Publications by authors named "Nona Sotoodehnia"

194 Publications

Meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies of carotid intima-media thickness.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Jun 6. Epub 2021 Jun 6.

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK.

Common carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) is an index of subclinical atherosclerosis that is associated with ischemic stroke and coronary artery disease (CAD). We undertook a cross-sectional epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) of measures of cIMT in 6400 individuals. Mendelian randomization analysis was applied to investigate the potential causal role of DNA methylation in the link between atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk factors and cIMT or clinical cardiovascular disease. The CpG site cg05575921 was associated with cIMT (beta = -0.0264, p value = 3.5 × 10) in the discovery panel and was replicated in replication panel (beta = -0.07, p value = 0.005). This CpG is located at chr5:81649347 in the intron 3 of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor gene (AHRR). Our results indicate that DNA methylation at cg05575921 might be in the pathway between smoking, cIMT and stroke. Moreover, in a region-based analysis, 34 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were identified of which a DMR upstream of ALOX12 showed the strongest association with cIMT (p value = 1.4 × 10). In conclusion, our study suggests that DNA methylation may play a role in the link between cardiovascular risk factors, cIMT and clinical cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-021-00759-zDOI Listing
June 2021

Cumulative burden of clinically significant aortic stenosis in community-dwelling older adults.

Heart 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Cardiology Section, San Francisco VA Health Care System, San Francisco, California, USA

Objectives: Current estimates of aortic stenosis (AS) frequency have mostly relied on cross-sectional echocardiographic or longitudinal administrative data, making understanding of AS burden incomplete. We performed case adjudications to evaluate the frequency of AS and assess differences by age, sex and race in an older cohort with long-term follow-up.

Methods: We developed case-capture methods using study echocardiograms, procedure and diagnosis codes, heart failure events and deaths for targeted review of medical records in the Cardiovascular Health Study to identify moderate or severe AS and related procedures or hospitalisations. The primary outcome was clinically significant AS (severe AS or procedure). Assessment of incident AS burden was based on subdistribution survival methods, while associations with age, sex and race relied on cause-specific survival methods.

Results: The cohort comprised 5795 participants (age 73±6, 42.2% male, 14.3% Black). Cumulative frequency of clinically significant AS at maximal 25-year follow-up was 3.69% (probable/definite) to 4.67% (possible/probable/definite), while the corresponding 20-year cumulative incidence was 2.88% to 3.71%. Of incident cases, about 85% had a hospitalisation for severe AS, but roughly half did not undergo valve intervention. The adjusted incidence of clinically significant AS was higher in men (HR 1.62 [95% CI 1.21 to 2.17]) and increased with age (HR 1.08 [95% CI 1.04 to 1.11]), but was lower in Blacks (HR 0.43 [95% CI 0.23 to 0.81]).

Conclusions: In this community-based study, we identified a higher burden of clinically significant AS than reported previously, with differences by age, sex and race. These findings have important implications for public health resource planning, although the lower burden in Blacks merits further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2021-319025DOI Listing
June 2021

Admission respiratory status predicts mortality in COVID-19.

Influenza Other Respir Viruses 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

Division of Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

COVID-19 has significant case fatality. Glucocorticoids are the only treatment shown to improve survival, but only among patients requiring supplemental oxygen. WHO advises patients to seek medical care for "trouble breathing," but hypoxemic patients frequently have no respiratory symptoms. Our cohort study of hospitalized COVID-19 patients shows that respiratory symptoms are uncommon and not associated with mortality. By contrast, objective signs of respiratory compromise-oxygen saturation and respiratory rate-are associated with markedly elevated mortality. Our findings support expanding guidelines to include at-home assessment of oxygen saturation and respiratory rate in order to expedite life-saving treatments patients to high-risk COVID-19 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/irv.12869DOI Listing
May 2021

Epigenome-wide association meta-analysis of DNA methylation with coffee and tea consumption.

Nat Commun 2021 05 14;12(1):2830. Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Coffee and tea are extensively consumed beverages worldwide which have received considerable attention regarding health. Intake of these beverages is consistently linked to, among others, reduced risk of diabetes and liver diseases; however, the mechanisms of action remain elusive. Epigenetics is suggested as a mechanism mediating the effects of dietary and lifestyle factors on disease onset. Here we report the results from epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) on coffee and tea consumption in 15,789 participants of European and African-American ancestries from 15 cohorts. EWAS meta-analysis of coffee consumption reveals 11 CpGs surpassing the epigenome-wide significance threshold (P-value <1.1×10), which annotated to the AHRR, F2RL3, FLJ43663, HDAC4, GFI1 and PHGDH genes. Among them, cg14476101 is significantly associated with expression of the PHGDH and risk of fatty liver disease. Knockdown of PHGDH expression in liver cells shows a correlation with expression levels of genes associated with circulating lipids, suggesting a role of PHGDH in hepatic-lipid metabolism. EWAS meta-analysis on tea consumption reveals no significant association, only two CpGs annotated to CACNA1A and PRDM16 genes show suggestive association (P-value <5.0×10). These findings indicate that coffee-associated changes in DNA methylation levels may explain the mechanism of action of coffee consumption in conferring risk of diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22752-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8121846PMC
May 2021

Plasma epoxyeicosatrienoic acids and dihydroxyeicosatrieonic acids, insulin, glucose and risk of diabetes: The strong heart study.

EBioMedicine 2021 Apr 19;66:103279. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Background: Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are metabolites of arachidonic acid with multiple biological functions. Rodent experiments suggest EETs play a role in insulin sensitivity and diabetes, but evidence in humans is limited. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a case-cohort study in the Strong Heart Family Study, a prospective cohort among American Indians.

Methods: We measured 4 EET species and 4 species of corresponding downstream metabolites, dihydroxyeicosatrieonic acids (DHETs), in plasma samples from 1161 participants, including 310 with type 2 diabetes. We estimated the associations of total (esterified and free) EETs and DHETs with incident diabetes risk, adjusting for known risk factors. We also examined cross-sectional associations with plasma fasting insulin and glucose in the case-cohort and in 271 participants without diabetes from the older Strong Heart Study cohort, and meta-analyzed the results from the 2 cohorts.

Findings: We observed no significant association of total EET or DHET levels with incident diabetes. In addition, plasma EETs were not associated with plasma insulin or plasma glucose. However, higher plasma 14,15-DHET was associated with lower plasma insulin and lower plasma glucose.

Interpretation: In this first prospective study of EETs and diabetes, we found no evidence for a role of total plasma EETs in diabetes. The novel associations of 14,15-DHET with insulin and glucose warrant replication and exploration of possible mechanisms.

Funding: US National Institutes of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103279DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010619PMC
April 2021

Brachial Flow-Mediated Dilation and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study.

Vasc Health Risk Manag 2021 11;17:95-102. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Endothelial dysfunction is associated with common risk factors for AF and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation (AF) through a variety of mechanisms. We determined the prospective association of brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) with incident AF among older adults.

Methods: We included 2027 Cardiovascular Health Study participants (mean age=78.3 years, male=39%, Black=17%) who underwent brachial FMD measurement at the 1997 to 1998 clinic visit. Incident AF was ascertained by study electrocardiograms, hospital discharge diagnosis coding and Medicare claims data. Cox regression models were used to examine the association between FMD and incident AF.

Results: We identified 754 incident of AF cases (37%) over a median follow-up of 11.0 years. After adjusting for age, sex, race, height, weight, cardiovascular disease, cigarette smoking, hypertension, diabetes, kidney function, c-reactive protein, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and statins, the risk of AF did not differ according to brachial FMD response (4th vs 1st quartile hazard ratio (HR)=1.01, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.81, 1.26; per FMD unit increment HR=1.01, 95% CI: 0.97, 1.05).

Conclusion: We found no relationship between brachial FMD and the risk of developing AF in this elderly cohort. Our findings suggest that the utility of brachial FMD as a risk marker for AF in older individuals is minimal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S297720DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7961139PMC
March 2021

Association of P-Wave Abnormalities With Sudden Cardiac and Cardiovascular Death: The ARIC Study.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2021 Feb 16;14(2):e009314. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Medicine (L.Y.C.), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCEP.120.009314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8109763PMC
February 2021

Sequencing of 53,831 diverse genomes from the NHLBI TOPMed Program.

Nature 2021 02 10;590(7845):290-299. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

The Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme seeks to elucidate the genetic architecture and biology of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders, with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these diseases. The initial phases of the programme focused on whole-genome sequencing of individuals with rich phenotypic data and diverse backgrounds. Here we describe the TOPMed goals and design as well as the available resources and early insights obtained from the sequence data. The resources include a variant browser, a genotype imputation server, and genomic and phenotypic data that are available through dbGaP (Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes). In the first 53,831 TOPMed samples, we detected more than 400 million single-nucleotide and insertion or deletion variants after alignment with the reference genome. Additional previously undescribed variants were detected through assembly of unmapped reads and customized analysis in highly variable loci. Among the more than 400 million detected variants, 97% have frequencies of less than 1% and 46% are singletons that are present in only one individual (53% among unrelated individuals). These rare variants provide insights into mutational processes and recent human evolutionary history. The extensive catalogue of genetic variation in TOPMed studies provides unique opportunities for exploring the contributions of rare and noncoding sequence variants to phenotypic variation. Furthermore, combining TOPMed haplotypes with modern imputation methods improves the power and reach of genome-wide association studies to include variants down to a frequency of approximately 0.01%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03205-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875770PMC
February 2021

Associations of Left Atrial Function and Structure With Supraventricular Ectopy: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Feb 4;10(4):e018093. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD.

Background High levels of supraventricular ectopy are associated with greater risk of atrial fibrillation, stroke, and death. Little information is available about differences by race/ethnicity in the extent of supraventricular ectopy, or about whether high levels of supraventricular ectopy are associated with impaired left atrial (LA) function and LA enlargement. Methods and Results In the MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis), 1148 participants (47% men; mean age, 67 years) had cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging in 2010 to 2012, followed by 14-day ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring in 2016 to 2018. We analyzed participant characteristics and cardiovascular magnetic resonance measures of LA function and structure in relation to average count of premature atrial contractions (PACs) per hour and average number of runs per day of supraventricular tachycardia. In adjusted regression analyses, older age, male sex, White race, elevated NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide), and a history of clinically detected atrial fibrillation were associated with more PACs/hour. Chinese and Hispanic participants had on average fewer PACs/hour than White participants (Chinese participants, 31% less [95% CI, 8%-49%]; Hispanic participants, 38% less [95% CI, 19%-52%]). Greater LA total emptying fraction was associated with fewer PACs/hour (per SD, 16% fewer PACs/hour [95% CI, 7%-25% fewer PACs/hour]). Larger LA minimum volume was associated with more PACs/hour (per SD, 7% more PACs/hour [95% CI, 2%-13% more PACs/hour]). Associations of LA volumes with runs of supraventricular tachycardia/day were similar in direction but were weaker. Conclusions Impaired LA function and LA enlargement were associated with more PACs/hour on extended ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring. Measurement of supraventricular ectopy may provide information about the extent of atrial myopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.018093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7955336PMC
February 2021

Genetic loci associated with prevalent and incident myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium.

PLoS One 2020 13;15(11):e0230035. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, Department of Pediatrics, The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California, United States of America.

Background: Genome-wide association studies have identified multiple genomic loci associated with coronary artery disease, but most are common variants in non-coding regions that provide limited information on causal genes and etiology of the disease. To overcome the limited scope that common variants provide, we focused our investigation on low-frequency and rare sequence variations primarily residing in coding regions of the genome.

Methods And Results: Using samples of individuals of European ancestry from ten cohorts within the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium, both cross-sectional and prospective analyses were conducted to examine associations between genetic variants and myocardial infarction (MI), coronary heart disease (CHD), and all-cause mortality following these events. For prevalent events, a total of 27,349 participants of European ancestry, including 1831 prevalent MI cases and 2518 prevalent CHD cases were used. For incident cases, a total of 55,736 participants of European ancestry were included (3,031 incident MI cases and 5,425 incident CHD cases). There were 1,860 all-cause deaths among the 3,751 MI and CHD cases from six cohorts that contributed to the analysis of all-cause mortality. Single variant and gene-based analyses were performed separately in each cohort and then meta-analyzed for each outcome. A low-frequency intronic variant (rs988583) in PLCL1 was significantly associated with prevalent MI (OR = 1.80, 95% confidence interval: 1.43, 2.27; P = 7.12 × 10-7). We conducted gene-based burden tests for genes with a cumulative minor allele count (cMAC) ≥ 5 and variants with minor allele frequency (MAF) < 5%. TMPRSS5 and LDLRAD1 were significantly associated with prevalent MI and CHD, respectively, and RC3H2 and ANGPTL4 were significantly associated with incident MI and CHD, respectively. No loci were significantly associated with all-cause mortality following a MI or CHD event.

Conclusion: This study identified one known locus (ANGPTL4) and four new loci (PLCL1, RC3H2, TMPRSS5, and LDLRAD1) associated with cardiovascular disease risk that warrant further investigation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230035PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665790PMC
December 2020

Outcome by Sex in Patients With Long QT Syndrome With an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 10 21;9(19):e016398. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester NY.

Background Sex differences in outcome have been reported in patients with congenital long QT syndrome. We aimed to report on the incidence of time-dependent life-threatening events in male and female patients with long QT syndrome with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Methods and Results A total of 60 patients with long QT syndrome received an ICD for primary or secondary prevention indications. Life-threatening events were evaluated from the date of ICD implant and included ICD shocks for ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, or death. ICDs were implanted in 219 women (mean age 38±13 years), 46 girls (12±5 years), 55 men (43±17 years), and 40 boys (11±4 years). Mean follow-up post-ICD implantation was 14±6 years for females and 12±6 years for males. At 15 years of follow-up, the cumulative probability of life-threatening events was 27% in females and 34% in males (log-rank =0.26 for the overall difference). In the multivariable Cox model, sex was not associated with significant differences in risk first appropriate ICD shock (hazard ratio, 0.83 female versus male; 95% CI, 0.52-1.34; =0.47). Results were similar when stratified by age and by genotype: long QT syndrome type 1 (LQT1), long QT syndrome type 2 (LQT2), and long QT syndrome type 3 (LQT3). Incidence of inappropriate ICD shocks was higher in males versus females (4.2 versus 2.7 episodes per 100 patient-years; =0.018), predominantly attributed to atrial fibrillation. The first shock did not terminate ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation in 48% of females and 62% of males (=0.25). Conclusions In patients with long QT syndrome with an ICD, the risk and rate of life-threatening events did not significantly differ between males and females regardless of ICD indications or genotype. In a substantial proportion of patients with long QT syndrome, first shock did not terminate ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.016398DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7792399PMC
October 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and the Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: The ARIC Study and the CHS.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 10 25;9(19):e016981. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Department of Medicine University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson MS.

Background Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is associated with severe coronary heart disease in the great majority of cases. Whether carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT), a known surrogate marker of subclinical atherosclerosis, is associated with risk of SCD in a general population remains unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between C-IMT and risk of SCD. Methods and Results We examined a total of 20 862 participants: 15 307 participants of the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study and 5555 participants of the CHS (Cardiovascular Health Study). C-IMT and common carotid artery intima-media thickness was measured at baseline by ultrasound. Presence of plaque was judged by trained readers. Over a median of 23.5 years of follow-up, 569 participants had SCD (1.81 cases per 1000 person-years) in the ARIC study. Mean C-IMT and common carotid artery intima-media thickness were associated with risk of SCD after adjustment for traditional risk factors and time-varying adjustors: hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs for fourth versus first quartile were 1.64 (1.15-2.63) and 1.49 (1.05-2.11), respectively. In CHS, 302 participants developed SCD (4.64 cases per 1000 person-years) over 13.1 years. Maximum C-IMT was associated with risk of SCD after adjustment: HR (95% CI) for fourth versus first quartile was 1.75 (1.22-2.51). Presence of plaque was associated with 35% increased risk of SCD: HR (95% CI) of 1.37 (1.13-1.67) in the ARIC study and 1.32 (1.04-1.68) in CHS. Conclusions C-IMT was associated with risk of SCD in 2 biracial community-based cohorts. C-IMT may be used as a marker of SCD risk and potentially to initiate early therapeutic interventions to mitigate the risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.016981DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7792412PMC
October 2020

Mitochondrial DNA copy number and incident atrial fibrillation.

BMC Med 2020 09 16;18(1):246. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 733 N. Broadway, Miller Research Building, Room 459, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA.

Background: Mechanistic studies suggest that mitochondria DNA (mtDNA) dysfunction may be associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). The association between mtDNA copy number (mtDNA-CN) and incident AF in the general population, however, remains unknown.

Methods: We conducted prospective analyses of 19,709 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC), the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), and the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). mtDNA-CN from the peripheral blood was calculated from probe intensities on the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) Array 6.0 in ARIC and MESA and from multiplexed real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in CHS. Incident AF cases were identified through electrocardiograms, review of hospital discharge codes, Medicare claims, and death certificates.

Results: The median follow-up time was 21.4 years in ARIC, 12.9 years in MESA, and 11.0 years in CHS, during which 4021 participants developed incident atrial fibrillation (1761 in ARIC, 790 in MESA, and 1470 in CHS). In fully adjusted models, participants with the lowest quintile of mitochondria DNA copy number had an overall 13% increased risk (95% CI 1 to 27%) of incident atrial fibrillation compared to those with the highest quintile. Dose-response spline analysis also showed an inverse association between mitochondria DNA copy number and hazard for atrial fibrillation for all three cohorts. These associations were consistent across subgroups.

Conclusions: Mitochondria DNA copy number was inversely associated with the risk of AF independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. These findings implicate mitochondria DNA copy number as a novel risk factor for atrial fibrillation. Further research is warranted to understand the underlying mechanisms and to evaluate the role of mitochondria DNA copy number in the management of atrial fibrillation risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01715-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7493408PMC
September 2020

Genetic Determinants of Electrocardiographic P-Wave Duration and Relation to Atrial Fibrillation.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2020 10 21;13(5):387-395. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

DZHK (German Center for Cardiovascular Research), partner site Greifswald, Germany (A.T., U.V., M.D., S.B.F.).

Background: The P-wave duration (PWD) is an electrocardiographic measurement that represents cardiac conduction in the atria. Shortened or prolonged PWD is associated with atrial fibrillation (AF). We used exome-chip data to examine the associations between common and rare variants with PWD.

Methods: Fifteen studies comprising 64 440 individuals (56 943 European, 5681 African, 1186 Hispanic, 630 Asian) and ≈230 000 variants were used to examine associations with maximum PWD across the 12-lead ECG. Meta-analyses summarized association results for common variants; gene-based burden and sequence kernel association tests examined low-frequency variant-PWD associations. Additionally, we examined the associations between PWD loci and AF using previous AF genome-wide association studies.

Results: We identified 21 common and low-frequency genetic loci (14 novel) associated with maximum PWD, including several AF loci (, , , , , , , ). The top variants at known sarcomere genes () were associated with longer PWD and increased AF risk. However, top variants at other loci (eg, and ) were associated with longer PWD but lower AF risk.

Conclusions: Our results highlight multiple novel genetic loci associated with PWD, and underscore the shared mechanisms of atrial conduction and AF. Prolonged PWD may be an endophenotype for several different genetic mechanisms of AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002874DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7578098PMC
October 2020

Multi-Ethnic Genome-Wide Association Study of Decomposed Cardioelectric Phenotypes Illustrates Strategies to Identify and Characterize Evidence of Shared Genetic Effects for Complex Traits.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2020 08 30;13(4):e002680. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Gillings School of Global Public Health (A.R.B., H.M.H., R.G., M.G., C.J.H., A.A.S., E.A.W., K.E.N., C.L.A.), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Background: We examined how expanding electrocardiographic trait genome-wide association studies to include ancestrally diverse populations, prioritize more precise phenotypic measures, and evaluate evidence for shared genetic effects enabled the detection and characterization of loci.

Methods: We decomposed 10 seconds, 12-lead electrocardiograms from 34 668 multi-ethnic participants (15% Black; 30% Hispanic/Latino) into 6 contiguous, physiologically distinct (P wave, PR segment, QRS interval, ST segment, T wave, and TP segment) and 2 composite, conventional (PR interval and QT interval) interval scale traits and conducted multivariable-adjusted, trait-specific univariate genome-wide association studies using 1000-G imputed single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Evidence of shared genetic effects was evaluated by aggregating meta-analyzed univariate results across the 6 continuous electrocardiographic traits using the combined phenotype adaptive sum of powered scores test.

Results: We identified 6 novels (, and ) and 87 known loci (adaptive sum of powered score test <5×10). Lead single-nucleotide polymorphism rs3211938 at was common in Blacks (minor allele frequency=10%), near monomorphic in European Americans, and had effects on the QT interval and TP segment that ranked among the largest reported to date for common variants. The other 5 novel loci were observed when evaluating the contiguous but not the composite electrocardiographic traits. Combined phenotype testing did not identify novel electrocardiographic loci unapparent using traditional univariate approaches, although this approach did assist with the characterization of known loci.

Conclusions: Despite including one-third as many participants as published electrocardiographic trait genome-wide association studies, our study identified 6 novel loci, emphasizing the importance of ancestral diversity and phenotype resolution in this era of ever-growing genome-wide association studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002680DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7520945PMC
August 2020

Fatty acids in the de novo lipogenesis pathway and incidence of type 2 diabetes: A pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies.

PLoS Med 2020 06 12;17(6):e1003102. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Background: De novo lipogenesis (DNL) is the primary metabolic pathway synthesizing fatty acids from carbohydrates, protein, or alcohol. Our aim was to examine associations of in vivo levels of selected fatty acids (16:0, 16:1n7, 18:0, 18:1n9) in DNL with incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Methods And Findings: Seventeen cohorts from 12 countries (7 from Europe, 7 from the United States, 1 from Australia, 1 from Taiwan; baseline years = 1970-1973 to 2006-2010) conducted harmonized individual-level analyses of associations of DNL-related fatty acids with incident T2D. In total, we evaluated 65,225 participants (mean ages = 52.3-75.5 years; % women = 20.4%-62.3% in 12 cohorts recruiting both sexes) and 15,383 incident cases of T2D over the 9-year follow-up on average. Cohort-specific association of each of 16:0, 16:1n7, 18:0, and 18:1n9 with incident T2D was estimated, adjusted for demographic factors, socioeconomic characteristics, alcohol, smoking, physical activity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, menopausal status, and adiposity. Cohort-specific associations were meta-analyzed with an inverse-variance-weighted approach. Each of the 4 fatty acids positively related to incident T2D. Relative risks (RRs) per cohort-specific range between midpoints of the top and bottom quintiles of fatty acid concentrations were 1.53 (1.41-1.66; p < 0.001) for 16:0, 1.40 (1.33-1.48; p < 0.001) for 16:1n-7, 1.14 (1.05-1.22; p = 0.001) for 18:0, and 1.16 (1.07-1.25; p < 0.001) for 18:1n9. Heterogeneity was seen across cohorts (I2 = 51.1%-73.1% for each fatty acid) but not explained by lipid fractions and global geographical regions. Further adjusted for triglycerides (and 16:0 when appropriate) to evaluate associations independent of overall DNL, the associations remained significant for 16:0, 16:1n7, and 18:0 but were attenuated for 18:1n9 (RR = 1.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.94-1.13). These findings had limitations in potential reverse causation and residual confounding by imprecisely measured or unmeasured factors.

Conclusions: Concentrations of fatty acids in the DNL were positively associated with T2D incidence. Our findings support further work to investigate a possible role of DNL and individual fatty acids in the development of T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292352PMC
June 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Epoxyeicosatrienoic Acids in Cardiomyocytes-Specific CYP2J2 Transgenic Mice Are Associated with Improved Myocardial Remodeling.

Biomedicines 2020 May 30;8(6). Epub 2020 May 30.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington, Box 357610, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Elevated epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are known to be cardioprotective during ischemia-reperfusion injury in cardiomyocyte-specific overexpressing cytochrome P450 2J2 (CYP2J2) transgenic (Tr) mice. Using the same Tr mice, we measured changes in cardiac and erythrocyte membranes EETs following myocardial infarction (MI) to determine if they can serve as reporters for cardiac events. Cardiac function was also assessed in Tr vs. wild-type (WT) mice in correlation with EET changes two weeks following MI. Tr mice (N = 25, 16 female, nine male) had significantly higher cardiac and EETs compared to their WT counterparts (N=25, 18 female, seven male). Total cardiac EETs in Tr mice were positively correlated with total EETs in erythrocyte membrane, but there was no correlation with EETs or in WT mice. Following MI, and EETs were elevated in the erythrocyte membrane and cardiac tissue in Tr mice, accounting for the improved cardiac outcomes observed. Tr mice showed significantly better myocardial remodeling following MI, evidenced by higher % fractional shortening, smaller infarct size, lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, reduced fibrosis and apoptosis, and lower pulmonary edema. A positive correlation between total cardiac EETs and total erythrocyte membrane EETs in a Tr mouse model suggests that erythrocyte EETs may be used as predictive markers for cardiac events. All EET regioisomers displayed similar trends following acute MI; however, the magnitude of change for each regioisomer was markedly different, warranting measurement of each individually.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8060144DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7344501PMC
May 2020

Multi-ancestry GWAS of the electrocardiographic PR interval identifies 202 loci underlying cardiac conduction.

Nat Commun 2020 05 21;11(1):2542. Epub 2020 May 21.

Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

The electrocardiographic PR interval reflects atrioventricular conduction, and is associated with conduction abnormalities, pacemaker implantation, atrial fibrillation (AF), and cardiovascular mortality. Here we report a multi-ancestry (N = 293,051) genome-wide association meta-analysis for the PR interval, discovering 202 loci of which 141 have not previously been reported. Variants at identified loci increase the percentage of heritability explained, from 33.5% to 62.6%. We observe enrichment for cardiac muscle developmental/contractile and cytoskeletal genes, highlighting key regulation processes for atrioventricular conduction. Additionally, 8 loci not previously reported harbor genes underlying inherited arrhythmic syndromes and/or cardiomyopathies suggesting a role for these genes in cardiovascular pathology in the general population. We show that polygenic predisposition to PR interval duration is an endophenotype for cardiovascular disease, including distal conduction disease, AF, and atrioventricular pre-excitation. These findings advance our understanding of the polygenic basis of cardiac conduction, and the genetic relationship between PR interval duration and cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15706-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7242331PMC
May 2020

CYP2J2 Modulates Diverse Transcriptional Programs in Adult Human Cardiomyocytes.

Sci Rep 2020 03 24;10(1):5329. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, Department of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.

CYP2J2, a member of the Cytochrome P450 family of enzymes, is the most abundant epoxygenase in the heart and has multifunctional properties including bioactivation of arachidonic acid to epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, which, in turn, have been implicated in mediating several cardiovascular conditions. Using a proteomic approach, we found that CYP2J2 expression is lower in cardiac tissue from patients with cardiomyopathy compared to controls. In order to better elucidate the complex role played by CYP2J2 in cardiac cells, we performed targeted silencing of CYP2J2 expression in human adult ventricular cardiomyocytes and interrogated whole genome transcriptional responses. We found that knockdown of CYP2J2 elicits widespread alterations in gene expression of ventricular cardiomyocytes and leads to the activation of a diverse repertoire of programs, including those involved in ion channel signaling, development, extracellular matrix, and metabolism. Several members of the differentially up-regulated ion channel module have well-known pathogenetic roles in cardiac dysrhythmias. By leveraging causal network and upstream regulator analysis, we identified several candidate drivers of the observed transcriptional response to CYP2J2 silencing; these master regulators have been implicated in aberrant cardiac remodeling, heart failure, and myocyte injury and repair. Collectively, our study demonstrates that CYP2J2 plays a central and multifaceted role in cardiomyocyte homeostasis and provides a framework for identifying critical regulators and pathways influenced by this gene in cardiovascular health and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62174-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7093536PMC
March 2020

Systems analysis and improvement approach to optimize the hypertension diagnosis and care cascade for PLHIV individuals (SAIA-HTN): a hybrid type III cluster randomized trial.

Implement Sci 2020 03 6;15(1):15. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Department of Global Health, University of Washington Schools of Medicine and Public Health, 1705 NE Pacific St, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA.

Background: Across sub-Saharan Africa, evidence-based clinical guidelines to screen and manage hypertension exist; however, country level application is low due to lack of service readiness, uneven health worker motivation, weak accountability of health worker performance, and poor integration of hypertension screening and management with chronic care services. The systems analysis and improvement approach (SAIA) is an evidence-based implementation strategy that combines systems engineering tools into a five-step, facility-level package to improve understanding of gaps (cascade analysis), guide identification and prioritization of low-cost workflow modifications (process mapping), and iteratively test and redesign these modifications (continuous quality improvement). As hypertension screening and management are integrated into chronic care services in sub-Saharan Africa, an opportunity exists to test whether SAIA interventions shown to be effective in improving efficiency and coverage of HIV services can be effective when applied to the non-communicable disease services that leverage the same platform. We hypothesize that SAIA-hypertension (SAIA-HTN) will be effective as an adaptable, scalable model for broad implementation.

Methods: We will deploy a hybrid type III cluster randomized trial to evaluate the impact of SAIA-HTN on hypertension management in eight intervention and eight control facilities in central Mozambique. Effectiveness outcomes include hypertension cascade flow measures (screening, diagnosis, management, control), as well as hypertension and HIV clinical outcomes among people living with HIV. Cost-effectiveness will be estimated as the incremental costs per additional patient passing through the hypertension cascade steps and the cost per additional disability-adjusted life year averted, from the payer perspective (Ministry of Health). SAIA-HTN implementation fidelity will be measured, and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research will guide qualitative evaluation of the implementation process in high- and low-performing facilities to identify determinants of intervention success and failure, and define core and adaptable components of the SAIA-HTN intervention. The Organizational Readiness for Implementing Change scale will measure facility-level readiness for adopting SAIA-HTN.

Discussion: SAIA packages user-friendly systems engineering tools to guide decision-making by front-line health workers to identify low-cost, contextually appropriate chronic care improvement strategies. By integrating SAIA into routine hypertension screening and management structures, this pragmatic trial is designed to test a model for national scale-up.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04088656 (registered 09/13/2019; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04088656).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13012-020-0973-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059349PMC
March 2020

Plasma Ceramides and Sphingomyelins in Relation to Atrial Fibrillation Risk: The Cardiovascular Health Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 02 5;9(4):e012853. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit Department of Medicine University of Washington Seattle WA.

Background Ceramides exhibit multiple biological activities that may influence the pathophysiological characteristics of atrial fibrillation (AF). Whether the length of the saturated fatty acid carried by the ceramide or their sphingomyelin precursors are associated with AF risk is not known. Methods and Results Among 4206 CHS (Cardiovascular Health Study) participants (mean age, 76 years; 40% men) who were free of prevalent AF at baseline, we identified 1198 incident AF cases over a median 8.7 years of follow-up. We examined 8 sphingolipid species: ceramide and sphingomyelin species with palmitic acid and species with very-long-chain saturated fatty acids: arachidic; behenic; and lignoceric. In adjusted Cox regression analyses, ceramides and sphingomyelins with very-long-chain saturated fatty acids were associated with reduced AF risk (ie, per 2-fold higher ceramide with behenic acid hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.59-0.86; sphingomyelin with behenic acid hazard ratio, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.46-0.77). In contrast, ceramides and sphingomyelins with palmitic acid were associated with increased AF risk (ceramide with palmitic acid hazard ratio, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.03-1.66; sphingomyelin with palmitic acid hazard ratio, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.18-2.55). Associations were attenuated with adjustment for NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide), but did not differ significantly by age, sex, race, body mass index, or history of coronary heart disease. Conclusions Our findings suggest that several ceramide and sphingomyelin species are associated with incident AF, and that these associations differ on the basis of the fatty acid. Ceramides and sphingomyelins with palmitic acid were associated with increased AF risk, whereas ceramides and sphingomyelins with very-long-chain saturated fatty acids were associated with reduced AF risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.012853DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7070192PMC
February 2020

Effect of Sex and Underlying Disease on the Genetic Association of QT Interval and Sudden Cardiac Death.

J Am Heart Assoc 2019 12 21;8(23):e013751. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Department of Genetic Medicine McKusick-Nathans Institute Johns Hopkins Baltimore MD.

Background Sudden cardiac death (SCD) accounts for ≈300 000 deaths annually in the United States. Men have a higher risk of SCD and are more likely to have underlying coronary artery disease, while women are more likely to have arrhythmic events in the setting of inherited or acquired QT prolongation. Moreover, there is evidence of sex differences in the genetics of QT interval duration. Using sex- and coronary artery disease-stratified analyses, we assess differences in genetic association between longer QT interval and SCD risk. Methods and Results We examined 2282 SCD subjects and 3561 Finnish controls. The SCD subjects were stratified by underlying disease (ischemic versus nonischemic) and by sex. We used logistic regression to test for association between the top QT interval-associated single-nucleotide polymorphism, rs12143842 (in the locus), and SCD risk. We also performed Mendelian randomization to test for causal association of QT interval in the various subgroups. No statistically significant differences were observed between the sexes for associations with rs12143842, despite the odds ratio being higher in females across all subgroup analyses. Consistent with our hypothesis, female non-ischemics had the highest odds ratio point estimate for association between rs12143842 and SCD risk and male ischemics the lowest odds ratio point estimate (=0.036 for difference). Similar trends were observed for the Mendelian randomization analysis. Conclusions While individual subgroup comparisons did not achieve traditional criteria for statistical significance, this study is consistent with the hypothesis that the causal association of longer QT interval on SCD risk is stronger in women and nonischemic individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.013751DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6912973PMC
December 2019

Rare Genetic Variants Associated With Sudden Cardiac Death in Adults.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2019 11 11;74(21):2623-2634. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

Verve Therapeutics, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Background: Sudden cardiac death occurs in ∼220,000 U.S. adults annually, the majority of whom have no prior symptoms or cardiovascular diagnosis. Rare pathogenic DNA variants in any of 49 genes can pre-dispose to 4 important causes of sudden cardiac death: cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, inherited arrhythmia syndrome, and aortopathy or aortic dissection.

Objectives: This study assessed the prevalence of rare pathogenic variants in sudden cardiac death cases versus controls, and the prevalence and clinical importance of such mutations in an asymptomatic adult population.

Methods: The authors performed whole-exome sequencing in a case-control cohort of 600 adult-onset sudden cardiac death cases and 600 matched controls from 106,098 participants of 6 prospective cohort studies. Observed DNA sequence variants in any of 49 genes with known association to cardiovascular disease were classified as pathogenic or likely pathogenic by a clinical laboratory geneticist blinded to case status. In an independent population of 4,525 asymptomatic adult participants of a prospective cohort study, the authors performed whole-genome sequencing and determined the prevalence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants and prospective association with cardiovascular death.

Results: Among the 1,200 sudden cardiac death cases and controls, the authors identified 5,178 genetic variants and classified 14 as pathogenic or likely pathogenic. These 14 variants were present in 15 individuals, all of whom had experienced sudden cardiac death-corresponding to a pathogenic variant prevalence of 2.5% in cases and 0% in controls (p < 0.0001). Among the 4,525 participants of the prospective cohort study, 41 (0.9%) carried a pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant and these individuals had 3.24-fold higher risk of cardiovascular death over a median follow-up of 14.3 years (p = 0.02).

Conclusions: Gene sequencing identifies a pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant in a small but potentially important subset of adults experiencing sudden cardiac death; these variants are present in ∼1% of asymptomatic adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.08.1060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7067308PMC
November 2019

Associations of autozygosity with a broad range of human phenotypes.

Nat Commun 2019 10 31;10(1):4957. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Department of Neurology, Brain Centre Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, 3584 CX, The Netherlands.

In many species, the offspring of related parents suffer reduced reproductive success, a phenomenon known as inbreeding depression. In humans, the importance of this effect has remained unclear, partly because reproduction between close relatives is both rare and frequently associated with confounding social factors. Here, using genomic inbreeding coefficients (F) for >1.4 million individuals, we show that F is significantly associated (p < 0.0005) with apparently deleterious changes in 32 out of 100 traits analysed. These changes are associated with runs of homozygosity (ROH), but not with common variant homozygosity, suggesting that genetic variants associated with inbreeding depression are predominantly rare. The effect on fertility is striking: F equivalent to the offspring of first cousins is associated with a 55% decrease [95% CI 44-66%] in the odds of having children. Finally, the effects of F are confirmed within full-sibling pairs, where the variation in F is independent of all environmental confounding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12283-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823371PMC
October 2019

Plasma Ceramide Species Are Associated with Diabetes Risk in Participants of the Strong Heart Study.

J Nutr 2020 05;150(5):1214-1222

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Background: Few studies have assessed the associations of ceramides and sphingomyelins (SMs) with diabetes in humans.

Objective: We assessed associations of 15 circulating ceramides and SM species with incident diabetes in 2 studies.

Methods: The analysis included 435 American-Indian participants from the Strong Heart Study (nested case-control design for analyses; mean age: 57 y; 34% male; median time until diabetes 4.3 y for cases) and 1902 participants from the Strong Heart Family Study (prospective design for analyses; mean age: 37 y; 39% male; median 12.5 y of follow-up). Sphingolipid species were measured using stored plasma samples by sequential LC and MS. Using logistic regression and parametric survival models within studies, and an inverse-variance-weighted meta-analysis across studies, we examined associations of 15 ceramides and SM species with incident diabetes.

Results: There were 446 cases of incident diabetes across the studies. Higher circulating concentrations of ceramides containing stearic acid (Cer-18), arachidic acid (Cer-20), and behenic acid (Cer-22) were each associated with a higher risk of diabetes. The RRs for incident diabetes per 1 SD of each log ceramide species (μM) were 1.22 (95% CI: 1.09, 1.37) for Cer-18, 1.18 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.31) for Cer-20, and 1.20 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.32) for Cer-22. Although the magnitude of the risk estimates for the association of ceramides containing lignoceric acid (Cer-24) with diabetes was similar to those for Cer-18, Cer-20, and Cer-22 (RR = 1.13; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.26), the association was not statistically significant after correction for multiple testing (P = 0.007). Ceramides carrying palmitic acid (Cer-16), SMs, glucosyl-ceramides, or a lactosyl-ceramide were not associated with diabetes risk.

Conclusions: Higher concentrations of circulating Cer-18, Cer-20, and Cer-22 were associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes in 2 studies of American-Indian adults. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00005134.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxz259DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198314PMC
May 2020

Genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies five novel loci for age-related hearing impairment.

Sci Rep 2019 10 23;9(1):15192. Epub 2019 Oct 23.

Department of Medicine, Surgery and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.

Previous research has shown that genes play a substantial role in determining a person's susceptibility to age-related hearing impairment. The existing studies on this subject have different results, which may be caused by difficulties in determining the phenotype or the limited number of participants involved. Here, we have gathered the largest sample to date (discovery n = 9,675; replication n = 10,963; validation n = 356,141), and examined phenotypes that represented low/mid and high frequency hearing loss on the pure tone audiogram. We identified 7 loci that were either replicated and/or validated, of which 5 loci are novel in hearing. Especially the ILDR1 gene is a high profile candidate, as it contains our top SNP, is a known hearing loss gene, has been linked to age-related hearing impairment before, and in addition is preferentially expressed within hair cells of the inner ear. By verifying all previously published SNPs, we can present a paper that combines all new and existing findings to date, giving a complete overview of the genetic architecture of age-related hearing impairment. This is of importance as age-related hearing impairment is highly prevalent in our ageing society and represents a large socio-economic burden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51630-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6811684PMC
October 2019

Allele-specific NKX2-5 binding underlies multiple genetic associations with human electrocardiographic traits.

Nat Genet 2019 10 30;51(10):1506-1517. Epub 2019 Sep 30.

Department of Pediatrics, Rady Children's Hospital, Division of Genome Information Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

The cardiac transcription factor (TF) gene NKX2-5 has been associated with electrocardiographic (EKG) traits through genome-wide association studies (GWASs), but the extent to which differential binding of NKX2-5 at common regulatory variants contributes to these traits has not yet been studied. We analyzed transcriptomic and epigenomic data from induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes from seven related individuals, and identified ~2,000 single-nucleotide variants associated with allele-specific effects (ASE-SNVs) on NKX2-5 binding. NKX2-5 ASE-SNVs were enriched for altered TF motifs, for heart-specific expression quantitative trait loci and for EKG GWAS signals. Using fine-mapping combined with epigenomic data from induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, we prioritized candidate causal variants for EKG traits, many of which were NKX2-5 ASE-SNVs. Experimentally characterizing two NKX2-5 ASE-SNVs (rs3807989 and rs590041) showed that they modulate the expression of target genes via differential protein binding in cardiac cells, indicating that they are functional variants underlying EKG GWAS signals. Our results show that differential NKX2-5 binding at numerous regulatory variants across the genome contributes to EKG phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0499-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6858543PMC
October 2019