Publications by authors named "Jan Bressler"

78 Publications

Identification of novel and rare variants associated with handgrip strength using whole genome sequence data from the NHLBI Trans-Omics in Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program.

PLoS One 2021 2;16(7):e0253611. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, United States of America.

Handgrip strength is a widely used measure of muscle strength and a predictor of a range of morbidities including cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality. Previous genome-wide association studies of handgrip strength have focused on common variants primarily in persons of European descent. We aimed to identify rare and ancestry-specific genetic variants associated with handgrip strength by conducting whole-genome sequence association analyses using 13,552 participants from six studies representing diverse population groups from the Trans-Omics in Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program. By leveraging multiple handgrip strength measures performed in study participants over time, we increased our effective sample size by 7-12%. Single-variant analyses identified ten handgrip strength loci among African-Americans: four rare variants, five low-frequency variants, and one common variant. One significant and four suggestive genes were identified associated with handgrip strength when aggregating rare and functional variants; all associations were ancestry-specific. We additionally leveraged the different ancestries available in the UK Biobank to further explore the ancestry-specific association signals from the single-variant association analyses. In conclusion, our study identified 11 new loci associated with handgrip strength with rare and/or ancestry-specific genetic variations, highlighting the added value of whole-genome sequencing in diverse samples. Several of the associations identified using single-variant or aggregate analyses lie in genes with a function relevant to the brain or muscle or were reported to be associated with muscle or age-related traits. Further studies in samples with sequence data and diverse ancestries are needed to confirm these findings.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0253611PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253404PMC
July 2021

Association between Circulating Protein C Levels and Incident Dementia: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Neuroepidemiology 2021 2;55(4):306-315. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA.

Introduction: Hemostasis depends on the delicate balance between coagulants and anticoagulants. Higher levels of circulating coagulants have been associated with higher risk of cerebral infarctions and dementia. In contrast, higher levels of circulating protein C, an endogenous anticoagulant, have been associated with lower risk of cerebral infarctions, and the association between protein C levels and the risk of dementia is unknown. The goal of this study was to evaluate the association of circulating protein C levels in midlife and late life with incident dementia.

Methods: Circulating protein C levels were measured using blood samples collected at the midlife baseline (1987-1989) and the late-life baseline (2011-2013) among 14,462 and 3,614 participants, respectively, in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Protein C levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at midlife and a modified aptamer-based assay at late life. Participants were followed up to 2013 from midlife and up to 2017 from late life. Incident dementia was ascertained during the follow-up periods using in-person cognitive and functional assessment, informant interviews, and International Classification of Diseases codes at hospitalization discharge and on death certificates. Cause-specific Cox regression models were used to evaluate the association between quintiles of circulating protein C and incident dementia.

Results: From midlife (mean age of 54), 1,389 incident dementia events were observed over a median follow-up of 23 years. From late life (mean age of 75), 353 incident dementia events were observed over a median follow-up of 4.9 years. At both midlife and late life, circulating protein C had an inverse association with incident dementia after adjusting for demographic, vascular, and hemostatic risk factors, incident stroke as time-dependent covariate, and incorporating stabilized weights based on propensity scores (quintile 5 vs. quintile 1 as the reference, midlife hazard ratio 0.80, 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.96, p value for trend 0.04; late-life hazard ratio 0.84, 95% confidence interval: 0.55-1.28, p value for trend 0.04).

Discussion/conclusion: Circulating protein C has an inverse association with incident dementia independent of established risk factors, including stroke. Our results suggest studying anticoagulants in addition to coagulants can increase our understanding on the relationship between hemostasis and dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000516287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8292178PMC
June 2021

Plasma amyloid β levels are driven by genetic variants near APOE, BACE1, APP, PSEN2: A genome-wide association study in over 12,000 non-demented participants.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 May 18. Epub 2021 May 18.

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.

Introduction: There is increasing interest in plasma amyloid beta (Aβ) as an endophenotype of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Identifying the genetic determinants of plasma Aβ levels may elucidate important biological processes that determine plasma Aβ measures.

Methods: We included 12,369 non-demented participants from eight population-based studies. Imputed genetic data and measured plasma Aβ1-40, Aβ1-42 levels and Aβ1-42/Aβ1-40 ratio were used to perform genome-wide association studies, and gene-based and pathway analyses. Significant variants and genes were followed up for their association with brain positron emission tomography Aβ deposition and AD risk.

Results: Single-variant analysis identified associations with apolipoprotein E (APOE) for Aβ1-42 and Aβ1-42/Aβ1-40 ratio, and BACE1 for Aβ1-40. Gene-based analysis of Aβ1-40 additionally identified associations for APP, PSEN2, CCK, and ZNF397. There was suggestive evidence for interaction between a BACE1 variant and APOE ε4 on brain Aβ deposition.

Discussion: Identification of variants near/in known major Aβ-processing genes strengthens the relevance of plasma-Aβ levels as an endophenotype of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12333DOI Listing
May 2021

Epigenetically mediated electrocardiographic manifestations of sub-chronic exposures to ambient particulate matter air pollution in the Women's Health Initiative and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Environ Res 2021 07 22;198:111211. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Background: Short-duration exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) air pollution is associated with cardiac autonomic dysfunction and prolonged ventricular repolarization. However, associations with sub-chronic exposures to coarser particulates are relatively poorly characterized as are molecular mechanisms underlying their potential relationships with cardiovascular disease.

Materials And Methods: We estimated associations between monthly mean concentrations of PM < 10 μm and 2.5-10 μm in diameter (PM PM) with time-domain measures of heart rate variability (HRV) and QT interval duration (QT) among U.S. women and men in the Women's Health Initiative and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (n = 82,107; n = 76,711). Then we examined mediation of the PM-HRV and PM-QT associations by DNA methylation (DNAm) at three Cytosine-phosphate-Guanine (CpG) sites (cg19004594, cg24102420, cg12124767) with known sensitivity to monthly mean PM concentrations in a subset of the participants (n = 7,169; n = 6,895). After multiply imputing missing PM, electrocardiographic and covariable data, we estimated associations using attrition-weighted, linear, mixed, longitudinal models adjusting for sociodemographic, behavioral, meteorological, and clinical characteristics. We assessed mediation by estimating the proportions of PM-HRV and PM-QT associations mediated by DNAm.

Results: We found little evidence of PM-HRV association, PM-QT association, or mediation by DNAm.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that among racially/ethnically and environmentally diverse U.S. populations, sub-chronic exposures to coarser particulates may not exert appreciable, epigenetically mediated effects on cardiac autonomic function or ventricular repolarization. Further investigation in better-powered studies is warranted, with additional focus on shorter duration exposures to finer particulates and non-electrocardiographic outcomes among relatively susceptible populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8179344PMC
July 2021

Associations of Metabolic Genes (, , ) and Blood Mercury Concentrations Differ in Jamaican Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 3;18(4). Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Mona Campus, The University of the West Indies, Kingston 7, Jamaica.

We investigated interactive roles of three metabolic glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes (, , and ) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) status in relation to blood Hg concentrations (BHC) of Jamaican children. We used data from 266 children (2-8 years) with ASD and their 1:1 age- and sex-matched typically developing (TD) controls. After adjusting General Linear Models for child's age, socioeconomic status, consumption of leafy vegetables, fried plantain, canned fish, and the interaction between and , we found significant interactions between and ASD status in relation to BHC either in a co-dominant or dominant genetic model for ( < 0.001, = 0.007, respectively). In the co-dominant model for the Ile105Val polymorphism, geometric mean (GM) BHC in ASD cases with genotype Ile/Ile were significantly higher than in cases with the Ile/Val genotype (0.73 vs. 0.48 µg/L, = 0.01). In contrast, in TD controls with the Ile/Val genotype GM BHC were significantly higher than in those with the Ile/Ile genotype (0.72 vs. 0.49 µg/L, = 0.03) or the Val/Val genotype (0.72 vs. 0.51 µg/L, = 0.04). Although our findings are consistent with the role of in detoxification of Hg, replication in other populations is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041377DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7913200PMC
February 2021

Corrigendum to 'Association of sickle cell trait with measures of cognitive function and dementia in African Americans' Vol. 16 (2019), 100,201.

eNeurologicalSci 2020 Dec 12;21:100281. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorder Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory Department of Pediatrics, Atlanta, GA, United States of America.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1016/j.ensci.2019.100201.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ensci.2020.100281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7719690PMC
December 2020

Epidemiology and Molecular-Pathologic Characteristics of CpG Island Methylator Phenotype (CIMP) in Colorectal Cancer.

Clin Colorectal Cancer 2021 06 12;20(2):137-147.e1. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Division of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Electronic address:

Background: CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) forms a distinct epigenetic phenotype in colorectal cancer (CRC). Though associated with distinct clinicopathologic characteristics, limited evidence exists of the association of CIMP with patient's reported lifestyle factors and tumor molecular characteristics. We assessed the associations of these characteristics in a pooled analysis of CRC patients.

Patients And Methods: We pooled data from 3 CRC patient cohorts: Assessment of Targeted Therapies Against Colorectal Cancer (ATTACC), biomarker-based protocol (Integromics), and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). CIMP was measured using the classical 6-gene methylated-in-tumor (MINT) marker panel (MINT1, MINT2, MINT31, p14, p16, and MLH1) in ATTACC and genome-wide human methylation arrays in Integromics and TCGA, respectively. CIMP-High (CIMP-H) was defined as ≥ 3 of 6 methylated markers in ATTACC. In TCGA and Integromics, CIMP-H group was defined on the basis of clusters of methylation profiles and high levels of methylation in tumor samples. Baseline comparisons of characteristics across CIMP groups (CIMP-H vs. CIMP-0) were performed by Student t test or chi-square test for continuous or categorical variables, respectively. Further logistic regression analyses were performed to compute the odds ratio (OR) of these associations.

Results: Pooled prevalence of CIMP-H was 22% across 3 data sets. CIMP-H CRC tumors were associated with older age at diagnosis (OR, 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01, 1.03), microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) status (OR, 9.15; 95% CI, 4.45, 18.81), BRAF mutation (OR, 7.70; 95% CI, 4.98, 11.87), right-sided tumor location (OR, 2.40; 95% CI, 1.78, 3.22), poor differentiation (OR, 2.94; 95% CI, 1.95, 4.45), and mucinous histology (OR, 2.47; 95% CI, 1.77, 3.47), as reported previously in the literature. CIMP-H tumors were also found to be associated with self-reported history of alcohol consumption (OR, ever vs. never, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.07, 2.34). Pathologically, CIMP-H tumors were associated with the presence of intraepithelial lymphocytes (OR, 3.31; 95% CI, 1.41, 7.80) among patients in the Integromics cohort.

Conclusion: CIMP-H tumors were associated with history of alcohol consumption and presence of intraepithelial lymphocytes. In addition, we confirmed the previously known association of CIMP with age, MSI-H status, BRAF mutation, sidedness, and mucinous histology. Molecular pathologic epidemiology associations help us explore the underlying association of lifestyle and clinical factors with molecular subsets like CIMP and help guide cancer prevention and treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clcc.2020.09.007DOI Listing
June 2021

Interaction between a Mixture of Heavy Metals (Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium, Manganese, Aluminum) and and in Relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Res Autism Spectr Disord 2020 Nov 24;79. Epub 2020 Oct 24.

Louis A Faillace, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77054, USA.

Background: Exposure to many environmental chemicals, including metals, often does not occur in isolation, hence requires assessment of the associations between exposure to mixtures of chemicals and human health.

Objectives: To investigate associations of a metal mixture of lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), manganese (Mn), and aluminum (Al) in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), additively or interactively with each of three glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes (, , and ).

Method: Using data from 266 case-control pairs of Jamaican children (2-8 years old), we fitted negative and positive generalized weighted quantile sum (gWQS) regression models to assess the aforementioned associations.

Results: Based on additive and interactive negative gWQS models adjusted for maternal age, parental education, child's parish, and seafood consumption, we found inverse associations of the overall mixture score with ASD [MOR (95% CI): 0.70 (0.49, 0.99); < 0.05) and [MOR (95%CI): 0.46 (0.25, 0.84); = 0.01], respectively. In an unadjusted negative gWQS model, we found a marginally significant interaction between and a mixture of three metals (Pb, Hg, and Mn) ( = 0.07) while the association was no longer significant after adjustment for the same covariates ( = 0.24).

Conclusions: Differences in diet between ASD and control groups may play a role in the inverse associations we found. The possible interactive association between Mn and in ASD based on gWQS is consistent with our previous reports. However, possible interaction of with Pb and Hg in ASD requires further investigation and replication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2020.101681DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7664834PMC
November 2020

Mitochondrial DNA copy number can influence mortality and cardiovascular disease via methylation of nuclear DNA CpGs.

Genome Med 2020 09 28;12(1):84. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

McKusick-Nathans Department of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN) has been associated with a variety of aging-related diseases, including all-cause mortality. However, the mechanism by which mtDNA-CN influences disease is not currently understood. One such mechanism may be through regulation of nuclear gene expression via the modification of nuclear DNA (nDNA) methylation.

Methods: To investigate this hypothesis, we assessed the relationship between mtDNA-CN and nDNA methylation in 2507 African American (AA) and European American (EA) participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. To validate our findings, we assayed an additional 2528 participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) (N = 533) and Framingham Heart Study (FHS) (N = 1995). We further assessed the effect of experimental modification of mtDNA-CN through knockout of TFAM, a regulator of mtDNA replication, via CRISPR-Cas9.

Results: Thirty-four independent CpGs were associated with mtDNA-CN at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10). Meta-analysis across all cohorts identified six mtDNA-CN-associated CpGs at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10). Additionally, over half of these CpGs were associated with phenotypes known to be associated with mtDNA-CN, including coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. Experimental modification of mtDNA-CN demonstrated that modulation of mtDNA-CN results in changes in nDNA methylation and gene expression of specific CpGs and nearby transcripts. Strikingly, the "neuroactive ligand receptor interaction" KEGG pathway was found to be highly overrepresented in the ARIC cohort (P = 5.24 × 10), as well as the TFAM knockout methylation (P = 4.41 × 10) and expression (P = 4.30 × 10) studies.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that changes in mtDNA-CN influence nDNA methylation at specific loci and result in differential expression of specific genes that may impact human health and disease via altered cell signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-020-00778-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7523322PMC
September 2020

Methylome-wide association study of central adiposity implicates genes involved in immune and endocrine systems.

Epigenomics 2020 09 9;12(17):1483-1499. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

We conducted a methylome-wide association study to examine associations between DNA methylation in whole blood and central adiposity and body fat distribution, measured as waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and waist-to-height ratio adjusted for body mass index, in 2684 African-American adults in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. We validated significantly associated cytosine-phosphate-guanine methylation sites (CpGs) among adults using the Women's Health Initiative and Framingham Heart Study participants (combined n = 5743) and generalized associations in adolescents from The Raine Study (n = 820). We identified 11 CpGs that were robustly associated with one or more central adiposity trait in adults and two in adolescents, including CpG site associations near , ,  and that had not previously been associated with obesity-related traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/epi-2019-0276DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7923253PMC
September 2020

Interaction of Blood Manganese Concentrations with GSTT1 in Relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder in Jamaican Children.

J Autism Dev Disord 2021 Jun;51(6):1953-1965

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, 77054, USA.

Using data from 266 age- and sex-matched pairs of Jamaican children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing (TD) controls (2-8 years), we investigated whether glutathione S-transferase theta 1 (GSTT1) modifies the association between blood manganese concentrations (BMC) and ASD. After adjusting conditional logistic regression models for socioeconomic status and the interaction between GSTT1 and GSTP1 (glutathione S-transferase pi 1), using a recessive genetic model for GSTT1 and either a co-dominant or dominant model for GSTP1, the interaction between GSTT1 and BMC was significant (P = 0.02, P = 0.01, respectively). Compared to controls, ASD cases with GSTT1-DD genotype had 4.33 and 4.34 times higher odds of BMC > 12 vs. ≤ 8.3 μg/L, respectively. Replication in other populations is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04677-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936003PMC
June 2021

Plasma Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Older Men and Women.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 12;105(12)

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Context: Lower dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S) levels have been inconsistently associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) and mortality. Data are limited for heart failure (HF) and association between DHEA-S change and events.

Objective: Assess associations between low DHEA-S/DHEA-S change and incident HF hospitalization, CHD, and mortality in older adults.

Design: DHEA-S was measured in stored plasma from visits 4 (1996-1998) and 5 (2011-2013) of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Follow-up for incident events: 18 years for DHEA-S level; 5.5 years for DHEA-S change.

Setting: General community.

Participants: Individuals without prevalent cardiovascular disease (n = 8143, mean age 63 years).

Main Outcome Measure: Associations between DHEA-S and incident HF hospitalization, CHD, or mortality; associations between 15-year change in DHEA-S (n = 3706) and cardiovascular events.

Results: DHEA-S below the 15th sex-specific percentile of the study population (men: 55.4 µg/dL; women: 27.4 µg/dL) was associated with increased HF hospitalization (men: hazard ratio [HR] 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07-1.58; women: HR 1.42, 95% CI, 1.13-1.79); DHEA-S below the 25th sex-specific percentile (men: 70.0 µg/dL; women: 37.1 µg/dL) was associated with increased death (men: HR 1.12, 95% CI, 1.01-1.25; women: HR 1.19, 95% CI, 1.03-1.37). In men, but not women, greater percentage decrease in DHEA-S was associated with increased HF hospitalization (HR 1.94, 95% CI, 1.11-3.39). Low DHEA-S and change in DHEA-S were not associated with incident CHD.

Conclusions: Low DHEA-S is associated with increased risk for HF and mortality but not CHD. Further investigation is warranted to evaluate mechanisms underlying these associations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa518DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7526732PMC
December 2020

Molecular Signature of Multisystem Cardiometabolic Stress and Its Association With Prognosis.

JAMA Cardiol 2020 Oct;5(10):1144-1153

Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Importance: Cardiometabolic disease is responsible for decreased longevity and poorer cardiovascular outcomes in the modern era. Metabolite profiling provides a specific measure of global metabolic function to examine specific metabolic mechanisms and pathways of cardiometabolic disease beyond its clinical definitions.

Objectives: To define a molecular basis for cardiometabolic stress and assess its association with cardiovascular prognosis.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A prospective observational cohort study was conducted in a population-based setting across 2 geographically distinct centers (Boston Puerto Rican Health Study [BPRHS], an ongoing study of individuals enrolled between June 1, 2004, and October 31, 2009; and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities [ARIC] study, whose participants were originally sampled between November 24, 1986, and February 10, 1990, and followed up through December 31, 2017). Participants in the BPRHS were 668 Puerto Rican individuals with metabolite profiling living in Massachusetts, and participants in the ARIC study were 2152 individuals with metabolite profiling and long-term follow-up for mortality and cardiovascular outcomes. Statistical analysis was performed from October 1, 2018, to March 13, 2020.

Exposure: The primary exposure was metabolite profiles across both cohorts.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Outcomes included associations with multisystem cardiometabolic stress and all-cause mortality and incident coronary heart disease (in the ARIC study).

Results: Participants in the BPRHS (N = 668; 491 women; mean [SD] age, 57.0 [7.4] years; mean [SD] body mass index [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared], 32.0 [6.5]) had higher prevalent cardiometabolic risk relative to those in the ARIC study (N = 2152; 599 African American individuals; 1213 women; mean [SD] age, 54.3 [5.7] years; mean [SD] body mass index, 28.0 [5.5]). Multisystem cardiometabolic stress was defined for 668 Puerto Rican individuals in the BPRHS as a multidimensional composite of hypothalamic-adrenal axis activity, sympathetic activation, blood pressure, proatherogenic dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, visceral adiposity, and inflammation. A total of 260 metabolites associated with cardiometabolic stress were identified in the BPRHS, involving known and novel pathways of cardiometabolic disease (eg, amino acid metabolism, oxidative stress, and inflammation). A parsimonious metabolite-based score associated with cardiometabolic stress in the BPRHS was subsequently created; this score was applied to shared metabolites in the ARIC study, demonstrating significant associations with coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality after multivariable adjustment at a 30-year horizon (per SD increase in metabolomic score: hazard ratio, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.00-1.31; P = .045 for coronary heart disease; and hazard ratio, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.07-1.24; P < .001 for all-cause mortality).

Conclusions And Relevance: Metabolites associated with cardiometabolic stress identified known and novel pathways of cardiometabolic disease in high-risk, community-based cohorts and were associated with coronary heart disease and survival at a 30-year time horizon. These results underscore the shared molecular pathophysiology of metabolic dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, and longevity and suggest pathways for modification to improve prognosis across all linked conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2020.2686DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7376474PMC
October 2020

Genome-wide association study of cognitive function in diverse Hispanics/Latinos: results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos.

Transl Psychiatry 2020 07 22;10(1):245. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

Cognitive function such as reasoning, attention, memory, and language is strongly correlated with brain aging. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics/Latinos have a higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. The genetic determinants of cognitive function have not been widely explored in this diverse and admixed population. We conducted a genome-wide association analysis of cognitive function in up to 7600 middle aged and older Hispanics/Latinos (mean = 55 years) from the Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Four cognitive measures were examined: the Brief Spanish English Verbal Learning Test (B-SEVLT), the Word Fluency Test (WFT), the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), the Six-Item Screener (SIS). Four novel loci were identified: one for B-SEVLT at 4p14, two for WFT at 3p14.1 and 6p21.32, and one for DSST at 10p13. These loci implicate genes highly expressed in brain and previously connected to neurological diseases (UBE2K, FRMD4B, the HLA gene complex). By applying tissue-specific gene expression prediction models to our genotype data, additional genes highly expressed in brain showed suggestive associations with cognitive measures possibly indicating novel biological mechanisms, including IFT122 in the hippocampus for SIS, SNX31 in the basal ganglia for B-SEVLT, RPS6KB2 in the frontal cortex for WFT, and CSPG5 in the hypothalamus for DSST. These findings provide new information about the genetic determinants of cognitive function in this unique population. In addition, we derived a measure of general cognitive function based on these cognitive tests and generated genome-wide association summary results, providing a resource to the research community for comparison, replication, and meta-analysis in future genetic studies in Hispanics/Latinos.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-00930-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7376098PMC
July 2020

Blood DNA methylation sites predict death risk in a longitudinal study of 12, 300 individuals.

Aging (Albany NY) 2020 07 22;12(14):14092-14124. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Section General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

DNA methylation has fundamental roles in gene programming and aging that may help predict mortality. However, no large-scale study has investigated whether site-specific DNA methylation predicts all-cause mortality. We used the Illumina-HumanMethylation450-BeadChip to identify blood DNA methylation sites associated with all-cause mortality for 12, 300 participants in 12 Cohorts of the Heart and Aging Research in Genetic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium. Over an average 10-year follow-up, there were 2,561 deaths across the cohorts. Nine sites mapping to three intergenic and six gene-specific regions were associated with mortality ( < 9.3x10) independently of age and other mortality predictors. Six sites (cg14866069, cg23666362, cg20045320, cg07839457, cg07677157, cg09615688)-mapping respectively to , and two intergenic regions-were associated with reduced mortality risk. The remaining three sites (cg17086398, cg12619262, cg18424841)-mapping respectively to , and an intergenic region-were associated with increased mortality risk. DNA methylation at each site predicted 5%-15% of all deaths. We also assessed the causal association of those sites to age-related chronic diseases by using Mendelian randomization, identifying weak causal relationship between cg18424841 and cg09615688 with coronary heart disease. Of the nine sites, three (cg20045320, cg07839457, cg07677157) were associated with lower incidence of heart disease risk and two (cg20045320, cg07839457) with smoking and inflammation in prior CHARGE analyses. Methylation of cg20045320, cg07839457, and cg17086398 was associated with decreased expression of nearby genes () linked to immune responses and cardiometabolic diseases. These sites may serve as useful clinical tools for mortality risk assessment and preventative care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.103408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7425458PMC
July 2020

Association of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Organochlorine Pesticides with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Jamaican Children.

Res Autism Spectr Disord 2020 Aug 18;76. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

Background: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine (OC) pesticides are suspected to play a role in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Objectives: To investigate associations of PCBs and OC pesticides with ASD in Jamaican children and explore possible interaction between PCBs or OC pesticides with glutathione -transferase (GST) genes (, , ) in relation to ASD.

Methods: Participants included n=169 age- and sex-matched case-control pairs of Jamaican children 2-8 years old. Socioeconomic status and food frequency data were self-reported by the parents/guardians. Blood from each participant was analyzed for 100 PCB congeners and 17 OC pesticides and genotyped for three GST genes. PCBs and OC pesticides concentrations below the limit of detection (LoD) were replaced with (LoD/√2). We used conditional logistic regression (CLR) models to assess associations of PCBs and OC pesticides with ASD, individually or interactively with GST genes (, , ).

Results: We found inverse associations of PCB-153 [adjusted MOR (95% CI) = 0.44 (0.23-0.86)] and PCB-180 [adjusted MOR (95% CI) = 0.52 (0.28-0.95)] with ASD. When adjusted for covariates in a CLR the interaction between and PCB-153 became significant ( < 0.01).

Discussion: Differences in diet between ASD and typically developing control groups may play a role in the observed findings of lower concentrations of PCB-153 and PCB-180 in individuals with ASD than in controls. Considering the limited sample size and high proportion of concentrations below the LoD, these results should be interpreted with caution but warrant further investigation into associations of PCBs and OC pesticides with ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2020.101587DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7357892PMC
August 2020

Leukocyte Traits and Exposure to Ambient Particulate Matter Air Pollution in the Women's Health Initiative and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Environ Health Perspect 2020 01 6;128(1):17004. Epub 2020 Jan 6.

Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Background: Inflammatory effects of ambient particulate matter (PM) air pollution exposures may underlie PM-related increases in cardiovascular disease risk and mortality, although evidence of PM-associated leukocytosis is inconsistent and largely based on small, cross-sectional, and/or unrepresentative study populations.

Objectives: Our objective was to estimate PM-leukocyte associations among U.S. women and men in the Women's Health Initiative and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study ().

Methods: We based the PM-leukocyte estimations on up to four study visits per participant, at which peripheral blood leukocytes and geocoded address-specific concentrations of , , and in diameter (, , and , respectively) were available. We multiply imputed missing data using chained equations and estimated PM-leukocyte count associations over daily to yearly PM exposure averaging periods using center-specific, linear, mixed, longitudinal models weighted for attrition and adjusted for sociodemographic, behavioral, meteorological, and geographic covariates. In a subset of participants with available data (), we also estimated PM-leukocyte proportion associations in compositional data analyses.

Results: We found a (95% confidence interval: , 33) higher leukocyte count, a 1.2% (0.6%, 1.8%) higher granulocyte proportion, and a (, ) lower T-cell proportion per increase in 1-month mean . However, shorter-duration exposures were inversely and only modestly associated with leukocyte count.

Discussion: The -leukocyte estimates, albeit imprecise, suggest that among racially, ethnically, and environmentally diverse U.S. populations, sustained, ambient exposure to fine PM may induce subclinical, but epidemiologically important, inflammatory effects. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP5360.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP5360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7015624PMC
January 2020

Epigenetic Age Acceleration and Cognitive Function in African American Adults in Midlife: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2020 02;75(3):473-480

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, UK.

Methylation levels measured at defined sites across the genome have recently been shown to be correlated with an individual's chronological age. Age acceleration, or the difference between age estimated from DNA methylation status and chronological age, has been proposed as a novel biomarker of aging. In this study, the cross-sectional association between two different measures of age acceleration and cognitive function was investigated using whole blood samples from 2,157 African American participants 47-70 years of age in the population-based Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Cognition was evaluated using three domain-specific tests. A significant inverse association between a 1-year increase in age acceleration calculated using a blood-based age predictor and scores on the Word Fluency Test was found using a general linear model adjusted for chronological age, gender, and years of education (β = -0.140 words; p = .001) and after adding other potential confounding variables (β = -0.104 words, p = .023). The results were replicated in 1,670 European participants in the Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (fully adjusted model: β = -0.199 words; p = .034). A significant association was also identified in a trans-ethnic meta-analysis across cohorts that included an additional 708 European American ARIC study participants (fully adjusted model: β = -0.110 words, p = .003). There were no associations found using an estimate of age acceleration derived from multiple tissues. These findings provide evidence that age acceleration is a correlate of performance on a test of verbal fluency in middle-aged adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glz245DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7328191PMC
February 2020

Global differences in the prevalence of the CpG island methylator phenotype of colorectal cancer.

BMC Cancer 2019 Oct 17;19(1):964. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 0426, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Background: CpG Island Methylator Phenotype (CIMP) is an epigenetic phenotype in CRC characterized by hypermethylation of CpG islands in promoter regions of tumor suppressor genes, leading to their transcriptional silencing and loss of function. While the prevalence of CRC differs across geographical regions, no studies have compared prevalence of CIMP-High phenotype across regions. The purpose of this project was to compare the prevalence of CIMP across geographical regions after adjusting for variations in methodologies to measure CIMP in a meta-analysis.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Medline, and Embase for articles focusing on CIMP published from 2000 to 2018. Two reviewers independently identified 111 articles to be included in final meta-analysis. We classified methods used to quantify CIMP into 4 categories: a) Classical (MINT marker) Panel group b) Weisenberg-Ogino (W-O) group c) Human Methylation Arrays group and d) Miscellaneous group. We compared the prevalence of CIMP across geographical regions after correcting for methodological variations using meta-regression techniques.

Results: The pooled prevalence of CIMP-High across all studies was 22% (95% confidence interval:21-24%; I = 94.75%). Pooled prevalence of CIMP-H across Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America was 22, 21, 21, 27 and 25%, respectively. Meta-regression analysis identified no significant differences in the prevalence of CIMP-H across geographical regions after correction for methodological variations. In exploratory analysis, we observed variations in CIMP-H prevalence across countries.

Conclusion: Although no differences were found for CIMP-H prevalence across countries, further studies are needed to compare the influence of demographic, lifestyle and environmental factors in relation to the prevalence of CIMP across geographical regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-019-6144-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6796359PMC
October 2019

Perinatal Factors Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Jamaican Children.

J Autism Dev Disord 2020 Sep;50(9):3341-3357

Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Mode of delivery, preterm birth, and low birth weight (LBW) are hypothesized to be associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the offspring. Using data from 343 ASD cases (2-8 years) and their age- and sex-matched typically developing controls in Jamaica we investigated these hypotheses. Our statistical analyses revealed that the parish of residence could modify the association between cesarean delivery and ASD, with a difference found in this relationship in Kingston parish [matched odds ratio (MOR) (95% confidence interval (CI)) 2.30 (1.17-4.53)] and other parishes [MOR (95% CI) 0.87 (0.48-1.59)]. Although the associations of LBW and preterm birth with ASD were not significant, we observed a significant interaction between LBW and the household socioeconomic status. These findings require replication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-04229-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7080579PMC
September 2020

Blood Leukocyte DNA Methylation Predicts Risk of Future Myocardial Infarction and Coronary Heart Disease.

Circulation 2019 08 19;140(8):645-657. Epub 2019 Aug 19.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle (J.A.B., J.S.F., K.L.W.).

Background: DNA methylation is implicated in coronary heart disease (CHD), but current evidence is based on small, cross-sectional studies. We examined blood DNA methylation in relation to incident CHD across multiple prospective cohorts.

Methods: Nine population-based cohorts from the United States and Europe profiled epigenome-wide blood leukocyte DNA methylation using the Illumina Infinium 450k microarray, and prospectively ascertained CHD events including coronary insufficiency/unstable angina, recognized myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, and coronary death. Cohorts conducted race-specific analyses adjusted for age, sex, smoking, education, body mass index, blood cell type proportions, and technical variables. We conducted fixed-effect meta-analyses across cohorts.

Results: Among 11 461 individuals (mean age 64 years, 67% women, 35% African American) free of CHD at baseline, 1895 developed CHD during a mean follow-up of 11.2 years. Methylation levels at 52 CpG (cytosine-phosphate-guanine) sites were associated with incident CHD or myocardial infarction (false discovery rate<0.05). These CpGs map to genes with key roles in calcium regulation (ATP2B2, CASR, GUCA1B, HPCAL1), and genes identified in genome- and epigenome-wide studies of serum calcium (CASR), serum calcium-related risk of CHD (CASR), coronary artery calcified plaque (PTPRN2), and kidney function (CDH23, HPCAL1), among others. Mendelian randomization analyses supported a causal effect of DNA methylation on incident CHD; these CpGs map to active regulatory regions proximal to long non-coding RNA transcripts.

Conclusion: Methylation of blood-derived DNA is associated with risk of future CHD across diverse populations and may serve as an informative tool for gaining further insight on the development of CHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.039357DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6812683PMC
August 2019

Association of sickle cell trait with measures of cognitive function and dementia in African Americans.

eNeurologicalSci 2019 Sep 22;16:100201. Epub 2019 Jul 22.

Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorder Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory Department of Pediatrics, Atlanta, GA, United States of America.

Objective: The incidence and prevalence of cognitive decline and dementia are significantly higher among African Americans compared with non-Hispanic Whites. The aim of this study was to determine whether inheritance of the sickle cell trait (SCT) i.e. heterozygosity for the sickle cell mutation increases the risk of cognitive decline or dementia Among African Americans.

Methods: We studied African American participants enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. SCT genotype at baseline and outcome data from cognitive assessments at visits 2, 4 and 5, and an MRI performed at visit 5 were analyzed for the association between SCT and risk of cognitive impairment and/or dementia.

Results: There was no significant difference in risk factors profile between participants with SCT ( = 176) and those without SCT ( = 2532). SCT was not independently associated with a higher prevalence of global or domain-specific cognitive impairment at baseline or with more rapid cognitive decline. Participants with SCT had slightly lower incidence of dementia (HR = 0.63 [0.38, 1.05]). On the other hand, SCT seems to interact with the apolipoprotein E ε4 risk allele resulting in poor performance on digit symbol substitution test at baseline (z-score = -0.08, P = 0.05) and over time (z-score = -0.12, P = 0.04); and with diabetes mellitus leading to a moderately increased risk of dementia (HR = 2.06 [0.89, 4.78], P = 0.01).

Conclusions: SCT was not an independent risk factor for prevalence or incidence of cognitive decline or dementia, although it may interact with and modify other putative risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ensci.2019.100201DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6661502PMC
September 2019

Concentrations of Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium, Manganese, and Aluminum in Blood of Romanian Children Suspected of Having Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 06 28;16(13). Epub 2019 Jun 28.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Carol Davila, Psychiatry Clinical Hospital Alexandru Obregia, Bucharest, sector 4, 041914, Romania.

Environmental exposure to lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), manganese (Mn), and aluminum (Al) has been associated with neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We conducted a pilot study during May 2015-May 2107 to estimate blood concentrations of six metals (Pb, Hg, As, Cd, Mn, and Al) and identify their associated factors for children with ASD or suspected of having ASD in Romania. Sixty children, age 2-8 years, were administered versions of ADOS or ADI-R translated from English to Romanian. After assessment, 2-3 mL of blood was obtained and analyzed for the concentrations of the six metals. The mean age of children was 51.9 months and about 90% were male. More than half (65%) of the children were born in Bucharest. Over 90% of concentrations of As and Cd were below limits of detection. Geometric mean concentrations of Pb, Mn, Al, and Hg were 1.14 μg/dL, 10.84 μg/L, 14.44 μg/L, and 0.35 μg/L, respectively. Multivariable linear regression analysis revealed that children who were female, had less educated parents, exhibited pica, and ate cold breakfast (e.g., cereal), watermelon, and lamb had significantly higher concentrations of Pb compared to their respective referent categories (all < 0.05 except for eating lamb, which was marginally significant, = 0.053). Although this is the first study that provides data on concentrations of the six metals for Romanian children with ASD, the findings from this study could be useful for designing future epidemiologic studies for investigating the role of these six metals in ASD in Romanian children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132303DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6651707PMC
June 2019

Methylome-wide association study provides evidence of particulate matter air pollution-associated DNA methylation.

Environ Int 2019 11 14;132:104723. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

Laboratory of Environmental Epigenetics, Departments of Environmental Health Sciences and Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA.

Background: DNA methylation (DNAm) may contribute to processes that underlie associations between air pollution and poor health. Therefore, our objective was to evaluate associations between DNAm and ambient concentrations of particulate matter (PM) ≤2.5, ≤10, and 2.5-10 μm in diameter (PM; PM; PM).

Methods: We conducted a methylome-wide association study among twelve cohort- and race/ethnicity-stratified subpopulations from the Women's Health Initiative and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study (n = 8397; mean age: 61.5 years; 83% female; 45% African American; 9% Hispanic/Latino American). We averaged geocoded address-specific estimates of daily and monthly mean PM concentrations over 2, 7, 28, and 365 days and 1 and 12 months before exams at which we measured leukocyte DNAm in whole blood. We estimated subpopulation-specific, DNAm-PM associations at approximately 485,000 Cytosine-phosphate-Guanine (CpG) sites in multi-level, linear, mixed-effects models. We combined subpopulation- and site-specific estimates in fixed-effects, inverse variance-weighted meta-analyses, then for associations that exceeded methylome-wide significance and were not heterogeneous across subpopulations (P < 1.0 × 10; P > 0.10), we characterized associations using publicly accessible genomic databases and attempted replication in the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) study.

Results: Analyses identified significant DNAm-PM associations at three CpG sites. Twenty-eight-day mean PM was positively associated with DNAm at cg19004594 (chromosome 20; MATN4; P = 3.33 × 10). One-month mean PM and PM were positively associated with DNAm at cg24102420 (chromosome 10; ARPP21; P = 5.84 × 10) and inversely associated with DNAm at cg12124767 (chromosome 7; CFTR; P = 9.86 × 10). The PM-sensitive CpG sites mapped to neurological, pulmonary, endocrine, and cardiovascular disease-related genes, but DNAm at those sites was not associated with gene expression in blood cells and did not replicate in KORA.

Conclusions: Ambient PM concentrations were associated with DNAm at genomic regions potentially related to poor health among racially, ethnically and environmentally diverse populations of U.S. women and men. Further investigation is warranted to uncover mechanisms through which PM-induced epigenomic changes may cause disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.03.071DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6754789PMC
November 2019

An integrative cross-omics analysis of DNA methylation sites of glucose and insulin homeostasis.

Nat Commun 2019 06 13;10(1):2581. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA.

Despite existing reports on differential DNA methylation in type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity, our understanding of its functional relevance remains limited. Here we show the effect of differential methylation in the early phases of T2D pathology by a blood-based epigenome-wide association study of 4808 non-diabetic Europeans in the discovery phase and 11,750 individuals in the replication. We identify CpGs in LETM1, RBM20, IRS2, MAN2A2 and the 1q25.3 region associated with fasting insulin, and in FCRL6, SLAMF1, APOBEC3H and the 15q26.1 region with fasting glucose. In silico cross-omics analyses highlight the role of differential methylation in the crosstalk between the adaptive immune system and glucose homeostasis. The differential methylation explains at least 16.9% of the association between obesity and insulin. Our study sheds light on the biological interactions between genetic variants driving differential methylation and gene expression in the early pathogenesis of T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10487-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6565679PMC
June 2019

A generalized weighted quantile sum approach for analyzing correlated data in the presence of interactions.

Biom J 2019 07 6;61(4):934-954. Epub 2019 May 6.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

A weighted quantile sum (WQS) regression has been used to assess the associations between environmental exposures and health outcomes. However, the currently available WQS approach, which is based on additive effects, does not allow exploring for potential interactions of exposures with other covariates in relation to a health outcome. In addition, the current WQS cannot account for clustering, thus it may not be valid for analysis of clustered data. We propose a generalized WQS approach that can assess interactions by estimating stratum-specific weights of exposures in a mixture, while accounting for potential clustering effect of matched pairs of cases and controls as well as censored exposure data due to being below the limits of detection. The performance of the proposed method in identifying interactions is evaluated through simulations based on various scenarios of correlation structures among the exposures and with an outcome. We also assess how well the proposed method performs in the presence of the varying levels of censoring in exposures. Our findings from the simulation study show that the proposed method outperforms the traditional WQS, as indicated by higher power of detecting interactions. We also find no strong evidence that the proposed method falsely identifies interactions when there are no true interactive effects. We demonstrate application of the proposed method to real data from the Epidemiological Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Jamaica (ERAJ) by examining interactions between exposure to manganese and glutathione S-transferase family gene, GSTP1 in relation to ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bimj.201800259DOI Listing
July 2019

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

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

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

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

Interaction between manganese and in relation to autism spectrum disorder while controlling for exposure to mixture of lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium.

Res Autism Spectr Disord 2018 Nov 5;55:50-63. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

Background: We previously reported a significant interactive association between polymorphisms of and blood manganese concentrations (BMC) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Jamaican children. In this paper, we investigate the same interactive association with ASD while adjusting for the mixture of four metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic).

Method: We used data from 163 case-control pairs of children 2-8 years of age from our autism project in Jamaica, in which we collected blood for heavy metals analysis at enrollment. To minimize potential multicollinearity between concentrations of the four metals, we generated a mixture index using generalized weighted quantile sum regression, which was used in conditional logistic regression models to control for the four metals while assessing the interactive association between and BMC with ASD.

Results: Similar to the findings we reported previously, we found that in co-dominant and dominant models for among children with the Ile/Ile genotype, those with BMC > 12μg/L had 4.6 and 4.27 times higher odds of ASD compared to those with BMC < 12μg/L (adjusted Matched Odds Ratio (MOR) = 4.6, 95% CI: 1.21 - 17.42 and adjusted MOR = 4.27, 95% CI: 1.15 - 15.85, respectively). In the co-dominant model, for children with the Ile/Val and Val/Val genotypes, the adjusted MORs were 1.26 (95% CI: 0.32, 5.01) and 0.26 (95% CI: 0.05, 1.42), respectively.

Conclusions: After adjusting for the mixture of four metals, the interactive association of BMC and with ASD remained significant with similar magnitude of associations. Results should be interpreted cautiously.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2018.08.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6434704PMC
November 2018

Clinical, Pathological, and Molecular Characteristics of CpG Island Methylator Phenotype in Colorectal Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Transl Oncol 2018 Oct 30;11(5):1188-1201. Epub 2018 Jul 30.

Division of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030. Electronic address:

Background: CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) tumors, comprising 20% of colorectal cancers, are associated with female sex, age, right-sided location, and BRAF mutations. However, other factors potentially associated with CIMP have not been robustly examined. This meta-analysis provides a comprehensive assessment of the clinical, pathologic, and molecular characteristics that define CIMP tumors.

Methods: We conducted a comprehensive search of the literature from January 1999 through April 2018 and identified 122 articles, on which comprehensive data abstraction was performed on the clinical, pathologic, molecular, and mutational characteristics of CIMP subgroups, classified based on the extent of DNA methylation of tumor suppressor genes assessed using a variety of laboratory methods. Associations of CIMP with outcome parameters were estimated using pooled odds ratio or standardized mean differences using random-effects model.

Results: We confirmed prior associations including female sex, older age, right-sided tumor location, poor differentiation, and microsatellite instability. In addition to the recognized association with BRAF mutations, CIMP was also associated with PIK3CA mutations and lack of mutations in KRAS and TP53. Evidence of an activated immune response was seen with high rates of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (but not peritumoral lymphocytes), Crohn-like infiltrates, and infiltration with Fusobacterium nucleatum bacteria. Additionally, CIMP tumors were associated with advance T-stage and presence of perineural and lymphovascular invasion.

Conclusion: The meta-analysis highlights key features distinguishing CIMP in colorectal cancer, including molecular characteristics of an active immune response. Improved understanding of this unique molecular subtype of colorectal cancer may provide insights into prevention and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2018.07.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6080640PMC
October 2018

Heart Failure and Cognitive Impairment in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study.

J Gen Intern Med 2018 10 20;33(10):1721-1728. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Background: Previous studies suggest that heart failure (HF) is an independent risk factor for cognitive decline. A better understanding of the relationship between HF, cognitive status, and cognitive decline in a community-based sample may help clinicians understand disease risk.

Objective: To examine whether persons with HF have a higher prevalence of cognitive impairment and whether persons developing HF have more rapid cognitive decline.

Design: This observational cohort study of American adults in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study has two components: cross-sectional analysis examining the association between prevalent HF and cognition using multinomial logistic regression, and change over time analysis detailing the association between incident HF and change in cognition over 15 years.

Participants: Among visit 5 (2011-2013) participants (median age 75 years), 6495 had neurocognitive information available for cross-sectional analysis. Change over time analysis examined the 5414 participants who had cognitive scores and no prevalent HF at visit 4 (1996-1998).

Measurements: The primary outcome was cognitive status, classified as normal, mild cognitive impairment [MCI], and dementia on the basis of standardized cognitive tests (delayed word recall, word fluency, and digit symbol substitution). Cognitive change was examined over a 15-year period. Control variables included socio-demographic, vascular, and smoking/drinking measures.

Results: At visit 5, participants with HF had a higher prevalence of dementia (adjusted relative risk ratio [RRR] = 1.60 [95% CI 1.13, 2.25]) and MCI (RRR = 1.36 [1.12, 1.64]) than those without HF. A decline in cognition between visits 4 and 5 was - 0.07 standard deviation units [- 0.13, - 0.01] greater among persons who developed HF compared to those who did not. Results did not differ by ejection fraction.

Conclusion: HF is associated with neurocognitive dysfunction and decline independent of other co-morbid conditions. Further study is needed to determine the underlying pathophysiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-018-4556-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6153245PMC
October 2018