Publications by authors named "Marcus E Kleber"

216 Publications

Meta-GWAS of PCSK9 levels detects two novel loci at APOB and TM6SF2.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Sep 30. Epub 2021 Sep 30.

Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology, Medical Faculty, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Background: Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) is a key player in lipid metabolism, as it degrades LDL receptors from hepatic cell membranes. So far, only variants of the PCSK9 gene locus were found to be associated with PCSK9 levels. Here we aimed to identify novel genetic loci that regulate PCSK9 levels and how they relate to other lipid traits. Additionally, we investigated to what extend the causal effect of PCSK9 on coronary artery disease (CAD) is mediated by LDL-C.

Methods & Results: We performed a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of PCSK9 levels in up to 12,721 samples of European ancestry. The estimated heritability was 10.3%, which increased to 12.6% using only samples from patients without statin treatment. We successfully replicated the known PCSK9 hit consisting of three independent signals. Interestingly, in a study of 300 African Americans, we confirmed the locus with a different PCSK9 variant. Beyond PCSK9, our meta-analysis detected three novel loci with genome-wide significance. Co-localization analysis with cis-eQTLs and lipid traits revealed biologically plausible candidate genes at two of them: APOB and TM6SF2. In a bivariate Mendelian Randomization analysis, we detected a strong effect of PCSK9 on LDL-C, but not vice versa. LDL-C mediated 63% of the total causal effect of PCSK9 on CAD.

Conclusion: Our study identified novel genetic loci with plausible candidate genes affecting PCSK9 levels. Ethnic heterogeneity was observed at the PCSK9 locus itself. While the causal effect of PCSK9 on CAD is mainly mediated by LDL-C, an independent direct effect also occurs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab279DOI Listing
September 2021

Combined Use of Serum Uromodulin and eGFR to Estimate Mortality Risk.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021 8;8:723546. Epub 2021 Sep 8.

Vth Department of Medicine (Nephrology, Hypertensiology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Diabetology), Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.

Serum uromodulin (sUmod) shows a strong direct correlation with eGFR in patients with impaired kidney function and an inverse association with mortality. However, there are patients in whom only one of both markers is decreased. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effect of marker discordance on mortality risk. sUmod and eGFR were available in 3,057 participants of the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health study and 529 participants of the VIVIT study. Both studies are monocentric prospective studies of patients that had been referred for coronary angiography. Participants were categorized into four groups according to the median values of sUmod (LURIC: 146 ng/ml, VIVIT: 156) and eGFR (LURIC: 84 ml/min/1.73 m, VIVIT: 87). In 945 LURIC participants both markers were high (UHGH), in 935 both were low (ULGL), in 589 only eGFR (UHGL), and in 582 only sUmod (ULGH) was low. After balancing the groups for cardiovascular risk factors, hazard ratios (95%CI) for all-cause mortality as compared to UHGH were 2.03 (1.63-2.52), 1.43 (1.13-1.81), and 1.32 (1.03-1.69) for ULGL, UHGL, and ULGH, respectively. In VIVIT, HRs were 3.12 (1.38-7.08), 2.38 (1.01-5.61), and 2.06 (0.81-5.22). Adding uromodulin to risk prediction models that already included eGFR as a covariate slightly increased the Harrell's C and significantly improved the AUC in LURIC. In UHGL patients, hypertension, heart failure and upregulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system seem to be the driving forces of disease development, whereas in ULGH patients metabolic disturbances might be key drivers of increased mortality. In conclusion, SUmod/eGFR subgroups mirror distinct metabolic and clinical patterns. Assessing sUmod additionally to creatinine or cystatin C has the potential to allow a more precise risk modeling and might improve risk stratification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.723546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8455921PMC
September 2021

rs41291957 controls miR-143 and miR-145 expression and impacts coronary artery disease risk.

EMBO Mol Med 2021 10 22;13(10):e14060. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Humanitas Research Hospital-IRCCS, Rozzano, Italy.

The role of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the etiopathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases is well known. The effect of SNPs on disease predisposition has been established not only for protein coding genes but also for genes encoding microRNAs (miRNAs). The miR-143/145 cluster is smooth muscle cell-specific and implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Whether SNPs within the genomic sequence of the miR-143/145 cluster are involved in cardiovascular disease development is not known. We thus searched annotated sequence databases for possible SNPs associated with miR-143/145. We identified one SNP, rs41291957 (G > A), located -91 bp from the mature miR-143 sequence, as the nearest genetic variation to this miRNA cluster, with a minor allele frequency > 10%. In silico and in vitro approaches determined that rs41291957 (A) upregulates miR-143 and miR-145, modulating phenotypic switching of vascular smooth cells towards a differentiated/contractile phenotype. Finally, we analysed association between rs41291957 and CAD in two cohorts of patients, finding that the SNP was a protective factor. In conclusion, our study links a genetic variation to a pathological outcome through involvement of miRNAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/emmm.202114060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8495461PMC
October 2021

The genomics of heart failure: design and rationale of the HERMES consortium.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Sep 3. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Aims: The HERMES (HEart failure Molecular Epidemiology for Therapeutic targetS) consortium aims to identify the genomic and molecular basis of heart failure.

Methods And Results: The consortium currently includes 51 studies from 11 countries, including 68 157 heart failure cases and 949 888 controls, with data on heart failure events and prognosis. All studies collected biological samples and performed genome-wide genotyping of common genetic variants. The enrolment of subjects into participating studies ranged from 1948 to the present day, and the median follow-up following heart failure diagnosis ranged from 2 to 116 months. Forty-nine of 51 individual studies enrolled participants of both sexes; in these studies, participants with heart failure were predominantly male (34-90%). The mean age at diagnosis or ascertainment across all studies ranged from 54 to 84 years. Based on the aggregate sample, we estimated 80% power to genetic variant associations with risk of heart failure with an odds ratio of ≥1.10 for common variants (allele frequency ≥ 0.05) and ≥1.20 for low-frequency variants (allele frequency 0.01-0.05) at P < 5 × 10 under an additive genetic model.

Conclusions: HERMES is a global collaboration aiming to (i) identify the genetic determinants of heart failure; (ii) generate insights into the causal pathways leading to heart failure and enable genetic approaches to target prioritization; and (iii) develop genomic tools for disease stratification and risk prediction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13517DOI Listing
September 2021

Anemia of Chronic Disease in Patients With Cardiovascular Disease.

Front Cardiovasc Med 2021 12;8:666638. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Department of Internal Medicine II, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Anemia is often found in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) or acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and related to disease severity. Our study investigated the relationship between anemia, iron homeostasis and inflammation in CAD and examined their influence on the outcome of patients. Markers of immune activation (neopterin, interleukin [IL]-12, IL-6, high sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP), fibrinogen, serum amyloid A [SAA]) and iron metabolism (ferritin, transferrin saturation, hemoglobin) were determined in 2,082 patients (68.7 % men, median age 63 years) from the Ludwigshafen Risk and cardiovascular Health (LURIC) cohort. Patients were followed-up for a median of 9.81 years. 960 patients (46.1 %) presented with chronic CAD, 645 patients (31.0 %) had an ACS, and 477 patients (22.9 %) presented with no CAD in coronary angiography (CAG). Anemia ( = 357, 17.1 %) was associated with disease severity (reflected by more progressed stenosis in CAG, CCS, and NYHA classes, and a lower LV-EF), a higher cardio-cerebrovascular event rate and higher levels of inflammatory markers. Interestingly, anemia was only predictive for an adverse outcome in patients with elevated inflammatory markers. Accordingly, anemia of chronic disease (ACD) was associated with a higher cardio-cerebrovascular event-rate in the subsequent 2 years as compared to patients with other types of anemia or without anemia (14.3 vs. 6.1 vs. 4.0%, < 0.001). This study confirms that anemia and immune activation are strongly related to cardiovascular disease progression and an adverse outcome. Our data suggest that the association of anemia with disease severity and outcome might mainly be due to underlying inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2021.666638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8387678PMC
August 2021

Alcohol consumption and mortality: The Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) study.

Atherosclerosis 2021 10 12;335:119-125. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany; Competence Cluster for Nutrition and Cardiovascular Health (nutriCARD) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: One of the most important risk factors for morbidity and mortality is the consumption of alcohol. The aim of our study was to examine the effect of alcohol consumption on all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality.

Methods: The Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) study includes 3316 patients hospitalized for coronary angiography at a tertiary care centre in Southwest Germany. Patients were followed-up for a median of 9.9 (range 0.1-11.9 years) years. Total mortality number in the follow-up period was 995, and the number of incident cases, i.e. cardiovascular death, was 622. Information on alcohol consumption assessed by self-report questionnaires was used to calculate intake in grams of ethanol per day. Associations of alcohol consumption with morbidity and mortality were analysed using Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results: We found significantly increased mortality for patients in the highest alcohol intake group age- and sex-adjusted (hazard ratio of 1.59 (95%CI, 0.93-2.72)) and a reduced risk for the group of low-volume drinkers (hazard ratio of 0.75 (95%CI, 0.65-0.86)). After adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors, the risk difference between abstainers and low-volume drinkers was not significant anymore.

Conclusions: In the LURIC study, the risk of overall mortality and cardiovascular mortality is significantly increased in study participants with very high alcohol consumption and slightly increased in total abstainers as compared to participants with low consumption in unadjusted analysis, replicating the well-known J-curve. Adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors rendered the risk decrease observed for low-volume drinkers insignificant. Therefore, our results do not show a significant health benefit of low-volume alcohol consumption in a cohort of patients at medium-to-high cardiovascular risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.08.014DOI Listing
October 2021

Surrogate scores of advanced fibrosis in NAFLD/NASH do not predict mortality in patients with medium-to-high cardiovascular risk.

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2021 09 16;321(4):G252-G261. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Clinical Cooperation Unit Healthy Metabolism, Center for Preventive Medicine and Digital Health Baden-Württemberg (CPDBW), Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Untreated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) may have significant consequences including an increase in mortality and cardiovascular injury. Thus, early detection of NAFLD is currently believed not only to prevent liver-related but also cardiovascular mortality. However, almost nothing is known about coexisting NAFLD in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). We investigated the impact of surrogate scores of fibrosis in NAFLD in a large cohort of patients referred to coronary angiography. Modeling the common NALFD and fibrosis scores, fibrosis-4 index (FIB-4) and NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS), as splines revealed significant associations with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality when Cox regression models were only adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors that were not already included in the calculation of the scores. Stratifying the scores into quartiles yielded hazard ratios [95% confidence interval (CI)] for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality for the 4th quartile versus the 1st quartile of 2.28 (1.90-2.75) and 2.11 (1.67-2.67) for FIB-4 and of 3.21 (2.61-3.94) and 3.12 (2.41-4.04) for NFS. However, we did not observe an independent association of FIB-4 or NFS with overall or cardiovascular mortality in our prospective CAD cohort after full adjustment for all cardiovascular risk factors [all-cause mortality: HR 1.13 (0.904-1.41) and 1.17 (0.903-1.52); cardiovascular mortality: HR 1.06 (0.8-1.41) and 1.02 (0.738-1.41)]. Thus, neither FIB-4 nor NFS, as surrogate markers for NAFLD/NASH, were independent risk factors for overall or cardiovascular mortality in patients with CAD. Our data show that surrogate risk scores for NAFLD-related fibrosis do not add information in assessing the CVD events in patients with CAD proven by angiography. We investigated the impact of NAFLD surrogate markers in a large cohort of patients that had been referred to coronary angiography. In contrast to a repeatedly demonstrated increased link of cardiovascular events in patients with NALFD, we demonstrated that NAFLD surrogate markers were not independent risk factors for overall or cardiovascular mortality in patients with CAD. Thus, these markers may not be useful for primary prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with CAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpgi.00058.2021DOI Listing
September 2021

The trans-ancestral genomic architecture of glycemic traits.

Nat Genet 2021 06 31;53(6):840-860. Epub 2021 May 31.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Glycemic traits are used to diagnose and monitor type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic health. To date, most genetic studies of glycemic traits have focused on individuals of European ancestry. Here we aggregated genome-wide association studies comprising up to 281,416 individuals without diabetes (30% non-European ancestry) for whom fasting glucose, 2-h glucose after an oral glucose challenge, glycated hemoglobin and fasting insulin data were available. Trans-ancestry and single-ancestry meta-analyses identified 242 loci (99 novel; P < 5 × 10), 80% of which had no significant evidence of between-ancestry heterogeneity. Analyses restricted to individuals of European ancestry with equivalent sample size would have led to 24 fewer new loci. Compared with single-ancestry analyses, equivalent-sized trans-ancestry fine-mapping reduced the number of estimated variants in 99% credible sets by a median of 37.5%. Genomic-feature, gene-expression and gene-set analyses revealed distinct biological signatures for each trait, highlighting different underlying biological pathways. Our results increase our understanding of diabetes pathophysiology by using trans-ancestry studies for improved power and resolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00852-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610958PMC
June 2021

Cis-epistasis at the LPA locus and risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiovasc Res 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Estonian Genome Center, Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu, 51010, Tartu, Estonia.

Aims: Coronary artery disease (CAD) has a strong genetic predisposition. However, despite substantial discoveries made by genome-wide association studies (GWAS), a large proportion of heritability awaits identification. Non-additive genetic-effects might be responsible for part of the unaccounted genetic variance. Here we attempted a proof-of-concept study to identify non-additive genetic effects, namely epistatic interactions, associated with CAD.

Methods And Results: We tested for epistatic interactions in ten CAD case-control studies and UK Biobank with focus on 8,068 SNPs at 56 loci with known associations with CAD risk. We identified a SNP pair located in cis at the LPA locus, rs1800769 and rs9458001, to be jointly associated with risk for CAD (odds ratio [OR]=1.37, p = 1.07 × 10-11), peripheral arterial disease (OR = 1.22, p = 2.32 × 10-4), aortic stenosis (OR = 1.47, p = 6.95 × 10-7), hepatic lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) transcript levels (beta = 0.39, p = 1.41 × 10-8), and Lp(a) serum levels (beta = 0.58, p = 8.7 × 10-32), while individual SNPs displayed no association. Further exploration of the LPA locus revealed a strong dependency of these associations on a rare variant, rs140570886, that was previously associated with Lp(a) levels. We confirmed increased CAD risk for heterozygous (relative OR = 1.46, p = 9.97 × 10-32) and individuals homozygous for the minor allele (relative OR = 1.77, p = 0.09) of rs140570886. Using forward model selection, we also show that epistatic interactions between rs140570886, rs9458001, and rs1800769 modulate the effects of the rs140570886 risk allele.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate the feasibility of a large-scale knowledge-based epistasis scan and provide rare evidence of an epistatic interaction in a complex human disease. We were directed to a variant (rs140570886) influencing risk through additive genetic as well as epistatic effects. In summary, this study provides deeper insights into the genetic architecture of a locus important for cardiovascular diseases.

Translational Perspective: Genetic variants identified by GWAS studies explain about a quarter of the heritability of coronary artery disease by additive genetic effects. Our study demonstrates that non-additive effects contribute to the genetic architecture of the disease as well and identifies complex interaction patterns at the LPA locus, which affect LPA expression, Lp(a) plasma levels and risk of atherosclerosis. This proof-of-concept study encourages systematic searches for epistatic interactions in further studies to shed new light on the aetiology of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvab136DOI Listing
April 2021

FGL1 as a modulator of plasma D-dimer levels: Exome-wide marker analysis of plasma tPA, PAI-1, and D-dimer.

J Thromb Haemost 2021 08 30;19(8):2019-2028. Epub 2021 May 30.

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background: Use of targeted exome-arrays with common, rare variants and functionally enriched variation has led to discovery of new genes contributing to population variation in risk factors. Plasminogen activator-inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), and the plasma product D-dimer are important components of the fibrinolytic system. There have been few large-scale genome-wide or exome-wide studies of PAI-1, tPA, and D-dimer.

Objectives: We sought to discover new genetic loci contributing to variation in these traits using an exome-array approach.

Methods: Cohort-level analyses and fixed effects meta-analyses of PAI-1 (n = 15 603), tPA (n = 6876,) and D-dimer (n = 19 306) from 12 cohorts of European ancestry with diverse study design were conducted, including single-variant analyses and gene-based burden testing.

Results: Five variants located in NME7, FGL1, and the fibrinogen locus, all associated with D-dimer levels, achieved genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10 ). Replication was sought for these 5 variants, as well as 45 well-imputed variants with P < 1 × 10 in the discovery using an independent cohort. Replication was observed for three out of the five significant associations, including a novel and uncommon (0.013 allele frequency) coding variant p.Trp256Leu in FGL1 (fibrinogen-like-1) with increased plasma D-dimer levels. Additionally, a candidate-gene approach revealed a suggestive association for a coding variant (rs143202684-C) in SERPINB2, and suggestive associations with consistent effect in the replication analysis include an intronic variant (rs11057830-A) in SCARB1 associated with increased D-dimer levels.

Conclusion: This work provides new evidence for a role of FGL1 in hemostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.15345DOI Listing
August 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
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8244638PMC
May 2021

Genome-wide analysis identifies novel susceptibility loci for myocardial infarction.

Eur Heart J 2021 03;42(9):919-933

Division Heart & Lungs, Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, 3584 CX Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Aims: While most patients with myocardial infarction (MI) have underlying coronary atherosclerosis, not all patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) develop MI. We sought to address the hypothesis that some of the genetic factors which establish atherosclerosis may be distinct from those that predispose to vulnerable plaques and thrombus formation.

Methods And Results: We carried out a genome-wide association study for MI in the UK Biobank (n∼472 000), followed by a meta-analysis with summary statistics from the CARDIoGRAMplusC4D Consortium (n∼167 000). Multiple independent replication analyses and functional approaches were used to prioritize loci and evaluate positional candidate genes. Eight novel regions were identified for MI at the genome wide significance level, of which effect sizes at six loci were more robust for MI than for CAD without the presence of MI. Confirmatory evidence for association of a locus on chromosome 1p21.3 harbouring choline-like transporter 3 (SLC44A3) with MI in the context of CAD, but not with coronary atherosclerosis itself, was obtained in Biobank Japan (n∼165 000) and 16 independent angiography-based cohorts (n∼27 000). Follow-up analyses did not reveal association of the SLC44A3 locus with CAD risk factors, biomarkers of coagulation, other thrombotic diseases, or plasma levels of a broad array of metabolites, including choline, trimethylamine N-oxide, and betaine. However, aortic expression of SLC44A3 was increased in carriers of the MI risk allele at chromosome 1p21.3, increased in ischaemic (vs. non-diseased) coronary arteries, up-regulated in human aortic endothelial cells treated with interleukin-1β (vs. vehicle), and associated with smooth muscle cell migration in vitro.

Conclusions: A large-scale analysis comprising ∼831 000 subjects revealed novel genetic determinants of MI and implicated SLC44A3 in the pathophysiology of vulnerable plaques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa1040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936531PMC
March 2021

Genome-wide association study of circulating interleukin 6 levels identifies novel loci.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 04;30(5):393-409

Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties with a heritability estimate of up to 61%. The circulating levels of IL-6 in blood have been associated with an increased risk of complex disease pathogenesis. We conducted a two-staged, discovery and replication meta genome-wide association study (GWAS) of circulating serum IL-6 levels comprising up to 67 428 (ndiscovery = 52 654 and nreplication = 14 774) individuals of European ancestry. The inverse variance fixed effects based discovery meta-analysis, followed by replication led to the identification of two independent loci, IL1F10/IL1RN rs6734238 on chromosome (Chr) 2q14, (Pcombined = 1.8 × 10-11), HLA-DRB1/DRB5 rs660895 on Chr6p21 (Pcombined = 1.5 × 10-10) in the combined meta-analyses of all samples. We also replicated the IL6R rs4537545 locus on Chr1q21 (Pcombined = 1.2 × 10-122). Our study identifies novel loci for circulating IL-6 levels uncovering new immunological and inflammatory pathways that may influence IL-6 pathobiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098112PMC
April 2021

Immune Status and Mortality in Smokers, Ex-smokers, and Never-Smokers: The Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health Study.

Nicotine Tob Res 2021 06;23(7):1191-1198

Vth Department of Medicine (Nephrology, Hypertensiology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Diabetology), Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.

Introduction: Elevated leukocyte counts are associated with cardiovascular disease. Smoking induces inflammation and alters levels of leukocyte subtypes.

Aims And Methods: Our aim was to investigate the effect of smoking on circulating immune cells and their association with mortality. Lymphocyte subtypes were identified by flow cytometry of fluorescent-labeled cells. We analyzed the association of leukocytes with mortality using Cox regression and assessed their effect on risk prediction based on principle components (PCs) using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve and net-reclassification in 2173 participants from the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health Study, a prospective case-control study in patients who underwent coronary angiography.

Results: The numbers of T cells, monocytes, and neutrophils were higher and natural killer cells were lower in smokers compared with never-smokers. In never-smokers, lymphocyte counts were inversely associated with mortality while a positive association was observed for neutrophils. The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) had the strongest association in never-smokers with a hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.43 (1.26-1.61). No associations were found in smokers. Adding the first five PCs or the NLR to a risk prediction model based on conventional risk factors did not improve risk prediction in smokers, but significantly increased the area under the curve from 0.777 to 0.801 and 0.791, respectively, in never-smokers.

Conclusions: Lymphocyte counts were inversely associated with mortality in never-smokers but not in active smokers. Markers of innate immunity, namely total neutrophils and CD11b+/CD18+ and CD31+/CD40- granulocytes, were directly associated with mortality. Adding markers of immune function like PCs or the NLR to basic risk models improved risk prediction in never-smokers only.

Implications: Total leukocyte counts were higher in active smokers as compared to never-smokers due to elevated counts of neutrophils and monocytes but declined in ex-smokers with increasing time since quitting. In the never-smokers but not in smokers, lymphocyte counts were inversely associated with mortality while there was a direct association with neutrophils, even after adjustment for conventional cardiovascular risk factors. Adding markers of immune function to basic risk models improved risk prediction in never-smokers only. Our data indicate that smoking status has an important impact on the ability of leukocyte counts to predict long-term cardiovascular outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntab011DOI Listing
June 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

Genetic Variation in Sodium-glucose Cotransporter 2 and Heart Failure.

Clin Pharmacol Ther 2021 07 1;110(1):149-158. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Inhibition of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) represents an emerging pharmaceutical approach for the treatment of heart failure. The mechanisms by which SGLT2 inhibitors reduce the risk of heart failure are not well understood. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the SLC5A2 gene, encoding SGLT2, and heart failure, and to assess potential mediators of this association. Regression and mediation analyses were conducted with individual participant data of the UK Biobank (n = 416,737) and validated in the cardiovascular high-risk cohort of the LUdwigshafen RIsk and Cardiovascular Health study (LURIC; n = 3316). Two intronic SNPs associated with SLC5A2 expression were included in a genetic score, which was associated with lower risk of heart failure in UK Biobank (odds ratio 0.97, 95% confidence interval, 0.95-0.99, P = 0.016). This association was also present in participants without type 2 diabetes or coronary artery disease (CAD). The associations of the genetic score with HbA1c, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, uric acid, systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, and body composition mediated 35% of the effect of the score on heart failure risk. No associations of the genetic SGLT2 score with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease outcomes or markers of volume status were observed, which was confirmed in the LURIC study. Variations in the gene encoding SGLT2 were associated with the risk of prevalent or incident heart failure. This association was mediated by several mechanisms and did not depend on the presence of type 2 diabetes or previous CAD events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpt.2153DOI Listing
July 2021

Sex-dimorphic genetic effects and novel loci for fasting glucose and insulin variability.

Nat Commun 2021 01 5;12(1):24. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Department of Biostatistics and Data Science, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

Differences between sexes contribute to variation in the levels of fasting glucose and insulin. Epidemiological studies established a higher prevalence of impaired fasting glucose in men and impaired glucose tolerance in women, however, the genetic component underlying this phenomenon is not established. We assess sex-dimorphic (73,089/50,404 women and 67,506/47,806 men) and sex-combined (151,188/105,056 individuals) fasting glucose/fasting insulin genetic effects via genome-wide association study meta-analyses in individuals of European descent without diabetes. Here we report sex dimorphism in allelic effects on fasting insulin at IRS1 and ZNF12 loci, the latter showing higher RNA expression in whole blood in women compared to men. We also observe sex-homogeneous effects on fasting glucose at seven novel loci. Fasting insulin in women shows stronger genetic correlations than in men with waist-to-hip ratio and anorexia nervosa. Furthermore, waist-to-hip ratio is causally related to insulin resistance in women, but not in men. These results position dissection of metabolic and glycemic health sex dimorphism as a steppingstone for understanding differences in genetic effects between women and men in related phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19366-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7785747PMC
January 2021

Genetic Predisposition to Coronary Artery Disease in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2020 12 13;13(6):e002769. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

The Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences & Informatics (A.D.M.), University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, U.K.

Background: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is accelerated in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D).

Methods: To test whether this reflects differential genetic influences on CAD risk in subjects with T2D, we performed a systematic assessment of genetic overlap between CAD and T2D in 66 643 subjects (27 708 with CAD and 24 259 with T2D). Variants showing apparent association with CAD in stratified analyses or evidence of interaction were evaluated in a further 117 787 subjects (16 694 with CAD and 11 537 with T2D).

Results: None of the previously characterized CAD loci was found to have specific effects on CAD in T2D individuals, and a genome-wide interaction analysis found no new variants for CAD that could be considered T2D specific. When we considered the overall genetic correlations between CAD and its risk factors, we found no substantial differences in these relationships by T2D background.

Conclusions: This study found no evidence that the genetic architecture of CAD differs in those with T2D compared with those without T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002769DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7748049PMC
December 2020

Cholesterol Efflux Capacity and Cardiovascular Disease: The Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) Study.

Biomedicines 2020 Nov 21;8(11). Epub 2020 Nov 21.

Clinical Institute of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics, Medical University of Graz, 8036 Graz, Austria.

(1) Background and Aims: Efforts to reduce coronary artery disease (CAD) by raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (HDL-C) have not been uniformly successful. A more important factor than HDL-C may be cellular cholesterol efflux mediated by HDL, which has been shown to be associated with CAD. In this report, we analyzed the influence of cardiovascular biomarkers and risk factors on cholesterol efflux in a prospective observational study of patients referred to coronary angiography. (2) Methods: HDL-mediated efflux capacity was determined for 2468 participants of the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) study who were referred to coronary angiography at baseline between 1997 and 2000. Median follow-up time was 9.9 years. Primary and secondary endpoints were cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, respectively. (3) Results: Cholesterol efflux strongly correlated with HDL-related markers including HDL cholesterol, HDL phospholipids, and apolipoproteins AI and AII, as well as HDL particle concentration, which was not seen for low density lipoprotein (LDL) markers including LDL cholesterol and apoB. Cholesterol efflux was associated negatively with C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and serum amyloid A. Cardiovascular mortality was higher in patients in the lowest cholesterol efflux quartile. This association was weakened, but not fully abolished, after adjustment for HDL cholesterol. (4) Conclusions: We demonstrate that cholesterol efflux was associated with HDL-composition as well as inflammatory burden in patients referred for coronary angiography, and that this inversely predicts cardiovascular mortality independently of HDL cholesterol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8110524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7700479PMC
November 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

Association of double product and pulse pressure with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in the LURIC study.

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 2020 12 9;22(12):2332-2342. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Fifth Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Mannheim UMM, Mannheim, Germany.

Systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) are risk factors for cardiovascular mortality (CVM). Pulse pressure (PP) is considered as an easily available marker of vascular stiffness and the double product (DP) as a marker of cardiac workload. Therefore, we have examined the predictive value of PP and DP in the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health study, a monocentric cohort study of 3316 patients referred to coronary angiography. An increase of SBP or PP by 1mmHg increased the risk of CVM with hazard ratios of 1.009 (95% CI, 1.005-1.012) and 1.016 (1.012-1.020), respectively. Increasing DP by 100 mm Hg/min was associated with a 1.010 (1.007-1.013) higher risk of CVM. In patient subgroups with coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart failure (HF), PP and DP predicted CVM better than SBP or MAP. In a multivariate analysis adjusted for sex, BMI, diabetes, eGFR, hazard ratios for CVM for z-standardized PP, DP, SBP, and HR were 1.20, 1.16, 1.12, and 1.14. After adding age to the multivariate analysis, only DP and HR remained significant. We provide evidence that PP and DP are powerful predictors of CVM and all-cause mortality in a CV medium- to high-risk population, especially in patients with CAD and HF. While DP proved to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality also in multivariate analysis, PP was no independent predictor in our cohort with widespread antihypertensive treatment (>85%). PP is associated with age, presence of diabetes, obesity, and impaired renal function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jch.14067DOI Listing
December 2020

Common APOC3 variants are associated with circulating ApoC-III and VLDL cholesterol but not with total apolipoprotein B and coronary artery disease.

Atherosclerosis 2020 10 5;311:84-90. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

Mannheimer Institute for Public Health, Mannheim Medical Faculty, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.

Background And Aims: Very rare loss-of-function mutations in the apolipoprotein C3 (APOC3) gene have been associated with low circulating apoC-III, low triglycerides, and reduced cardiovascular risk. We aimed to analyze the impact of common APOC3 variants on key parameters of lipid metabolism and coronary artery disease in the largest sample so far.

Methods: Common variants in APOC3 were tested for associations with circulating apoC-III, lipids, and apolipoprotein B (apoB) in 3041 participants of the LUdwigshafen RIsk and Cardiovascular health study (LURIC). These variants were then tested for associations with coronary artery disease in a meta-analysis comprising up to 332,389 participants of the CARDIOGRAMplusC4D consortium and the UK Biobank.

Results: The mean (standard deviation) apoC-III concentration was 14.6 (5.1) mg/dl. Seven common variants in APOC3 (rs734104, rs4520, rs5142, rs5141, rs5130, rs5128, and rs4225) were associated with circulating apoC-III (all p < 0.05). The alleles that modestly raised apoC-III were also associated with markedly higher total triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) triglycerides and cholesterol (all p < 0.05), but not with low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total apoB (all p > 0.05). These variants were not associated with coronary artery disease in the CARDIOGRAMplusC4D consortium and the UK Biobank (all p > 0.1).

Conclusions: Modest, genetically caused elevations of apoC-III are associated with a marked increase of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins but not with an increase of LDL cholesterol, total apoB, and coronary artery disease. Whether effective inhibition of apoC-III production with antisense oligomers will be instrumental to reduce cardiovascular risk remains to be demonstrated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2020.08.017DOI Listing
October 2020

Investigation of gene-gene interactions in cardiac traits and serum fatty acid levels in the LURIC Health Study.

PLoS One 2020 11;15(9):e0238304. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Agricultural Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States of America.

Epistasis analysis elucidates the effects of gene-gene interactions (G×G) between multiple loci for complex traits. However, the large computational demands and the high multiple testing burden impede their discoveries. Here, we illustrate the utilization of two methods, main effect filtering based on individual GWAS results and biological knowledge-based modeling through Biofilter software, to reduce the number of interactions tested among single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for 15 cardiac-related traits and 14 fatty acids. We performed interaction analyses using the two filtering methods, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio, and the first three principal components from genetic data, among 2,824 samples from the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular (LURIC) Health Study. Using Biofilter, one interaction nearly met Bonferroni significance: an interaction between rs7735781 in XRCC4 and rs10804247 in XRCC5 was identified for venous thrombosis with a Bonferroni-adjusted likelihood ratio test (LRT) p: 0.0627. A total of 57 interactions were identified from main effect filtering for the cardiac traits G×G (10) and fatty acids G×G (47) at Bonferroni-adjusted LRT p < 0.05. For cardiac traits, the top interaction involved SNPs rs1383819 in SNTG1 and rs1493939 (138kb from 5' of SAMD12) with Bonferroni-adjusted LRT p: 0.0228 which was significantly associated with history of arterial hypertension. For fatty acids, the top interaction between rs4839193 in KCND3 and rs10829717 in LOC107984002 with Bonferroni-adjusted LRT p: 2.28×10-5 was associated with 9-trans 12-trans octadecanoic acid, an omega-6 trans fatty acid. The model inflation factor for the interactions under different filtering methods was evaluated from the standard median and the linear regression approach. Here, we applied filtering approaches to identify numerous genetic interactions related to cardiac-related outcomes as potential targets for therapy. The approaches described offer ways to detect epistasis in the complex traits and to improve precision medicine capability.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0238304PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7485803PMC
October 2020

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

Circulation 2020 08 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

Intronic Variants in OCT1 are Associated with All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality in Metformin Users with Type 2 Diabetes.

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 2020 18;13:2069-2080. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria.

Purpose: Organic cation transporters (Octs) use cations like endogenous compounds, toxins, and drugs, such as metformin, as substrates. Therefore, these proteins determine the pharmacokinetics and -dynamics of metformin and thus its efficacy. Of note, metformin is today the most commonly used pharmaceutical in the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) with nevertheless a great variability in clinical response, which attributes to genetic variances. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of intronic OCT1 SNPs on prevalence of all-cause and cardiovascular death.

Patients And Methods: Genotypes of 27 intronic SNPs in OCT1 were investigated in the LURIC study, a prospective cohort of 3316 participants scheduled for coronary angiography. We investigated whether these variants were associated with all-cause and cardiovascular death in 73 individuals with T2DM under metformin therapy, in individuals without diabetes, individuals with T2DM and individuals with T2DM without metformin therapy.

Results: In a multivariate Cox regression analysis adjusted for classical cardiovascular risk factors, 4 intronic OCT1 SNPs were significantly associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in individuals with T2DM on metformin therapy.

Conclusion: According to their OCT1 genotype, some individuals with T2DM on metformin therapy might be prone to an increased risk of cardiovascular death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S235663DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7308180PMC
June 2020

Mendelian randomization analysis does not support causal associations of birth weight with hypertension risk and blood pressure in adulthood.

Eur J Epidemiol 2020 Jul 7;35(7):685-697. Epub 2020 May 7.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Unit, Skåne University Hospital Malmö, Lund University, 21741, Malmö, Sweden.

Epidemiology studies suggested that low birthweight was associated with a higher risk of hypertension in later life. However, little is known about the causality of such associations. In our study, we evaluated the causal association of low birthweight with adulthood hypertension following a standard analytic protocol using the study-level data of 183,433 participants from 60 studies (CHARGE-BIG consortium), as well as that with blood pressure using publicly available summary-level genome-wide association data from EGG consortium of 153,781 participants, ICBP consortium and UK Biobank cohort together of 757,601 participants. We used seven SNPs as the instrumental variable in the study-level analysis and 47 SNPs in the summary-level analysis. In the study-level analyses, decreased birthweight was associated with a higher risk of hypertension in adults (the odds ratio per 1 standard deviation (SD) lower birthweight, 1.22; 95% CI 1.16 to 1.28), while no association was found between genetically instrumented birthweight and hypertension risk (instrumental odds ratio for causal effect per 1 SD lower birthweight, 0.97; 95% CI 0.68 to 1.41). Such results were consistent with that from the summary-level analyses, where the genetically determined low birthweight was not associated with blood pressure measurements either. One SD lower genetically determined birthweight was not associated with systolic blood pressure (β = - 0.76, 95% CI - 2.45 to 1.08 mmHg), 0.06 mmHg lower diastolic blood pressure (β = - 0.06, 95% CI - 0.93 to 0.87 mmHg), or pulse pressure (β = - 0.65, 95% CI - 1.38 to 0.69 mmHg, all p > 0.05). Our findings suggest that the inverse association of birthweight with hypertension risk from observational studies was not supported by large Mendelian randomization analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-020-00638-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7867117PMC
July 2020

Author Correction: Cardiovascular risk algorithms in primary care: Results from the DETECT study.

Sci Rep 2020 Mar 31;10(1):5945. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

University of Heidelberg, Mannheim Medical Faculty, Department of Internal Medicine V (Nephrology, Hypertensiology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Diabetology), Mannheim, Germany.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-59763-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7105487PMC
March 2020
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