Publications by authors named "Quenna Wong"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A System for Phenotype Harmonization in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program.

Am J Epidemiol 2021 10;190(10):1977-1992

Genotype-phenotype association studies often combine phenotype data from multiple studies to increase statistical power. Harmonization of the data usually requires substantial effort due to heterogeneity in phenotype definitions, study design, data collection procedures, and data-set organization. Here we describe a centralized system for phenotype harmonization that includes input from phenotype domain and study experts, quality control, documentation, reproducible results, and data-sharing mechanisms. This system was developed for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program, which is generating genomic and other -omics data for more than 80 studies with extensive phenotype data. To date, 63 phenotypes have been harmonized across thousands of participants (recruited in 1948-2012) from up to 17 studies per phenotype. Here we discuss challenges in this undertaking and how they were addressed. The harmonized phenotype data and associated documentation have been submitted to National Institutes of Health data repositories for controlled access by the scientific community. We also provide materials to facilitate future harmonization efforts by the community, which include 1) the software code used to generate the 63 harmonized phenotypes, enabling others to reproduce, modify, or extend these harmonizations to additional studies, and 2) the results of labeling thousands of phenotype variables with controlled vocabulary terms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwab115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8485147PMC
October 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

Inherited causes of clonal haematopoiesis in 97,691 whole genomes.

Nature 2020 10 14;586(7831):763-768. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Age is the dominant risk factor for most chronic human diseases, but the mechanisms through which ageing confers this risk are largely unknown. The age-related acquisition of somatic mutations that lead to clonal expansion in regenerating haematopoietic stem cell populations has recently been associated with both haematological cancer and coronary heart disease-this phenomenon is termed clonal haematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP). Simultaneous analyses of germline and somatic whole-genome sequences provide the opportunity to identify root causes of CHIP. Here we analyse high-coverage whole-genome sequences from 97,691 participants of diverse ancestries in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Trans-omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme, and identify 4,229 individuals with CHIP. We identify associations with blood cell, lipid and inflammatory traits that are specific to different CHIP driver genes. Association of a genome-wide set of germline genetic variants enabled the identification of three genetic loci associated with CHIP status, including one locus at TET2 that was specific to individuals of African ancestry. In silico-informed in vitro evaluation of the TET2 germline locus enabled the identification of a causal variant that disrupts a TET2 distal enhancer, resulting in increased self-renewal of haematopoietic stem cells. Overall, we observe that germline genetic variation shapes haematopoietic stem cell function, leading to CHIP through mechanisms that are specific to clonal haematopoiesis as well as shared mechanisms that lead to somatic mutations across tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2819-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944936PMC
October 2020

HDAC9 is implicated in atherosclerotic aortic calcification and affects vascular smooth muscle cell phenotype.

Nat Genet 2019 11 28;51(11):1580-1587. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA, USA.

Aortic calcification is an important independent predictor of future cardiovascular events. We performed a genome-wide association meta-analysis to determine SNPs associated with the extent of abdominal aortic calcification (n = 9,417) or descending thoracic aortic calcification (n = 8,422). Two genetic loci, HDAC9 and RAP1GAP, were associated with abdominal aortic calcification at a genome-wide level (P < 5.0 × 10). No SNPs were associated with thoracic aortic calcification at the genome-wide threshold. Increased expression of HDAC9 in human aortic smooth muscle cells promoted calcification and reduced contractility, while inhibition of HDAC9 in human aortic smooth muscle cells inhibited calcification and enhanced cell contractility. In matrix Gla protein-deficient mice, a model of human vascular calcification, mice lacking HDAC9 had a 40% reduction in aortic calcification and improved survival. This translational genomic study identifies the first genetic risk locus associated with calcification of the abdominal aorta and describes a previously unknown role for HDAC9 in the development of vascular calcification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0514-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6858575PMC
November 2019

Genetic and lifestyle risk factors for MRI-defined brain infarcts in a population-based setting.

Neurology 2019 Jan 16. Epub 2019 Jan 16.

Objective: To explore genetic and lifestyle risk factors of MRI-defined brain infarcts (BI) in large population-based cohorts.

Methods: We performed meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and examined associations of vascular risk factors and their genetic risk scores (GRS) with MRI-defined BI and a subset of BI, namely, small subcortical BI (SSBI), in 18 population-based cohorts (n = 20,949) from 5 ethnicities (3,726 with BI, 2,021 with SSBI). Top loci were followed up in 7 population-based cohorts (n = 6,862; 1,483 with BI, 630 with SBBI), and we tested associations with related phenotypes including ischemic stroke and pathologically defined BI.

Results: The mean prevalence was 17.7% for BI and 10.5% for SSBI, steeply rising after age 65. Two loci showed genome-wide significant association with BI: FBN2, = 1.77 × 10; and LINC00539/ZDHHC20, = 5.82 × 10. Both have been associated with blood pressure (BP)-related phenotypes, but did not replicate in the smaller follow-up sample or show associations with related phenotypes. Age- and sex-adjusted associations with BI and SSBI were observed for BP traits ( value for BI, = 9.38 × 10; = 5.23 × 10 for hypertension), smoking ( = 4.4 × 10; = 1.2 × 10), diabetes ( = 1.7 × 10; = 2.8 × 10), previous cardiovascular disease ( = 1.0 × 10; = 2.3 × 10), stroke ( = 3.9 × 10; = 3.2 × 10), and MRI-defined white matter hyperintensity burden ( = 1.43 × 10; = 3.16 × 10), but not with body mass index or cholesterol. GRS of BP traits were associated with BI and SSBI ( ≤ 0.0022), without indication of directional pleiotropy.

Conclusion: In this multiethnic GWAS meta-analysis, including over 20,000 population-based participants, we identified genetic risk loci for BI requiring validation once additional large datasets become available. High BP, including genetically determined, was the most significant modifiable, causal risk factor for BI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000006851DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6369905PMC
January 2019

GWAS and colocalization analyses implicate carotid intima-media thickness and carotid plaque loci in cardiovascular outcomes.

Nat Commun 2018 12 3;9(1):5141. Epub 2018 Dec 3.

Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, 39216, USA.

Carotid artery intima media thickness (cIMT) and carotid plaque are measures of subclinical atherosclerosis associated with ischemic stroke and coronary heart disease (CHD). Here, we undertake meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in 71,128 individuals for cIMT, and 48,434 individuals for carotid plaque traits. We identify eight novel susceptibility loci for cIMT, one independent association at the previously-identified PINX1 locus, and one novel locus for carotid plaque. Colocalization analysis with nearby vascular expression quantitative loci (cis-eQTLs) derived from arterial wall and metabolic tissues obtained from patients with CHD identifies candidate genes at two potentially additional loci, ADAMTS9 and LOXL4. LD score regression reveals significant genetic correlations between cIMT and plaque traits, and both cIMT and plaque with CHD, any stroke subtype and ischemic stroke. Our study provides insights into genes and tissue-specific regulatory mechanisms linking atherosclerosis both to its functional genomic origins and its clinical consequences in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07340-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6277418PMC
December 2018

Genome-Wide Association Study of Blood Pressure Traits by Hispanic/Latino Background: the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos.

Sci Rep 2017 09 4;7(1):10348. Epub 2017 Sep 4.

Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Hypertension prevalence varies between ethnic groups, possibly due to differences in genetic, environmental, and cultural determinants. Hispanic/Latino Americans are a diverse and understudied population. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of blood pressure (BP) traits in 12,278 participants from the Hispanics Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). In the discovery phase we identified eight previously unreported BP loci. In the replication stage, we tested these loci in the 1982 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study of admixed Southern Brazilians, the COGENT-BP study of African descent, women of European descent from the Women Health Initiative (WHI), and a sample of European descent from the UK Biobank. No loci met the Bonferroni-adjusted level of statistical significance (0.0024). Two loci had marginal evidence of replication: rs78701042 (NGF) with diastolic BP (P = 0.008 in the 1982 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study), and rs7315692 (SLC5A8) with systolic BP (P = 0.007 in European ancestry replication). We investigated whether previously reported loci associated with BP in studies of European, African, and Asian ancestry generalize to Hispanics/Latinos. Overall, 26% of the known associations in studies of individuals of European and Chinese ancestries generalized, while only a single association previously discovered in a people of African descent generalized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-09019-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5583292PMC
September 2017

Association of Triglyceride-Related Genetic Variants With Mitral Annular Calcification.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2017 Jun;69(24):2941-2948

Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Preventive and Genomic Cardiology, McGill University Health Center and Research Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Mitral annular calcium (MAC), commonly identified by cardiac imaging, is associated with cardiovascular events and predisposes to the development of clinically important mitral valve regurgitation and mitral valve stenosis. However, its biological determinants remain largely unknown.

Objectives: The authors sought to evaluate whether a genetic predisposition to elevations in plasma lipids is associated with the presence of MAC.

Methods: The authors used 3 separate Mendelian randomization techniques to evaluate the associations of lipid genetic risk scores (GRS) with MAC in 3 large patient cohorts: the Framingham Health Study, MESA (Multiethnic European Study of Atherosclerosis), and the AGE-RS (Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study). The authors provided cross-ethnicity replication in the MESA Hispanic-American participants.

Results: MAC was present in 1,149 participants (20.4%). In pooled analyses across all 3 cohorts, a triglyceride GRS was significantly associated with the presence of MAC (odds ratio [OR] per triglyceride GRS unit: 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.24 to 2.41; p = 0.0013). Neither low- nor high-density lipoprotein cholesterol GRS was significantly associated with MAC. Results were consistent in cross-ethnicity analyses among the MESA Hispanic-Americans cohort (OR per triglyceride GRS unit: 2.04; 95% CI: 1.03 to 4.03; p = 0.04). In joint meta-analysis across all included cohorts, the triglyceride GRS was associated with MAC (OR per triglyceride GRS unit: 1.79; 95% CI: 1.32 to 2.41; p = 0.0001). The results were robust to several sensitivity analyses that limit both known and unknown forms of genetic pleiotropy.

Conclusions: Genetic predisposition to elevated triglyceride levels was associated with the presence of MAC, a risk factor for clinically significant mitral valve disease, suggesting a causal association. Whether reducing triglyceride levels can lower the incidence of clinically significant mitral valve disease requires further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2017.04.051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5538134PMC
June 2017

Genetic loci associated with heart rate variability and their effects on cardiac disease risk.

Nat Commun 2017 06 14;8:15805. Epub 2017 Jun 14.

Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

Reduced cardiac vagal control reflected in low heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with greater risks for cardiac morbidity and mortality. In two-stage meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies for three HRV traits in up to 53,174 individuals of European ancestry, we detect 17 genome-wide significant SNPs in eight loci. HRV SNPs tag non-synonymous SNPs (in NDUFA11 and KIAA1755), expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) (influencing GNG11, RGS6 and NEO1), or are located in genes preferentially expressed in the sinoatrial node (GNG11, RGS6 and HCN4). Genetic risk scores account for 0.9 to 2.6% of the HRV variance. Significant genetic correlation is found for HRV with heart rate (-0.74
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15805DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5474732PMC
June 2017

Genome-Wide Association Analysis Reveals Genetic Heterogeneity of Sjögren's Syndrome According to Ancestry.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2017 06 9;69(6):1294-1305. Epub 2017 May 9.

University of California, San Francisco.

Objective: The Sjögren's International Collaborative Clinical Alliance (SICCA) is an international data registry and biorepository derived from a multisite observational study of participants in whom genotyping was performed on the Omni2.5M platform and who had undergone deep phenotyping using common protocol-directed methods. The aim of this study was to examine the genetic etiology of Sjögren's syndrome (SS) across ancestry and disease subsets.

Methods: We performed genome-wide association study analyses using SICCA subjects and external controls obtained from dbGaP data sets, one using all participants (1,405 cases, 1,622 SICCA controls, and 3,125 external controls), one using European participants (585, 966, and 580, respectively), and one using Asian participants (460, 224, and 901, respectively) with ancestry adjustments via principal components analyses. We also investigated whether subphenotype distributions differ by ethnicity, and whether this contributes to the heterogeneity of genetic associations.

Results: We observed significant associations in established regions of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), IRF5, and STAT4 (P = 3 × 10 , P = 3 × 10 , and P = 9 × 10 , respectively), and several novel suggestive regions (those with 2 or more associations at P < 1 × 10 ). Two regions have been previously implicated in autoimmune disease: KLRG1 (P = 6 × 10 [Asian cluster]) and SH2D2A (P = 2 × 10 [all participants]). We observed striking differences between the associations in Europeans and Asians, with high heterogeneity especially in the MHC; representative single-nucleotide polymorphisms from established and suggestive regions had highly significant differences in the allele frequencies in the study populations. We showed that SSA/SSB autoantibody production and the labial salivary gland focus score criteria were associated with the first worldwide principal component, indicative of higher non-European ancestry (P = 4 × 10 and P = 4 × 10 , respectively), but that subphenotype differences did not explain most of the ancestry differences in genetic associations.

Conclusion: Genetic associations with SS differ markedly according to ancestry; however, this is not explained by differences in subphenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.40040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449251PMC
June 2017

Genetic variation at 16q24.2 is associated with small vessel stroke.

Ann Neurol 2017 Mar;81(3):383-394

Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Neurology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Objective: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful at identifying associations with stroke and stroke subtypes, but have not yet identified any associations solely with small vessel stroke (SVS). SVS comprises one quarter of all ischemic stroke and is a major manifestation of cerebral small vessel disease, the primary cause of vascular cognitive impairment. Studies across neurological traits have shown that younger-onset cases have an increased genetic burden. We leveraged this increased genetic burden by performing an age-at-onset informed GWAS meta-analysis, including a large younger-onset SVS population, to identify novel associations with stroke.

Methods: We used a three-stage age-at-onset informed GWAS to identify novel genetic variants associated with stroke. On identifying a novel locus associated with SVS, we assessed its influence on other small vessel disease phenotypes, as well as on messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of nearby genes, and on DNA methylation of nearby CpG sites in whole blood and in the fetal brain.

Results: We identified an association with SVS in 4,203 cases and 50,728 controls on chromosome 16q24.2 (odds ratio [OR; 95% confidence interval {CI}] = 1.16 [1.10-1.22]; p = 3.2 × 10 ). The lead single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs12445022) was also associated with cerebral white matter hyperintensities (OR [95% CI] = 1.10 [1.05-1.16]; p = 5.3 × 10 ; N = 3,670), but not intracerebral hemorrhage (OR [95% CI] = 0.97 [0.84-1.12]; p = 0.71; 1,545 cases, 1,481 controls). rs12445022 is associated with mRNA expression of ZCCHC14 in arterial tissues (p = 9.4 × 10 ) and DNA methylation at probe cg16596957 in whole blood (p = 5.3 × 10 ).

Interpretation: 16q24.2 is associated with SVS. Associations of the locus with expression of ZCCHC14 and DNA methylation suggest the locus acts through changes to regulatory elements. Ann Neurol 2017;81:383-394.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.24840DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5366092PMC
March 2017

Association of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-related genetic variants with aortic valve calcium and incident aortic stenosis.

JAMA 2014 Nov;312(17):1764-71

McGill University Health Center, Preventive and Genomic Cardiology, Montreal, Quebec, Canada6McGill University Health Center and Research Institute, Department of Medicine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Importance: Plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) has been associated with aortic stenosis in observational studies; however, randomized trials with cholesterol-lowering therapies in individuals with established valve disease have failed to demonstrate reduced disease progression.

Objective: To evaluate whether genetic data are consistent with an association between LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), or triglycerides (TG) and aortic valve disease.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Using a Mendelian randomization study design, we evaluated whether weighted genetic risk scores (GRSs), a measure of the genetic predisposition to elevations in plasma lipids, constructed using single-nucleotide polymorphisms identified in genome-wide association studies for plasma lipids, were associated with aortic valve disease. We included community-based cohorts participating in the CHARGE consortium (n = 6942), including the Framingham Heart Study (cohort inception to last follow-up: 1971-2013; n = 1295), Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (2000-2012; n = 2527), Age Gene/Environment Study-Reykjavik (2000-2012; n = 3120), and the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS, 1991-2010; n = 28,461).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Aortic valve calcium quantified by computed tomography in CHARGE and incident aortic stenosis in the MDCS.

Results: The prevalence of aortic valve calcium across the 3 CHARGE cohorts was 32% (n = 2245). In the MDCS, over a median follow-up time of 16.1 years, aortic stenosis developed in 17 per 1000 participants (n = 473) and aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis occurred in 7 per 1000 (n = 205). Plasma LDL-C, but not HDL-C or TG, was significantly associated with incident aortic stenosis (hazard ratio [HR] per mmol/L, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.04-1.57; P = .02; aortic stenosis incidence: 1.3% and 2.4% in lowest and highest LDL-C quartiles, respectively). The LDL-C GRS, but not HDL-C or TG GRS, was significantly associated with presence of aortic valve calcium in CHARGE (odds ratio [OR] per GRS increment, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.09-1.74; P = .007) and with incident aortic stenosis in MDCS (HR per GRS increment, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.22-6.37; P = .02; aortic stenosis incidence: 1.9% and 2.6% in lowest and highest GRS quartiles, respectively). In sensitivity analyses excluding variants weakly associated with HDL-C or TG, the LDL-C GRS remained associated with aortic valve calcium (P = .03) and aortic stenosis (P = .009). In instrumental variable analysis, LDL-C was associated with an increase in the risk of incident aortic stenosis (HR per mmol/L, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.07-2.14; P = .02).

Conclusions And Relevance: Genetic predisposition to elevated LDL-C was associated with presence of aortic valve calcium and incidence of aortic stenosis, providing evidence supportive of a causal association between LDL-C and aortic valve disease. Whether earlier intervention to reduce LDL-C could prevent aortic valve disease merits further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2014.13959DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4280258PMC
November 2014

Using previously genotyped controls in genome-wide association studies (GWAS): application to the Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN).

Front Genet 2014 29;5:95. Epub 2014 Apr 29.

Department of Medical Genetics, University Medical Center Utrecht Utrecht, Netherlands ; Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Utrecht Utrecht, Netherlands.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are widely applied to identify susceptibility loci for a variety of diseases using genotyping arrays that interrogate known polymorphisms throughout the genome. A particular strength of GWAS is that it is unbiased with respect to specific genomic elements (e.g., coding or regulatory regions of genes), and it has revealed important associations that would have never been suspected based on prior knowledge or assumptions. To date, the discovered SNPs associated with complex human traits tend to have small effect sizes, requiring very large sample sizes to achieve robust statistical power. To address these issues, a number of efficient strategies have emerged for conducting GWAS, including combining study results across multiple studies using meta-analysis, collecting cases through electronic health records, and using samples collected from other studies as controls that have already been genotyped and made publicly available (e.g., through deposition of de-identified data into dbGaP or EGA). In certain scenarios, it may be attractive to use already genotyped controls and divert resources to standardized collection, phenotyping, and genotyping of cases only. This strategy, however, requires that careful attention be paid to the choice of "public controls" and to the comparability of genetic data between cases and the public controls to ensure that any allele frequency differences observed between groups is attributable to locus-specific effects rather than to a systematic bias due to poor matching (population stratification) or differential genotype calling (batch effects). The goal of this paper is to describe some of the potential pitfalls in using previously genotyped control data. We focus on considerations related to the choice of control groups, the use of different genotyping platforms, and approaches to deal with population stratification when cases and controls are genotyped across different platforms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2014.00095DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4010766PMC
May 2014

Genetics of coronary artery calcification among African Americans, a meta-analysis.

BMC Med Genet 2013 Jul 19;14:75. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Department of Genetics, Division of Statistical Genomics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Background: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the major cause of death in the United States. Coronary artery calcification (CAC) scores are independent predictors of CHD. African Americans (AA) have higher rates of CHD but are less well-studied in genomic studies. We assembled the largest AA data resource currently available with measured CAC to identify associated genetic variants.

Methods: We analyzed log transformed CAC quantity (ln(CAC + 1)), for association with ~2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and performed an inverse-variance weighted meta-analysis on results for 5,823 AA from 8 studies. Heritability was calculated using family studies. The most significant SNPs among AAs were evaluated in European Ancestry (EA) CAC data; conversely, the significance of published SNPs for CAC/CHD in EA was queried within our AA meta-analysis.

Results: Heritability of CAC was lower in AA (~30%) than previously reported for EA (~50%). No SNP reached genome wide significance (p < 5E-08). Of 67 SNPs with p < 1E-05 in AA there was no evidence of association in EA CAC data. Four SNPs in regions previously implicated in CAC/CHD (at 9p21 and PHACTR1) in EA reached nominal significance for CAC in AA, with concordant direction. Among AA, rs16905644 (p = 4.08E-05) had the strongest association in the 9p21 region.

Conclusions: While we observed substantial heritability for CAC in AA, we failed to identify loci for CAC at genome-wide significant levels despite having adequate power to detect alleles with moderate to large effects. Although suggestive signals in AA were apparent at 9p21 and additional CAC and CAD EA loci, overall the data suggest that even larger samples and an ethnic specific focus will be required for GWAS discoveries for CAC in AA populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2350-14-75DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3733595PMC
July 2013

Identification of heart rate-associated loci and their effects on cardiac conduction and rhythm disorders.

Nat Genet 2013 Jun 14;45(6):621-31. Epub 2013 Apr 14.

Medical Research Council MRC Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Metabolic Science, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.

Elevated resting heart rate is associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in up to 181,171 individuals, we identified 14 new loci associated with heart rate and confirmed associations with all 7 previously established loci. Experimental downregulation of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster and Danio rerio identified 20 genes at 11 loci that are relevant for heart rate regulation and highlight a role for genes involved in signal transmission, embryonic cardiac development and the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart failure and/or sudden cardiac death. In addition, genetic susceptibility to increased heart rate is associated with altered cardiac conduction and reduced risk of sick sinus syndrome, and both heart rate-increasing and heart rate-decreasing variants associate with risk of atrial fibrillation. Our findings provide fresh insights into the mechanisms regulating heart rate and identify new therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2610DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3696959PMC
June 2013

Genetic associations with valvular calcification and aortic stenosis.

N Engl J Med 2013 Feb;368(6):503-12

Department of Medicine and the Research Institute, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal.

Background: Limited information is available regarding genetic contributions to valvular calcification, which is an important precursor of clinical valve disease.

Methods: We determined genomewide associations with the presence of aortic-valve calcification (among 6942 participants) and mitral annular calcification (among 3795 participants), as detected by computed tomographic (CT) scanning; the study population for this analysis included persons of white European ancestry from three cohorts participating in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium (discovery population). Findings were replicated in independent cohorts of persons with either CT-detected valvular calcification or clinical aortic stenosis.

Results: One SNP in the lipoprotein(a) (LPA) locus (rs10455872) reached genomewide significance for the presence of aortic-valve calcification (odds ratio per allele, 2.05; P=9.0×10(-10)), a finding that was replicated in additional white European, African-American, and Hispanic-American cohorts (P<0.05 for all comparisons). Genetically determined Lp(a) levels, as predicted by LPA genotype, were also associated with aortic-valve calcification, supporting a causal role for Lp(a). In prospective analyses, LPA genotype was associated with incident aortic stenosis (hazard ratio per allele, 1.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32 to 2.15) and aortic-valve replacement (hazard ratio, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.05 to 2.27) in a large Swedish cohort; the association with incident aortic stenosis was also replicated in an independent Danish cohort. Two SNPs (rs17659543 and rs13415097) near the proinflammatory gene IL1F9 achieved genomewide significance for mitral annular calcification (P=1.5×10(-8) and P=1.8×10(-8), respectively), but the findings were not replicated consistently.

Conclusions: Genetic variation in the LPA locus, mediated by Lp(a) levels, is associated with aortic-valve calcification across multiple ethnic groups and with incident clinical aortic stenosis. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1109034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766627PMC
February 2013

Changes in carotid intima-media thickness during the cardiac cycle: the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis.

J Am Heart Assoc 2012 Aug 24;1(4):e001420. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

Department of Radiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA (J.F.P., A.H.).

Background: Common carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT), a measure of subclinical cardiovascular disease, changes during the cardiac cycle. The magnitude of this effect and its implications have not been well studied.

Methods And Results: Far-wall IMT measurements of the right common carotid artery were measured at end diastole and peak systole in 5633 individuals from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Multivariable regression models were generated with end-diastolic IMT, peak-systolic IMT, and change in IMT during the cardiac cycle as dependent variables and traditional cardiovascular risk factors as independent variables. The average age of our population was 61.9 (45 to 84) years. Average change in carotid IMT during the cardiac cycle was 0.041 mm (95% confidence interval: 0.039 to 0.042 mm), with a mean IMT of 0.68 mm. End-diastolic IMT and peak-systolic IMT were similarly associated with risk factors. In a fully adjusted model, change in carotid IMT during the cardiac cycle was associated with ethnicity and pulse pressure (P=0.001) and not age, sex, or other risk factors. Chinese and Hispanics had less of a change in IMT than did non-Hispanic whites. With peak-systolic IMT reference values used as normative data, 31.3% more individuals were classified as being in the upper quartile of IMT and at high risk for cardiovascular disease than would be expected when IMT is measured at end diastole.

Conclusions: Measurable differences in IMT are seen during the cardiac cycle. This affects the interpretation of IMT measurements used for cardiovascular risk assessment, given published normative data with IMT measured at peak systole.

Clinical Trial Registration: URL: www.ClinicalTrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00063440. (J Am Heart Assoc. 2012;1:e001420 doi: 10.1161/JAHA.112.001420.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.112.001420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3487346PMC
August 2012

Population structure of Hispanics in the United States: the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis.

PLoS Genet 2012 12;8(4):e1002640. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Center for Public Health Genomics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States of America.

Using ~60,000 SNPs selected for minimal linkage disequilibrium, we perform population structure analysis of 1,374 unrelated Hispanic individuals from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), with self-identification corresponding to Central America (n = 93), Cuba (n = 50), the Dominican Republic (n = 203), Mexico (n = 708), Puerto Rico (n = 192), and South America (n = 111). By projection of principal components (PCs) of ancestry to samples from the HapMap phase III and the Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP), we show the first two PCs quantify the Caucasian, African, and Native American origins, while the third and fourth PCs bring out an axis that aligns with known South-to-North geographic location of HGDP Native American samples and further separates MESA Mexican versus Central/South American samples along the same axis. Using k-means clustering computed from the first four PCs, we define four subgroups of the MESA Hispanic cohort that show close agreement with self-identification, labeling the clusters as primarily Dominican/Cuban, Mexican, Central/South American, and Puerto Rican. To demonstrate our recommendations for genetic analysis in the MESA Hispanic cohort, we present pooled and stratified association analysis of triglycerides for selected SNPs in the LPL and TRIB1 gene regions, previously reported in GWAS of triglycerides in Caucasians but as yet unconfirmed in Hispanic populations. We report statistically significant evidence for genetic association in both genes, and we further demonstrate the importance of considering population substructure and genetic heterogeneity in genetic association studies performed in the United States Hispanic population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002640DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3325201PMC
September 2012

Analysis of family- and population-based samples in cohort genome-wide association studies.

Hum Genet 2012 Feb 30;131(2):275-87. Epub 2011 Jul 30.

Center for Public Health Genomics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

Cohort studies typically sample unrelated individuals from a population, although family members of index cases may also be recruited to investigate shared familial risk factors. Recruitment of family members may be incomplete or ancillary to the main cohort, resulting in a mixed sample of independent family units, including unrelated singletons and multiplex families. Multiple methods are available to perform genome-wide association (GWA) analysis of binary or continuous traits in families, but it is unclear whether methods known to perform well on ascertained pedigrees, sibships, or trios are appropriate in analysis of a mixed unrelated cohort and family sample. We present simulation studies based on Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) pedigree structures to compare the performance of several popular methods of GWA analysis for both quantitative and dichotomous traits in cohort studies. We evaluate approaches suitable for analysis of families, and combined the best performing methods with population-based samples either by meta-analysis, or by pooled analysis of family- and population-based samples (mega-analysis), comparing type 1 error and power. We further assess practical considerations, such as availability of software and ability to incorporate covariates in statistical modeling, and demonstrate our recommended approaches through quantitative and binary trait analysis of HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) in 2,553 MESA family- and population-based African-American samples. Our results suggest linear modeling approaches that accommodate family-induced phenotypic correlation (e.g., variance-component model for quantitative traits or generalized estimating equations for dichotomous traits) perform best in the context of combined family- and population-based cohort GWAS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-011-1071-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3369696PMC
February 2012

Associations of cardiovascular risk factors, carotid intima-media thickness and left ventricular mass with inter-adventitial diameters of the common carotid artery: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).

Atherosclerosis 2011 Oct 14;218(2):344-9. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Department of Radiology, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Common carotid artery inter-adventitial diameter (IAD) and intima-media thickness (IMT) are measurable by ultrasound. IAD may be associated with left ventricular mass (LV mass) while IMT is a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. It is not clear if IAD is associated with LV mass after accounting for IMT and traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

Methods: IAD and IMT were measured on participants of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) IMT progression study. A total of 5641 of the originally enrolled 6814 MESA participants were studied. LV mass was measured by magnetic resonance imaging. Multivariable linear regression was used with IAD as the outcome and adjustment for risk factors, as well as IMT and LV mass.

Results: Traditional cardiovascular risk factors, height, weight and ethnicity were significantly associated with IAD. After adjustment for risk factors, a 1mm difference in IMT was associated with a 1.802mm (95% CI: 1.553, 2.051) higher mean IAD. A 1g difference in LV mass was associated with a 0.006mm (95% CI: 0.005, 0.007) higher mean IAD. After adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and IMT, a 1g difference in LV mass was associated with a 0.006mm (95% CI: 0.005, 0.008) higher mean IAD for women and 0.004mm (95% CI: 0.003, 0.005) higher IAD for men.

Conclusions: Inter-adventitial diameters are associated with left ventricular mass after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and IMT. IAD might serve as a surrogate for left ventricular mass and have predictive value for cardiovascular outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.05.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3186064PMC
October 2011
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