Publications by authors named "Lars Wallentin"

569 Publications

The SWEDEHEART secondary prevention and cardiac rehabilitation registry (SWEDEHEART CR registry).

Eur Heart J Qual Care Clin Outcomes 2021 May 12. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Cardiology, Falu Hospital, Åsgatan 41, 791 71 Falun, Sweden.

Aims: The quality registry SWEDEHEART covers data across the patient pathway after an acute myocardial infarction (MI), from hospital care to secondary prevention. Although cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is strongly recommended after an MI, there is still heterogeneity regarding standards, uptake, and adherence rates. The aim of the SWEDEHEART-CR registry is to provide continuous information on secondary prevention and CR performance to support the audit and development of evidence-based practice. To facilitate quality improvement and research initiatives, a description of the characteristics and development of the SWEDEHEART-CR registry is needed.

Methods And Results: The SWEDEHEART-CR registry starts with data obtained during hospital care and then collects data at out-patient visits 2 months and 1-year after discharge, and at start and end of an exercise-based CR programme. The registry data covers comorbidities, biochemistry, blood pressure, anthropometric variables, medication, psychosocial- and lifestyle variables, readmissions, patient-reported outcome measures, attendance in CR-related programmes, and physical fitness variables. Over 100 000 patients with MI have been included in the SWEDEHEART-CR registry since its start in 2005. From initially covering 35 centres (47%) and 2200 patients annually (27%), SWEDEHEART-CR has developed to a nation-wide registry with 75 centres (100%) and 8800 patients annually (80%) in 2020.

Conclusion: The SWEDEHEART-CR registry includes a high proportion of the national MI population entering a CR programme and is a powerful tool for quality audit, improvement, and research. The registry provides insights into the characteristics, treatment, and outcomes of evidence-based secondary preventive practice, ultimately leading to better cardiovascular health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehjqcco/qcab039DOI Listing
May 2021

Differential effect of clopidogrel and ticagrelor on leukocyte count in relation to patient characteristics, biomarkers and genotype: a PLATO substudy.

Platelets 2021 Jun 2:1-7. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.

Inflammation plays a key role in cardiovascular disease by contributing to atherothrombosis. The PLATelet inhibition and patient Outcomes (PLATO) study (NCT00391872) compared ticagrelor to clopidogrel in patients with acute coronary syndromes and demonstrated fewer cardiovascular events with ticagrelor but lower white blood cell counts (WBC) with clopidogrel. In this further analysis of the PLATO biomarker substudy, we assessed associations between WBC and clinical characteristics, biomarker levels, and polymorphisms.On-treatment mean (SD) WBC in the clopidogrel group was mildly reduced at each stage of follow-up compared with either the ticagrelor group (1 month: 7.27 (2.1) and 7.67 (2.23) x10/L for clopidogrel and ticagrelor, respectively; < .001) or following cessation of clopidogrel (7.23 (1.97) x10/L, at 6 months vs 7.56 (2.28) x10/L after treatment cessation; < .001). This occurred independently of baseline biomarkers and genotype (where known). Adjusting for clinical characteristics and other biomarkers, no significant interaction was detected between clinical risk factors and the observed effect of clopidogrel on WBC.Clopidogrel weakly suppresses WBC, independent of clinical characteristics, baseline inflammatory biomarker levels, and genotype. Further work is required to determine the mechanism for this effect and whether it contributes to clopidogrel's efficacy as well as therapeutic interaction with anti-inflammatory drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09537104.2021.1934667DOI Listing
June 2021

Factor V Leiden Does Not Modify the Phenotype of Acute Coronary Syndrome or the Extent of Myocardial Necrosis.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Jun 17;10(11):e020025. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Cardiology St. Antonius Hospital Nieuwegein the Netherlands.

Background The prothrombotic defect factor V Leiden (FVL) may confer higher risk of ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), compared with non-ST-segment-elevation acute coronary syndrome, and may be associated with more myocardial necrosis caused by higher thrombotic burden. Methods and Results Patients without history of cardiovascular disease were selected from 2 clinical trials conducted in patients with acute coronary syndrome. FVL was defined as G-to-A substitution at nucleotide 1691 in the factor V (factor V R506Q) gene. Odds ratios were calculated for the association of FVL with STEMI adjusted for age and sex in the overall population and in the subgroups including sex, age (≥70 versus <70 years), and traditional cardiovascular risk factors. The peak biomarker levels (ie, creatine kinase-myocardial band and high-sensitivity troponin I or T) after STEMI were contrasted between FVL carriers and noncarriers. Because of differences in troponin assays, peak high-sensitivity troponin levels were converted to a ratio scale. The prevalence of FVL mutation was comparable in patients with STEMI (6.0%) and non-ST-segment-elevation acute coronary syndrome (5.8%). The corresponding sex- and age-adjusted odds ratio was 1.06 (95% CI, 0.86-1.30; =0.59) for the association of FVL with STEMI. Subgroup analysis did not show any differences. In patients with STEMI, neither the median peak creatine kinase-myocardial band nor the peak high-sensitivity troponin ratio showed any differences between wild-type and FVL carriers ( for difference: creatine kinase-myocardial band=0.33; high sensitivity troponin ratio=0.54). Conclusions In a general population with acute coronary syndrome, FVL did not discriminate between a STEMI or non-ST-segment-elevation acute coronary syndrome presentation and was unrelated to peak cardiac necrosis markers in patients with STEMI. Registration URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifiers: NCT00391872 and NCT01761786.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.020025DOI Listing
June 2021

Mendelian randomisation identifies alternative splicing of the FAS death receptor as a mediator of severe COVID-19.

medRxiv 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Severe COVID-19 is characterised by immunopathology and epithelial injury. Proteomic studies have identified circulating proteins that are biomarkers of severe COVID-19, but cannot distinguish correlation from causation. To address this, we performed Mendelian randomisation (MR) to identify proteins that mediate severe COVID-19. Using protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) data from the SCALLOP consortium, involving meta-analysis of up to 26,494 individuals, and COVID-19 genome-wide association data from the Host Genetics Initiative, we performed MR for 157 COVID-19 severity protein biomarkers. We identified significant MR results for five proteins: FAS, TNFRSF10A, CCL2, EPHB4 and LGALS9. Further evaluation of these candidates using sensitivity analyses and colocalization testing provided strong evidence to implicate the apoptosis-associated cytokine receptor FAS as a causal mediator of severe COVID-19. This effect was specific to severe disease. Using RNA-seq data from 4,778 individuals, we demonstrate that the pQTL at the locus results from genetically influenced alternate splicing causing skipping of exon 6. We show that the risk allele for very severe COVID-19 increases the proportion of transcripts lacking exon 6, and thereby increases soluble FAS. Soluble FAS acts as a decoy receptor for FAS-ligand, inhibiting apoptosis induced through membrane-bound FAS. In summary, we demonstrate a novel genetic mechanism that contributes to risk of severe of COVID-19, highlighting a pathway that may be a promising therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.01.21254789DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8043484PMC
April 2021

Biomarker-Based Risk Prediction With the ABC-AF Scores in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation Not Receiving Oral Anticoagulation.

Circulation 2021 May 14;143(19):1863-1873. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Uppsala Clinical Research Center (Z.H., J.L., J.O., A.S., L.W.), Uppsala University, Sweden.

Background: The novel ABC (Age, Biomarkers, Clinical History) scores outperform traditional risk scores for stroke, major bleeding, and death in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) receiving oral anticoagulation. To refine their utility, the ABC-AF scores needed to be validated in patients not receiving oral anticoagulation.

Methods: We measured plasma levels of the ABC biomarkers (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, cardiac troponin-T, and growth-differentiation factor 15) to apply the previously developed ABC-AF scores in patients with AF receiving aspirin (n=3195) or aspirin and clopidogrel (n=1110) in 2 large clinical trials. Calibration was assessed by comparing estimated with observed 1-year risks. Cox regression models were used for recalibration. Discrimination was evaluated separately for the aspirin-only and the overall cohort (n=4305).

Results: The ABC-AF-stroke score yielded a c-index of 0.70 (95% CI, 0.67-0.73) in both cohorts. The ABC-AF-bleeding score had a c-index of 0.76 (95% CI, 0.71-0.81) in the aspirin-only cohort and 0.73 (95% CI, 0.69-0.77) overall. Both scores were superior to risk scores recommended by current guidelines. The ABC-AF-death score yielded a c-index of 0.78 (95% CI, 0.76-0.80) overall. Calibrated in patients receiving oral anticoagulation, the ABC-AF-stroke score underestimated and the ABC-AF-bleeding score overestimated the risk of events in both cohorts. These scores were recalibrated for prediction of absolute event rates in the absence of oral anticoagulation.

Conclusions: The biomarker-based ABC-AF scores showed better discrimination than traditional risk scores and were recalibrated for precise risk estimation in patients not receiving oral anticoagulation. They can now provide improved decision support on treatment of an individual patient with AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.053100DOI Listing
May 2021

Cardiovascular Outcomes According to Polypharmacy and Drug Adherence in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation on Long-Term Anticoagulation (from the RE-LY Trial).

Am J Cardiol 2021 Jun 20;149:27-35. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Klinik für Innere Medizin III - Kardiologie, Angiologie, Internistische Intensivmedizin.

Prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) increases with age, along with comorbidities and, thus, polypharmacy. Non-adherence is associated with polypharmacy. This study aimed to identify patients at risk for cardiovascular events according to their pharmacological treatment intensity and adherence. Patients (n = 18,113) with a mean age of 71.5 ± 8.7 years, at high cardiovascular risk were followed between December 2005 until December 2007 for a median time of 2 years. The association between polypharmacy and adherence and their impact on cardiovascular and bleeding events were explored. Adherence was defined as a study drug intake of ≥80%. Patients with more co-medications had a higher body mass index, higher prevalence of hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and diabetes mellitus (all p < 0.0001) compared to ≤4 or 5-8 co-medications, but no differences in history of stroke (p = 0.68) or transient ischemic attack (p = 0.065). Across all treatments, the adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) increased in patients with more co-medications (≥9 vs ≤4) for all-cause death (HR 1.30; 1.06-1.59), major bleeding (HR 1.65; 1.33-2.05), and all bleeding events (HR 1.44; 1.31-1.59). Yearly event rates were higher in non-adherent than adherent patients for stroke and systemic embolism (SSE) (3.14 vs 1.00), all-cause death (7.76 vs 2.66), major bleeding (6.21 vs 2.65), and all bleeding (28.71 vs 19.05; all p < 0.0001). After an event the patients were more likely to become non-adherent (adherence after SSE 30.3%, after major bleeding 33.4%, after all bleeding 66.7%; all p < 0.0001). The treatment effects were consistent to the overall group in the different polypharmacy groups. In conclusion, polypharmacy and non-adherence are risk indicators for increased adverse cardiovascular and bleeding events. Dabigatran is safe to use across the full spectrum of AF patients, independent of the number of co-medications and adherence. Patients with co-medications and comorbidities require special attention and encouragement to adhere to oral anticoagulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2021.03.024DOI Listing
June 2021

Genetically determined NLRP3 inflammasome activation associates with systemic inflammation and cardiovascular mortality.

Eur Heart J 2021 05;42(18):1742-1756

Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute, Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine, 1462 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Aims: Inflammation plays an important role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) development. The NOD-like receptor protein-3 (NLRP3) inflammasome contributes to the development of atherosclerosis in animal models. Components of the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway such as interleukin-1β can therapeutically be targeted. Associations of genetically determined inflammasome-mediated systemic inflammation with CVD and mortality in humans are unknown.

Methods And Results: We explored the association of genetic NLRP3 variants with prevalent CVD and cardiovascular mortality in 538 167 subjects on the individual participant level in an explorative gene-centric approach without performing multiple testing. Functional relevance of single-nucleotide polymorphisms on NLRP3 inflammasome activation has been evaluated in monocyte-enriched peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Genetic analyses identified the highly prevalent (minor allele frequency 39.9%) intronic NLRP3 variant rs10754555 to affect NLRP3 gene expression. rs10754555 carriers showed significantly higher C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A plasma levels. Carriers of the G allele showed higher NLRP3 inflammasome activation in isolated human PBMCs. In carriers of the rs10754555 variant, the prevalence of coronary artery disease was significantly higher as compared to non-carriers with a significant interaction between rs10754555 and age. Importantly, rs10754555 carriers had significantly higher risk for cardiovascular mortality during follow-up. Inflammasome inducers (e.g. urate, triglycerides, apolipoprotein C3) modulated the association between rs10754555 and mortality.

Conclusion: The NLRP3 intronic variant rs10754555 is associated with increased systemic inflammation, inflammasome activation, prevalent coronary artery disease, and mortality. This study provides evidence for a substantial role of genetically driven systemic inflammation in CVD and highlights the NLRP3 inflammasome as a therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab107DOI Listing
May 2021

Evaluation of the prognostic value of GDF-15, ABC-AF-bleeding score and ABC-AF-death score in patients with atrial fibrillation across different geographical areas.

Open Heart 2021 03;8(1)

Department of Medical Sciences, Cardiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Objectives: Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) is a biomarker independently associated with bleeding and death in anticoagulated patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). GDF-15 is also used as one component in the more precise biomarker-based ABC (age, biomarkers, clinical history)-AF-bleeding and ABC-AF-death risk scores. Data from large trials indicate a geographic variability in regard to overall outcomes, including bleeding and mortality risk. Our aim was to assess the consistency of the association between GDF-15, ABC-AF-bleeding score and ABC-AF-death score, with major bleeding and death, across world geographic regions.

Methods: Data were available from 14 767 patients with AF from the Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation (ARISTOTLE) trial and 8651 patients with AF from the Randomized Evaluation of Long-Term Anticoagulation Therapy (RE-LY) trial in this cohort study. GDF-15 was analysed from plasma samples obtained at randomisation. The geographical consistency of the associations between outcomes and GDF-15, ABC-AF-bleeding score and ABC-AF-death scores were assessed by Cox-regression models including interactions with predefined geographical region.

Results: GDF-15 and the ABC-AF-bleeding score were associated with major bleeding in both trials across regions (p<0.0001). Similarly, GDF-15 and the ABC-AF-death score were associated with all-cause mortality in both trials across regions (p<0.0001). Overall, the association between GDF-15, the ABC-AF-bleeding score and ABC-AF-death risk score with major bleeding and death was consistent across regions in both ARISTOTLE and the RE-LY trial cohorts. The ABC-AF-bleeding and ABC-AF-death risk scores were consistent regarding discriminative ability when comparing geographic regions in both trial cohorts. The C-indices ranged from 0.649 to 0.760 for the ABC-AF-bleeding and from 0.677 to 0.806 for the ABC-AF-death score by different geographic regions.

Conclusions: In patients with AF on anticoagulation, GDF-15 and the biomarker-based ABC-AF-bleeding and ABC-AF-death risk scores are consistently associated with respectively increased risk of major bleeding and death and have similar prognostic value across world geographic regions.

Trial Registration Number: ClinicalTrials.gov Registry NCT00412984 and NCT00262600.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2020-001471DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7986788PMC
March 2021

Apixaban Versus Warfarin in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation and Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: Insights From the ARISTOTLE Trial.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2021 Mar 4;14(3):e009614. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC (S.M.A.-K., H.M., D.W., R.D.L., J.H.A., C.B.G.).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCEP.120.009614DOI Listing
March 2021

Plasma proteins associated with cardiovascular death in patients with chronic coronary heart disease: A retrospective study.

PLoS Med 2021 01 13;18(1):e1003513. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Uppsala Clinical Research Center (UCR), Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: Circulating biomarkers are associated with the development of coronary heart disease (CHD) and its complications by reflecting pathophysiological pathways and/or organ dysfunction. We explored the associations between 157 cardiovascular (CV) and inflammatory biomarkers and CV death using proximity extension assays (PEA) in patients with chronic CHD.

Methods And Findings: The derivation cohort consisted of 605 cases with CV death and 2,788 randomly selected non-cases during 3-5 years follow-up included in the STabilization of Atherosclerotic plaque By Initiation of darapLadIb TherapY (STABILITY) trial between 2008 and 2010. The replication cohort consisted of 245 cases and 1,042 non-cases during 12 years follow-up included in the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) study between 1997 and 2000. Biomarker levels were measured with conventional immunoassays and/or with the OLINK PEA panels CVD I and Inflammation. Associations with CV death were evaluated by Random Survival Forest (RF) and Cox regression analyses. Both cohorts had the same median age (65 years) and 20% smokers, while there were slight differences in male sex (82% and 76%), hypertension (70% and 78%), and diabetes (39% and 30%) in the respective STABILITY and LURIC cohorts. The analyses identified 18 biomarkers with confirmed independent association with CV death by Boruta analyses and statistical significance (all p < 0.0001) by Cox regression when adjusted for clinical characteristics in both cohorts. Most prognostic information was carried by N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP), hazard ratio (HR for 1 standard deviation [SD] increase of the log scale of the distribution of the biomarker in the replication cohort) 2.079 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.799-2.402), and high-sensitivity troponin T (cTnT-hs) HR 1.715 (95% CI 1.491-1.973). The other proteins with independent associations were growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) HR 1.728 (95% CI 1.527-1.955), transmembrane immunoglobulin and mucin domain protein (TIM-1) HR 1.555 (95% CI 1.362-1.775), renin HR 1.501 (95% CI 1.305-1.727), osteoprotegerin (OPG) HR 1.488 (95% CI 1.297-1.708), soluble suppression of tumorigenesis 2 protein (sST2) HR 1.478 (95% CI 1.307-1.672), cystatin-C (Cys-C) HR 1.370 (95% CI 1.243-1.510), tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2) HR 1.205 (95% CI 1.131-1.285), carbohydrate antigen 125 (CA-125) HR 1.347 (95% CI 1.226-1.479), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) HR 1.399 (95% CI 1.255-1.561), interleukin 6 (IL-6) HR 1.478 (95% CI 1.316-1.659), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) HR 1.259 (95% CI 1.134-1.396), spondin-1 HR 1.295 (95% CI 1.156-1.450), fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) HR 1.349 (95% CI 1.237-1.472), chitinase-3 like protein 1 (CHI3L1) HR 1.284 (95% CI 1.129-1.461), tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNF-R1) HR 1.486 (95% CI 1.307-1.689), and adrenomedullin (AM) HR 1.750 (95% CI 1.490-2.056). The study is limited by the differences in design, size, and length of follow-up of the 2 studies and the lack of results from coronary angiograms and follow-up of nonfatal events.

Conclusions: Profiles of levels of multiple plasma proteins might be useful for the identification of different pathophysiological pathways associated with an increased risk of CV death in patients with chronic CHD.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00799903.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003513DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7817029PMC
January 2021

Risk markers of incident atrial fibrillation in patients with coronary heart disease.

Am Heart J 2021 03 2;233:92-101. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Department of Medical Sciences, Cardiology, Uppsala University, Sweden; Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University, Sweden. Electronic address:

Background: In patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We investigated the associations between clinical risk factors and biomarkers with incident AF in patients with CHD.

Methods And Results: Around 13,153 patients with optimally treated CHD included in the STabilization of Atherosclerotic plaque By Initiation of darapLadIb TherapY (STABILITY) trial with plasma samples obtained at randomization. Mean follow-up time was 3.5 years. The association between clinical risk factors and biomarkers with incident AF was estimated with Cox-regression models. Validation was performed in 1,894 patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome included in the FRISC-II trial. The median (min-max) age was 64 years (range 26-92) and 2,514 (19.1%) were women. A total of 541 patients, annual incidence rate of 1.2%, developed AF during follow-up. In multivariable models, older age, higher levels of NT-proBNP, higher body mass index (BMI), male sex, geographic regions, low physical activity, and heart failure were independently associated with increased risk of incident AF with hazard ratios ranging from 1.04 to 1.79 (P ≤ .05). NT-proBNP improved the C-index from 0.70 to 0.71. In the validation cohort, age, BMI, and NT-proBNP were associated with increased risk of incident AF with similar hazard ratios.

Conclusions: In patients with optimally treated CHD, the incidence of new AF was 1.2% per year. Age, NT-proBNP as a marker of impaired cardiac function, and BMI were the strongest factors, independently and consistently associated with incident AF. Male sex and low physical activity may also contribute to the risk of AF in patients with CHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2020.12.016DOI Listing
March 2021

Stroke risk prediction in patients with atrial fibrillation with and without rheumatic heart disease.

Cardiovasc Res 2021 Jan 2. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

Aims: Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD), especially mitral stenosis, are assumed to be at high risk of stroke, irrespective of other factors. We aimed to re-evaluate stroke risk factors in a contemporary cohort of AF patients.

Methods And Results: We analyzed data of 15,400 AF patients presenting to an emergency department and who were enrolled in the global RE-LY AF registry, representing 47 countries from all inhabited continents. Follow-up occurred at 1 year after enrollment. A total of 1,788 (11.6%) patients had RHD. These patients were younger (51.4 ± 15.7 vs. 67.8 ± 13.6 years), more likely to be female (66.2% vs. 44.7%) and had a lower mean CHA2DS2-VASc score (2.1 ± 1.7 vs. 3.7 ± 2.2) as compared to patients without RHD (all p < 0.001). Significant mitral stenosis (average mean transmitral gradient 11.5 ± 6.5 mmHg) was the predominant valve lesion in those with RHD (59.6%). Patients with RHD had a higher baseline rate of anticoagulation use (60.4% vs. 45.2%, p < 0.001). Unadjusted stroke rates at 1 year were 2.8% and 4.1% for patients with and without RHD, respectively. The performance of the CHA2DS2-VASc score was modest in both groups (stroke at 1 year, c-statistics 0.69, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.60-0.78 and 0.63, 95% CI 0.61-0.66, respectively). In the overall cohort, advanced age, female sex, prior stroke, tobacco use and non-use of anticoagulation were predictors for stroke (all p < 0.05). Mitral stenosis was not associated with stroke risk (adjusted odds ratio 1.07, 95% CI 0.67-1.72, p = 0.764).

Conclusions: The performance of the CHA2DS2-VASc score was modest in AF patients both with and without RHD. In this cohort, moderate-to-severe mitral stenosis was not an independent risk factor for stroke.

Translational Perspective: Based on studies conducted several decades ago, the presence of moderate-to-severe mitral stenosis has been associated with a very high risk of stroke in patients with AF. Our results, based on a large, global sample of contemporary patients with AF that contained a significant proportion of individuals with RHD, challenge the assumption that mitral stenosis is a major, independent risk factor for stroke. The performance of the widely used CHA2DS2-VASc score was modest in both patients with and without RHD. At least one ongoing randomized trial is evaluating the optimal antithrombotic strategy in patients with AF and RHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvaa344DOI Listing
January 2021

Heterogeneity of diabetes as a risk factor for major adverse cardiovascular events in anticoagulated patients with atrial fibrillation: an analysis of the ARISTOTLE trial.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Pharmacother 2020 Dec 28. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 38, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.

Aims: Whether diabetes without insulin therapy is an independent cardiovascular (CV) risk factor in atrial fibrillation (AF) has recently been questioned. We investigated the prognostic relevance of diabetes with or without insulin treatment in patients in the ARISTOTLE trial.

Methods And Results: Patients with AF and increased stroke risk randomized to apixaban vs. warfarin were classified according to diabetes status: no diabetes; diabetes on no diabetes medications; diabetes on non-insulin antidiabetic drugs only; or insulin-treated. The associations between such patient subgroups and stroke/systemic embolism (SE), myocardial infarction (MI), and CV death were examined by Cox proportional hazard regression, both unadjusted and adjusted for other prognostic variables. Patients with diabetes were younger and had a higher body mass index. Median CHA2DS2VASc score was 4.0 in patients with diabetes and 3.0 in patients without diabetes. We found no significant difference in stroke/SE incidence across patient subgroups. Compared with no diabetes, only insulin-treated diabetes was significantly associated with higher risk. When adjusted for clinical variables, compared with no diabetes, the hazard ratios (HRs) for MI (95% confidence intervals) were for diabetes on no medication: 1.15 (0.62-2.14); for diabetes on non-insulin antidiabetic drugs: 1.32 (0.90-1.94); for insulin-treated diabetes: 2.34 (1.43-3.82); interaction P = 0.008. HRs for CV death were for diabetes on no medication: 1.19 (0.86-166); for diabetes on non-insulin antidiabetic drugs: 1.12 (0.88-1.42); for insulin-treated diabetes 1.85 (1.36-2.53), interaction P = 0.001.

Conclusion: In anticoagulated patients with AF, a higher risk of MI and CV death is largely confined to diabetes treated with insulin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehjcvp/pvaa140DOI Listing
December 2020

Individual Patient Data from the Pivotal Randomized Controlled Trials of Non-Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation (COMBINE AF): Design and Rationale: From the COMBINE AF (A Collaboration between Multiple institutions to Better Investigate Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant use in Atrial Fibrillation) Investigators.

Am Heart J 2021 03 6;233:48-58. Epub 2020 Dec 6.

Duke Clinical Research Institute, 200 Morris St, Durham, NC 27701.

Background: Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are the preferred class of medications for prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation unless contraindications exist. Five large, international, randomized, controlled trials of NOACs versus either warfarin or aspirin have been completed to date.

Design: COMBINE AF incorporates de-identified individual patient data from 77,282 patients with atrial fibrillation at risk for stroke randomized to NOAC, warfarin, or aspirin from 5 pivotal randomized controlled trials. All patients randomized in the constituent trials are included. Variables common to ≥3 of the constituent trials are included in the master database. Individual trial data sets from the 4 coordinating centers were combined at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. The final database will be securely shared with the 4 academic coordinating centers. The combined master database will be used to perform statistical analyses aimed at better understanding underlying risk factors and outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation treated with oral anticoagulants, with a special focus on patient subgroups and uncommon outcomes. The initial analysis from COMBINE AF will be a network meta-analysis investigating the relative efficacy and safety of pooled higher-dose NOACs versus pooled lower-dose NOACs versus warfarin with respect to multiple time-to-event efficacy and safety outcomes. COMBINE AF is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020178771).

Conclusion: In conclusion, COMBINE AF provides a rich and robust database consisting of individual patient data and will offer opportunities to investigate oral anticoagulants across many patient subgroups. Data sharing and collaboration across academic institutions and investigators will serve as overarching themes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2020.12.002DOI Listing
March 2021

Screening of Multiple Biomarkers Associated With Ischemic Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 12 9;9(24):e018984. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Uppsala Clinical Research Center Uppsala University Uppsala Sweden.

Background To explore the pathophysiological features of ischemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), we evaluated the association between 268 plasma proteins and subsequent ischemic stroke in 2 large AF cohorts receiving oral anticoagulation. Methods and Results A case-cohort sample of patients with AF from the ARISTOTLE (Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation) trial, including 282 cases with ischemic stroke or systemic embolism and a random sample of 4124 without these events, during 1.9 years of follow-up was used for identification. Validation was provided by a similar case-cohort sample of patients with AF from the RE-LY (Randomized Evaluation of Long-Term Anticoagulation Therapy) trial, including 149 cases with ischemic stroke/systemic embolism and a random sample of 1062 without these events. In plasma obtained before randomization, 268 unique biomarkers were measured with OLINK proximity extension assay panels (CVD II, CVD III, and Inflammation) and conventional immunoassays. The association between biomarkers and outcomes was evaluated by random survival forest and adjusted Cox regression. According to random survival forest or Cox regression analyses, the biomarkers most strongly and consistently associated with ischemic stroke/systemic embolism were matrix metalloproteinase-9, NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide), osteopontin, sortilin, soluble suppression of tumorigenesis 2, and trefoil factor-3. The corresponding hazard ratios (95% CIs) for an interquartile difference were as follows: 1.18 (1.00-1.38), 1.55 (1.28-1.88), 1.28 (1.07-1.53), 1.19 (1.02-1.39), 1.23 (1.05-1.45), and 1.19 (0.97-1.45), respectively. Conclusions In patients with AF, of 268 unique biomarkers, the 6 biomarkers most strongly associated with subsequent ischemic stroke/systemic embolism represent fibrosis/remodeling (matrix metalloproteinase-9 and soluble suppression of tumorigenesis 2), cardiac dysfunction (NT-proBNP), vascular calcification (osteopontin), metabolism (sortilin), and mucosal integrity/ischemia (trefoil factor-3). Registration URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique Identifiers: NCT00412984 and NCT00262600.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.018984DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7955358PMC
December 2020

Meta-analysis uncovers genome-wide significant variants for rapid kidney function decline.

Kidney Int 2021 04 31;99(4):926-939. Epub 2020 Oct 31.

Division of Nephrology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA; Kidney Research Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Rapid decline of glomerular filtration rate estimated from creatinine (eGFRcrea) is associated with severe clinical endpoints. In contrast to cross-sectionally assessed eGFRcrea, the genetic basis for rapid eGFRcrea decline is largely unknown. To help define this, we meta-analyzed 42 genome-wide association studies from the Chronic Kidney Diseases Genetics Consortium and United Kingdom Biobank to identify genetic loci for rapid eGFRcrea decline. Two definitions of eGFRcrea decline were used: 3 mL/min/1.73m/year or more ("Rapid3"; encompassing 34,874 cases, 107,090 controls) and eGFRcrea decline 25% or more and eGFRcrea under 60 mL/min/1.73m at follow-up among those with eGFRcrea 60 mL/min/1.73m or more at baseline ("CKDi25"; encompassing 19,901 cases, 175,244 controls). Seven independent variants were identified across six loci for Rapid3 and/or CKDi25: consisting of five variants at four loci with genome-wide significance (near UMOD-PDILT (2), PRKAG2, WDR72, OR2S2) and two variants among 265 known eGFRcrea variants (near GATM, LARP4B). All these loci were novel for Rapid3 and/or CKDi25 and our bioinformatic follow-up prioritized variants and genes underneath these loci. The OR2S2 locus is novel for any eGFRcrea trait including interesting candidates. For the five genome-wide significant lead variants, we found supporting effects for annual change in blood urea nitrogen or cystatin-based eGFR, but not for GATM or LARP4B. Individuals at high compared to those at low genetic risk (8-14 vs. 0-5 adverse alleles) had a 1.20-fold increased risk of acute kidney injury (95% confidence interval 1.08-1.33). Thus, our identified loci for rapid kidney function decline may help prioritize therapeutic targets and identify mechanisms and individuals at risk for sustained deterioration of kidney function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2020.09.030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010357PMC
April 2021

Genomic and drug target evaluation of 90 cardiovascular proteins in 30,931 individuals.

Nat Metab 2020 10 16;2(10):1135-1148. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

SCALLOP consortium.

Circulating proteins are vital in human health and disease and are frequently used as biomarkers for clinical decision-making or as targets for pharmacological intervention. Here, we map and replicate protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) for 90 cardiovascular proteins in over 30,000 individuals, resulting in 451 pQTLs for 85 proteins. For each protein, we further perform pathway mapping to obtain trans-pQTL gene and regulatory designations. We substantiate these regulatory findings with orthogonal evidence for trans-pQTLs using mouse knockdown experiments (ABCA1 and TRIB1) and clinical trial results (chemokine receptors CCR2 and CCR5), with consistent regulation. Finally, we evaluate known drug targets, and suggest new target candidates or repositioning opportunities using Mendelian randomization. This identifies 11 proteins with causal evidence of involvement in human disease that have not previously been targeted, including EGF, IL-16, PAPPA, SPON1, F3, ADM, CASP-8, CHI3L1, CXCL16, GDF15 and MMP-12. Taken together, these findings demonstrate the utility of large-scale mapping of the genetics of the proteome and provide a resource for future precision studies of circulating proteins in human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42255-020-00287-2DOI Listing
October 2020

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) levels in relation to risk factors for COVID-19 in two large cohorts of patients with atrial fibrillation.

Eur Heart J 2020 11;41(41):4037-4046

Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Aims: The global COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus entering human cells using angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a cell surface receptor. ACE2 is shed to the circulation, and a higher plasma level of soluble ACE2 (sACE2) might reflect a higher cellular expression of ACE2. The present study explored the associations between sACE2 and clinical factors, cardiovascular biomarkers, and genetic variability.

Methods And Results: Plasma and DNA samples were obtained from two international cohorts of elderly patients with atrial fibrillation (n = 3999 and n = 1088). The sACE2 protein level was measured by the Olink Proteomics® Multiplex CVD II96 × 96 panel. Levels of the biomarkers high-sensitive cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT), N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15), C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, D-dimer, and cystatin-C were determined by immunoassays. Genome-wide association studies were performed by Illumina chips. Higher levels of sACE2 were statistically significantly associated with male sex, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and older age. The sACE2 level was most strongly associated with the levels of GDF-15, NT-proBNP, and hs-cTnT. When adjusting for these biomarkers, only male sex remained associated with sACE2. We found no statistically significant genetic regulation of the sACE2 level.

Conclusions: Male sex and clinical or biomarker indicators of biological ageing, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are associated with higher sACE2 levels. The levels of GDF-15 and NT-proBNP, which are associated both with the sACE2 level and a higher risk for mortality and cardiovascular disease, might contribute to better identification of risk for severe COVID-19 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa697DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7543499PMC
November 2020

Premature permanent discontinuation of apixaban or warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Heart 2021 May 16;107(9):713-720. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Aims: The ARISTOTLE (Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation) trial randomised patients with atrial fibrillation at risk of stroke to apixaban or warfarin. We sought to describe patients from ARISTOTLE who prematurely permanently discontinued study drug.

Methods/results: We performed a posthoc analysis of patients from ARISTOTLE who prematurely permanently discontinued study drug during the study or follow-up period. Discontinuation rates and reasons for discontinuation were described. Death, thromboembolism (stroke, transient ischaemic attack, systemic embolism), myocardial infarction and major bleeding rates were stratified by ≤30 days or >30 days after discontinuation. A total of 4063/18 140 (22.4%) patients discontinued study drug at a median of 7.3 (2.2, 15.2) months after randomisation. Patients with discontinuation were more likely to be female and had a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal impairment and anaemia. Premature permanent discontinuation was more common in those randomised to warfarin than apixaban (23.4% vs 21.4%; p=0.002). The most common reasons for discontinuation were patient request (46.1%) and adverse event (34.9%), with no significant difference between treatment groups. The cumulative incidence of clinical events ≤30 days after premature permanent discontinuation for all-cause death, thromboembolism, myocardial infarction, and major bleeding was 5.8%, 2.6%, 0.9%, and 3.0%, respectively. No significant difference was seen between treatment groups with respect to clinical outcomes after discontinuation.

Conclusion: Premature permanent discontinuation of study drug in ARISTOTLE was common, less frequent in patients receiving apixaban than warfarin and was followed by high 30-day rates of death, thromboembolism and major bleeding. Initiatives are needed to reduce discontinuation of oral anticoagulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2020-317229DOI Listing
May 2021

Evaluation of the Age, Biomarkers, and Clinical History-Bleeding Risk Score in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation With Combined Aspirin and Anticoagulation Therapy Enrolled in the ARISTOTLE and RE-LY Trials.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 09 1;3(9):e2015943. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Department of Medical Sciences, Cardiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Importance: Most patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and coronary artery disease have indications for preventing stroke with oral anticoagulation therapy and preventing myocardial infarction and stent thrombosis with platelet inhibition.

Objective: To evaluate whether the recently developed ABC (age, biomarkers, and clinical history)-bleeding risk score might be useful to identify patients with AF with different risks of bleeding during concomitant aspirin and anticoagulation therapy.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The biomarkers in the ABC-bleeding risk score (growth differentiation factor 15, hemoglobin, and troponin) were measured in blood samples collected at randomization between 2006 and 2010 in the ARISTOTLE (Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation) trial and between 2005 and 2009 in the RE-LY (Randomized Evaluation of Long-term Anticoagulation Therapy) trial, both of which were multinational randomized clinical trials. The trials were reported 2011 and 2009, respectively. A total of 24 349 patients with AF (14 980 patients from the ARISTOTLE trial and 9369 patients from the RE-LY trial) were analyzed in the present cohort study. The median (interquartile range) length of follow-up was 1.8 (1.3-2.3) years in the ARISTOTLE cohort and 2.0 (1.6-2.3) years in the RE-LY cohort. Data analysis was performed from February 2018 to June 2019.

Exposures: Concomitant aspirin treatment during study follow-up.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Time to first occurrence of a major bleeding was determined according to International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis definition. Hazard ratios were estimated with Cox models adjusted for ABC-bleeding risk score and randomized treatment.

Results: The median (interquartile range) age was 70 (63-76) years in the ARISTOTLE cohort and 72 (67-77) years in the RE-LY cohort (5238 patients [35.6%] in the ARISTOTLE cohort and 3086 patients [36.4%] in the RE-LY cohort were women). The total number of patients with a first major bleeding event was 651 (207 with aspirin and 444 without) in ARISTOTLE and 463 (238 with aspirin and 225 without) in RE-LY. For both cohorts, in those with a low ABC-bleeding risk score, the absolute bleeding rate was low even with concomitant aspirin treatment, whereas in those with a higher ABC-bleeding risk score, the rate of bleeding was higher with concomitant aspirin compared with oral anticoagulation alone (ARISTOTLE, hazard ratio, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.40-1.95; P < .001; RE-LY, hazard ratio, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.42-2.04; P < .001). Thus, a low annual ABC-bleeding risk (eg, 0.5% without aspirin use) would with concomitant aspirin result in an annual rate of 0.8%, and a high estimated ABC-bleeding risk (eg, 3.0%) would result in a substantially higher rate of 5.0%.

Conclusions And Relevance: These findings suggest that the ABC-bleeding risk score identifies patients with different risks of bleeding when combining aspirin and oral anticoagulation. The ABC-bleeding risk score may, therefore, be a useful tool for decision support concerning intensity and duration of combination antithrombotic treatment in patients with AF and coronary artery disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.15943DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7495236PMC
September 2020

Association of Different Estimates of Renal Function With Cardiovascular Mortality and Bleeding in Atrial Fibrillation.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 09 31;9(18):e017155. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

Department of Medical Sciences Cardiology Uppsala University Uppsala Sweden.

Background We compared different methods of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and their association with cardiovascular death and major bleeding in 14 980 patients with atrial fibrillation in the ARISTOTLE (Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation) trial. Methods and Results eGFR was calculated using equations based on creatinine (Cockcroft-Gault, Modification of Diet in Renal Disease, and Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration [CKD-EPI]) and/or cystatin C (CKD-EPI and CKD-EPI). These 5 eGFR equations, as well as the individual variables that are used in these equations, were assessed for correlation and discriminatory ability for cardiovascular death and major bleeding. The median age was 70.0 years, and 35.6% were women. The median eGFR was highest with Cockcroft-Gault (74.1 mL/min) and CKD-EPI (74.2 mL/min), and lowest with Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (66.5 mL/min). Correlation between methods ranged from 0.49 (Cockroft-Gault and CKD-EPI) to 0.99 (Modification of Diet in Renal Disease and CKD-EPI). Among the eGFR equations, those based on cystatin C yielded the highest C indices for cardiovascular death and major bleeding: 0.628 (CKD-EPI) and 0.612 (CKD-EPI), respectively. A model based on the variables within the different eGFR equations (age, sex, weight, creatinine, and cystatin C) yielded the highest discriminatory value for both outcomes, with a C index of 0.673 and 0.656, respectively. Conclusions In patients with atrial fibrillation on anticoagulation, correlation between eGFR calculated using different methods varied substantially. Cystatin C-based eGFRs seem to provide the most robust information for predicting death and bleeding. A model based on the individual variables within the eGFR equations, however, provided the highest discriminatory value. Our findings may help refine risk stratification in patients with atrial fibrillation and define how renal function should be determined in future atrial fibrillation studies. Registration URL: https://www.clini​caltr​ials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT00412984.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.017155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7726979PMC
September 2020

European Society of Cardiology methodology for the development of quality indicators for the quantification of cardiovascular care and outcomes.

Eur Heart J Qual Care Clin Outcomes 2020 Aug 26. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK; Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, University of Leeds, UK; Department of Cardiology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK.

Aims: It is increasingly recognised that tools are required for assessing and benchmarking quality of care in order to improve it. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) is developing a suite of quality indicators (QIs) to evaluate cardiovascular care and support the delivery of evidence-based care. This paper describes the methodology used for their development.

Methods And Results: We propose a four-step process for the development of the ESC QIs. For a specific clinical area with a gap in care delivery, the QI development process includes: 1) the identification of key domains of care by constructing a conceptual framework of care; 2) the construction of candidate QIs by conducting a systematic review of the literature; 3) the selection of a final set of QIs by obtaining expert opinions using the modified Delphi method; and 4) the undertaking of a feasibility assessment by evaluating different ways of defining the QI specifications for the proposed data collection source. For each of the four steps, key methodological areas need to be addressed to inform the implementation process and avoid misinterpretation of the measurement results.

Conclusion: Detailing the methodology for the ESC QIs construction enables healthcare providers to develop valid and feasible metrics to measure and improve the quality of cardiovascular care. As such, high-quality evidence may be translated into clinical practice and the 'evidence-practice' gap closed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehjqcco/qcaa069DOI Listing
August 2020

Legumain in Acute Coronary Syndromes: A Substudy of the PLATO (Platelet Inhibition and Patient Outcomes) Trial.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 09 15;9(17):e016360. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Research Institute for Internal Medicine Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet Oslo Norway.

Background The cysteine protease legumain is increased in patients with atherosclerosis, but its causal role in atherogenesis and cardiovascular disease is still unclear. The aim of the study was to investigate the association of legumain with clinical outcome in a large cohort of patients with acute coronary syndrome. Methods and Results Serum levels of legumain were analyzed in 4883 patients with acute coronary syndrome from a substudy of the PLATO (Platelet Inhibition and Patient Outcomes) trial. Levels were analyzed at admission and after 1 month follow-up. Associations between legumain and a composite of cardiovascular death, spontaneous myocardial infarction or stroke, and its individual components were assessed by multivariable Cox regression analyses. At baseline, a 50% increase in legumain level was associated with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.13 (95% CI, 1.04-1.21), =0.0018, for the primary composite end point, adjusted for randomized treatment. The association remained significant after adjustment for important clinical and demographic variables (HR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.02-1.19; =0.013) but not in the fully adjusted model. Legumain levels at 1 month were not associated with the composite end point but were negatively associated with stroke (HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.44-0.88; =0.0069), including in the fully adjusted model (HR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.37-0.88; =0.0114). Conclusions Baseline legumain was associated with the primary outcome in patients with acute coronary syndrome, but not in the fully adjusted model. The association between high levels of legumain at 1 month and decreased occurrence of stroke could be of interest from a mechanistic point of view, illustrating the potential dual role of legumain during atherogenesis and acute coronary syndrome. Registration URL: https://www.clini​caltr​ials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT00391872.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.016360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7660754PMC
September 2020

Extracellular vesicles in atrial fibrillation and stroke.

Thromb Res 2020 09 15;193:180-189. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Chemistry, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address:

Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with a 5-fold increased risk of thromboembolic stroke. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) convey pathophysiological information and are possible biomarkers for risk of stroke.

Methods: EVs were measured in 836 patients with AF (of which 280 were stroke cases) selected from the ARISTOTLE trial and in a cohort of unselected 70 year old individuals (n = 1007, reference material). EVs from platelets, leukocytes, erythrocytes and inflammatory endothelial cells were measured using flow cytometry and a solid-phase proximity ligation assay.

Results: Concentrations of EVs were higher in the ARISTOTLE patients than in the PIVUS cohort for all the EV groups except EVs from endothelial cells (p < 0.0001). The distributions of the concentrations of the EVs were similar among the control group and the stroke cases for all of the sources of EVs in the ARISTOTLE study. EVs were modestly correlated with the levels of NT-ProBNP, Cystatin C, GDF-15 and D-dimer. Stronger correlations were found for platelet EVs as well as phosphatidyl serine positive EVs that were correlated with CD40 ligand in the ARISTOTLE study. Leukocyte EVs were correlated with IL-6 in both the ARISTOTLE and the PIVUS study, implicating them in different physiological processes.

Conclusions: Higher levels of EVs were found in anticoagulated patients with AF and a higher risk of stroke than in a general population of similar age, possibly due to the high disease burden in AF patients. Our data with EVs representing a broad repertoire of activated blood cells in AF patients suggest that EVs are likely not a key mediator of occurrence of stroke in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2020.07.029DOI Listing
September 2020

Association of Factor V Leiden With Subsequent Atherothrombotic Events: A GENIUS-CHD Study of Individual Participant Data.

Circulation 2020 Aug 13;142(6):546-555. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Department of Cardiology, Division Heart and Lungs (V.T., A.F.S., J.v.S., A.O.K., F.W.A.), UMC Utrecht, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Background: Studies examining the role of factor V Leiden among patients at higher risk of atherothrombotic events, such as those with established coronary heart disease (CHD), are lacking. Given that coagulation is involved in the thrombus formation stage on atherosclerotic plaque rupture, we hypothesized that factor V Leiden may be a stronger risk factor for atherothrombotic events in patients with established CHD.

Methods: We performed an individual-level meta-analysis including 25 prospective studies (18 cohorts, 3 case-cohorts, 4 randomized trials) from the GENIUS-CHD (Genetics of Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease) consortium involving patients with established CHD at baseline. Participating studies genotyped factor V Leiden status and shared risk estimates for the outcomes of interest using a centrally developed statistical code with harmonized definitions across studies. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to obtain age- and sex-adjusted estimates. The obtained estimates were pooled using fixed-effect meta-analysis. The primary outcome was composite of myocardial infarction and CHD death. Secondary outcomes included any stroke, ischemic stroke, coronary revascularization, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality.

Results: The studies included 69 681 individuals of whom 3190 (4.6%) were either heterozygous or homozygous (n=47) carriers of factor V Leiden. Median follow-up per study ranged from 1.0 to 10.6 years. A total of 20 studies with 61 147 participants and 6849 events contributed to analyses of the primary outcome. Factor V Leiden was not associated with the combined outcome of myocardial infarction and CHD death (hazard ratio, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.92-1.16]; =28%; -heterogeneity=0.12). Subgroup analysis according to baseline characteristics or strata of traditional cardiovascular risk factors did not show relevant differences. Similarly, risk estimates for the secondary outcomes including stroke, coronary revascularization, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality were also close to identity.

Conclusions: Factor V Leiden was not associated with increased risk of subsequent atherothrombotic events and mortality in high-risk participants with established and treated CHD. Routine assessment of factor V Leiden status is unlikely to improve atherothrombotic events risk stratification in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.045526DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7493828PMC
August 2020

Post-Discharge Bleeding and Mortality Following Acute Coronary Syndromes With or Without PCI.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2020 07;76(2):162-171

Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina; Division of Cardiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina. Electronic address:

Background: The long-term prognostic impact of post-discharge bleeding in the unique population of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) treated without percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) remains unexplored.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the association between post-discharge bleeding and subsequent mortality after ACS according to index strategy (PCI or no PCI) and to contrast with the association between post-discharge myocardial infarction (MI) and subsequent mortality.

Methods: In a harmonized dataset of 4 multicenter randomized trials (APPRAISE-2 [Apixaban for Prevention of Acute Ischemic Events-2], PLATO [Study of Platelet Inhibition and Patient Outcomes], TRACER [Thrombin Receptor Antagonist for Clinical Event Reduction in Acute Coronary Syndrome], and TRILOGY ACS [Platelet Inhibition to Clarify the Optimal Strategy to Medically Manage Acute Coronary Syndromes]), the association between post-discharge noncoronary artery bypass graft-related GUSTO (Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Coronary Arteries) moderate, severe, or life-threatening bleeding (landmark 7 days post-ACS) and subsequent all-cause mortality was evaluated in a time-updated Cox proportional hazards analysis. Interaction with index treatment strategy was assessed. Results were contrasted with risk for mortality following post-discharge MI.

Results: Among 45,011 participants, 1,133 experienced post-discharge bleeding events (2.6 per 100 patient-years), and 2,149 died during follow-up. The risk for mortality was significantly higher <30 days (adjusted hazard ratio: 15.7; 95% confidence interval: 12.3 to 20.0) and 30 days to 12 months (adjusted hazard ratio: 2.7; 95% confidence interval: 2.1 to 3.4) after bleeding, and this association was consistent in participants treated with or without PCI for their index ACS (p for interaction = 0.240). The time-related association between post-discharge bleeding and mortality was similar to the association between MI and subsequent mortality in participants treated with and without PCI (p for interaction = 0.696).

Conclusions: Post-discharge bleeding after ACS is associated with a similar increase in subsequent all-cause mortality in participants treated with or without PCI and has an equivalent prognostic impact as post-discharge MI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.05.031DOI Listing
July 2020

Next-Generation Sequencing of CYP2C19 in Stent Thrombosis: Implications for Clopidogrel Pharmacogenomics.

Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 2021 Jun;35(3):549-559

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.

Purpose: Describe CYP2C19 sequencing results in the largest series of clopidogrel-treated cases with stent thrombosis (ST), the closest clinical phenotype to clopidogrel resistance. Evaluate the impact of CYP2C19 genetic variation detected by next-generation sequencing (NGS) with comprehensive annotation and functional studies.

Methods: Seventy ST cases on clopidogrel identified from the PLATO trial (n = 58) and Mayo Clinic biorepository (n = 12) were matched 1:1 with controls for age, race, sex, diabetes mellitus, presentation, and stent type. NGS was performed to cover the entire CYP2C19 gene. Assessment of exonic variants involved measuring in vitro protein expression levels. Intronic variants were evaluated for potential splicing motif variations.

Results: Poor metabolizers (n = 4) and rare CYP2C19*8, CYP2C19*15, and CYP2C19*11 alleles were identified only in ST cases. CYP2C19*17 heterozygote carriers were observed more frequently in cases (n = 29) than controls (n = 18). Functional studies of CYP2C19 exonic variants (n = 11) revealed 3 cases and only 1 control carrying a deleterious variant as determined by in vitro protein expression studies. Greater intronic variation unique to ST cases (n = 169) compared with controls (n = 84) was observed with predictions revealing 13 allele candidates that may lead to a potential disruption of splicing and a loss-of-function effect of CYP2C19 in ST cases.

Conclusion: NGS detected CYP2C19 poor metabolizers and paradoxically greater number of so-called rapid metabolizers in ST cases. Rare deleterious exonic variation occurs in 4%, and potentially disruptive intronic alleles occur in 16% of ST cases. Additional studies are required to evaluate the role of these variants in platelet aggregation and clopidogrel metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10557-020-06988-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7779664PMC
June 2021

Serial measurement of interleukin-6 and risk of mortality in anticoagulated patients with atrial fibrillation: Insights from ARISTOTLE and RE-LY trials.

J Thromb Haemost 2020 09 1;18(9):2287-2295. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

Department of Medical Sciences, Cardiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: The inflammatory biomarker interleukin-6 (IL-6) is associated with mortality in atrial fibrillation (AF).

Objective: To investigate if repeated IL-6 measurements improve the prognostication for stroke or systemic embolism, major bleeding, and mortality in anticoagulated patients with AF.

Methods: IL-6 levels by ELISA were measured at study entry and at 2 months in 4830 patients in the Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation (ARISTOTLE) trial with 1.8 years median follow-up. In the Randomized Evaluation of Long-Term Anticoagulation Therapy (RE-LY) trial, IL-6 was measured at study entry, 3, 6, and 12 months in 2559 patients with 2.0 years median follow-up. Associations between a second IL-6 measurement and outcomes, adjusted for baseline IL-6, clinical variables, and other cardiovascular biomarkers, were analyzed by Cox regression.

Results: Median IL-6 levels were 2.0 ng/L (interquartile range [IQR] 1.30-3.20) and 2.10 ng/L (IQR 1.40-3.40) at the two time-points in ARISTOTLE, and, in RE-LY, 2.5 ng/L (IQR 1.6-4.3), 2.5 ng/L (IQR 1.6-4.2), 2.4 ng/L (IQR 1.6, 3.9), and 2.4 ng/L (IQR 1.5, 3.9), respectively. IL-6 was associated with mortality; hazard ratios per 50% higher IL-6 at 2 or 3 months, respectively, were 1.32 (95% confidence interval, 1.23-1.41; P < .0001) in ARISTOTLE, and 1.11 (1.01-1.22, P = .0290) in RE-LY; with improved C index from 0.74 to 0.76 in ARISTOTLE, but not in the smaller RE-LY cohort. There were no consistent associations with second IL-6 and stroke or systemic embolism, or major bleeding.

Conclusions: Persistent systemic inflammatory activity, assessed by repeated IL-6 measurements, is associated with mortality independent of established clinical risk factors and other strong cardiovascular biomarkers in anticoagulated patients with AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.14947DOI Listing
September 2020

In patients with stable coronary heart disease, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels < 70 mg/dL and glycosylated hemoglobin A1c < 7% are associated with lower major cardiovascular events.

Am Heart J 2020 07 18;225:97-107. Epub 2020 Apr 18.

Department of Medical Sciences, Cardiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: In patients with stable coronary heart disease, it is not known whether achievement of standard of care (SOC) targets in addition to evidence-based medicine (EBM) is associated with lower major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE): cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke.

Methods: EBM use was recommended in the STabilisation of Atherosclerotic plaque By Initiation of darapLadIb TherapY trial. SOC targets were blood pressure (BP) <140/90 mm Hg and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) <100 mg/dL and <70 mg/dL. In patients with diabetes, glycosylated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) < 7% and BP of <130/80 mm Hg were recommended. Feedback to investigators about rates of EBM and SOC was provided regularly.

Results: In 13,623 patients, 1-year landmark analysis assessed the association between EBM, SOC targets, and MACE during follow-up of 2.7 years (median) after adjustment in a Cox proportional hazards model. At 1 year, aspirin was prescribed in 92.5% of patients, statins in 97.2%, β-blockers in 79.0%, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin-II receptor blockers in 76.9%. MACE was lower with LDL-C < 100 mg/dL (70-99 mg/dL) compared with LDL-C ≥ 100 mg/dL (hazard ratio [HR] 0.694, 95% CI 0.594-0.811) and lower with LDL-C < 70 mg/dL compared with LDL-C < 100 mg/dL (70-99 mg/dL) (HR 0.834, 95% CI 0.708-0.983). MACE was lower with HbA1c < 7% compared with HbA1c ≥ 7% (HR 0.705, 95% CI 0.573-0.866). There was no effect of BP targets on MACE.

Conclusions: MACE was lower with LDL-C < 100 mg/dL (70-99 mg/dL) and even lower with LDL-C < 70 mg/dL. MACE in patients with diabetes was lower with HbA1c < 7%. Achievement of targets is associated with improved patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2020.04.004DOI Listing
July 2020

Comparative Efficacy and Safety of Oral P2Y Inhibitors in Acute Coronary Syndrome: Network Meta-Analysis of 52 816 Patients From 12 Randomized Trials.

Circulation 2020 Jul 29;142(2):150-160. Epub 2020 May 29.

Department of Medical Sciences and Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden (S.B., L.W., S.J.).

Background: New randomized, controlled trials have become available on oral P2Y inhibitors in acute coronary syndrome. We aimed to evaluate current evidence comparing the efficacy and safety profile of prasugrel, ticagrelor, and clopidogrel in acute coronary syndrome by a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Methods: We performed a network meta-analysis and direct pairwise comparison analysis of efficacy and safety outcomes from 12 randomized controlled trials including a total of 52 816 patients with acute coronary syndrome.

Results: In comparison with clopidogrel, ticagrelor significantly reduced cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.82 [95% CI, 0.72-0.92]) and all-cause mortality (HR, 0.83 [95% CI, 0.75-0.92]), whereas there was no statistically significant mortality reduction with prasugrel (HR, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.80-1.01] and HR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.84-1.02], respectively). In comparison with each other, there were no significant differences in mortality (HR prasugrel versus ticagrelor, 1.10 [95% CI, 0.94-1.29] and 1.12 [95% CI, 0.98-1.28]). In comparison with clopidogrel, prasugrel reduced myocardial infarction (HR, 0.81 [95% CI, 0.67-0.98]), whereas ticagrelor showed no risk reduction (HR, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.78-1.22]). Differences between prasugrel and ticagrelor were not statistically significant. Stent thrombosis risk was significantly reduced by both ticagrelor and prasugrel versus clopidogrel (28%-50% range of reduction). In comparison with clopidogrel, both prasugrel (HR, 1.26 [95% CI, 1.01-1.56]) and ticagrelor (HR, 1.27 [95% CI, 1.04-1.55]) significantly increased major bleeding. There were no significant differences between prasugrel and ticagrelor for all outcomes explored.

Conclusions: Prasugrel and ticagrelor reduced ischemic events and increased bleeding in comparison with clopidogrel. A significant mortality reduction was observed with ticagrelor only. There was no efficacy and safety difference between prasugrel and ticagrelor. Registration: URL: https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/; Unique identifier: CRD42019155648.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.046786DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7489363PMC
July 2020