Publications by authors named "Julie E Buring"

556 Publications

Serum Vitamin D: Correlates of Baseline Concentration and Response to Supplementation in VITAL-DKD.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 Sep 20. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Context: The effect of daily vitamin D supplementation on the serum concentration of vitamin D (the parent compound) may offer insight into vitamin D disposition.

Objective: To assess the total serum vitamin D response to vitamin D3 supplementation and whether it varies according to participant characteristics. To compare results with corresponding results for total serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), which is used clinically and measured in supplementation trials.

Design: Exploratory study within a randomized trial.

Intervention: 2,000 International Units of vitamin D3 per day (or matching placebo).

Setting: Community-based.

Participants: 161 adults (mean ± SD age 70 ± 6 years; 66% males) with type 2 diabetes.

Main Outcome Measures: Changes in total serum vitamin D and total serum 25(OH)D concentrations from baseline to year 2.

Results: At baseline, there was a positive, nonlinear relation between total serum vitamin D and total serum 25(OH)D concentrations. Adjusted effects of supplementation were a 29.2 (95% CI: 24.3, 34.1) nmol/L increase in serum vitamin D and a 33.4 (95% CI: 27.7, 39.2) nmol/L increase in serum 25(OH)D. Among those with baseline 25(OH)D < 50 compared with ≥ 50 nmol/L, the serum vitamin D response to supplementation was attenuated (15.7 vs 31.2 nmol/L; interaction p-value = 0.02), whereas the serum 25(OH)D response was augmented (47.9 vs 30.7 nmol/L; interaction p-value = 0.05).

Conclusions: Vitamin D3 supplementation increases total serum vitamin D and 25(OH)D concentrations with variation according to baseline 25(OH)D, which suggests that 25-hydroxylation of vitamin D3 is more efficient when serum 25(OH)D concentration is low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab693DOI Listing
September 2021

Revisiting the association of sedentary behavior and physical activity with all-cause mortality using a compositional approach: the Women's Health Study.

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2021 08 10;18(1):104. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Science, National Institute on Aging, 251 Bayview Blvd, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.

Background: While physical activity has consistently been associated with decreased mortality rates, it remains unknown if there is a single "ideal" combination of time in physical activities of different intensities and sedentary behavior (SB) associated with the lowest rate. This study examined the associations of combinations of time in moderate-to-vigorous intensity (MVPA), higher-light intensity (HLPA), lower-light intensity activities (LLPA), and SB with mortality rates in older women.

Methods: This prospective cohort study included 16,676 older women from throughout the United States enrolled in the Women's Health Study. Women wore accelerometers on their hip from 2011 to 2015 and were followed through 2017 (mean (SD) of 4.3 (1.1) years). Deaths were confirmed with medical records, death certificates, or the National Death Index. Compositional Cox regression models were used.

Results: The mean (SD) age was 72 (5.7) years at accelerometer wear; 503 women died. Compared to the least active women (mean, 3 min/day MVPA, 27 min/day HLPA, 162 min/day LLPA, and 701 min/day SB): compositional models showed an inverse L-shaped dose-response association of MVPA replacing other behaviors with mortality rates mortality rates (P = .02); SB relative to LLPA, HLPA, and MVPA was directly associated with mortality rates in a curvilinear dose-response manner (P < .001); replacing 10 min of SB for MVPA (HR (95% CI) = .86 (.73-.98)) or for HLPA (HR (95% CI.94 (.88-1.00)) associated with 14 and 6% lower mortality rates, respectively; a 47% risk reduction (HR [95% CI] = .53 [.42-.64]) was observed among women meeting physical activity guidelines (mean, 36 min/day MVPA, 79 min/day HLPA, 227 min/day LLPA and 549 min/day SB); and similar mortality rate reductions of 43% (HR (95% CI) = .57 (.41-.73)) were observed with increases in HLPA and LLPA without increasing MVPA, e.g., reallocating SB to 90 min/day of HLPA plus 120 min/day of LLPA.

Conclusions: There was no "ideal" combination of physical activities of different intensities and SB associated with the lowest mortality rates. Of particular relevance to older women, replacing SB with light intensity activity was associated with lower mortality rates, and "mixing and matching" times in different intensities yielded equivalent mortality risk reductions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12966-021-01173-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8353824PMC
August 2021

The VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL): Do Results Differ by Sex or Race/Ethnicity?

Am J Lifestyle Med 2021 Jul-Aug;15(4):372-391. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (SSB, PDC, JEB, JEM).

Whether vitamin D or marine omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid supplementation reduces risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease (CVD) in general populations at usual risk for these outcomes is relatively unexplored in randomized trials. The primary goal of the amin D and Omeg-3 Tria (VITAL), a nationwide, randomized, placebo-controlled, 2 × 2 factorial trial of vitamin D (2000 IU/day) and marine n-3 fatty acids (1 g/day) in the primary prevention of cancer and CVD among 25 871 US men aged ≥50 years and women aged ≥55 years, was to fill these knowledge gaps. Studying the influence of sex and race/ethnicity on treatment-related outcomes was a prespecified goal; such analyses help ensure that important effects are not missed and contribute to the foundation for developing targeted recommendations for supplement use. To enable investigation of potential sex- and race-specific treatment effects, trial investigators enrolled an even balance of men (n = 12 786) and women (n = 13 085) and oversampled African Americans (n = 5106). Significant or suggestive variation in intervention effects according to sex, race/ethnicity, and other participant characteristics was observed for some, though not all, outcomes. Additional research is needed to determine which individuals may be most likely to derive a net benefit from vitamin D or n-3 fatty acid supplementation. (VITAL clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01169259).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1559827620972035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8299924PMC
December 2020

Genetic insights into biological mechanisms governing human ovarian ageing.

Nature 2021 08 4;596(7872):393-397. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Genome Integrity and Instability Group, Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain.

Reproductive longevity is essential for fertility and influences healthy ageing in women, but insights into its underlying biological mechanisms and treatments to preserve it are limited. Here we identify 290 genetic determinants of ovarian ageing, assessed using normal variation in age at natural menopause (ANM) in about 200,000 women of European ancestry. These common alleles were associated with clinical extremes of ANM; women in the top 1% of genetic susceptibility have an equivalent risk of premature ovarian insufficiency to those carrying monogenic FMR1 premutations. The identified loci implicate a broad range of DNA damage response (DDR) processes and include loss-of-function variants in key DDR-associated genes. Integration with experimental models demonstrates that these DDR processes act across the life-course to shape the ovarian reserve and its rate of depletion. Furthermore, we demonstrate that experimental manipulation of DDR pathways highlighted by human genetics increases fertility and extends reproductive life in mice. Causal inference analyses using the identified genetic variants indicate that extending reproductive life in women improves bone health and reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, but increases the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers. These findings provide insight into the mechanisms that govern ovarian ageing, when they act, and how they might be targeted by therapeutic approaches to extend fertility and prevent disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03779-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611832PMC
August 2021

Association of Plasma Branched-Chain Amino Acid With Biomarkers of Inflammation and Lipid Metabolism in Women.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 Aug 15;14(4):e003330. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine (R.H., S.M., N.R.C., P.M.R., J.E.B., I.L., J.E.M., D.K.T.), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Background: Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs; isoleucine, leucine, and valine) correlate with insulin resistance and poor glucose control, which may in part explain associations between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, the relationships of BCAAs with other cardiometabolic pathways, including inflammation and dyslipidemia, are unclear. We hypothesized that plasma BCAAs would correlate with multiple pathways of cardiometabolic dysfunction.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis among 19 472 participants (mean age=54.9 years, SD=7.2 years) in the Women's Health Study without a history of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer. We quantified the concentrations of individual biomarkers of inflammation and lipids, across quartiles of BCAAs, adjusting for age, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, and other established cardiovascular disease risk factors at blood draw.

Results: Women in the highest versus lowest quartiles of plasma BCAAs had higher inflammatory markers including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (multivariable-adjusted means: 1.96 versus 1.43 mg/L), fibrinogen (367 versus 362 mg/dL), soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (361 versus 353 ng/mL), and glycoprotein acetylation (407 versus 371 µmol/L; trend=0.0002 for fibrinogen; <0.0001 for others). Similarly for lipids, women with higher BCAAs had lower HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; 49.0 versus 55.0 mg/dL), and higher triglycerides (143 versus 114 mg/dL), LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; 133 versus 124 mg/dL), and lipoprotein insulin resistance score (52.6 versus 37.3; all: <0.0001). Similar associations with these biomarkers were observed in isoleucine, leucine, and valine, respectively.

Conclusions: Higher circulating BCAA concentrations are associated with adverse profiles of biomarkers of inflammation and dyslipidemia independent of established cardiovascular disease risk factors, and thus, may reflect poorer cardiometabolic health through multiple pathways. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT00000479.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.121.003330DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8496994PMC
August 2021

Hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism genes and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: a pathway analysis of genome-wide association studies.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 10;114(4):1408-1417

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA.

Background: Epidemiological studies have suggested positive associations for iron and red meat intake with risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Inherited pathogenic variants in genes involved in the hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism pathway are known to cause iron overload and hemochromatosis.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine whether common genetic variation in the hepcidin-regulating iron metabolism pathway is associated with PDAC.

Methods: We conducted a pathway analysis of the hepcidin-regulating genes using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) summary statistics generated from 4 genome-wide association studies in 2 large consortium studies using the summary data-based adaptive rank truncated product method. Our population consisted of 9253 PDAC cases and 12,525 controls of European descent. Our analysis included 11 hepcidin-regulating genes [bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2), bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6), ferritin heavy chain 1 (FTH1), ferritin light chain (FTL), hepcidin (HAMP), homeostatic iron regulator (HFE), hemojuvelin (HJV), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), ferroportin 1 (SLC40A1), transferrin receptor 1 (TFR1), and transferrin receptor 2 (TFR2)] and their surrounding genomic regions (±20 kb) for a total of 412 SNPs.

Results: The hepcidin-regulating gene pathway was significantly associated with PDAC (P = 0.002), with the HJV, TFR2, TFR1, BMP6, and HAMP genes contributing the most to the association.

Conclusions: Our results support that genetic susceptibility related to the hepcidin-regulating gene pathway is associated with PDAC risk and suggest a potential role of iron metabolism in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Further studies are needed to evaluate effect modification by intake of iron-rich foods on this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8488877PMC
October 2021

Prolactin and Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Sep 8;30(9):1652-1659. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Department of Cancer Epidemiology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida.

Background: Prolactin is synthesized in the ovaries and may play a role in ovarian cancer etiology. One prior prospective study observed a suggestive positive association between prolactin levels and risk of ovarian cancer.

Methods: We conducted a pooled case-control study of 703 cases and 864 matched controls nested within five prospective cohorts. We used unconditional logistic regression to calculate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between prolactin and ovarian cancer risk. We examined heterogeneity by menopausal status at blood collection, body mass index (BMI), age, and histotype.

Results: Among women with known menopausal status, we observed a positive trend in the association between prolactin and ovarian cancer risk ( = 0.045; OR, quartile 4 vs. 1 = 1.34; 95% CI = 0.97-1.85), but no significant association was observed for premenopausal or postmenopausal women individually (corresponding OR = 1.38; 95% CI = 0.74-2.58; = 0.32 and OR = 1.41; 95% CI = 0.93-2.13; = 0.08, respectively; = 0.91). In stratified analyses, we observed a positive association between prolactin and risk for women with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m, but not BMI < 25 kg/m (corresponding OR = 2.68; 95% CI = 1.56-4.59; < 0.01 and OR = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.58-1.40; = 0.98, respectively; < 0.01). Associations did not vary by age, postmenopausal hormone therapy use, histotype, or time between blood draw and diagnosis.

Conclusions: We found a trend between higher prolactin levels and increased ovarian cancer risk, especially among women with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m.

Impact: This work supports a previous study linking higher prolactin with ovarian carcinogenesis in a high adiposity setting. Future work is needed to understand the mechanism underlying this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8419083PMC
September 2021

Egg consumption, overall diet quality, and risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease: A pooling project of US prospective cohorts.

Clin Nutr 2021 05 11;40(5):2475-2482. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background And Aims: Data on the relation of egg consumption with risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and coronary heart disease (CHD) are limited and inconsistent. Few studies have controlled for overall dietary patterns in egg-T2D or egg-CHD analyses, and it is unclear whether any observed elevated risks of T2D and CHD with frequent egg consumption is real or due to confounding by dietary habits. We tested the hypothesis that frequent egg consumption is associated with a higher risk of T2D and CHD risk after adjustment for overall dietary patterns among adults.

Design: We used prospective cohort design to complete time-to-event analyses.

Methods: We pooled de novo, harmonized, individual-level analyses from nine US cohorts (n = 103,811). Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios separately in each cohort adjusting for age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, and dietary patterns. We pooled cohort-specific results using an inverse-variance weighted method to estimate summary relative risks.

Results: Median age ranged from 25 to 72 years. Median egg consumption was 1 egg per week in most of the cohorts. While egg consumption up to one per week was not associated with T2D risk, consumption of ≥2 eggs per week was associated with elevated risk [27% elevated risk of T2D comparing 7+ eggs/week with none (95% CI: 16%-37%)]. There was little evidence for heterogeneity across cohorts and we observed similar conclusions when stratified by BMI. Overall, egg consumption was not associated with the risk of CHD. However, in a sensitivity analysis, there was a 30% higher risk of CHD (95% CI: 3%-56%) restricted to older adults consuming 5-6 eggs/week.

Conclusions: Our data showed an elevated risk of T2D with egg consumption of ≥2 eggs per week but not with <2 eggs/week. While there was no overall association of egg consumption with CHD risk, the elevated CHD observed with consumption of 5-6 eggs/week in older cohorts merits further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.03.003DOI Listing
May 2021

Antenatal depressive symptoms and adverse perinatal outcomes.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2021 Apr 20;21(1):313. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health, Cyprus University of Technology, 95 Eirinis Street, 3041, Limassol, Cyprus.

Background: The association of antenatal depression with adverse pregnancy, birth, and postnatal outcomes has been an item of scientific interest over the last decades. However, the evidence that exists is controversial or limited. We previously found that one in five women in Kuwait experience antenatal depressive symptoms. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine whether antenatal depressive symptoms are associated with preterm birth (PTB), small for gestational age (SGA), or large for gestational age (LGA) babies in this population.

Methods: This was a secondary analysis based on data collected in the Transgenerational Assessment of Children's Environmental Risk (TRACER) Study that was conducted in Kuwait. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine whether antenatal depressive symptoms assessed using the Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS) were associated with preterm birth, small for gestational age, and large for gestational age babies.

Results: A total of 1694 women had complete information about the outcomes of interest. Women with depressive symptoms in pregnancy had increased, albeit non-significant, odds of having PTB (OR = 1.41; 95%CI: 0.81, 2.45), SGA babies (OR = 1.26; 0.80, 1.98), or LGA babies (OR = 1.27; 0.90, 1.79). Antenatal depressive symptoms had similar increased odds for the three outcomes even after adjusting for several covariates though none of these reached statistical significance.

Conclusions: In the present study, the depressive symptoms in pregnancy did not predict adverse birth outcomes, such as PTB, SGA, and LGA, which adds to the currently non-conclusive literature. However, further research is needed to examine these associations, as the available evidence is quite limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12884-021-03783-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8059279PMC
April 2021

Association of the Age at Menarche with Site-Specific Cancer Risks in Pooled Data from Nine Cohorts.

Cancer Res 2021 04 5;81(8):2246-2255. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland.

The average age at menarche declined in European and U.S. populations during the 19th and 20th centuries. The timing of pubertal events may have broad implications for chronic disease risks in aging women. Here we tested for associations of recalled menarcheal age with risks of 19 cancers in 536,450 women [median age, 60 years (range, 31-39 years)] in nine prospective U.S. and European cohorts that enrolled participants from 1981 to 1998. Cox regression estimated multivariable-adjusted HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations of the age at menarche with risk of each cancer in each cohort and random-effects meta-analysis was used to generate summary estimates for each cancer. Over a median 10 years of follow-up, 60,968 women were diagnosed with a first primary incident cancer. Inverse linear associations were observed for seven of 19 cancers studied. Each additional year in the age at menarche was associated with reduced risks of endometrial cancer (HR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.89-0.94), liver cancer (HR = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.85-0.99), melanoma (HR = 0.95; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), bladder cancer (HR = 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.99), and cancers of the colon (HR = 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99), lung (HR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99), and breast (HR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.93-0.99). All but one of these associations remained statistically significant following adjustment for baseline body mass index. Similarities in the observed associations between menarche and seven cancers suggest shared underlying causes rooted early in life. We propose as a testable hypothesis that early exposure to sex hormones increases mid-life cancer risks by altering functional capacities of stem cells with roles in systemic energy balance and tissue homeostasis. SIGNIFICANCE: Age at menarche is associated with risk for seven cancers in middle-aged women, and understanding the shared underlying causal pathways across these cancers may suggest new avenues for cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-3093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8137527PMC
April 2021

Effect of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Vitamin D Supplementation on Incident Atrial Fibrillation: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2021 03;325(11):1061-1073

Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, continues to increase in incidence, and results in significant morbidity and mortality. The marine omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and vitamin D have been reported to have both benefits and risks with respect to incident AF, but large-scale, long-term randomized trial data are lacking.

Objective: To test the effects of long-term administration of marine omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D on incident AF.

Design, Setting, And Participants: An ancillary study of a 2 × 2 factorial randomized clinical trial involving 25 119 women and men aged 50 years or older without prior cardiovascular disease, cancer, or AF. Participants were recruited directly by mail between November 2011 and March 2014 from all 50 US states and were followed up until December 31, 2017.

Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive EPA-DHA (460 mg/d of EPA and 380 mg/d of DHA) and vitamin D3 (2000 IU/d) (n = 6272 analyzed); EPA-DHA and placebo (n = 6270 analyzed); vitamin D3 and placebo (n = 6281 analyzed); or 2 placebos (n = 6296 analyzed).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was incident AF confirmed by medical record review.

Results: Among the 25 119 participants who were randomized and included in the analysis (mean age, 66.7 years; 50.8% women), 24 127 (96.1%) completed the trial. Over a median 5.3 years of treatment and follow-up, the primary end point of incident AF occurred in 900 participants (3.6% of study population). For the EPA-DHA vs placebo comparison, incident AF events occurred in 469 (3.7%) vs 431 (3.4%) participants, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.96-1.24; P = .19). For the vitamin D3 vs placebo comparison, incident AF events occurred in 469 (3.7%) vs 431 (3.4%) participants, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.96-1.25; P = .19). There was no evidence for interaction between the 2 study agents (P = .39).

Conclusions And Relevance: Among adults aged 50 years or older, treatment with EPA-DHA or vitamin D3, compared with placebo, resulted in no significant difference in the risk of incident AF over a median follow-up of more than 5 years. The findings do not support the use of either agent for the primary prevention of incident AF.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifiers: NCT02178410; NCT01169259.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.1489DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967086PMC
March 2021

Association of Genetic Variants With Migraine Subclassified by Clinical Symptoms in Adult Females.

Front Neurol 2020 12;11:617472. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States.

Migraine is heritable and formally diagnosed by structured criteria that require presence of some but not all possible migraine symptoms which include aura, several distinct manifestations of pain, nausea/vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. The most recent genome-wide genetic association study (GWAS) for migraine identified 38 loci. We investigated whether 46 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), i.e., genetic variants, at these loci may have especially pronounced, i.e., selective, association with migraine presenting with individual symptoms compared to absence of migraine. Selective genetic associations of SNPs were evaluated through a likelihood framework in the Women's Genome Health Study (WGHS), a population-based cohort of middle-aged women including 3,003 experiencing migraine and 18,108 not experiencing migraine, all with genetic information. SNPs at 12 loci displayed significant selective association for migraine subclassified by specific symptoms, among which six selective associations are novel. Symptoms showing selective association include aura, nausea/vomiting, photophobia, and phonophobia. The selective associations were consistent whether the women met all formal criteria for diagnostic for migraine or lacked one of the diagnostic criteria, formally termed probable migraine. Subsequently, we performed latent class analysis of migraine diagnostic symptoms among 69,861 women experiencing migraine from the WGHS recruitment sample to assess whether there were clusters of specific symptoms that might also have a genetic basis. However, no globally robust latent migraine substructures of diagnostic symptoms were observed nor were there selective genetic associations with specific combinations of symptoms revealed among weakly supported latent classes. The findings extend previously reported selective genetic associations with migraine diagnostic symptoms while supporting models for shared genetic susceptibility across all qualifying migraine at many loci.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.617472DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7907521PMC
February 2021

Smoking Modifies Pancreatic Cancer Risk Loci on 2q21.3.

Cancer Res 2021 06 11;81(11):3134-3143. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Germline variation and smoking are independently associated with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We conducted genome-wide smoking interaction analysis of PDAC using genotype data from four previous genome-wide association studies in individuals of European ancestry (7,937 cases and 11,774 controls). Examination of expression quantitative trait loci data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project followed by colocalization analysis was conducted to determine whether there was support for common SNP(s) underlying the observed associations. Statistical tests were two sided and < 5 × 10 was considered statistically significant. Genome-wide significant evidence of qualitative interaction was identified on chr2q21.3 in intron 5 of the transmembrane protein 163 (TMEM163) and upstream of the cyclin T2 (CCNT2). The most significant SNP using the Empirical Bayes method, in this region that included 45 significantly associated SNPs, was rs1818613 [per allele OR in never smokers 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.82-0.93; former smokers 1.00, 95% CI, 0.91-1.07; current smokers 1.25, 95% CI 1.12-1.40, = 3.08 × 10). Examination of the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project data demonstrated an expression quantitative trait locus in this region for TMEM163 and CCNT2 in several tissue types. Colocalization analysis supported a shared SNP, rs842357, in high linkage disequilibrium with rs1818613 ( = 0. 94) driving both the observed interaction and the expression quantitative trait loci signals. Future studies are needed to confirm and understand the differential biologic mechanisms by smoking status that contribute to our PDAC findings. SIGNIFICANCE: This large genome-wide interaction study identifies a susceptibility locus on 2q21.3 that significantly modified PDAC risk by smoking status, providing insight into smoking-associated PDAC, with implications for prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-3267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8178175PMC
June 2021

Effects of Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Body Composition in the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL).

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 04;106(5):1377-1388

Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Context: Although observational studies show inverse associations between vitamin D status and body weight/adiposity, there are few large randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating this relationship.

Objective: To determine whether vitamin D3 supplementation lowers weight or improves body composition.

Design: The VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) was a double-blinded, placebo-controlled RCT including 25 871 US adults. This ancillary study was completed in a sub-cohort that underwent body composition assessments at baseline and 2-year follow-up (89% retention).

Setting: Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center in Boston.

Participants: 771 participants (men ≥ 50 and women ≥ 55 years).

Interventions: 2 × 2 factorial design of supplemental vitamin D3 (2000 IU/day) and/or omega-3 fatty acids (1 g/day).

Main Outcome Measures: Endpoints were 2-year changes in weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and total and/or regional fat and lean tissue measures determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Effect modification by clinical variables and total and free 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels was explored.

Results: There were no effects of supplemental vitamin D3vs placebo on weight, BMI, or measures of adiposity and lean tissue. Effects did not vary by sex, race/ethnicity, fat mass index, or baseline total or free 25(OH)D levels. Vitamin D3 supplementation did slightly improve body fat percentage in participants with normal BMI at baseline, but not in the overweight or obese (P for interaction = 0.04).

Conclusions: Daily vitamin D3 supplementation vs placebo in the general older population did not improve weight or body composition. Whether supplemental vitamin D3 may benefit individuals with normal BMI warrants further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa981DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8063236PMC
April 2021

Nut consumption, risk of cardiovascular mortality, and potential mediating mechanisms: The Women's Health Study.

J Clin Lipidol 2021 Mar-Apr;15(2):266-274. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

VA Boston Healthcare System and Division of Aging, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: The link between nut consumption and cardiovascular (CV) mortality remains unclear.

Objective: to examine whether nut consumption is associated with CV mortality and estimate the proportion of reduced risk of CV mortality explained by intermediate factors.

Methods: We studied 39,167 women from the Women's Health Study; 28,034 provided blood samples. Nut consumption was self-reported at baseline and at follow-up using a food frequency questionnaire. Our primary outcome was cardiovascular death, which was ascertained via medical records, confirmed with the national death index and death certificates.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 19 years, 959 CV deaths occurred. In a multivariable Cox regression model adjusting for age, body mass index, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, postmenopausal status, marital status, family history of premature myocardial infarction and the alternate healthy eating index score, hazard ratios for CV mortality were 0.93 (0.76-1.14) for nut consumption of 1-3 times/month, 0.84 (0.69-1.01) for nut intake of 1 time/week, and 0.73 (0.61-0.87) for nut consumption of ≥2 times/week when compared to women who did not consume nuts (p = 0.0004). LDL and total cholesterol accounted for about 19%, HbA1c 18% and all mediating factors together accounted for about 6.6% of the lower risk of CV mortality for those who consumed nuts ≥2 times/week. For the secondary outcome of CV events, although the effect was noted to be in the same direction with increasing nut consumption associated with lower risk of CV events, it was not statistically significant (p = 0.07).

Conclusion: This study suggests that nut consumption is inversely associated with cardiovascular mortality in women. Lipids, inflammatory markers and glucose metabolism account for a modest proportion of the lowered CV mortality observed with nut consumption, assuming a causal nut-CV mortality association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacl.2021.01.001DOI Listing
January 2021

Effect of Vitamin D and/or Marine n-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Changes in Migraine Frequency and Severity.

Am J Med 2021 06 12;134(6):756-762.e5. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Institute of Public Health, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117, Berlin, Germany.

Background: There is interest in whether supplements, including vitamin D and marine omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, may be effective migraine prophylaxis. However, few studies have evaluated whether vitamin D or n-3 fatty acid supplementation may reduce migraine frequency or severity.

Methods: Participants in the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) were assigned to vitamin D (2000 IU/d) or marine n-3 fatty acid (1 g/d) supplementation in a 2-by-2 factorial design. Lifetime history of migraine was assessed a median of 4.6 years after the start of the trial. Individuals were asked to self-report changes in migraine frequency (no change, more frequent, or less frequent) and severity (no change, more severe, less severe) in the past 5 years. We used χ tests to compare proportions of individuals reporting changes in migraine frequency and severity between active and placebo groups.

Results: Among the 25,871 participants in VITAL, 1032 participants had a history of probable migraine and provided information on changes in migraine frequency and severity. The percentage of individuals reporting decreases in migraine frequency did not differ between active (69.0%) and placebo vitamin D (68.4%) (P value = 0.54) or between active (67.8%) and placebo n-3 fatty acid (69.6%) (P value = 0.82). Similarly, the percentage of individuals reporting decreases in migraine severity did not differ between active (64.1%) and placebo vitamin D (65.0%) (P value = 0.86) or between active (64.5%) and placebo n-3 fatty acid (64.5%) (P value = 0.96).

Conclusions: Neither vitamin D nor marine n-3 fatty acid supplementation, compared to placebo, affected migraine frequency or severity among middle-aged or older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.11.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8164960PMC
June 2021

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

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

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

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

Effect of Vitamin D3 Supplements on Development of Advanced Cancer: A Secondary Analysis of the VITAL Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 11 2;3(11):e2025850. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Epidemiologic and trial data suggest that vitamin D supplementation may reduce metastatic cancer and cancer mortality, reflecting shared biological pathways.

Objective: To follow up on the possible reduction in cancer death in the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) with an evaluation of whether vitamin D reduces the incidence of advanced (metastatic or fatal) cancer and an examination possible effect modification by body mass index.

Design, Setting, And Participants: VITAL is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2 × 2 factorial clinical trial of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol, 2000 IU/d) and marine omega-3 fatty acids (1 g/d). This multicenter clinical trial was conducted in the United States; participants included men aged 50 years or older and women aged 55 years or older who were free of cancer and cardiovascular disease at baseline. Randomization took place from November 2011 through March 2014, and study medication ended on December 31, 2017. Data for this secondary analysis were analyzed from November 1, 2011, to December 31, 2017.

Interventions: Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol, 2000 IU/d) and marine omega-3 fatty acids (1 g/d) supplements.

Main Outcomes And Measures: For the present analysis, the primary outcome was a composite incidence of metastatic and fatal invasive total cancer, because the main VITAL study showed a possible reduction in fatal cancer with vitamin D supplementation and effect modification by body mass index (BMI; calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) for total cancer incidence reduction for individuals with normal BMI, but not for individuals with overweight or obesity. Secondary analyses included examination of BMI (<25, 25 to < 30, and ≥30) as effect modifiers of the observed associations.

Results: Among 25 871 randomized VITAL participants (51% female; mean [SD] age, 67.1 [7.1] years), 1617 were diagnosed with invasive cancer over a median intervention period of 5.3 years (range, 3.8-6.1 years). As previously reported, no significant differences for cancer incidence by treatment arm were observed. However, a significant reduction in advanced cancers (metastatic or fatal) was found for those randomized to vitamin D compared with placebo (226 of 12 927 assigned to vitamin D [1.7%] and 274 of 12 944 assigned to placebo [2.1%]; HR, 0.83 [95% CI, 0.69-0.99]; P = .04). When stratified by BMI, there was a significant reduction for the vitamin D arm in incident metastatic or fatal cancer among those with normal BMI (BMI<25: HR, 0.62 [95% CI, 0.45-0.86]) but not among those with overweight or obesity (BMI 25-<30: HR, 0.89 [95% CI, 0.68-1.17]; BMI≥30: HR, 1.05 [95% CI, 0.74-1.49]) (P = .03 for interaction by BMI).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial, supplementation with vitamin D reduced the incidence of advanced (metastatic or fatal) cancer in the overall cohort, with the strongest risk reduction seen in individuals with normal weight.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01169259.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.25850DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7675103PMC
November 2020

Effect of vitamin D and/or omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on stroke outcomes: A randomized trial.

Eur J Neurol 2021 03 24;28(3):809-815. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Division of Women's Health, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background And Purpose: Among stroke patients, low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D predicts poor outcomes. In mice, higher omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid intake diminishes brain damage after stroke. In this study, we tested whether vitamin D or n-3 fatty acids supplementation prior to stroke reduces the risk of functional limitations and physical disability after stroke.

Methods: We used data from VITAL (the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL) which randomized middle-aged and older men and women without cardiovascular disease to vitamin D (2000 IU/day) and/or marine n-3 fatty acids (1 g/day) and followed them for incident stroke events. Individuals experiencing a non-fatal stroke were mailed questionnaires assessing functional limitations (the physical performance scale adapted from Nagi) and physical disability (the modified Katz Activities of Daily Living and Rosow-Breslau Functional Health scales). We used logistic regression to analyze associations between randomized treatment and limitations on each scale.

Results: A total of 290 individuals experienced their first stroke during the trial, of whom 197 stroke survivors completed the stroke outcomes questionnaire a median of 1.4 years after diagnosis. We observed no associations between randomized treatment to vitamin D and functional limitations (odds ratio [OR] 1.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.52, 1.97) or physical disability (Rosow-Breslau scale: OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.50, 1.67; Katz scale: OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.31, 3.42). Those randomized to n-3 fatty acids had a non-significantly lower risk of functional limitations (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.28, 1.09) and physical disability (Rosow-Breslau scale: OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.31, 1.02; Katz sclae: OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.50, 1.67).

Conclusion: Vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acid supplementation prior to stroke did not result in significantly improved post-stroke outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ene.14623DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7952033PMC
March 2021

Body size and weight change over adulthood and risk of breast cancer by menopausal and hormone receptor status: a pooled analysis of 20 prospective cohort studies.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Jan 30;36(1):37-55. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Epidemiology and Prevention Group, Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening, National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan.

Associations between anthropometric factors and breast cancer (BC) risk have varied inconsistently by estrogen and/or progesterone receptor (ER/PR) status. Associations between prediagnostic anthropometric factors and risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal BC overall and ER/PR status subtypes were investigated in a pooled analysis of 20 prospective cohorts, including 36,297 BC cases among 1,061,915 women, using multivariable Cox regression analyses, controlling for reproductive factors, diet and other risk factors. We estimated dose-response relationships and tested for nonlinear associations using restricted cubic splines. Height showed positive, linear associations for premenopausal and postmenopausal BC risk (6-7% RR increase per 5 cm increment), with stronger associations for receptor-positive subtypes. Body mass index (BMI) at cohort baseline was strongly inversely associated with premenopausal BC risk, and strongly positively-and nonlinearly-associated with postmenopausal BC (especially among women who never used hormone replacement therapy). This was primarily observed for receptor-positive subtypes. Early adult BMI (at 18-20 years) showed inverse, linear associations for premenopausal and postmenopausal BC risk (21% and 11% RR decrease per 5 kg/m, respectively) with stronger associations for receptor-negative subtypes. Adult weight gain since 18-20 years was positively associated with postmenopausal BC risk, stronger for receptor-positive subtypes, and among women who were leaner in early adulthood. Women heavier in early adulthood generally had reduced premenopausal BC risk, independent of later weight gain. Positive associations between height, baseline (adult) BMI, adult weight gain and postmenopausal BC risk were substantially stronger for hormone receptor-positive versus negative subtypes. Premenopausal BC risk was positively associated with height, but inversely with baseline BMI and weight gain (mostly in receptor-positive subtypes). Inverse associations with early adult BMI seemed stronger in receptor-negative subtypes of premenopausal and postmenopausal BC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-020-00688-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7847460PMC
January 2021

One-Year Effects of Omega-3 Treatment on Fatty Acids, Oxylipins, and Related Bioactive Lipids and Their Associations with Clinical Lipid and Inflammatory Biomarkers: Findings from a Substudy of the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL).

Metabolites 2020 Oct 27;10(11). Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Omega-3 (n-3) treatment may lower cardiovascular risk, yet its effects on the circulating lipidome and relation to cardiovascular risk biomarkers are unclear. We hypothesized that n-3 treatment is associated with favorable changes in downstream fatty acids (FAs), oxylipins, bioactive lipids, clinical lipid and inflammatory biomarkers. We examined these VITAL200, a nested substudy of 200 subjects balanced on demographics and treatment and randomly selected from the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL). VITAL is a randomized double-blind trial of 840 mg/d eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) vs. placebo among 25,871 individuals. Small polar bioactive lipid features, oxylipins and FAs from plasma and red blood cells were measured using three independent assaying techniques at baseline and one year. The Women's Health Study (WHS) was used for replication with dietary n-3 intake. Randomized n-3 treatment led to changes in 143 FAs, oxylipins and bioactive lipids (False Discovery Rate (FDR) < 0.05 in VITAL200, validated (-values < 0.05)) in WHS with increases in 95 including EPA, DHA, n-3 docosapentaenoic acid (DPA-n3), and decreases in 48 including DPA-n6, dihomo gamma linolenic (DGLA), adrenic and arachidonic acids. N-3 related changes in the bioactive lipidome were heterogeneously associated with changes in clinical lipid and inflammatory biomarkers. N-3 treatment significantly modulates the bioactive lipidome, which may contribute to its clinical benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo10110431DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7693376PMC
October 2020

Effect of Vitamin D and ω-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: An Ancillary Study of the VITAL Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Ophthalmol 2020 12;138(12):1280-1289

Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Observational studies suggest that higher intake or blood levels of vitamin D and marine ω-3 fatty acids may be associated with lower risks of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, evidence from randomized trials is limited.

Objective: To evaluate whether daily supplementation with vitamin D3, marine ω-3 fatty acids, or both prevents the development or progression of AMD.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This was a prespecified ancillary study of the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL), a nationwide, placebo-controlled, 2 × 2 factorial design randomized clinical trial of supplementation with vitamin D and marine ω-3 fatty acids for the primary prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Participants included 25 871 men and women in the US. Randomization was from November 2011 to March 2014, and study pill-taking ended as planned on December 31, 2017.

Interventions: Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), 2000 IU per day, and marine ω-3 fatty acids, 1 g per day.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was total AMD events, a composite of incident cases of AMD plus cases of progression to advanced AMD among participants with AMD at baseline, based on self-report confirmed by medical record review. Analyses were conducted using the intention-to-treat population.

Results: In total, 25 871 participants with a mean (SD) age of 67.1 (7.0) years were included in the trial. Of them, 50.6% were women, 71.3% were self-declared non-Hispanic White participants, and 20.2% were Black participants. During a median (range) of 5.3 (3.8-6.1) years of treatment and follow-up, 324 participants experienced an AMD event (285 incident AMD and 39 progression to advanced AMD). For vitamin D3, there were 163 events in the treated group and 161 in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR], 1.02; 95% CI, 0.82-1.27). For ω-3 fatty acids, there were 157 events in the treated group and 167 in the placebo group (HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.76-1.17). In analyses of individual components for the primary end point, HRs comparing vitamin D3 groups were 1.09 (95% CI, 0.86-1.37) for incident AMD and 0.63 (95% CI, 0.33-1.21) for AMD progression. For ω-3 fatty acids, HRs were 0.93 (95% CI, 0.73-1.17) for incident AMD and 1.05 (95% CI, 0.56-1.97) for AMD progression.

Conclusion And Relevance: Neither vitamin D3 nor marine ω-3 fatty acid supplementation had a significant overall effect on AMD incidence or progression.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01782352.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.4409DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7596682PMC
December 2020

Effects of long-term vitamin D and n-3 fatty acid supplementation on inflammatory and cardiac biomarkers in patients with type 2 diabetes: secondary analyses from a randomised controlled trial.

Diabetologia 2021 02 24;64(2):437-447. Epub 2020 Oct 24.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Aims/hypothesis: Interventions that reduce inflammation may delay progression of microvascular and macrovascular complications in diabetes. We examined the effects of vitamin D and/or n-3 fatty acid supplementation vs placebo on 5 year changes in serum inflammatory and cardiac biomarkers in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: This study reports pre-specified secondary outcomes of the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial to Prevent and Treat Diabetic Kidney Disease, in which 1312 US adults with type 2 diabetes and without known cardiovascular disease, malignancy, or end-stage kidney disease were randomised using computer-generated random numbers in blocks of eight to vitamin D (2000 IU/day) vs placebo and n-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]; 1 g/day) vs placebo in a 2 × 2 factorial design. Participants, examiners, and researchers assessing outcomes were blinded to intervention assignment. We measured serum IL-6, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) at baseline and after 2 and 5 years.

Results: A total of 333 participants were randomised to vitamin D and placebo n-3 fatty acids, 289 to n-3 fatty acids and placebo vitamin D, 370 to vitamin D and n-3 fatty acids, and 320 to 2 placebos; 989 (75%) and 934 (71%) participants returned blood samples at 2 and 5 years, respectively. Participants had a mean age of 67.6 years (46% women). Overall, baseline geometric means of IL-6, hsCRP and NT-proBNP were 1.2 pg/ml, 1.9 mg/l and 262 ng/l, respectively. After 5 years, mean IL-6 and hsCRP remained within 6% of their baseline values while mean NT-proBNP increased by 55% overall. Compared with placebo, participants assigned to vitamin D had a 1.24-fold greater increase in NT-proBNP over 5 years (95% CI 1.09, 1.41; p = 0.003), while IL-6 and hsCRP did not have a significant difference in change. Comparing n-3 fatty acids with placebo, there was no significant difference in change in IL-6, hsCRP or NT-proBNP. No heterogeneity was observed in subgroup analyses accounting for baseline eGFR, urine albumin to creatinine ratio, initial biomarker concentration, 25-hydroxyvitamin D level or EPA+DHA index.

Conclusions/interpretation: Among adults with type 2 diabetes, supplementation with vitamin D or n-3 fatty acids did not reduce IL-6, hsCRP or NT-proBNP over 5 years.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01684722 FUNDING: The study was funded by grant R01DK088762 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Graphical abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00125-020-05300-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7855668PMC
February 2021

Fasting status and metabolic health in relation to plasma branched chain amino acid concentrations in women.

Metabolism 2021 04 15;117:154391. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada; Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Heart and Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Circulating branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are associated with cardiometabolic risk, although the mechanisms leading to their accumulation remain uncertain. Examining the relationship between fasting status, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes (T2D) with circulating BCAA levels may provide insights into their metabolic handling.

Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analyses among 25,740 Women's Health Study participants (mean age 55 years).

Results: In multivariable linear regression models, fasting was associated with lower plasma BCAAs vs. non-fasting in women without metabolic syndrome or T2D (% mean difference = -5.1%; 95% CI = -5.8, -4.5) and among women with metabolic syndrome only (-3.7%; -4.9, -2.6), p = 0.002. However, there was no difference in BCAAs by fasting status among women with T2D (0.4%; -3.7, 4.7).

Conclusions: We observed higher BCAAs with worsening metabolic health status. Fasting is modestly associated with lower plasma BCAAs, except among women with T2D. These findings support hypotheses that impaired BCAA catabolism may be a feature of T2D pathophysiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2020.154391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985990PMC
April 2021

Circulating branched-chain amino acids and long-term risk of obesity-related cancers in women.

Sci Rep 2020 10 6;10(1):16534. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 900 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.

Obesity is a risk factor for > 13 cancer sites, although it is unknown whether there is a common mechanism across sites. Evidence suggests a role for impaired branched-chain amino acid (BCAAs; isoleucine, leucine, valine) metabolism in obesity, insulin resistance, and immunity; thus, we hypothesized circulating BCAAs may be associated with incident obesity-related cancers. We analyzed participants in the prospective Women's Health Study without a history of cancer at baseline blood collection (N = 26,711, mean age = 54.6 years [SD = 7.1]). BCAAs were quantified via NMR spectroscopy, log-transformed, and standardized. We used Cox proportional regression models adjusted for age, race, smoking, diet, alcohol, physical activity, menopausal hormone use, Body Mass Index (BMI), diabetes, and other risk factors. The endpoint was a composite of obesity-related cancers, defined per the International Agency for Research on Cancer 2016 report, over a median 24 years follow-up. Baseline BMI ≥ 30 kg/m compared with BMI 18.5-25.0 kg/m was associated with 23% greater risk of obesity-related cancers (n = 2751 events; multivariable HR 1.23, 95% CI 1.11-1.37). However, BCAAs were not associated with obesity-related cancers (multivariable HR per SD = 1.01 [0.97-1.05]). Results for individual BCAA metabolites suggested a modest association for leucine with obesity-related cancers (1.04 [1.00-1.08]), and no association for isoleucine or valine (0.99 [0.95-1.03] and 1.00 [0.96-1.04], respectively). Exploratory analyses of BCAAs with individual sites included positive associations between leucine and postmenopausal breast cancer, and isoleucine with pancreatic cancer. Total circulating BCAAs were unrelated to obesity-related cancer incidence although an association was observed for leucine with incident obesity-related cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-73499-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539150PMC
October 2020

Mendelian Randomization Analysis of n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels and Pancreatic Cancer Risk.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020 12 23;29(12):2735-2739. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Whether circulating polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels are associated with pancreatic cancer risk is uncertain. Mendelian randomization (MR) represents a study design using genetic instruments to better characterize the relationship between exposure and outcome.

Methods: We utilized data from genome-wide association studies within the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium and Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium, involving approximately 9,269 cases and 12,530 controls of European descent, to evaluate associations between pancreatic cancer risk and genetically predicted plasma n-6 PUFA levels. Conventional MR analyses were performed using individual-level and summary-level data.

Results: Using genetic instruments, we did not find evidence of associations between genetically predicted plasma n-6 PUFA levels and pancreatic cancer risk [estimates per one SD increase in each PUFA-specific weighted genetic score using summary statistics: linoleic acid odds ratio (OR) = 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.98-1.02; arachidonic acid OR = 1.00, 95% CI = 0.99-1.01; and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.87-1.02]. The OR estimates remained virtually unchanged after adjustment for covariates, using individual-level data or summary statistics, or stratification by age and sex.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that variations of genetically determined plasma n-6 PUFA levels are not associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

Impact: These results suggest that modifying n-6 PUFA levels through food sources or supplementation may not influence risk of pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0651DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7710600PMC
December 2020

Effect of Long-term Vitamin D3 Supplementation vs Placebo on Risk of Depression or Clinically Relevant Depressive Symptoms and on Change in Mood Scores: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2020 08;324(5):471-480

Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D have been associated with higher risk for depression later in life, but there have been few long-term, high-dose large-scale trials.

Objective: To test the effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on late-life depression risk and mood scores.

Design, Setting, And Participants: There were 18 353 men and women aged 50 years or older in the VITAL-DEP (Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial-Depression Endpoint Prevention) ancillary study to VITAL, a randomized clinical trial of cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention among 25 871 adults in the US. There were 16 657 at risk for incident depression (ie, no depression history) and 1696 at risk for recurrent depression (ie, depression history but no treatment for depression within the past 2 years). Randomization occurred from November 2011 through March 2014; randomized treatment ended on December 31, 2017, and this was the final date of follow-up.

Intervention: Randomized assignment in a 2 × 2 factorial design to vitamin D3 (2000 IU/d of cholecalciferol) and fish oil or placebo; 9181 were randomized to vitamin D3 and 9172 were randomized to matching placebo.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcomes were the risk of depression or clinically relevant depressive symptoms (total of incident and recurrent cases) and the mean difference in mood scores (8-item Patient Health Questionnaire depression scale [PHQ-8]; score range, 0 points [least symptoms] to 24 points [most symptoms]; the minimal clinically important difference for change in scores was 0.5 points).

Results: Among the 18 353 randomized participants (mean age, 67.5 [SD, 7.1] years; 49.2% women), the median treatment duration was 5.3 years and 90.5% completed the trial (93.5% among those alive at the end of the trial). Risk of depression or clinically relevant depressive symptoms was not significantly different between the vitamin D3 group (609 depression or clinically relevant depressive symptom events; 12.9/1000 person-years) and the placebo group (625 depression or clinically relevant depressive symptom events; 13.3/1000 person-years) (hazard ratio, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.87 to 1.09]; P = .62); there were no significant differences between groups in depression incidence or recurrence. No significant differences were observed between treatment groups for change in mood scores over time; mean change in PHQ-8 score was not significantly different from zero (mean difference for change in mood scores, 0.01 points [95% CI, -0.04 to 0.05 points]).

Conclusions And Relevance: Among adults aged 50 years or older without clinically relevant depressive symptoms at baseline, treatment with vitamin D3 compared with placebo did not result in a statistically significant difference in the incidence and recurrence of depression or clinically relevant depressive symptoms or for change in mood scores over a median follow-up of 5.3 years. These findings do not support the use of vitamin D3 in adults to prevent depression.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifiers: NCT01169259 and NCT01696435.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.10224DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7403921PMC
August 2020
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