Publications by authors named "Kim V E Braun"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Associations between macronutrient intake and coronary heart disease (CHD): The Rotterdam Study.

Clin Nutr 2021 Sep 4;40(11):5494-5499. Epub 2021 Sep 4.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health, Nutrition and Sport, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Dietary intake of several specific macronutrients has been linked to risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). However, these associations may depend on overall macronutrient composition rather than effects of one single macronutrient. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the associations of macronutrient intake and CHD and its related risk factors, by taking into account different macronutrient substitutions.

Methods: This study was performed among 5873 participants from the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort study. Macronutrient intake was measured using a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Cox proportional hazard regression analyses were used to examine associations between intakes of macronutrients and CHD incidence; and linear regression analyses were used to examine associations with the related risk factors, including triglycerides, total, high-density and low-density cholesterol levels, body mass index (BMI), fat mass index (FMI), and fat-free mass index (FFMI).

Results: We documented 669 CHD cases during 74,776 person-years of follow-up. In multivariable-adjusted models we observed no statistically significant associations between macronutrients and CHD incidence. Although non-significant, a higher plant protein intake tended to be associated with a lower risk of CHD when consumed at the expense of any of the other macronutrients. This association was strongest when 5% of energy (5 E%) of plant protein was consumed at the expense of animal protein (HR = 0.61; 95% CI 0.31, 1,21), mono- and disaccharides (HR = 0.62; 95% CI 0.29, 1.35) or saturated fat (HR = 0.61; 95% CI 0.31, 1.20). No consistent associations were observed for risk factors related to CHD.

Conclusions: Macronutrient composition was not significantly associated with CHD incidence or cardiometabolic risk factors in an adult population. Future studies should further investigate food sources and quality of macronutrients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.08.022DOI Listing
September 2021

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption May Modify Associations Between Genetic Variants in the CHREBP (Carbohydrate Responsive Element Binding Protein) Locus and HDL-C (High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol) and Triglyceride Concentrations.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 Aug 16;14(4):e003288. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology (R.L.G., D.O.M.-K., F.R.R., R.dM.), Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands.

Background: ChREBP (carbohydrate responsive element binding protein) is a transcription factor that responds to sugar consumption. Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and genetic variants in the locus have separately been linked to HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) and triglyceride concentrations. We hypothesized that SSB consumption would modify the association between genetic variants in the locus and dyslipidemia.

Methods: Data from 11 cohorts from the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium (N=63 599) and the UK Biobank (N=59 220) were used to quantify associations of SSB consumption, genetic variants, and their interaction on HDL-C and triglyceride concentrations using linear regression models. A total of 1606 single nucleotide polymorphisms within or near were considered. SSB consumption was estimated from validated questionnaires, and participants were grouped by their estimated intake.

Results: In a meta-analysis, rs71556729 was significantly associated with higher HDL-C concentrations only among the highest SSB consumers (β, 2.12 [95% CI, 1.16-3.07] mg/dL per allele; <0.0001), but not significantly among the lowest SSB consumers (=0.81; <0.0001). Similar results were observed for 2 additional variants (rs35709627 and rs71556736). For triglyceride, rs55673514 was positively associated with triglyceride concentrations only among the highest SSB consumers (β, 0.06 [95% CI, 0.02-0.09] ln-mg/dL per allele, =0.001) but not the lowest SSB consumers (=0.84; =0.0005).

Conclusions: Our results identified genetic variants in the locus that may protect against SSB-associated reductions in HDL-C and other variants that may exacerbate SSB-associated increases in triglyceride concentrations. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT00005133, NCT00005121, NCT00005487, and NCT00000479.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8373451PMC
August 2021

Associations of Activity and Sleep With Quality of Life: A Compositional Data Analysis.

Am J Prev Med 2020 09 23;59(3):412-419. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Introduction: Associations between time spent on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep and quality of life are usually studied without considering that their combined time is fixed. This study investigates the reallocation of time spent on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep during the 24-hour day and their associations with quality of life.

Methods: Data from the 2011-2016 Rotterdam Study were used to perform this cross-sectional analysis among 1,934 participants aged 51-94 years. Time spent in activity levels (sedentary, light-intensity physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and sleep) were objectively measured with a wrist-worn accelerometer combined with a sleep diary. Quality of life was measured using the EuroQoL 5D-3L questionnaire. The compositional isotemporal substitution method was used in 2018 to examine the association between the distribution of time spent in different activity behaviors and quality of life.

Results: Reallocation of 30 minutes from sedentary behavior, light-intensity physical activity, or sleep to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was associated with a higher quality of life, whereas reallocation from moderate-to-vigorous physical activity to sedentary behavior, light-intensity physical activity, or sleep was associated with lower quality of life. To illustrate this, a reallocation of 30 minutes from sedentary behavior to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was associated with a 3% (95% CI=2, 4) higher quality of life score. By contrast, a reallocation of 30 minutes from moderate-to-vigorous physical activity to sedentary behavior was associated with a 4% (95% CI=2, 6) lower quality of life score.

Conclusions: Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is important with regard to the quality of life of middle-aged and elderly individuals. The benefits of preventing less time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were greater than the benefits of more time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. These results could shift the attention to interventions focused on preventing reductions in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity levels. Further longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these findings and explore causality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2020.03.029DOI Listing
September 2020

Carbohydrate Intake in Early Childhood and Body Composition and Metabolic Health: Results from the Generation R Study.

Nutrients 2020 Jun 30;12(7). Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

High sugar intake in childhood has been linked to obesity. However, the role of macronutrient substitutions and associations with metabolic health remain unclear. We examined associations of carbohydrate intake and its subtypes with body composition and metabolic health among 3573 children participating in a population-based cohort in the Netherlands. Intake of total carbohydrate, monosaccharides and disaccharides, and polysaccharides at age 1 year was assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire. We repeatedly measured children's height and weight to calculate BMI between their ages of 1 and 10 years. At ages 6 and 10 years, fat and fat-free mass were measured with dual-energy X-ray-absorptiometry and blood concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol, and insulin were obtained. For all outcomes, we calculated age and sexspecific SD-scores. In multivariable-adjusted linear mixed models, we found no associations of intake of carbohydrates or its subtypes with children's BMI or body composition. A higher intake of monosaccharides and disaccharides was associated with higher triglyceride concentrations (0.02 SDS per 10 g/d, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.04). Higher monosaccharide and disaccharide intake was also associated with lower HDL-cholesterol (-0.03 SDS, 95% CI: -0.04; -0.01), especially when it replaced polysaccharides. Overall, our findings suggest associations of higher monosaccharide and disaccharide intake in early childhood with higher triglyceride and lower HDL-cholesterol concentrations, but do not support associations with body composition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12071940DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399886PMC
June 2020

Whole Blood DNA Methylation Signatures of Diet Are Associated With Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and All-Cause Mortality.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2020 08 11;13(4):e002766. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

The Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (S.A.G., N.S., J.A.B., C.M.S.).

Background: DNA methylation patterns associated with habitual diet have not been well studied.

Methods: Diet quality was characterized using a Mediterranean-style diet score and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index score. We conducted ethnicity-specific and trans-ethnic epigenome-wide association analyses for diet quality and leukocyte-derived DNA methylation at over 400 000 CpGs (cytosine-guanine dinucleotides) in 5 population-based cohorts including 6662 European ancestry, 2702 African ancestry, and 360 Hispanic ancestry participants. For diet-associated CpGs identified in epigenome-wide analyses, we conducted Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis to examine their relations to cardiovascular disease risk factors and examined their longitudinal associations with all-cause mortality.

Results: We identified 30 CpGs associated with either Mediterranean-style diet score or Alternative Healthy Eating Index, or both, in European ancestry participants. Among these CpGs, 12 CpGs were significantly associated with all-cause mortality (Bonferroni corrected <1.6×10). Hypermethylation of cg18181703 () was associated with higher scores of both Mediterranean-style diet score and Alternative Healthy Eating Index and lower risk for all-cause mortality (=5.7×10). Ten additional diet-associated CpGs were nominally associated with all-cause mortality (<0.05). MR analysis revealed 8 putatively causal associations for 6 CpGs with 4 cardiovascular disease risk factors (body mass index, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, and type 2 diabetes mellitus; Bonferroni corrected MR <4.5×10). For example, hypermethylation of cg11250194 () was associated with lower triglyceride concentrations (MR, =1.5×10).and hypermethylation of cg02079413 (; ) was associated with body mass index (corrected MR, =1×10).

Conclusions: Habitual diet quality was associated with differential peripheral leukocyte DNA methylation levels of 30 CpGs, most of which were also associated with multiple health outcomes, in European ancestry individuals. These findings demonstrate that integrative genomic analysis of dietary information may reveal molecular targets for disease prevention and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002766DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7442697PMC
August 2020

Genomic analysis of diet composition finds novel loci and associations with health and lifestyle.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 06 11;26(6):2056-2069. Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Endocrinology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ, Groningen, The Netherlands.

We conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of relative intake from the macronutrients fat, protein, carbohydrates, and sugar in over 235,000 individuals of European ancestries. We identified 21 unique, approximately independent lead SNPs. Fourteen lead SNPs are uniquely associated with one macronutrient at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10), while five of the 21 lead SNPs reach suggestive significance (P < 1 × 10) for at least one other macronutrient. While the phenotypes are genetically correlated, each phenotype carries a partially unique genetic architecture. Relative protein intake exhibits the strongest relationships with poor health, including positive genetic associations with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease (r ≈ 0.15-0.5). In contrast, relative carbohydrate and sugar intake have negative genetic correlations with waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, and neighborhood deprivation (|r| ≈ 0.1-0.3) and positive genetic correlations with physical activity (r ≈ 0.1 and 0.2). Relative fat intake has no consistent pattern of genetic correlations with poor health but has a negative genetic correlation with educational attainment (r ≈-0.1). Although our analyses do not allow us to draw causal conclusions, we find no evidence of negative health consequences associated with relative carbohydrate, sugar, or fat intake. However, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that relative protein intake plays a role in the etiology of metabolic dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0697-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7767645PMC
June 2021

Sexually dimorphic DNA-methylation in cardiometabolic health: A systematic review.

Maturitas 2020 May 13;135:6-26. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Swiss Paraplegic Research, Nottwil, Switzerland.

Sex is a major determinant of cardiometabolic risk. DNA methylation (DNAm), an important epigenetic mechanism that differs between sexes, has been associated with cardiometabolic diseases. Therefore, we aimed to systematically review studies in adults investigating sex-specific associations of DNAm with intermediate cardiometabolic traits and incident cardiovascular disease including stroke, myocardial infarction (MI) and coronary heart disease (CHD). Five bibliographic databases were searched from inception to 15 July 2019. We selected 35 articles (based on 30 unique studies) from 17,023 references identified, with a total of 14,020 participants of European, North American or Asian ancestry. Four studies reported sex differences between global DNAm and blood lipid levels and stroke risk. In 25 studies that took a genome wide or candidate gene approach, DNAm at 31 gene sites was associated with sex differences in cardiometabolic diseases. The identified genes were PLA2G7, BCL11A, KDM6A, LIPC, ABCG1, PLTP, CETP, ADD1, CNN1B, HOOK2, GFBP-7,PTPN1, GCK, PTX3, ABCG1, GALNT2, CDKN2B, APOE, CTH, GNASAS, INS, PON1, TCN2, CBS, AMT, KDMA6A, FTO, MAP3K13, CCDC8, MMP-2 and ER-α. Prioritized pathway connectivity analysis associated these genes with biological pathways such as vitamin B12 metabolism, statin pathway, plasma lipoprotein, plasma lipoprotein assembly, remodeling and clearance and cholesterol metabolism. Our findings suggest that DNAm might be a promising molecular strategy for understanding sex differences in the pathophysiology of cardiometabolic diseases and that future studies should investigate the effects of sex on epigenetic mechanisms in cardiometabolic risk. In addition, we emphasize the gap between the translational potential and the clinical utilization of cardiometabolic epigenetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2020.02.005DOI Listing
May 2020

Quality of dietary fat and genetic risk of type 2 diabetes: individual participant data meta-analysis.

BMJ 2019 07 25;366:l4292. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Objective: To investigate whether the genetic burden of type 2 diabetes modifies the association between the quality of dietary fat and the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Design: Individual participant data meta-analysis.

Data Sources: Eligible prospective cohort studies were systematically sourced from studies published between January 1970 and February 2017 through electronic searches in major medical databases (Medline, Embase, and Scopus) and discussion with investigators.

Review Methods: Data from cohort studies or multicohort consortia with available genome-wide genetic data and information about the quality of dietary fat and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in participants of European descent was sought. Prospective cohorts that had accrued five or more years of follow-up were included. The type 2 diabetes genetic risk profile was characterized by a 68-variant polygenic risk score weighted by published effect sizes. Diet was recorded by using validated cohort-specific dietary assessment tools. Outcome measures were summary adjusted hazard ratios of incident type 2 diabetes for polygenic risk score, isocaloric replacement of carbohydrate (refined starch and sugars) with types of fat, and the interaction of types of fat with polygenic risk score.

Results: Of 102 305 participants from 15 prospective cohort studies, 20 015 type 2 diabetes cases were documented after a median follow-up of 12 years (interquartile range 9.4-14.2). The hazard ratio of type 2 diabetes per increment of 10 risk alleles in the polygenic risk score was 1.64 (95% confidence interval 1.54 to 1.75, I=7.1%, τ=0.003). The increase of polyunsaturated fat and total omega 6 polyunsaturated fat intake in place of carbohydrate was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, with hazard ratios of 0.90 (0.82 to 0.98, I=18.0%, τ=0.006; per 5% of energy) and 0.99 (0.97 to 1.00, I=58.8%, τ=0.001; per increment of 1 g/d), respectively. Increasing monounsaturated fat in place of carbohydrate was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes (hazard ratio 1.10, 95% confidence interval 1.01 to 1.19, I=25.9%, τ=0.006; per 5% of energy). Evidence of small study effects was detected for the overall association of polyunsaturated fat with the risk of type 2 diabetes, but not for the omega 6 polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat associations. Significant interactions between dietary fat and polygenic risk score on the risk of type 2 diabetes (P>0.05 for interaction) were not observed.

Conclusions: These data indicate that genetic burden and the quality of dietary fat are each associated with the incidence of type 2 diabetes. The findings do not support tailoring recommendations on the quality of dietary fat to individual type 2 diabetes genetic risk profiles for the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes, and suggest that dietary fat is associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes across the spectrum of type 2 diabetes genetic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6652797PMC
July 2019

B-vitamins and body composition: integrating observational and experimental evidence from the B-PROOF study.

Eur J Nutr 2020 Apr 10;59(3):1253-1262. Epub 2019 May 10.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Postbus 2040, 3000 CA, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Purpose: Higher folate and vitamin-B12 have been linked to lower risk of overweight. However, whether this is a causal effect of these B-vitamins on obesity risk remains unclear and evidence in older individuals is scarce. This study aimed to assess the role of B-vitamin supplementation and levels on body composition in older individuals.

Methods: A double-blind, randomized controlled trial in 2919 participants aged ≥ 65 years with elevated homocysteine levels. The intervention comprised a 2-year supplementation with a combination of folic acid (400 µg) and vitamin B12 (500 µg), or with placebo. Serum folate, vitamin-B12, active vitamin-B12 (HoloTC), methylmalonic acid (MMA), and anthropometrics were measured at baseline and after 2 years of follow-up. Dietary intake of folate and vitamin-B12 was measured at baseline in a subsample (n = 603) using a validated food-frequency questionnaire. Fat mass index (FMI) and fat-free mass index (FFMI) were assessed with Dual Energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Results: Cross-sectional analyses showed that a 1 nmol/L higher serum folate was associated with a 0.021 kg/m lower BMI (95% CI - 0.039; - 0.004). Higher HoloTC (per pmol/L log-transformed) was associated with a 0.955 kg/m higher FMI (95% CI 0.262; 1.647), and higher MMA (per μgmol/L) was associated with a 1.108 kg/m lower FMI (95% CI - 1.899; - 0.316). However, random allocation of B-vitamins did not have a significant effect on changes in BMI, FMI or FFMI during 2 years of intervention.

Conclusions: Although observational data suggested that folate and vitamin B12 status are associated with body composition, random allocation of a supplement with both B-vitamins combined versus placebo did not confirm an effect on BMI or body composition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-019-01985-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7098930PMC
April 2020

Longitudinal association of dietary protein intake in infancy and adiposity throughout childhood.

Clin Nutr 2019 06 6;38(3):1296-1302. Epub 2018 Jun 6.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Protein intake in infancy promotes growth, but excessive intake may lead to adiposity in children. However, whether this increased adiposity persists throughout childhood and is independent of diet in later life remains unclear. Therefore, we studied the associations of total protein intake and protein from different sources at age 1 year with repeatedly measured growth and body composition up to age 10 years. Additionally, we examined whether these associations are independent of protein intake and overall diet quality at age 8 years.

Methods: We included 3573 children from the Generation R study, a population-based prospective cohort in the Netherlands. Dietary intakes were assessed with food-frequency questionnaires at ages 1 and 8 years and macronutrient intakes were expressed as energy percentages (E%). Height and weight were measured at eight time points between ages 1 and 10 years. Fat and fat-free masses were measured at ages 6 and 10 years with dual-energy X-ray-absorptiometry. We calculated body mass index (BMI), fat mass index (FMI) and fat-free mass index (FFMI). Outcomes were standardized for sex and age and expressed as standard deviation scores (SDS). Associations of protein intake with growth and body composition trajectories were examined with multivariable linear mixed models.

Results: After adjustment for confounders, 5E% additional protein intake at age 1 year was associated with a 0.10 SDS higher weight (95% CI 0.04, 0.16), 0.10 SDS higher BMI (95% CI 0.04, 0.16), and 0.07 SDS higher FMI (95% CI 0.01, 0.13) up to age 10 years. These associations were explained by protein from animal sources and not plant sources. Associations were independent of protein intake and overall diet quality at age 8 years, and were independent of whether higher protein was consumed at the expense of carbohydrates or fat in the diet.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that high protein intake in infancy, particularly from animal food sources, is persistently associated with adiposity up to age 10 years. Restricting protein intake in this critical period of development may aid in the early prevention of adiposity in childhood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2018.05.013DOI Listing
June 2019

An Epigenome-Wide Association Study of Obesity-Related Traits.

Am J Epidemiol 2018 08;187(8):1662-1669

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center.

We conducted an epigenome-wide association study on obesity-related traits. We used data from 2 prospective, population-based cohort studies: the Rotterdam Study (RS) (2006-2013) and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study (1990-1992). We used the RS (n = 1,450) as the discovery panel and the ARIC Study (n = 2,097) as the replication panel. Linear mixed-effect models were used to assess the cross-sectional associations between genome-wide DNA methylation in leukocytes and body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC), adjusting for sex, age, smoking, leukocyte proportions, array number, and position on array. The latter 2 variables were modeled as random effects. Fourteen 5'-C-phosphate-G-3' (CpG) sites were associated with BMI and 26 CpG sites with WC in the RS after Bonferroni correction (P < 1.07 × 10-7), of which 12 and 13 CpGs were replicated in the ARIC Study, respectively. The most significant novel CpGs were located on the Musashi RNA binding protein 2 gene (MSI2; cg21139312) and the leucyl-tRNA synthetase 2, mitochondrial gene (LARS2; cg18030453) and were associated with both BMI and WC. CpGs at BRDT, PSMD1, IFI44L, MAP1A, and MAP3K5 were associated with BMI. CpGs at LGALS3BP, MAP2K3, DHCR24, CPSF4L, and TMEM49 were associated with WC. We report novel associations between methylation at MSI2 and LARS2 and obesity-related traits. These results provide further insight into mechanisms underlying obesity-related traits, which can enable identification of new biomarkers in obesity-related chronic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwy025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6070087PMC
August 2018

Epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) on lipids: the Rotterdam Study.

Clin Epigenetics 2017 7;9:15. Epub 2017 Feb 7.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, Office NA2906, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: DNA methylation is a key epigenetic mechanism that is suggested to be associated with blood lipid levels. We aimed to identify CpG sites at which DNA methylation levels are associated with blood levels of triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and total cholesterol in 725 participants of the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort study. Subsequently, we sought replication in a non-overlapping set of 760 participants.

Results: Genome-wide methylation levels were measured in whole blood using the Illumina Methylation 450 array. Associations between lipid levels and DNA methylation beta values were examined using linear mixed-effect models. All models were adjusted for sex, age, smoking, white blood cell proportions, array number, and position on array. A Bonferroni-corrected value lower than 1.08 × 10 was considered statistically significant. Five CpG sites annotated to genes including , , , and were identified and replicated. Four CpG sites were associated with triglycerides, including CpG sites annotated to (cg00574958 and cg17058475), (cg06500161), and (cg11024682). Two CpG sites were associated with HDL-C, including (cg06500161) and (cg17901584). No significant associations were observed with LDL-C or total cholesterol.

Conclusions: We report an association of HDL-C levels with methylation of a CpG site near , a protein-coding gene involved in cholesterol biosynthesis, which has previously been reported to be associated with other metabolic traits. Furthermore, we confirmed previously reported associations of methylation of CpG sites within , , and and lipids. These results provide insight in the mechanisms that are involved in lipid metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-016-0304-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5297218PMC
July 2017

The role of DNA methylation in dyslipidaemia: A systematic review.

Prog Lipid Res 2016 10 13;64:178-191. Epub 2016 Oct 13.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation and histone modifications, might be involved in the regulation of blood lipid concentration variability and may thereby affect cardiovascular health. We aimed to systematically review studies investigating the association between epigenetic marks and plasma concentrations of triacylglycerol, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol. Six medical databases were searched until September 3rd 2015, reference lists were screened, and experts in the field were contacted. Of the 757 identified references, 31 articles reporting on 23 unique studies met all inclusion criteria. These studies included data on 8027 unique participants. Overall, no consistent associations were observed between global DNA methylation and blood lipids. Candidate gene and epigenome-wide association studies reported epigenetic regulation of several genes to be related with blood lipids, of which results for ABCG1, CPT1A, TNNT1, MIR33B, SREBF1, and TNIP were replicated. To date, no studies have been performed on histone modification in relation to blood lipids. To conclude, promising results have been reported in the field of epigenetics and dyslipidaemia, however, further rigorous studies are needed to expand our understanding on the role of epigenetics in regulating human's blood lipid levels and its effects on health and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plipres.2016.10.002DOI Listing
October 2016

Associations between Dietary Fiber Intake in Infancy and Cardiometabolic Health at School Age: The Generation R Study.

Nutrients 2016 Aug 30;8(9). Epub 2016 Aug 30.

The Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Office Na-2909, P.O. Box 2040, Rotterdam 3000 CA, The Netherlands.

Dietary fiber (DF) intake may be beneficial for cardiometabolic health. However, whether this already occurs in early childhood is unclear. We investigated associations between DF intake in infancy and cardiometabolic health in childhood among 2032 children participating in a population-based cohort in The Netherlands. Information on DF intake at a median age of 12.9 months was collected using a food-frequency questionnaire. DF was adjusted for energy intake using the residual method. At age 6 years, body fat percentage, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, insulin, triglycerides, and blood pressure were assessed and expressed in age- and sex-specific standard deviation scores (SDS). These five factors were combined into a cardiometabolic risk factor score. In models adjusted for several parental and child covariates, a higher DF intake was associated with a lower cardiometabolic risk factor score. When we examined individual cardiometabolic factors, we observed that a 1 g/day higher energy-adjusted DF intake was associated with 0.026 SDS higher HDL-cholesterol (95% CI 0.009, 0.042), and 0.020 SDS lower triglycerides (95% CI -0.037, -0.003), but not with body fat, insulin, or blood pressure. Results were similar for DF with and without adjustment for energy intake. Our findings suggest that higher DF intake in infancy may be associated with better cardiometabolic health in later childhood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu8090531DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037518PMC
August 2016

Dietary Intakes of Folic Acid and Methionine in Early Childhood Are Associated with Body Composition at School Age.

J Nutr 2015 Sep 22;145(9):2123-9. Epub 2015 Jul 22.

Departments of Epidemiology and.

Background: Deficiency of vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, folate, folic acid, or methionine may lead to dysregulation of DNA methylation, which might lead to disturbed energy and lipid metabolism.

Objective: We aimed to explore whether intakes of vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, folate, folic acid, and methionine at 1 y are associated with measures of growth and body composition at the age of 6 y.

Methods: This study was performed in 2922 children participating in The Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study. Dietary intakes of vitamins B-6 and B-12, folate, folic acid, and methionine were assessed at a median age of 12.9 mo by using a validated food-frequency questionnaire. At the age of 6 y, height and weight were measured, and body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)) was calculated. Body fat was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and body fat percentage and the ratio of android fat mass to gynoid fat mass (android:gynoid) were calculated.

Results: In models adjusted for maternal and child characteristics, children with folic acid intakes in the highest tertile had a 0.16 SD score (SDS) lower weight (95% CI: -0.31, -0.02 SDS) and a 0.14 SDS lower BMI (95% CI: -0.26, -0.01 SDS) than children in the lowest tertile. Children with vitamin B-12 intakes in the highest tertile had a 0.13 SDS higher android:gynoid (95% CI: 0.00, 0.25 SDS) than children in the lowest tertile. In addition, children with intakes in the highest tertile of methionine had a 0.09 SDS higher BMI (95% CI: 0.01, 0.17) and a 0.12 SDS higher android:gynoid (95% CI: 0.02, 0.22) than children in the lowest tertile. Vitamin B-6 and folate intakes were not associated with any of the body composition outcomes measured.

Conclusions: In this population of children, early high folic acid intakes were associated with a lower body weight and BMI at the age of 6 y. In contrast, early higher methionine intakes were associated with unfavorable body composition at the age of 6 y. Future studies should investigate long-term consequences of these outcomes on health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/jn.115.216283DOI Listing
September 2015

Effects of polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and status during pregnancy, lactation, and early childhood on cardiometabolic health: A systematic review.

Prog Lipid Res 2015 Jul 27;59:67-87. Epub 2015 May 27.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The importance of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake in fetal life and infancy has been widely studied in relation to child cognitive and visual development, but whether early life PUFA exposure is related to cardiometabolic risk factors is unclear. The focus of this systematic review was to evaluate the effects of PUFA dietary intake and blood levels during pregnancy, lactation, or early childhood (⩽5 y) on obesity, blood pressure, blood lipids, and insulin sensitivity. We identified 4302 abstracts in the databases Embase, Medline and Cochrane Central (April 2014), of which 56 articles, reporting on 45 unique studies, met all selection criteria. Many of the included studies focused on obesity as an outcome (33 studies), whereas studies on insulin sensitivity were relatively scarce (6 studies). Overall, results for obesity, blood pressure, and blood lipids were inconsistent, with a few studies reporting effects in opposite directions and other studies that did not observe any effects of PUFAs on these outcomes. Four studies suggested beneficial effects of PUFAs on insulin sensitivity. We conclude that there is insufficient evidence to support a beneficial effect of PUFAs in fetal life or early childhood on obesity, blood pressure, or blood lipids. More research is needed to investigate the potential favorable effects of PUFAs on insulin sensitivity, and to examine the role of specific fatty acids in early life on later cardiometabolic health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plipres.2015.05.001DOI Listing
July 2015
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