group) of the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II).

Participants: The GendAge study assessments took place between 22 June 2018 and 10 March 2020. A total of 1100 participants (older BASE-II subsample, aged ≥65 years) with baseline data assessed at least by one of the BASE-II partner sites were investigated in the follow-up. These participants had a mean age of 75.6 years (SD ±3.8), with a mean follow-up at 7.4 years (SD ±1.5).

Findings To Date: Data from different domains such as internal medicine, geriatrics, immunology and psychology were collected, with a focus on cardiometabolic diseases and in the context of sex and gender differences. Diabetes mellitus type 2 was reported by 15.6% and 8.6% of men and women, respectively. In contrast, this disease was diagnosed in 20.7% of men and 13.3% of women, indicating that a substantial proportion of almost 30% was unaware of the disease. Echocardiography revealed that left ventricular ejection fraction was higher in women than in men, in agreement with previous reports.

Future Plans: A gender questionnaire assessing sociocultural aspects implemented as part of the follow-up described here will allow to calculate a gender score and its evaluation based on the newly collected data. At the same time, the other BASE-II research foci established over the past 10 years will be continued and strengthened by the BASE-II transition into a longitudinal study with follow-up data on the older subsample.

Trial Registration Number: DRKS00016157.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045576DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8230995PMC
June 2021

Location, Location, Location: The Role of Objective Neighborhood Characteristics for Perceptions of Control.

Gerontology 2021 May 17:1-10. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department for Psychology, Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Introduction: Control beliefs can protect against age-related declines in functioning. It is unclear whether neighborhood characteristics shape how much control people perceive over their life. This article studies associations of neighborhood characteristics with control beliefs of residents of a diverse metropolitan area (Berlin, Germany).

Methods: We combine self-report data about perceptions of control obtained from participants in the Berlin Aging Study II (N = 507, 60-87 years, 51% women) with multisource geo-referenced indicators of neighborhood characteristics using linear regression models.

Results: Findings indicate that objective neighborhood characteristics (i.e., unemployment rate) are indeed tied to perceptions of control, in particular, how much control participants feel others have over their lives. Including neighborhood characteristics in part doubled the amount of explained variance compared with a reference model covarying for demographic characteristics only (from R2 = 0.017 to R2 = 0.030 for internal control beliefs; R2 = 0.056 to R2 = 0.102 for external control beliefs in chance; R2 = 0.006 to R2 = 0.030 for external control beliefs in powerful others).

Discussion/conclusion: Findings highlight the importance of access to neighborhood resources for control beliefs across old age and can inform interventions to build up neighborhood characteristics which might be especially helpful in residential areas with high unemployment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000515634DOI Listing
May 2021

Association between meal-specific daily protein intake and lean mass in older adults: results of the cross-sectional BASE-II study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8.

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Adequate total and meal-specific protein intake is considered an important prerequisite to preserve appendicular lean mass (ALM) in older adults and to prevent sarcopenia.

Objectives: We analyzed the meal-specific protein intake across the main meals between participants with normal vs. low ALM to BMI ratio (ALMBMI).

Methods: 782 participants [59.6% men; median 69 (IQR: 65, 71) y] of the Berlin Aging Study II have been included in this analysis. ALM was assessed by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Low lean mass was defined as ALMBMI using recommended sex-specific cut-offs. A 5-day nutritional protocol was used to assess total and meal-specific protein intake.

Results: Median total protein intake was 0.89 (IQR: 0.74, 1.05) g/kg/d body weight (BW) in participants with low ALMBMI and 1.02 (IQR: 0.86, 1.21) g/kg BW in participants with normal ALMBMI (P < 0.001). Daily protein intake at breakfast was similar in both groups [0.23 (95% CI: 0.20, 0.26) vs. 0.24 (95% CI: 0.23, 0.26) g/kg BW; P = 0.245]. Subjects with low ALMBMI reported a lower protein intake at lunch and dinner compared with those with normal ALMBMI [0.29 (95% CI: 0.27, 0.32) vs. 0.35 (95% CI: 0.34, 0.36) g/kg BW; P = 0.001 and 0.32 (95% CI: 0.30, 0.35) vs. 0.36 (95% CI: 0.35, 0.37) g/kg BW; P = 0.027, respectively]. In a stepwise regression model, a higher total protein intake was positively associated with ALMBMI [ß = 0.10 (95% CI: 0.07, 0.13) P < 0.001]. The protein intake at dinner was positively associated with ALMBMI [ß = 0.14 (95% CI: 0.08, 0.19) P < 0.001] irrespective of protein intake at breakfast and lunch. This association disappeared after additional adjustment for total protein intake.

Conclusion: Our data highlight an association of total protein intake and ALMBMI in older adults. Although current data support an association of high ALMBMI with protein intake at dinner in particular, this was not independent from total protein intake and the findings do not allow a conclusion on causality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab144DOI Listing
May 2021

Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with metabolic syndrome independent of insulin resistance and obesity in young adults - The Berlin Aging Study II.

Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2021 Apr 22:e3457. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Nutrition and Gerontology, German Institute for Human Nutrition Potsdam Rehbrücke, Nuthetal, Germany.

Purpose: Age-related changes affect vitamin D absorption and metabolism. Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations have been reported as risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, recent evaluations suggest this association might be explained by obesity or insulin resistance (IR) in subjects with MetS. Our aim was to analyze associations between vitamin D insufficiency and MetS in a young cohort without diabetes and two senior cohorts with and without diabetes.

Methods: Four hundred sixteen young and 1357 older BASE-II participants were analyzed. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) was defined according to European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines, MetS as suggested by International Diabetes Federation/American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (IDF/AHA/NHLBI 2009). Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations <50 nmol/L. Among other confounders, BMI and IR were taken into account.

Results: MetS was prevalent in 7.7% of the young and in 35.6% of the older BASE-II participants and T2D occurred in 12.7% of the older participants. In young subjects without diabetes, vitamin D insufficiency was associated with an independent 3.2-fold increased odds of having MetS (OR: 3.2 CI: 1.0-8.7; p = 0.042). However, in the older participants, this association was lost once BMI was taken into account among those with diabetes, and once IR was taken into account among those without diabetes.

Conclusion: Independent associations between vitamin D insufficiency and MetS were only found among young subjects without diabetes. In the older adults, BMI annihilated these associations among subjects without diabetes as did HOMA-IR among subjects with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dmrr.3457DOI Listing
April 2021

BDNF serum concentrations in 2053 participants of the Berlin Aging Study II.

Neurobiol Aging 2021 05 2;101:221-223. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Berlin, Germany.

Serum BDNF concentrations in 2053 participants of the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II; 1572 individuals from the older age group [60-85 years], 481 individuals from the younger-age reference group [22-37 years]) were studied. There was no effect of age, sex, body mass index, self-reported depression, or BDNF Val66Met variant on serum BDNF concentrations. Multiple linear regression analysis failed to detect significant relationships of Digit Symbol Substitution Test score and Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease memory score to BDNF levels. However, we detected a positive correlation between platelet counts and BDNF levels (r = 0.303, p < 0.001). Our findings do not support an effect of aging, self-reported depression, or the Val66Met variant on serum BDNF concentrations. The role of thrombocytes in the biology of serum BDNF merits further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2021.01.020DOI Listing
May 2021

Low muscle strength and increased arterial stiffness go hand in hand.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 3;11(1):2906. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117, Berlin, Germany.

Low handgrip strength and increased arterial stiffness are both associated with poor health outcomes, but evidence on the relationship between handgrip strength and arterial stiffness is limited. In this cross-sectional analysis of combined baseline datasets from the LipidCardio and Berlin Aging Study II cohorts we aimed to examine whether handgrip strength (HGS) is associated with arterial stiffness. 1511 participants with a median age of 68.56 (IQR 63.13-73.08) years were included. Arterial stiffness was assessed by aortal pulse wave velocity (PWV) with the Mobil-O-Graph device. Handgrip strength was assessed with a handheld dynamometer.The mean HGS was 39.05 ± 9.07 kg in men and 26.20 ± 7.47 kg in women. According to multivariable linear regression analysis per 5 kg decrease in handgrip strength there was a mean increase in PWV of 0.08 m/s after adjustment for the confounders age, sex, coronary artery disease, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, cohort, and smoking. Thus, there was evidence that low handgrip strength and increased arterial stiffness go hand in hand. Arterial stiffness can possibly create the missing link between low handgrip strength and increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Causality and direction of causality remain to be determined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81084-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859241PMC
February 2021

Genome-wide meta-analysis of muscle weakness identifies 15 susceptibility loci in older men and women.

Nat Commun 2021 01 28;12(1):654. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Low muscle strength is an important heritable indicator of poor health linked to morbidity and mortality in older people. In a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of 256,523 Europeans aged 60 years and over from 22 cohorts we identify 15 loci associated with muscle weakness (European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People definition: n = 48,596 cases, 18.9% of total), including 12 loci not implicated in previous analyses of continuous measures of grip strength. Loci include genes reportedly involved in autoimmune disease (HLA-DQA1 p = 4 × 10), arthritis (GDF5 p = 4 × 10), cell cycle control and cancer protection, regulation of transcription, and others involved in the development and maintenance of the musculoskeletal system. Using Mendelian randomization we report possible overlapping causal pathways, including diabetes susceptibility, haematological parameters, and the immune system. We conclude that muscle weakness in older adults has distinct mechanisms from continuous strength, including several pathways considered to be hallmarks of ageing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20918-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7844411PMC
January 2021

Gender score development in the Berlin Aging Study II: a retrospective approach.

Biol Sex Differ 2021 01 18;12(1):15. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Berlin Institute for Gender in Medicine, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

In addition to biological sex, gender, defined as the sociocultural dimension of being a woman or a man, plays a central role in health. However, there are so far few approaches to quantify gender in a retrospective manner in existing study datasets. We therefore aimed to develop a methodology that can be retrospectively applied to assess gender in existing cohorts. We used baseline data from the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II), obtained in 2009-2014 from 1869 participants aged 60 years and older. We identified 13 gender-related variables and used them to construct a gender score by using primary component and logistic regression analyses. Of these, nine variables contributed to a gender score: chronic stress, marital status, risk-taking behaviour, personality attributes: agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion, loneliness, conscientiousness, and level of education. Females and males differed significantly in the distribution of the gender score, but a significant overlap was also found. Thus, we were able to develop a gender score in a retrospective manner from already collected data that characterized participants in addition to biological sex. This approach will allow researchers to introduce the notion of gender retrospectively into a large number of studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13293-020-00351-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7814714PMC
January 2021

T cell phenotypes associated with insulin resistance: results from the Berlin Aging Study II.

Immun Ageing 2020 Dec 21;17(1):40. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Berlin Institute of Health, Chariteplatz 1, 10117, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Obesity is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation leading to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, but a subset of obese individuals is considered insulin sensitive (IS). The underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms remain elusive and clinical studies on the relationship between inflammatory markers and metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) are scarce.

Methods: In this cross-sectional analysis, we included a sample of 437 older participants (60-84 years) from the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated, immune cell subsets were analyzed with multiparameter flow cytometry and systemic cytokine levels were measured. Immune cell parameters were correlated with metabolic measures and multiple linear regression analysis was conducted and adjusted for various demographic and clinical factors.

Results: We found that frequencies of naïve and memory CD4 and CD8 T cells inversely correlated with measures for insulin sensitivity in the older population. Moreover, the percentages of naïve CD4 and CD8 T cells were significantly higher, whereas activated T cells and IL-6 levels were lower in IS compared to insulin resistant (IR) obese individuals. The percentages of naïve CD4 and CD8 T cells were predictive for impaired insulin sensitivity (ß = 0.16, p = 0.01 and ß = 0.11, p = 0.04), and the association of naïve CD4 T cells with insulin sensitivity persisted after multivariate adjustment (ß = 0.14, p = 0.02).

Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that parameters of systemic inflammation can differentiate IS from IR obese individuals that are at higher risk for cardiometabolic diseases and may have clinical implications with regard to obesity treatment stratification.

Trial Registration: DRKS00009277 . Registered 31 August 2015 - Retrospectively registered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12979-020-00211-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7751110PMC
December 2020

Poor Self-Reported Sleep is Related to Regional Cortical Thinning in Aging but not Memory Decline-Results From the Lifebrain Consortium.

Cereb Cortex 2021 Mar;31(4):1953-1969

Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, University of Oslo, 0315 Oslo, Norway.

We examined whether sleep quality and quantity are associated with cortical and memory changes in cognitively healthy participants across the adult lifespan. Associations between self-reported sleep parameters (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, PSQI) and longitudinal cortical change were tested using five samples from the Lifebrain consortium (n = 2205, 4363 MRIs, 18-92 years). In additional analyses, we tested coherence with cell-specific gene expression maps from the Allen Human Brain Atlas, and relations to changes in memory performance. "PSQI # 1 Subjective sleep quality" and "PSQI #5 Sleep disturbances" were related to thinning of the right lateral temporal cortex, with lower quality and more disturbances being associated with faster thinning. The association with "PSQI #5 Sleep disturbances" emerged after 60 years, especially in regions with high expression of genes related to oligodendrocytes and S1 pyramidal neurons. None of the sleep scales were related to a longitudinal change in episodic memory function, suggesting that sleep-related cortical changes were independent of cognitive decline. The relationship to cortical brain change suggests that self-reported sleep parameters are relevant in lifespan studies, but small effect sizes indicate that self-reported sleep is not a good biomarker of general cortical degeneration in healthy older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhaa332DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7945023PMC
March 2021

Is Healthy Neuroticism Associated with Chronic Conditions? A Coordinated Integrative Data Analysis.

Collabra Psychol 2020 12;6(1). Epub 2020 Aug 12.

University of Melbourne Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age and National Ageing Research Institute, Kew & Parkville, Australia.

Early investigations of the neuroticism by conscientiousness interaction with regards to health have been promising, but to date, there have been no systematic investigations of this interaction that account for the various personality measurement instruments, varying populations, or aspects of health. The current study - the second of three - uses a coordinated analysis approach to test the impact of the neuroticism by conscientiousness interaction on the prevalence and incidence of chronic conditions. Using 15 pre-existing longitudinal studies ( > 49,375), we found that conscientiousness did not moderate the relationship between neuroticism and having hypertension ( = 1.00,95%[0.98,1.02]), diabetes ( = 1.02[0.99,1.04]), or heart disease ( = 0.99[0.97,1.01]). Similarly, we found that conscientiousness did not moderate the prospective relationship between neuroticism and onset of hypertension ( = 0.98,[0.95,1.01]), diabetes ( = 0.99[0.94,1.05]), or heart disease ( = 0.98[0.94,1.03]). Heterogeneity of effect sizes was largely nonsignificant, with one exception, indicating that the effects are consistent between datasets. Overall, we conclude that there is no evidence that healthy neuroticism, operationalized as the conscientiousness by neuroticism interaction, buffers against chronic conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/collabra.267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7566654PMC
August 2020

Mutation spectrum and polygenic score in German patients with familial hypercholesterolemia.

Clin Genet 2020 11 2;98(5):457-467. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

Autosomal-dominant familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is characterized by increased plasma concentrations of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and a substantial risk to develop cardiovascular disease. Causative mutations in three major genes are known: the LDL receptor gene (LDLR), the apolipoprotein B gene (APOB) and the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 gene (PCSK9). We clinically characterized 336 patients suspected to have FH and screened them for disease causing mutations in LDLR, APOB, and PCSK9. We genotyped six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to calculate a polygenic risk score for the patients and 1985 controls. The 117 patients had a causative variant in one of the analyzed genes. Most variants were found in the LDLR gene (84.9%) with 11 novel mutations. The mean polygenic risk score was significantly higher in FH mutation negative subjects than in FH mutation positive patients (P < .05) and healthy controls (P < .001), whereas the score of the two latter groups did not differ significantly. However, the score explained only about 3% of the baseline LDL-C variance. We verified the previously described clinical and genetic variability of FH for German hypercholesterolemic patients. Evaluation of a six-SNP polygenic score recently proposed for clinical use suggests that it is not a reliable tool to classify hypercholesterolemic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13826DOI Listing
November 2020

SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in healthy donors and patients with COVID-19.

Nature 2020 11 29;587(7833):270-274. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Institute of Virology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the rapidly unfolding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Clinical manifestations of COVID-19 vary, ranging from asymptomatic infection to respiratory failure. The mechanisms that determine such variable outcomes remain unresolved. Here we investigated CD4 T cells that are reactive against the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 in the peripheral blood of patients with COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2-unexposed healthy donors. We detected spike-reactive CD4 T cells not only in 83% of patients with COVID-19 but also in 35% of healthy donors. Spike-reactive CD4 T cells in healthy donors were primarily active against C-terminal epitopes in the spike protein, which show a higher homology to spike glycoproteins of human endemic coronaviruses, compared with N-terminal epitopes. Spike-protein-reactive T cell lines generated from SARS-CoV-2-naive healthy donors responded similarly to the C-terminal region of the spike proteins of the human endemic coronaviruses 229E and OC43, as well as that of SARS-CoV-2. This results indicate that spike-protein cross-reactive T cells are present, which were probably generated during previous encounters with endemic coronaviruses. The effect of pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive T cells on clinical outcomes remains to be determined in larger cohorts. However, the presence of spike-protein cross-reactive T cells in a considerable fraction of the general population may affect the dynamics of the current pandemic, and has important implications for the design and analysis of upcoming trials investigating COVID-19 vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2598-9DOI Listing
November 2020

Relationship between Lipoprotein (a) and cognitive function - Results from the Berlin Aging Study II.

Sci Rep 2020 06 30;10(1):10636. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany.

It has been suggested that an age-related loss of cognitive function might be driven by atherosclerotic effects associated with altered lipid patterns. However, the relationship between Lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] and healthy cognitive aging has not yet been sufficiently investigated. For the current analysis we used the cross-sectional data of 1,380 Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) participants aged 60 years and older (52.2% women, mean age 68 ± 4 years). We employed the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD)-Plus test battery to establish latent factors representing continuous measures of domain specific cognitive functions. Regression models adjusted for APOE genotypes, lipid parameters and other risk factors for cognitive impairment were applied to assess the association between Lp(a) and performance in specific cognitive domains. Men within the lowest Lp(a)-quintile showed better cognitive performance in the cognitive domain executive functions and processing speed (p = 0.027). No significant results were observed in women. The results of the current analysis of predominantly healthy BASE-II participants point towards an association between low Lp(a) concentrations and better cognitive performance. However, evidence for this relationship resulting from the current analysis and the employment of a differentiated cognitive assessment is rather weak.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-66783-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7326928PMC
June 2020

Telomere attrition and dysfunction: a potential trigger of the progeroid phenotype in nijmegen breakage syndrome.

Aging (Albany NY) 2020 06 20;12(12):12342-12375. Epub 2020 Jun 20.

Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.

Background: Nibrin, as part of the NBN/MRE11/RAD50 complex, is mutated in Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS), which leads to impaired DNA damage response and lymphoid malignancy.

Results: Telomere length (TL) was markedly reduced in homozygous patients (and comparably so in all chromosomes) by ~40% (qPCR) and was slightly reduced in NBS heterozygotes older than 30 years (~25% in qPCR), in accordance with the respective cancer rates. Humanized cancer-free NBS mice had normal TL. Telomere elongation was inducible by telomerase and/or alternative telomere lengthening but was associated with abnormal expression of telomeric genes involved in aging and/or cell growth. Lymphoblastoid cells from NBS patients with long survival times (>12 years) displayed the shortest telomeres and low caspase 7 activity.

Conclusions: NBS is a secondary telomeropathy. The two-edged sword of telomere attrition enhances the cancer-prone situation in NBS but can also lead to a relatively stable cellular phenotype in tumor survivors. Results suggest a modular model for progeroid syndromes with abnormal expression of telomeric genes as a molecular basis.

Methods: We studied TL and function in 38 homozygous individuals, 27 heterozygotes, one homozygous fetus, six NBS lymphoblastoid cell lines, and humanized NBS mice, all with the same founder mutation: c.657_661del5.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.103453DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7343506PMC
June 2020

Sex differences in arterial wave reflection and the role of exogenous and endogenous sex hormones: results of the Berlin Aging Study II.

J Hypertens 2020 06;38(6):1040-1046

Lipid Clinic at the Interdisciplinary Metabolism Center, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health.

Background: Arterial stiffness is tightly linked to hypertension. Sex differences in hypertension and arterial stiffness have already been established, yet the role of sex hormones is not precisely defined. This study examined age and sex differences of arterial wave reflection and associations with endogenous and exogenous sex hormones in women.

Methods: Pulse wave analysis was performed with an oscillometric device in 590 male and 400 female participants of the Berlin Aging Study II. Participants have been recruited from two age-strata, 22-35 years and 60-82 years. Data on exposures and potential confounders, including medication, have been collected at baseline visit.

Results: Aumentation index (AIx) and pulse wave velocity increased with age. Mean AIx was higher in women than in men. Multivariable regression analysis showed a positive association between use of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) and AIx controlling for confounders (age, BMI, current smoking, central blood pressure), with a significantly higher mean AIx in OCP-users compared with nonusers (mean group difference: 4.41; 95% confidence interval 1.61-7.22). Per quartile decrease in estradiol level AIx increased by 1.72 (95% confidence interval 0.43-3.00). In OCP users endogenous estradiol was largely suppressed.

Conclusion: The findings suggest important sex differences in measures of arterial wave reflection, with a higher mean AIx observed in women compared with men. OCPs may promote the development of hypertension by increasing AIx. Suppressed endogenous estradiol levels may be responsible for this increased wave reflection due to increased vasotonus of the small and medium arteries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002386DOI Listing
June 2020

Dehydration predicts longitudinal decline in cognitive functioning and well-being among older adults.

Psychol Aging 2020 Jun 30;35(4):517-528. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Department of Psychology.

Adequate hydration is essential for health, with even mild forms of dehydration often having negative effects on cognition and well-being. Despite evidence of higher risk for dehydration among older adults, links between dehydration and cognitive or well-being outcomes have not been established in old age. In this study, we used longitudinal data from the Berlin Aging Study II (age range 60-89) to investigate whether trajectories of cognitive functioning (digit symbol, = 1,111) and well-being (Diener satisfaction with life, = 1,066; Socio-Economic Panel Study life satisfaction, = 1,067; and Lawton morale, = 1,067) are associated with objective dehydration (osmolarity; 33% dehydrated). Our results revealed that higher dehydration was associated with steeper decline in cognitive functioning and well-being over time, and lower well-being among those with higher body mass index. These associations were independent of sociodemographic and physical health characteristics. Our findings highlight the importance of adequate hydration for preserved cognition and well-being across old age. We discuss potential mechanisms and consider practical implications arising from our results. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pag0000471DOI Listing
June 2020

Epigenetic Clock and Leukocyte Telomere Length Are Associated with Vitamin D Status but not with Functional Assessments and Frailty in the Berlin Aging Study II.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2020 10;75(11):2056-2063

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Lipid Clinic at the Interdisciplinary Metabolism Center, Germany.

DNA methylation (DNAm) age acceleration, a parameter derived via the epigenetic clock, has recently been suggested as a biomarker of aging. We hypothesized that accelerated biological aging, measured by both this new and the established biomarker of aging, relative leukocyte telomere length (rLTL), are associated with vitamin D deficiency. Moreover, we tested for an association between rLTL/DNAm age acceleration and different clinical assessments for functional capacity, including the Fried frailty score. Cross-sectional data of 1,649 participants of the Berlin Aging Study II was available (~50% female, age: 22-37 and 60-84 years). A seven cytosine-phosphate-guanine clock was estimated to calculate the DNAm age acceleration. rLTL was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) serum levels <25 nmol/L was defined as vitamin D deficiency and <50 nmol/L as vitamin D insufficiency. Vitamin D-sufficient individuals had a 1.4 years lower mean DNAm age acceleration (p < .05, analysis of variance [ANOVA]) and a 0.11 longer rLTL (p < .001, ANOVA) than vitamin D-deficient participants. Likewise, vitamin D-sufficient participants had lower DNAm age acceleration (β = 1.060, p = .001) and longer rLTL (β = -0.070; p < .001) than vitamin D nonsufficient subjects in covariate-adjusted analysis. Neither DNAm age acceleration nor rLTL were significantly associated with the Fried frailty score or the functional assessments. Only the clock drawing test was associated with DNAm age acceleration (subgroup of older men: β = 1.898, p = .002). Whether the analyzed biomarkers of aging can be used to predict an individual's functional capacity or will be associated with frailty in the advanced course of aging, will be clarified by future longitudinal analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa101DOI Listing
October 2020

Trajectories of multiple subjective well-being facets across old age: The role of health and personality.

Psychol Aging 2020 Sep 20;35(6):894-909. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Department of Psychology, Humboldt University Berlin.

Subjective well-being is often characterized by average stability across old age, but individual differences are substantial and not yet fully understood. This study targets physical and cognitive health and personality as individual difference characteristics and examines their unique and interactive roles for level and change in a number of different facets of subjective well-being. We make use of medical diagnoses, performance-based indicators of physical (grip strength) and cognitive functioning (Digit Symbol), and extraversion and neuroticism and apply parallel sets of multilevel growth models to multiyear well-being data obtained in the Berlin Aging Study 2 ( = 1,216; = 71; = 3.84; 51% women) and the German Socio-Economic Panel ( = 3,418; = 70; = 6.89; 51% women). Results revealed by and large average stability of life satisfaction, morale, and emotions (anger, fear, sadness, happiness) across old age. Most important for our research questions, higher morbidity, poor performance on grip strength and perceptual speed tests, lower extraversion, and higher neuroticism were each uniquely associated with lower life satisfaction, morale, and positive affect and higher negative affect. Some evidence emerged for facet-specific health-personality interaction effects in predicting affective experiences, but effects observed were not consistent across studies and of small size. We take our findings to indicate that health and personality traits constitute important individual difference characteristics for our understanding of subjective well-being in old age and that these likely do not interact with one another to shape well-being. We discuss theoretical and practical implications. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pag0000459DOI Listing
September 2020

Plasma carotenoids, tocopherols and retinol - Association with age in the Berlin Aging Study II.

Redox Biol 2020 05 13;32:101461. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

Institute of Nutritional Science, University of Potsdam, 14558 Nuthetal, Germany; Geriatrics Research Group, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13347 Berlin, Germany; Department of Nutrition and Gerontology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE), 14558 Nuthetal, Germany. Electronic address:

Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables, which is related to high plasma levels of lipid-soluble micronutrients such as carotenoids and tocopherols, is linked to lower incidences of various age-related diseases. Differences in lipid-soluble micronutrient blood concentrations seem to be associated with age. Our retrospective analysis included men and women aged 22-37 and 60-85 years from the Berlin Aging Study II. Participants with simultaneously available plasma samples and dietary data were included (n = 1973). Differences between young and old groups were found for plasma lycopene, α-carotene, α-tocopherol, β-cryptoxanthin (only in women), and γ-tocopherol (only in men). β-Carotene, retinol and lutein/zeaxanthin did not differ between young and old participants regardless of the sex. We found significant associations for lycopene, α-carotene (both inverse), α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, and β-carotene (all positive) with age. Adjusting for BMI, smoking status, season, cholesterol and dietary intake confirmed these associations, except for β-carotene. These micronutrients are important antioxidants and associated with lower incidence of age-related diseases, therefore it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms in order to implement dietary strategies for the prevention of age-related diseases. To explain the lower lycopene and α-carotene concentration in older subjects, bioavailability studies in older participants are necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2020.101461DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7030983PMC
May 2020

Potentially inappropriate medication in older participants of the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) - Sex differences and associations with morbidity and medication use.

PLoS One 2019 30;14(12):e0226511. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Lipid Clinic at the Interdisciplinary Metabolism Center, Berlin, Germany.

Introduction: Multimorbidity in advanced age and the need for drug treatment may lead to polypharmacy, while pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes may increase the risk of adverse drug events (ADEs).

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of subjects using potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) in a cohort of older and predominantly healthy adults in relation to polypharmacy and morbidity.

Methods: Cross-sectional data were available from 1,382 study participants (median age 69 years, IQR 67-71, 51.3% females) of the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II). PIM was classified according to the EU(7)-PIM and German PRISCUS (representing a subset of the former) list. Polypharmacy was defined as the concomitant use of at least five drugs. A morbidity index (MI) largely based on the Charlson Index was applied to evaluate the morbidity burden.

Results: Overall, 24.1% of the participants were affected by polypharmacy. On average, men used 2 (IQR 1-4) and women 3 drugs (IQR 1-5). According to PRISCUS and EU(7)-PIM, 5.9% and 22.6% of participants received at least one PIM, while use was significantly more prevalent in females (25.5%) compared to males (19.6%) considering EU(7)-PIM (p = 0.01). In addition, morbidity in males receiving PIM according to EU(7)-PIM was higher (median MI 1, IQR 1-3) compared to males without PIM use (median MI 1, IQR 0-2, p<0.001).

Conclusion: PIM use occurred more frequently in women than in men, while it was associated with higher morbidity in males. As expected, EU(7)-PIM identifies more subjects as PIM users than the PRISCUS list but further studies are needed to investigate the differential impact of both lists on ADEs and outcome.

Key Points: We found PIM use to be associated with a higher number of regular medications and with increased morbidity. Additionally, we detected a higher prevalence of PIM use in females compared to males, suggesting that women and people needing intensive drug treatment are patient groups, who are particularly affected by PIM use.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226511PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6936809PMC
March 2020

Long-term gait measurements in daily life: Results from the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II).

PLoS One 2019 11;14(12):e0225026. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Lipid Clinic at the Interdisciplinary Metabolism Center, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Walking ability is an important prerequisite for activity, social participation and independent living. While in most healthy adults, this ability can be assumed as given, limitations in walking ability occur with increasing age. Furthermore, slow walking speed is linked to several chronic conditions and overall morbidity. Measurements of gait parameters can be used as a proxy to detect functional decline and onset of chronic conditions. Up to now, gait characteristics used for this purpose are measured in standardized laboratory settings. There is some evidence, however, that long-term measurements of gait parameters in the living environment have some advantages over short-term laboratory measurements.

Methods: We evaluated cross-sectional data from an accelerometric sensor worn in a subgroup of 554 participants of the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II). Data from the two BASE-II age groups (age between 22-36 years and 60-79 years) were used for the current analysis of accelerometric data for a minimum of two days and a maximum of ten days were available. Real world walking speed, number of steps, maximum coherent distance and total distance were derived as average data per day. Linear regression analyses were performed on the different gait parameters in order to identify significant determinants. Additionally, Mann-Whitney-U-tests were performed to detect sex-specific differences.

Results: Age showed to be significantly associated with real world walking speed and with the total distance covered per day, while BMI contributed negatively to the number of walking steps, maximum coherent distance and total distance walked. Additionally, sex was associated with walking steps. However, R2-values for all models were low. Overall, women had significantly more walking steps and a larger coherent distance per day when compared to men. When separated by age group, this difference was significant only in the older participants. Additionally, walking speed was significantly higher in women compared to men in the subgroup of older people.

Conclusions: Age- and sex-specific differences have to be considered when objective gait parameters are measured, e.g. in the context of clinical risk assessment. For this purpose normative data, differentiating for age and sex would have to be established to allow reliable classification of long-term measurements of gait.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225026PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6905575PMC
March 2020

Cohort differences in adult-life trajectories of internal and external control beliefs: A tale of more and better maintained internal control and fewer external constraints.

Psychol Aging 2019 Dec;34(8):1090-1108

Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University.

Life Span theory posits that sociohistorical contexts shape individual development. In line with this proposition, cohort differences favoring later-born cohorts have been widely documented for cognition and health. However, little is known about historical change in how key resources of psychosocial functioning such as control beliefs develop in old age. We pooled data from 3 independent samples: Berlin Aging Study (6 waves, = 414); Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study of Adult Development (4 waves, = 925); and Berlin Aging Study II (4 waves, = 1,111) to construct overlapping multiyear longitudinal data from ages 61 through 85 years for cohorts born 1905 to 1953 and examine historical changes in within-person trajectories of internal and external control beliefs. Results revealed that earlier-born cohorts exhibit age-related declines in internal control beliefs regarding both desirable and undesirable outcomes, whereas later-born cohorts perceive higher internal control and maintain this advantage into old age. Earlier-born cohorts also experience steep age-related increases in external control beliefs regarding both powerful others and chance, whereas later-born cohorts perceive lower external control and were stable across old age. Education and gender disparities in control beliefs narrowed over historical time. Sociodemographic, physical health, cognitive, and social factors explained some of the differences in control beliefs, and accounted for sizable portions of cohort effects. Our results indicate that current generations of older adults perceive more and better maintained internal control and fewer external constraints. We discuss potential underlying mechanisms and consider conceptual and societal implications of our findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pag0000389DOI Listing
December 2019

Knowledge-based best of breed approach for automated detection of clinical events based on German free text digital hospital discharge letters.

PLoS One 2019 27;14(11):e0224916. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Lipid Clinic at Interdisciplinary Metabolism Center, Berlin, Germany.

Objectives: The secondary use of medical data contained in electronic medical records, such as hospital discharge letters, is a valuable resource for the improvement of clinical care (e.g. in terms of medication safety) or for research purposes. However, the automated processing and analysis of medical free text still poses a huge challenge to available natural language processing (NLP) systems. The aim of this study was to implement a knowledge-based best of breed approach, combining a terminology server with integrated ontology, a NLP pipeline and a rules engine.

Methods: We tested the performance of this approach in a use case. The clinical event of interest was the particular drug-disease interaction "proton-pump inhibitor [PPI] use and osteoporosis". Cases were to be identified based on free text digital discharge letters as source of information. Automated detection was validated against a gold standard.

Results: Precision of recognition of osteoporosis was 94.19%, and recall was 97.45%. PPIs were detected with 100% precision and 97.97% recall. The F-score for the detection of the given drug-disease-interaction was 96,13%.

Conclusion: We could show that our approach of combining a NLP pipeline, a terminology server, and a rules engine for the purpose of automated detection of clinical events such as drug-disease interactions from free text digital hospital discharge letters was effective. There is huge potential for the implementation in clinical and research contexts, as this approach enables analyses of very high numbers of medical free text documents within a short time period.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0224916PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6881027PMC
March 2020

Self-reported sleep relates to hippocampal atrophy across the adult lifespan: results from the Lifebrain consortium.

Sleep 2020 05;43(5)

Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, University of Oslo, Norway.

Objectives: Poor sleep is associated with multiple age-related neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric conditions. The hippocampus plays a special role in sleep and sleep-dependent cognition, and accelerated hippocampal atrophy is typically seen with higher age. Hence, it is critical to establish how the relationship between sleep and hippocampal volume loss unfolds across the adult lifespan.

Methods: Self-reported sleep measures and MRI-derived hippocampal volumes were obtained from 3105 cognitively normal participants (18-90 years) from major European brain studies in the Lifebrain consortium. Hippocampal volume change was estimated from 5116 MRIs from 1299 participants for whom longitudinal MRIs were available, followed up to 11 years with a mean interval of 3.3 years. Cross-sectional analyses were repeated in a sample of 21,390 participants from the UK Biobank.

Results: No cross-sectional sleep-hippocampal volume relationships were found. However, worse sleep quality, efficiency, problems, and daytime tiredness were related to greater hippocampal volume loss over time, with high scorers showing 0.22% greater annual loss than low scorers. The relationship between sleep and hippocampal atrophy did not vary across age. Simulations showed that the observed longitudinal effects were too small to be detected as age-interactions in the cross-sectional analyses.

Conclusions: Worse self-reported sleep is associated with higher rates of hippocampal volume decline across the adult lifespan. This suggests that sleep is relevant to understand individual differences in hippocampal atrophy, but limited effect sizes call for cautious interpretation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsz280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7215271PMC
May 2020

Poor glucose regulation is associated with declines in well-being among older men, but not women.

Psychol Aging 2020 Mar 14;35(2):204-211. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Department of Psychology.

Glucose regulation is a key aspect of healthy aging and has been linked to brain functioning and cognition. Here we examined the role of glucose regulation for within-person longitudinal trajectories of well-being. We applied growth models to data from the Berlin Aging Study II (N = 955), using insulin resistance as an index of glucoregulatory capacity. We found that poor glucose regulation (higher insulin resistance) was consistently associated with lower levels of well-being among older men but not women. Our study provides novel evidence for the relevance of glucose regulation for well-being among older men. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pag0000404DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7042050PMC
March 2020

Phenome-wide association analysis of LDL-cholesterol lowering genetic variants in PCSK9.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2019 10 29;19(1):240. Epub 2019 Oct 29.

Department Primary Care & Population Health, University College London, London, UK.

Background: We characterised the phenotypic consequence of genetic variation at the PCSK9 locus and compared findings with recent trials of pharmacological inhibitors of PCSK9.

Methods: Published and individual participant level data (300,000+ participants) were combined to construct a weighted PCSK9 gene-centric score (GS). Seventeen randomized placebo controlled PCSK9 inhibitor trials were included, providing data on 79,578 participants. Results were scaled to a one mmol/L lower LDL-C concentration.

Results: The PCSK9 GS (comprising 4 SNPs) associations with plasma lipid and apolipoprotein levels were consistent in direction with treatment effects. The GS odds ratio (OR) for myocardial infarction (MI) was 0.53 (95% CI 0.42; 0.68), compared to a PCSK9 inhibitor effect of 0.90 (95% CI 0.86; 0.93). For ischemic stroke ORs were 0.84 (95% CI 0.57; 1.22) for the GS, compared to 0.85 (95% CI 0.78; 0.93) in the drug trials. ORs with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were 1.29 (95% CI 1.11; 1.50) for the GS, as compared to 1.00 (95% CI 0.96; 1.04) for incident T2DM in PCSK9 inhibitor trials. No genetic associations were observed for cancer, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or Alzheimer's disease - outcomes for which large-scale trial data were unavailable.

Conclusions: Genetic variation at the PCSK9 locus recapitulates the effects of therapeutic inhibition of PCSK9 on major blood lipid fractions and MI. While indicating an increased risk of T2DM, no other possible safety concerns were shown; although precision was moderate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12872-019-1187-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6820948PMC
October 2019

Structural Brain Correlates of Loneliness among Older Adults.

Sci Rep 2019 09 19;9(1):13569. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany.

Ample evidence indicates that loneliness in old age is associated with poor bodily and mental health. However, little is known about structural cerebral correlates of loneliness in healthy older adults. We examined such correlates in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) subsample of 319 older adults aged 61 to 82 years drawn from the Berlin Aging Study II. Using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and structural equation modeling (SEM), latent hierarchical regression analyses were performed to examine associations of (i) loneliness, (ii) a range of covariates, and (iii) loneliness by covariate interactions with latent brain volume estimates of brain structures known to be involved in processing, expressing, and regulating emotions. Results from whole-brain VBM analyses showed that individuals with higher loneliness scores tended to have smaller gray matter volumes in three clusters comprising (i) the left amygdala/anterior hippocampus, (ii) the left posterior parahippocampus and (iii) the left cerebellum. Significant associations and interactions between loneliness and latent factors for the amygdala and the hippocampus were confirmed with a region-of-interest (ROI)-based approach. These findings suggest that individual differences in loneliness among older adults are correlated with individual differences in the volumes of brain regions that are central to cognitive processing and emotional regulation, also after correcting for confounders such as social network size. We discuss possible mechanisms underlying these associations and their implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49888-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6753249PMC
September 2019