Publications by authors named "Paul M Ridker"

776 Publications

Technology-Assisted Self-Selection of Candidates for Nonprescription Statin Therapy.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 Sep;78(11):1114-1123

Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: Although statins reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, only about one-half of eligible patients receive treatment. Safe and appropriate consumer access to statins could have a significant positive public health impact.

Objectives: This study compares the concordance between a participant and clinician assessment of eligibility for statin therapy using a technology-assisted approach.

Methods: A total of 500 participants, 83 with limited literacy, completed an at-home Web-based application to assess appropriateness for treatment with rosuvastatin 5 mg. The Web application is designed to assess eligibility for a moderate-intensity statin based on current guidelines and deny access to individuals with contraindications to rosuvastatin. Subsequently, participants visited a research site where clinicians, blinded to the information the participant entered, performed an independent Web application assessment. The Web application is programmed for 1 of 3 rosuvastatin treatment outcomes: "OK to use," "not right for you," or "ask a doctor." The primary endpoint was the percent of participants whose self-selected eligibility for nonprescription rosuvastatin was concordant with clinician assessment.

Results: For the primary endpoint, participant selection for statin therapy was concordant with clinician selection in 481 (96.2%) of 500 participants (95% confidence interval: 94.1%-97.7%), of whom 23 (4.6%) were deemed appropriate and 458 (91.6%) were deemed inappropriate for treatment. Discordance was due to incorrect self-selection ("OK to use") in 3 cases, incorrect rejection ("not right for you") in 14 cases and an incorrect "ask a doctor" outcome in 2 cases.

Conclusions: The use of a technology-assisted approach to consumer self-selection for statin therapy resulted in participant self-selection that showed substantial agreement with clinician selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.06.048DOI Listing
September 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

Prediction of Lifetime and 10-Year Risk of Cancer in Individual Patients With Established Cardiovascular Disease.

JACC CardioOncol 2020 Sep 28;2(3):400-410. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Department of Vascular Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer share many common risk factors; patients with CVD also may be at risk of developing cancer.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to derive and externally validate prediction models for the estimation of lifetime and 10-year risk for total, colorectal, and lung cancer in patients with established CVD.

Methods: Data from patients with established CVD from the UCC-SMART cohort (N = 7,280) were used for model development, and from the CANTOS trial (N = 9,322) for model validation. Predictors were selected based on previously published cancer risk scores, clinical availability, and presence in the derivation dataset. Fine and Gray competing risk-adjusted lifetime models were developed for the outcomes total, colorectal, and lung cancer.

Results: Selected predictors were age, sex, smoking, weight, height, alcohol use, antiplatelet use, diabetes, and C-reactive protein. External calibration for the 4-year risk of lung, colorectal, and total cancer was reasonable in our models, as was discrimination with C-statistics of 0.74, 0.64, and 0.63, respectively. Median predicted lifetime and 10-year risks in CANTOS were 26% (range 1% to 52%) and 13% (range 1% to 31%) for total cancer; 4% (range 0% to 13%) and 2% (range 0% to 6%) for colorectal cancer; and 5% (range 0% to 37%) and 2% (range 0% to 24%) for lung cancer.

Conclusions: Lifetime and 10-year risk of total, colorectal, and lung cancer can be estimated reasonably well in patients with established CVD with readily available clinical predictors. With additional study, these tools could be used in clinical practice to further aid in the emphasis of healthy lifestyle changes and to guide thresholds for targeted diagnostics and screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccao.2020.07.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8352343PMC
September 2020

From RESCUE to ZEUS: will interleukin-6 inhibition with ziltivekimab prove effective for cardiovascular event reduction?

Authors:
Paul M Ridker

Cardiovasc Res 2021 Aug 5. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

Department of Medicine, Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 900 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvab231DOI Listing
August 2021

Genetic insights into biological mechanisms governing human ovarian ageing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adverse effects related to methotrexate polyglutamate levels: adjudicated results from the cardiovascular inflammation reduction trial.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2021 06;60(6):2963-2968

Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, Immunity, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Objectives: Methotrexate is widely used at low dosages (LD-MTX) for non-oncologic indications and is associated with a variety of adverse effects (AEs). We sought to determine whether concentrations of the active metabolite, MTX polyglutamates (MTX-PGs) 1-5, correlate with AEs.

Method: We examined data from the LD-MTX arm of the randomized double-blind Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial (CIRT). All AEs were blindly adjudicated and monitoring laboratories were tested centrally. The MTX-PGs 1-5 were assessed in one reference laboratory using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Based on prior literature, MTX-PGs 3-5 were chosen as the exposure of interest and quartiles of MTX-PGs 3-5 were assessed for their relationship with all AEs and each pre-specified category of AE using adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results: Of the 2391 subjects randomized to LD-MTX, MTX-PG levels were available for 1319 subjects (median dosage 16.1 mg/week) from the 8 month visit. We followed these subjects for a median of 2.2 years [interquartile range (IQR) 1.5-2.9]. Higher MTX-PG3-5 levels were related to an increased risk of anaemia [compared with quartile 1 (Q1); hazard ratio (HR) for Q4 1.27 (95% CI 0.98, 1.65), P for trend = 0.05] and a decreased risk of thrombocytopenia [HR for Q4 0.52 (95% CI 0.32, 0.84), P for trend = 0.05]. MTX-PG3-5 levels >134 nmol/l were associated with an increased risk of liver abnormalities [HR 1.36 (95% CI 1.08, 1.72)].

Conclusions: Higher MTX- PG3-5 levels were modestly associated with LD-MTX AEs, including anaemia and liver function abnormalities, but a reduced risk of thrombocytopenia and haemorrhage.

Clinical Trial Registration: NCT01594333.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keaa650DOI Listing
June 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

Homocysteine Is Associated With Future Venous Thromboembolism in 2 Prospective Cohorts of Women.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2021 07 27;41(7):2215-2224. Epub 2021 May 27.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, VA Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA (A.D.P.).

[Figure: see text].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.121.316397DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8222168PMC
July 2021

IL-6 inhibition with ziltivekimab in patients at high atherosclerotic risk (RESCUE): a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial.

Lancet 2021 May 17;397(10289):2060-2069. Epub 2021 May 17.

Corvidia Therapeutics, Waltham, MA, USA.

Background: IL-6 has emerged as a pivotal factor in atherothrombosis. Yet, the safety and efficacy of IL-6 inhibition among individuals at high atherosclerotic risk but without a systemic inflammatory disorder is unknown. We therefore addressed whether ziltivekimab, a fully human monoclonal antibody directed against the IL-6 ligand, safely and effectively reduces biomarkers of inflammation and thrombosis among patients with high cardiovascular risk. We focused on individuals with elevated high-sensitivity CRP and chronic kidney disease, a group with substantial unmet clinical need in whom previous studies in inflammation inhibition have shown efficacy for cardiovascular event reduction.

Methods: RESCUE is a randomised, double-blind, phase 2 trial done at 40 clinical sites in the USA. Inclusion criteria were age 18 years or older, moderate to severe chronic kidney disease, and high-sensitivity CRP of at least 2 mg/L. Participants were randomly allocated (1:1:1:1) to subcutaneous administration of placebo or ziltivekimab 7·5 mg, 15 mg, or 30 mg every 4 weeks up to 24 weeks. The primary outcome was percentage change from baseline in high-sensitivity CRP after 12 weeks of treatment with ziltivekimab compared with placebo, with additional biomarker and safety data collected over 24 weeks of treatment. Primary analyses were done in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of assigned treatment. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03926117.

Findings: Between June 17, 2019, and Jan 14, 2020, 264 participants were enrolled into the trial, of whom 66 were randomly assigned to each of the four treatment groups. At 12 weeks after randomisation, median high-sensitivity CRP levels were reduced by 77% for the 7·5 mg group, 88% for the 15 mg group, and 92% for the 30 mg group compared with 4% for the placebo group. As such, the median pairwise differences in percentage change in high-sensitivity CRP between the ziltivekimab and placebo groups, after aligning for strata, were -66·2% for the 7·5 mg group, -77·7% for the 15 mg group, and -87·8% for the 30 mg group (all p<0·0001). Effects were stable over the 24-week treatment period. Dose-dependent reductions were also observed for fibrinogen, serum amyloid A, haptoglobin, secretory phospholipase A2, and lipoprotein(a). Ziltivekimab was well tolerated, did not affect the total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio, and there were no serious injection-site reactions, sustained grade 3 or 4 neutropenia or thrombocytopenia.

Interpretation: Ziltivekimab markedly reduced biomarkers of inflammation and thrombosis relevant to atherosclerosis. On the basis of these data, a large-scale cardiovascular outcomes trial will investigate the effect of ziltivekimab in patients with chronic kidney disease, increased high-sensitivity CRP, and established cardiovascular disease.

Funding: Novo Nordisk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00520-1DOI Listing
May 2021

Interleukin-6 Signaling and Anti-Interleukin-6 Therapeutics in Cardiovascular Disease.

Circ Res 2021 May 17;128(11):1728-1746. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Medicine, Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

IL (interleukin)-6 is a pivotal cytokine of innate immunity, which enacts a broad set of physiological functions traditionally associated with host defense, immune cell regulation, proliferation, and differentiation. Following recognition of innate immune pathways leading from the NLRP3 (NOD-, LRR-, and pyrin domain-containing protein 3) inflammasome to IL-1 to IL-6 and on to the hepatically derived clinical biomarker CRP (C-reactive protein), an expanding literature has led to understanding of the proatherogenic role for IL-6 in cardiovascular disease and thus the potential for IL-6 inhibition as a novel method for vascular protection. In this review, we provide an overview of the mechanisms by which IL-6 signaling occurs and how that impacts upon pharmacological inhibition; describe murine models of IL-6 and atherogenesis; summarize human epidemiological data outlining the utility of IL-6 as a biomarker of vascular risk; outline genetic data suggesting a causal role for IL-6 in systemic atherothrombosis and aneurysm formation; and then detail the potential role of IL-6 inhibition in stable coronary disease, acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, and the atherothrombotic complications associated with chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal failure. Finally, we review anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic findings for ziltivekimab, a novel IL-6 ligand inhibitor being developed specifically for use in atherosclerotic disease and poised to be tested formally in a large-scale cardiovascular outcomes trial focused on individuals with chronic kidney disease and elevated levels of CRP, a population at high residual atherothrombotic risk, high residual inflammatory risk, and considerable unmet clinical need.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.121.319077DOI Listing
May 2021

Association Between Achieved ω-3 Fatty Acid Levels and Major Adverse Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients With High Cardiovascular Risk: A Secondary Analysis of the STRENGTH Trial.

JAMA Cardiol 2021 May 16. Epub 2021 May 16.

Monash Cardiovascular Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Importance: In patients treated with ω-3 fatty acids, it remains uncertain whether achieved levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are associated with cardiovascular outcomes.

Objective: To determine the association between plasma levels of EPA and DHA and cardiovascular outcomes in a trial of ω-3 fatty acids compared with corn oil placebo.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A double-blind, multicenter trial enrolled patients at high cardiovascular risk with elevated triglyceride levels and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol at 675 centers (enrollment from October 30, 2014, to June 14, 2017; study termination January 8, 2020; last visit May 14, 2020).

Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive 4 g daily of ω-3 carboxylic acid (CA) or an inert comparator, corn oil.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary prespecified end point was a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, coronary revascularization, or unstable angina requiring hospitalization. The primary outcome measure was the hazard ratio, adjusted for baseline characteristics, for patients treated with the ω-3 CA compared with corn oil for the top tertile of achieved EPA and DHA plasma levels 12 months after randomization.

Results: Of the 13 078 total participants, 6539 (50%) were randomized to receive ω-3 CA and 6539 (50%) randomized to corn oil. ω-3 Fatty acid levels were available at both baseline and 12 months after randomization in 10 382 participants (5175 ω-3 CA patients [49.8%] and 5207 corn oil-treated patients [50.2%]; mean [SD] age, 62.5 [8.9] years, 3588 [34.6%] were women, 9025 [86.9%] were White, and 7285 [70.2%] had type 2 diabetes). The median plasma levels at 12 months in ω-3 CA patients were 89 μg/mL (interquartile range [IQR], 46-131 μg/mL) for EPA and 91 μg/mL (IQR, 71-114 μg/mL) for DHA with top tertile levels of 151 μg/mL (IQR, 132-181 μg/mL) and 118 μg/mL (IQR, 102-143 μg/mL), respectively. Compared with corn oil, the adjusted hazard ratios for the highest tertile of achieved plasma levels were 0.98 (95% CI, 0.83-1.16; P = .81) for EPA, and 1.02 (95% CI, 0.86-1.20; P = .85 for DHA. Sensitivity analyses based on changes in plasma and red blood cell levels of EPA and DHA and primary and secondary prevention subgroups showed similar results.

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients treated with ω-3 CA, the highest achieved tertiles of EPA and DHA were associated with neither benefit nor harm in patients at high cardiovascular risk.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02104817.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2021.1157DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8126992PMC
May 2021

Testing the Effects of Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs on Vascular Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rationale and Design of the TARGET Trial.

ACR Open Rheumatol 2021 Jun 1;3(6):371-380. Epub 2021 May 1.

Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, New York.

Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events relative to the general population, potentially mediated by atherosclerotic plaques that are more inflamed and rupture prone. We sought to address whether RA immunomodulators reduce vascular inflammation, thereby reducing ASCVD risk, and whether such reduction depends on the type of immunomodulator. The TARGET (Treatments Against RA and Effect on 18-Fluorodeoxyglucose [ F-FDG] Positron Emission Tomography [PET]/Computed Tomography [CT]) trial (NCT02374021) will enroll 150 patients with RA with active disease and an inadequate response to methotrexate. Participants will be randomized to add either a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor (etanercept or adalimumab) or sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine to their background methotrexate. Participants will undergo full-body F-FDG-labelled PET scanning at baseline and after 6 months. Efficacy and safety evaluations will occur every 6 weeks, with therapy modified in a treat-to-target approach. The primary outcome is the comparison of change in arterial inflammation in the wall of the aorta and carotid arteries between the randomized treatment groups, specifically, the change in the mean of the maximum target-to-background ratio of arterial F-FDG uptake in the most diseased segment of either the aorta and carotid arteries. A secondary analysis will compare the effects of achieving low disease activity or remission with those of moderate to high disease activity on vascular inflammation. The TARGET trial will test, for the first time, whether RA treatments reduce arterial inflammation and whether such reduction differs according to treatment strategy with either TNF inhibitors or a combination of nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr2.11256DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8207684PMC
June 2021

Inhibiting Interleukin-6 to Reduce Cardiovascular Event Rates: A Next Step for Atherothrombosis Treatment and Prevention.

Authors:
Paul M Ridker

J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 Apr;77(15):1856-1858

Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and the Divisions of Preventive Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.02.060DOI Listing
April 2021

Association Between Hemostatic Profile and Migraine: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis.

Neurology 2021 05 1;96(20):e2481-e2487. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

From the Division of Preventive Medicine (Y.G., P.M. Rist, P.M. Ridker, D.C.), Brigham and Women's Hospital; Harvard Medical School (Y.G., P.M. Rist, P.M. Ridker, D.I.C.); Department of Epidemiology (Y.G., P.M. Rist, P.M. Ridker, T.K., D.C.), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Genomics of Complex Diseases (M.S.-L.), Research Institute of Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, IIB Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain; Cardiovascular Medicine Unit, Department of Medicine (M.S.-L.), Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences (P.d.V.), School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Department of Epidemiology (N.S.), University of Washington; Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (N.S.), Seattle; Seattle Epidemiologic Research and Information Center (N.S.), Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, WA; and Institute of Public Health (T.K.), Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.

Objective: To assess support for a causal relationship between hemostatic measures and migraine susceptibility using genetic instrumental analysis.

Methods: Two-sample Mendelian randomization instrumental analyses leveraging available genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary statistics were applied to hemostatic measures as potentially causal for migraine and its subtypes, migraine with aura (MA) and migraine without aura (MO). Twelve blood-based measures of hemostasis were examined, including plasma level or activity of 8 hemostatic factors and 2 fibrinopeptides together with 2 hemostasis clinical tests.

Results: There were significant instrumental effects between increased coagulation factor VIII activity (FVIII; odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 1.05 [1.03, 1.08]/SD, = 6.08 × 10), von Willebrand factor level (vWF; 1.05 [1.03, 1.08]/SD, = 2.25 × 10), and phosphorylated fibrinopeptide A level (1.13 [1.07, 1.19]/SD, = 5.44 × 10) with migraine susceptibility. When extended to migraine subtypes, FVIII, vWF, and phosphorylated fibrinopeptide A showed slightly stronger effects with MA than overall migraine. Fibrinogen level was inversely linked with MA (0.76 [0.64, 0.91]/SD, = 2.32 × 10) but not overall migraine. None of the hemostatic factors was linked with MO. In sensitivity analysis, effects for fibrinogen and phosphorylated fibrinopeptide A were robust, whereas independent effects of FVIII and vWF could not be distinguished, and FVIII associations were potentially affected by pleiotropy at the locus. Causal effects from migraine to the hemostatic measures were not supported in reverse Mendelian randomization. However, MA was not included due to lack of instruments.

Conclusions: The findings support potential causality of increased FVIII, vWF, and phosphorylated fibrinopeptide A and decreased fibrinogen in migraine susceptibility, especially for MA, potentially revealing etiologic relationships between hemostasis and migraine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011931DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205479PMC
May 2021

The neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio: considerations for clinical application.

Eur Heart J 2021 06;42(22):2216-2217

Department of Medicine, Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Divisions of Preventive Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 900 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab166DOI Listing
June 2021

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

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

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States.

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

Association of Lipid, Inflammatory, and Metabolic Biomarkers With Age at Onset for Incident Coronary Heart Disease in Women.

JAMA Cardiol 2021 Apr;6(4):437-447

Center for Lipid Metabolomics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Risk profiles for premature coronary heart disease (CHD) are unclear.

Objective: To examine baseline risk profiles for incident CHD in women by age at onset.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A prospective cohort of US female health professionals participating in the Women's Health Study was conducted; median follow-up was 21.4 years. Participants included 28 024 women aged 45 years or older without known cardiovascular disease. Baseline profiles were obtained from April 30, 1993, to January 24, 1996, and analyses were conducted from October 1, 2017, to October 1, 2020.

Exposures: More than 50 clinical, lipid, inflammatory, and metabolic risk factors and biomarkers.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Four age groups were examined (<55, 55 to <65, 65 to <75, and ≥75 years) for CHD onset, and adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) were calculated using stratified Cox proportional hazard regression models with age as the time scale and adjusting for clinical factors. Women contributed to different age groups over time.

Results: Of the clinical factors in the women, diabetes had the highest aHR for CHD onset at any age, ranging from 10.71 (95% CI, 5.57-20.60) at CHD onset in those younger than 55 years to 3.47 (95% CI, 2.47-4.87) at CHD onset in those 75 years or older. Risks that were also noted for CHD onset in participants younger than 55 years included metabolic syndrome (aHR, 6.09; 95% CI, 3.60-10.29), hypertension (aHR, 4.58; 95% CI, 2.76-7.60), obesity (aHR, 4.33; 95% CI, 2.31-8.11), and smoking (aHR, 3.92; 95% CI, 2.32-6.63). Myocardial infarction in a parent before age 60 years was associated with 1.5- to 2-fold risk of CHD in participants up to age 75 years. From approximately 50 biomarkers, lipoprotein insulin resistance had the highest standardized aHR: 6.40 (95% CI, 3.14-13.06) for CHD onset in women younger than 55 years, attenuating with age. In comparison, weaker but significant associations with CHD in women younger than 55 years were noted (per SD increment) for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (aHR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.10-1.74), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (aHR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.36-2.04), apolipoprotein B (aHR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.52-2.35), triglycerides (aHR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.72-2.67), and inflammatory biomarkers (1.2- to 1.8-fold)-all attenuating with age. Some biomarkers had similar CHD age associations (eg, physical inactivity, lipoprotein[a], total high-density lipoprotein particles), while a few had no association with CHD onset at any age. Most risk factors and biomarkers had associations that attenuated with increasing age at onset.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study, diabetes and insulin resistance, in addition to hypertension, obesity, and smoking, appeared to be the strongest risk factors for premature onset of CHD. Most risk factors had attenuated relative rates at older ages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2020.7073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7818181PMC
April 2021

The neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio and incident atherosclerotic events: analyses from five contemporary randomized trials.

Eur Heart J 2021 03;42(9):896-903

Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Divisions of Preventive Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 900 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Aims: The neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a readily available inflammatory biomarker that may associate with atherosclerosis and predict cardiovascular (CV) events. The aims of this study are to determine whether the NLR predicts incident major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and is modified by anti-inflammatory therapy.

Methods And Results: Baseline and on-treatment NLRs were calculated from complete blood counts among 60 087 participants randomized in the CANTOS, JUPITER, SPIRE-1, SPIRE-2, and CIRT trials to receive placebo or canakinumab, rosuvastatin, bococizumab, or methotrexate, respectively, and followed up for MACE. All analyses were performed first in CANTOS, and then externally validated in the other four trials. For the five trials, hazard ratios for major CV events and mortality comparing NLR quartiles were computed using Cox proportional hazards models, and the effect of each randomized intervention on the NLR was evaluated in comparison to placebo. The NLR modestly correlated with interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and fibrinogen levels but minimally with lipids. In all five randomized trials, baseline NLR predicted incident CV events and death; the per-quartile increase in risk of MACE was 20% in CANTOS [95% confidence interval (CI) 14-25%, P < 0.0001], 31% in SPIRE-1 (95% CI 14-49%, P = 0.00007), 27% in SPIRE-2 (95% CI 12-43%, P = 0.0002), 9% in CIRT (95% CI 0.2-20%, P = 0.045), and 11% in JUPITER (95% CI 1-22%, P = 0.03). While lipid-lowering agents had no significant impact on the NLR, anti-inflammatory therapy with canakinumab lowered the NLR (P < 0.0001).

Conclusion: The NLR, an easily obtained inflammatory biomarker, independently predicts CV risk and all-cause mortality, and is reduced by interleukin-1β blockade with canakinumab.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa1034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936519PMC
March 2021

Lipoproteins in chronic kidney disease: from bench to bedside.

Eur Heart J 2021 06;42(22):2170-2185

Translational Cardio-Renal Medicine, Saarland University, Kirrberger Strasse, Building 41, D-66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with high cardiovascular risk. CKD patients exhibit a specific lipoprotein pattern termed 'uraemic dyslipidaemia', which is characterized by rather normal low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high triglyceride plasma levels. All three lipoprotein classes are involved in the pathogenesis of CKD-associated cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Uraemia leads to several modifications of the structure of lipoproteins such as changes of the proteome and the lipidome, post-translational protein modifications (e.g. carbamylation) and accumulation of small-molecular substances within the lipoprotein moieties, which affect their functionality. Lipoproteins from CKD patients interfere with lipid transport and promote inflammation, oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction as well as other features of atherogenesis, thus contributing to the development of CKD-associated CVD. While, lipid-modifying therapies play an important role in the management of CKD patients, their efficacy is modulated by kidney function. Novel therapeutic agents to prevent the adverse remodelling of lipoproteins in CKD and to improve their functional properties are highly desirable and partially under development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa1050DOI Listing
June 2021

Association of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio with non-calcified coronary artery burden in psoriasis: Findings from an observational cohort study.

J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr 2021 Jul-Aug;15(4):372-379. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Inflammation in the form of elevated high-sensitivity c-reactive protein (hs-CRP) has been shown to be critical in the development of atherothrombosis. Psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease, is associated with high systemic-inflammation, elevated neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and accelerated non-calcified coronary artery burden (NCB) by coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). We hypothesized that NLR would associate with early, rupture-prone atherosclerosis assessed as NCB independent of hs-CRP.

Methods: 316 consecutive psoriasis participants were recruited with 233 having one-year follow-up as part of a prospective, observational cohort study design. CCTA scans were performed to assess NCB in all three major epicardial coronary arteries.

Results: Patients with above average NLR (>mean: 2.29 ​± ​1.21) were older (mean ​± ​SD; 52.0 ​± ​12.8 vs. 47.9 ​± ​12.6, p ​= ​0.002), had higher hs-CRP (med. IQR: 2.3 (0.9-7.3) vs. 1.4 (0.7-3.2), p ​= ​0.001) and had higher NCB (mean ​± ​SD; 1.21 ​± ​0.58 vs. 1.13 ​± ​0.49, p ​= ​0.018) when compared to patients with below average NLR. NLR associated with psoriasis area severity index score (β ​= ​0.14, p ​= ​0.017), hs-CRP (β ​= ​0.16, p ​= ​0.005), as well as NCB independent of traditional risk factors, body mass index, statin use and hs-CRP (β ​= ​0.08, p ​= ​0.009). One year of biologic therapy for psoriasis was associated with a reduction in NLR (-14.5%, p ​< ​0.001), and this change in NLR associated with change in NCB in fully adjusted models and beyond hs-CRP (β ​= ​0.17, p ​= ​0.002).

Conclusion: NLR associated with psoriasis severity, hs-CRP and NCB at baseline. Biologic therapy reduced NLR over time and this change in NLR associated with the change in NCB at one-year. Taken together, these findings suggest that NLR may capture psoriasis patients at higher risk of NCB due to residual inflammation not fully captured by hs-CRP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcct.2020.12.006DOI Listing
December 2020

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

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

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

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

Association of the Mediterranean Diet With Onset of Diabetes in the Women's Health Study.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 11 2;3(11):e2025466. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Center for Lipid Metabolomics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Higher Mediterranean diet (MED) intake has been associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, but underlying biological mechanisms are unclear.

Objective: To characterize the relative contribution of conventional and novel biomarkers in MED-associated type 2 diabetes risk reduction in a US population.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study was conducted among 25 317 apparently healthy women. The participants with missing information regarding all traditional and novel metabolic biomarkers or those with baseline diabetes were excluded. Participants were invited for baseline assessment between September 1992 and May 1995. Data were collected from November 1992 to December 2017 and analyzed from December 2018 to December 2019.

Exposures: MED intake score (range, 0 to 9) was computed from self-reported dietary intake, representing adherence to Mediterranean diet intake.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Incident cases of type 2 diabetes, identified through annual questionnaires; reported cases were confirmed by either telephone interview or supplemental questionnaire. Proportion of reduced risk of type 2 diabetes explained by clinical risk factors and a panel of 40 biomarkers that represent different physiological pathways was estimated.

Results: The mean (SD) age of the 25 317 female participants was 52.9 (9.9) years, and they were followed up for a mean (SD) of 19.8 (5.8) years. Higher baseline MED intake (score ≥6 vs ≤3) was associated with as much as a 30% lower type 2 diabetes risk (age-adjusted and energy-adjusted hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.62-0.79; when regression models were additionally adjusted with body mass index [BMI]: hazard ratio, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.76-0.96). Biomarkers of insulin resistance made the largest contribution to lower risk (accounting for 65.5% of the MED-type 2 diabetes association), followed by BMI (55.5%), high-density lipoprotein measures (53.0%), and inflammation (52.5%), with lesser contributions from branched-chain amino acids (34.5%), very low-density lipoprotein measures (32.0%), low-density lipoprotein measures (31.0%), blood pressure (29.0%), and apolipoproteins (23.5%), and minimal contribution (≤2%) from hemoglobin A1c. In post hoc subgroup analyses, the inverse association of MED diet with type 2 diabetes was seen only among women who had BMI of at least 25 at baseline but not those who had BMI of less than 25 (eg, women with BMI <25, age- and energy-adjusted HR for MED score ≥6 vs ≤3, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.77-1.33; P for trend = .92; women with BMI ≥25: HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.67-0.87; P for trend < .001).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study, higher MED intake scores were associated with a 30% relative risk reduction in type 2 diabetes during a 20-year period, which could be explained in large part by biomarkers of insulin resistance, BMI, lipoprotein metabolism, and inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.25466DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7677766PMC
November 2020

Adverse Effects of Low-Dose Methotrexate in a Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial: Adjudicated Hematologic and Skin Cancer Outcomes in the Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial.

ACR Open Rheumatol 2020 Dec 17;2(12):697-704. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Objective: Low-dose methotrexate (LD-MTX), a cornerstone in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is associated with a moderately increased risk of anemia, leukopenia, and skin cancers, but the risks of myelosuppression and malignancy during LD-MTX use remain incompletely described. We examined the risks of cytopenias and skin cancers among patients taking LD-MTX versus placebo in a large randomized controlled trial (RCT).

Methods: We prespecified secondary analyses of a double-blind, placebo-controlled RCT that included adults with known cardiovascular disease and diabetes or metabolic syndrome in the United States and Canada. Subjects were randomly allocated to LD-MTX (20 mg/week maximum) or placebo. All subjects received folic acid (1 mg daily for 6days/week). We assessed the frequency of blindly adjudicated hematologic and malignant adverse events (AEs).

Results: A total of 2391 subjects were randomized to LD-MTX (mean dosage 14.9 mg/week), and 2395 were randomized to placebo. During follow-up, in the LD-MTX arm, simultaneous two-line cytopenias (n = 92 [3.9%]) or pancytopenia (n = 13 [0.54%]) were infrequent. Pancytopenia developed as soon as 4 months and as late as 3.5 years after beginning LD-MTX, though the latter subject had been recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Overall skin cancer risk was increased in users of LD-MTX compared with users of placebo, which driven largely by a statistically significant increased risk of squamous cell skin cancer (hazard ratio [HR] 3.31; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.63-6.71). Melanoma was increased in LD-MTX, but this was not statistically significant (HR 2.33; 95% CI 0.60-9.01).

Conclusions: Among subjects using LD-MTX, simultaneous two-line cytopenias and pancytopenia were uncommon. We found more cases of skin cancer, particularly squamous cell carcinomas, in the LD-MTX arm than the placebo arm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr2.11187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7738806PMC
December 2020

Effect of High-Dose Omega-3 Fatty Acids vs Corn Oil on Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Patients at High Cardiovascular Risk: The STRENGTH Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2020 12;324(22):2268-2280

Cleveland Clinic Coordinating Center for Clinical Research, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Importance: It remains uncertain whether the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) reduce cardiovascular risk.

Objective: To determine the effects on cardiovascular outcomes of a carboxylic acid formulation of EPA and DHA (omega-3 CA) with documented favorable effects on lipid and inflammatory markers in patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia and high cardiovascular risk.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A double-blind, randomized, multicenter trial (enrollment October 30, 2014, to June 14, 2017; study termination January 8, 2020; last patient visit May 14, 2020) comparing omega-3 CA with corn oil in statin-treated participants with high cardiovascular risk, hypertriglyceridemia, and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). A total of 13 078 patients were randomized at 675 academic and community hospitals in 22 countries in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive 4 g/d of omega-3 CA (n = 6539) or corn oil, which was intended to serve as an inert comparator (n = 6539), in addition to usual background therapies, including statins.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary efficacy measure was a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, coronary revascularization, or unstable angina requiring hospitalization.

Results: When 1384 patients had experienced a primary end point event (of a planned 1600 events), the trial was prematurely halted based on an interim analysis that indicated a low probability of clinical benefit of omega-3 CA vs the corn oil comparator. Among the 13 078 treated patients (mean [SD] age, 62.5 [9.0] years; 35% women; 70% with diabetes; median low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol level, 75.0 mg/dL; median triglycerides level, 240 mg/dL; median HDL-C level, 36 mg/dL; and median high-sensitivity C-reactive protein level, 2.1 mg/L), 12 633 (96.6%) completed the trial with ascertainment of primary end point status. The primary end point occurred in 785 patients (12.0%) treated with omega-3 CA vs 795 (12.2%) treated with corn oil (hazard ratio, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.90-1.09]; P = .84). A greater rate of gastrointestinal adverse events was observed in the omega-3 CA group (24.7%) compared with corn oil-treated patients (14.7%).

Conclusions And Relevance: Among statin-treated patients at high cardiovascular risk, the addition of omega-3 CA, compared with corn oil, to usual background therapies resulted in no significant difference in a composite outcome of major adverse cardiovascular events. These findings do not support use of this omega-3 fatty acid formulation to reduce major adverse cardiovascular events in high-risk patients.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02104817.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.22258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7667577PMC
December 2020

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

COVID-19 - A vascular disease.

Trends Cardiovasc Med 2021 01 14;31(1):1-5. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States; Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) leads to multi-system dysfunction with emerging evidence suggesting that SARS-CoV-2-mediated endothelial injury is an important effector of the virus. Potential therapies that address vascular system dysfunction and its sequelae may have an important role in treating SARS-CoV-2 infection and its long-lasting effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tcm.2020.10.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7556303PMC
January 2021
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