Publications by authors named "Ramachandran S Vasan"

879 Publications

Rare Coding Variants Associated with Electrocardiographic Intervals Identify Monogenic Arrhythmia Susceptibility Genes: A Multi-ancestry Analysis.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

University of Maryland School of Medicine & Geriatrics Research and Education Clinical Center, Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center, Baltimore, MD.

- Alterations in electrocardiographic (ECG) intervals are well-known markers for arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death (SCD) risk. While the genetics of arrhythmia syndromes have been studied, relations between ECG intervals and rare genetic variation at a population level are poorly understood. - Using a discovery sample of 29,000 individuals with whole-genome sequencing from TOPMed and replication in nearly 100,000 with whole-exome sequencing from the UK Biobank and MyCode, we examined associations between low-frequency and rare coding variants with 5 routinely measured ECG traits (RR, P-wave, PR, and QRS intervals and corrected QT interval [QTc]). - We found that rare variants associated with population-based ECG intervals identify established monogenic SCD genes (, , ), a controversial monogenic SCD gene (), and novel genes (, ) involved in cardiac conduction. Loss-of-function and pathogenic variants, carried by 0.1% of individuals, were associated with a nearly 6-fold increased odds of first-degree atrioventricular block (=8.4x10). Similar variants in and (0.2% of individuals) were associated with a 23-fold increased odds of marked QTc prolongation (=4x10), a marker of SCD risk. Incomplete penetrance of such deleterious variation was common as over 70% of carriers had normal ECG intervals. - Our findings indicate that large-scale high-depth sequence data and ECG analysis identifies monogenic arrhythmia susceptibility genes and rare variants with large effects. Known pathogenic variation in conventional arrhythmia and SCD genes exhibited incomplete penetrance and accounted for only a small fraction of marked ECG interval prolongation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003300DOI Listing
July 2021

Presence and Transmission of Mitochondrial Heteroplasmic Mutations in Human Populations of European and African Ancestry.

Mitochondrion 2021 Jul 21. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA 01702, USA; Population Sciences Branch, NHLBI/NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

We investigated the concordance of mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmic mutations (heteroplasmies) in 6,745 maternal pairs of European (EA, n=4,718 pairs) and African (AA, n=2,027 pairs) Americans in whole blood. Mother-offspring pairs displayed the highest concordance rate, followed by sibling-sibling and more distantly-related maternal pairs. The allele fractions of concordant heteroplasmies exhibited high correlation (R=0.8) between paired individuals. Discordant heteroplasmies were more likely to be in coding regions, be nonsynonymous or nonsynonymous-deleterious (p<0.001). The number of deleterious heteroplasmies was significantly correlated with advancing age (20-44, 45-64, and ≥65 years, p-trend=0.01). One standard deviation increase in heteroplasmic burden (i.e., the number of heteroplasmies carried by an individual) was associated with 0.17 to 0.26 (p<1e-23) standard deviation decrease in mtDNA copy number, independent of age. White blood cell count and differential count jointly explained 0.5% to 1.3% (p≤0.001) variance in heteroplasmic burden. A genome-wide association and meta-analysis identified a region at 11p11.12 (top signal rs779031139, p=2.0e-18, minor allele frequency=0.38) associated with the heteroplasmic burden. However, the 11p11.12 region is adjacent to a nuclear mitochondrial DNA (NUMT) corresponding to a 542 bp area of the D-loop. This region was no longer significant after removing heteroplasmic mutations within the 542 bp from the heteroplasmic burden. The discovery that blood mtDNA heteroplasmic mutations were both inherited and somatic origins and that an increase in heteroplasmic burden was strongly associated with a decrease in average number of mtDNA copy number in blood are important findings to be considered in association studies of mtDNA with disease traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2021.07.004DOI Listing
July 2021

Abnormal hearing patterns are not associated with endothelium-dependent vasodilation and carotid intima-media thickness: The Framingham Heart Study.

Vasc Med 2021 Jul 21:1358863X211025087. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Introduction: Prior data suggest associations between hearing loss, cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, and CV disease. Whether specific hearing loss patterns, including a strial pattern associated with inner ear vascular disease, are associated with systemic endothelial dysfunction and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) remains unclear.

Methods: We evaluated participants without prevalent CVD in the Framingham Offspring Study who underwent formal audiogram testing and brachial and carotid artery ultrasounds. Audiograms were categorized as normal or as belonging to one of four abnormal patterns: cochlear-conductive, low-sloping, sensorineural, or strial. Endothelial function as measured by brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMDmm and FMD%). Internal and common intima-media thicknesses (icIMT and ccIMT, respectively) were compared between audiogram patterns.

Results: We studied 1672 participants (mean age 59 years, 57.6% women). The prevalence of each hearing pattern was as follows: 43.7% normal; 20.3% cochlear-conductive; 20.3% sensorineural; 7.7% low-sloping; and 8.0% strial. Strial pattern hearing loss was nearly twice as prevalent ( = 0.001) in those in the highest quartile of ccIMT and nearly 50% higher in those in the highest icIMT quartile ( = 0.04). There were no statistically significant differences between the prevalence of the strial pattern comparing the lowest quartiles of FMDmm and FMD% with the upper three quartiles. Age- and sex-adjusted linear regression models did not show significant associations between the vascular measures and hearing patterns.

Conclusion: Abnormal hearing patterns were not significantly associated with impaired brachial FMD and increased carotid IMT after adjusting for age and sex effects, which may reflect age and sex-related distributional differences based on hearing loss pattern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1358863X211025087DOI Listing
July 2021

Coronary Artery Calcium Assessed Years Before Was Positively Associated With Subtle White Matter Injury of the Brain in Asymptomatic Middle-Aged Men: The Framingham Heart Study.

Circ Cardiovasc Imaging 2021 Jul 14;14(7):e011753. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Department of Hygiene, Wakayama Medical University, Japan (H.S., A.F.).

Background: Using magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging, we previously showed a cross-sectional association between carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, a measure of aortic stiffness, and subtle white matter injury in clinically asymptomatic middle-age adults. While coronary artery calcium (CAC) is a robust measure of atherosclerosis, and a predictor of stroke and dementia, whether it predicts diffusion tensor imaging-based subtle white matter injury in the brain remains unknown.

Methods: In FHS (Framingham Heart Study), an observational study, third-generation participants were assessed for CAC (2002-2005) and brain magnetic resonance imaging (2009-2014). Outcomes were diffusion tensor imaging-based measures; free water, fractional anisotropy, and peak width of mean diffusivity. After excluding the participants with neurological conditions and missing covariates, we categorized participants into 3 groups according to CAC score (0, 0 < to 100, and >100) and calculated a linear trend across the CAC groups. In secondary analyses treating CAC score as continuous, we computed slope of the outcomes per 20 to 80th percentiles higher log-transformed CAC score using linear regression.

Results: In a total of 1052 individuals analyzed (mean age 45.4 years, 45.4% women), 71.6%, 22.4%, and 6.0% had CAC score of 0, 0 < to 100, and >100, respectively. We observed a significant linear trend of fractional anisotropy, but not other measures, across the CAC groups after multivariable adjustment. In the secondary analyses, CAC was associated with lower fractional anisotropy in men but not in women.

Conclusions: CAC may be a promising tool to predict prevalent subtle white matter injury of the brain in asymptomatic middle-aged men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.120.011753DOI Listing
July 2021

Identification of novel and rare variants associated with handgrip strength using whole genome sequence data from the NHLBI Trans-Omics in Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program.

PLoS One 2021 2;16(7):e0253611. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, United States of America.

Handgrip strength is a widely used measure of muscle strength and a predictor of a range of morbidities including cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality. Previous genome-wide association studies of handgrip strength have focused on common variants primarily in persons of European descent. We aimed to identify rare and ancestry-specific genetic variants associated with handgrip strength by conducting whole-genome sequence association analyses using 13,552 participants from six studies representing diverse population groups from the Trans-Omics in Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program. By leveraging multiple handgrip strength measures performed in study participants over time, we increased our effective sample size by 7-12%. Single-variant analyses identified ten handgrip strength loci among African-Americans: four rare variants, five low-frequency variants, and one common variant. One significant and four suggestive genes were identified associated with handgrip strength when aggregating rare and functional variants; all associations were ancestry-specific. We additionally leveraged the different ancestries available in the UK Biobank to further explore the ancestry-specific association signals from the single-variant association analyses. In conclusion, our study identified 11 new loci associated with handgrip strength with rare and/or ancestry-specific genetic variations, highlighting the added value of whole-genome sequencing in diverse samples. Several of the associations identified using single-variant or aggregate analyses lie in genes with a function relevant to the brain or muscle or were reported to be associated with muscle or age-related traits. Further studies in samples with sequence data and diverse ancestries are needed to confirm these findings.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0253611PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253404PMC
July 2021

Plasma Metabolomic Signatures of Healthy Dietary Patterns in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study.

J Nutr 2021 Jun 30. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: In individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD), healthy dietary patterns are inversely associated with CKD progression. Metabolomics, an approach that measures many small molecules in biofluids, can identify biomarkers of healthy dietary patterns.

Objectives: We aimed to identify known metabolites associated with greater adherence to 4 healthy dietary patterns in CKD patients.

Methods: We examined associations between 486 known plasma metabolites and Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015, Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI)-2010, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, and alternate Mediterranean diet (aMED) in 1056 participants (aged 21-74 y at baseline) in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study. Usual dietary intake was assessed using a semiquantitative FFQ. We conducted multivariable linear regression models to study associations between healthy dietary patterns and individual plasma metabolites, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors, and clinical factors. We used principal component analysis to identify groups of metabolites associated with individual food components within healthy dietary patterns.

Results: After Bonferroni correction, we identified 266 statistically significant diet-metabolite associations (HEI: n = 60; AHEI: n = 78; DASH: n = 77; aMED: n = 51); 78 metabolites were associated with >1 dietary pattern. Lipids with a longer acyl chain length and double bonds (unsaturated) were positively associated with all 4 dietary patterns. A metabolite pattern low in saturated diacylglycerols and triacylglycerols, and a pattern high in unsaturated triacylglycerols was positively associated with intake of healthy food components. Plasmalogens were negatively associated with the consumption of nuts and legumes and healthy fat, and positively associated with the intake of red and processed meat.

Conclusions: We identified many metabolites associated with healthy dietary patterns, indicative of food consumption. If replicated, these metabolites may be considered biomarkers of healthy dietary patterns in patients with CKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxab203DOI Listing
June 2021

Digital Peripheral Arterial Tonometry and Cardiovascular Disease Events: The Framingham Heart Study.

Stroke 2021 Jul 1:STROKEAHA120031102. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University School of Medicine, MA. (E.J.B., R.S.V., N.M.H.).

Background And Purpose: Novel noninvasive measures of vascular function are emerging as subclinical markers for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and may be useful to predict CVD events. The purpose of our prospective study was to assess associations between digital peripheral arterial tonometry (PAT) measures and first-onset major CVD events in a sample of FHS (Framingham Heart Study) participants.

Methods: Using a fingertip PAT device, we assessed pulse amplitude in Framingham Offspring and Third Generation participants (n=3865; mean age, 55±14 years; 52% women) at baseline and in 30-second intervals for 4 minutes during reactive hyperemia. The PAT ratio (relative hyperemia index) was calculated as the post-to-pre occlusion pulse signal ratio in the occluded arm, relative to the same ratio in the control (nonoccluded) arm, and corrected for baseline vascular tone. Baseline pulse amplitude and PAT ratio during hyperemia are measures of pressure pulsatility and microvascular function in the finger, respectively. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to relate PAT measures in the fingertip to incident CVD events.

Results: During follow-up (median, 9.2 years; range, 0.04-10.0 years), 270 participants (7%) experienced new-onset CVD events (n=270). In multivariable models adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors, baseline pulse amplitude (hazard ratio [HR] per 1 SD, 1.04 [95% CI, 0.90-1.21]; =0.57) and PAT ratio (HR, 0.95 [95% CI, 0.84-1.08]; =0.43) were not significantly related to incident composite CVD events, including myocardial infarction or heart failure. However, higher PAT ratio (HR, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.61-0.94]; =0.013), but not baseline pulse amplitude (HR, 1.15 [95% CI, 0.89-1.49]; =0.29), was related to lower risk for incident stroke. In a sensitivity analysis by stroke subtype, higher PAT ratio was related to lower risk of incident ischemic stroke events (HR, 0.68 [95% CI, 0.53-0.86]; =0.001).

Conclusions: Novel digital PAT measures may represent a marker of stroke risk in the community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.031102DOI Listing
July 2021

Relations of arterial stiffness and endothelial dysfunction with incident venous thromboembolism.

Thromb Res 2021 08 19;204:108-113. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

Cardiovascular Engineering, Inc, Norwood, MA, USA.

Introduction: Association between arterial vascular dysfunction and risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is uncertain. We determined the associations between comprehensive measures of arterial vascular function and risk of incident VTE in a community-based cohort study with robust longitudinal follow-up.

Materials And Methods: In the Framingham Heart Study Original, Offspring, Third Generation, and Omni cohorts, we measured carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity and central pulse pressure (n = 8261, age 51.5 ± 15.5 years, 54% women), flow-mediated dilation and hyperemic velocity (n = 6540, age 47.9 ± 14.1 years, 54% women), and peripheral arterial tonometry ratio (n = 4998, age 54.3 ± 16.0 years, 52% women). Deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism were diagnosed with imaging studies and adjudicated by three Framingham Heart Study physicians.

Results And Conclusions: The rate of incident VTE was 1.6-2.1 per 1000 person-years during mean follow-up of 8.5-11.2 years. In age- and sex-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity was associated with increased risk of VTE (HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.05-1.66, p = 0.02), however the association was no longer statistically significant after multivariable adjustment (HR 1.24, 95% CI 0.96-1.61, p = 0.10). None of the other vascular variables were associated with the risk of VTE in any of the models. In our comprehensive examination of arterial vascular function and risk of VTE, we did not observe any association between select arterial function measures and risk of VTE after multivariable adjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2021.06.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8297907PMC
August 2021

Using an erythrocyte fatty acid fingerprint to predict risk of all-cause mortality: the Framingham Offspring Cohort.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

The Fatty Acid Research Institute, Sioux Falls, SD, USA.

Background: RBC long-chain omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid (FA) percentages (of total fatty acids) are associated with lower risk for total mortality, but it is unknown if a suite of FAs could improve risk prediction.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to compare a combination of RBC FA levels with standard risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in predicting risk of all-cause mortality.

Methods: Framingham Offspring Cohort participants without prevalent CVD having RBC FA measurements and relevant baseline clinical covariates (n = 2240) were evaluated during 11 y of follow-up. A forward, stepwise approach was used to systematically evaluate the association of 8 standard risk factors (age, sex, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, hypertension treatment, systolic blood pressure, smoking status, and prevalent diabetes) and 28 FA metrics with all-cause mortality. A 10-fold cross-validation process was used to build and validate models adjusted for age and sex.

Results: Four of 28 FA metrics [14:0, 16:1n-7, 22:0, and omega-3 index (O3I; 20:5n-3 + 22:6n-3)] appeared in ≥5 of the discovery models as significant predictors of all-cause mortality. In age- and sex-adjusted models, a model with 4 FA metrics was at least as good at predicting all-cause mortality as a model including the remaining 6 standard risk factors (C-statistic: 0.778; 95% CI: 0.759, 0.797; compared with C-statistic: 0.777; 95% CI: 0.753, 0.802). A model with 4 FA metrics plus smoking and diabetes (FA + Sm + D) had a higher C-statistic (0.790; 95% CI: 0.770, 0.811) compared with the FA (P < 0.01) or Sm + D models alone (C-statistic: 0.766; 95% CI: 0.739, 0.794; P < 0.001). A variety of other highly correlated FAs could be substituted for 14:0, 16:1n-7, 22:0, or O3I with similar predicted outcomes.

Conclusions: In this community-based population in their mid-60s, RBC FA patterns were as predictive of risk for death during the next 11 y as standard risk factors. Replication is needed in other cohorts to validate this FA fingerprint as a predictor of all-cause mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab195DOI Listing
June 2021

Determinants of penetrance and variable expressivity in monogenic metabolic conditions across 77,184 exomes.

Nat Commun 2021 06 9;12(1):3505. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Hundreds of thousands of genetic variants have been reported to cause severe monogenic diseases, but the probability that a variant carrier develops the disease (termed penetrance) is unknown for virtually all of them. Additionally, the clinical utility of common polygenetic variation remains uncertain. Using exome sequencing from 77,184 adult individuals (38,618 multi-ancestral individuals from a type 2 diabetes case-control study and 38,566 participants from the UK Biobank, for whom genotype array data were also available), we apply clinical standard-of-care gene variant curation for eight monogenic metabolic conditions. Rare variants causing monogenic diabetes and dyslipidemias display effect sizes significantly larger than the top 1% of the corresponding polygenic scores. Nevertheless, penetrance estimates for monogenic variant carriers average 60% or lower for most conditions. We assess epidemiologic and genetic factors contributing to risk prediction in monogenic variant carriers, demonstrating that inclusion of polygenic variation significantly improves biomarker estimation for two monogenic dyslipidemias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23556-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8190084PMC
June 2021

Mind Diet Adherence and Cognitive Performance in the Framingham Heart Study.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;82(2):827-839

The Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA, USA.

Background: Adherence to the Mediterranean-DASH for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet has previously been associated with cognitive decline and dementia. To our knowledge, no prior study has investigated the association between the MIND diet and measures of brain volume, silent brain infarcts (SBIs), or brain atrophy.

Objective: We evaluated whether adherence to the MIND diet associated with superior cognitive function, larger brain volumes, fewer SBIs, and less cognitive decline in the community-based Framingham Heart Study.

Methods: 2,092 participants (mean±SD, age 61±9) completed Food Frequency Questionnaires, averaged across a maximum of 3-time points (examination cycles 5, 6, and 7), cognitive testing at examination cycle 7 (present study baseline: 1998-2001) and after a mean±SD of 6.6±1.1 years from baseline (n = 1,584). A subset of participants also completed brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at examination cycle 7 (n = 1,904). In addition, participants with dementia, stroke, and other relevant neurological diseases such as significant head trauma, subdural hematoma, or multiple sclerosis were excluded from the analyses.

Results: Higher MIND diet scores were associated with better global cognitive function (β±SE,+0.03SD±0.01; p = 0.004), verbal memory, visual memory, processing speed, verbal comprehension/reasoning, and with larger total brain volume (TBV) following adjustments for clinical, lifestyle and demographic covariates, but not with other brain MRI measures (i.e., hippocampal volume, lateral ventricular volume, white matter hyperintensity volume, and SBIs) or cognitive decline.

Conclusion: Higher MIND diet scores associated with better cognitive performance and larger TBV at baseline, but not with cognitive decline. Clinical trials are needed to ascertain whether adopting the MIND diet affects trajectories of cognitive decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-201238DOI Listing
January 2021

Prognostic Significance of Echocardiographic Measures of Cardiac Remodeling in the Community.

Curr Cardiol Rep 2021 06 3;23(7):86. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

Boston University's and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study, 73 Mount Wayte Avenue, Suite 2, Framingham, MA, 01702, USA.

Purpose Of Review: Echocardiography is a noninvasive tool of choice for evaluating cardiac structure and function in numerous cardiac conditions ranging from congenital heart disease, myocardial diseases, coronary artery disease (CAD), valvulopathies, arrhythmias, and pericardial disorders. We review the prognostic significance of echocardiographic indices of cardiac remodeling in the general population.

Recent Findings: Recent meta-analyses have confirmed the prognostic significance of echocardiographic measurements (left ventricular mass/hypertrophy, systolic and diastolic dysfunction, left atrial dimensions and function, and strain rate measures) in asymptomatic people in the community for adverse clinical outcomes including CAD, stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, sudden death, and all-cause mortality. The clinical utility of screening echocardiography has been examined comprehensively in hypertensive patients, where it is challenged by measurement variability. Echocardiographic measures predict cardiovascular disease outcomes consistently in multiple community-based epidemiological studies. However, the clinical utility of screening asymptomatic individuals with echocardiography in population-based settings is limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11886-021-01512-4DOI Listing
June 2021

Framingham Heart Study: JACC Focus Seminar, 1/8.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 Jun;77(21):2680-2692

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Boston University's Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Massachusetts, USA; Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology and Cardiovascular Medicine, Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Electronic address:

The Framingham Heart Study is the longest-running cardiovascular epidemiological study, starting in 1948. This paper gives an overview of the various cohorts, collected data, and most important research findings to date. In brief, the Framingham Heart Study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and managed by Boston University, spans 3 generations of well phenotyped White persons and 2 cohorts comprised of racial and ethnic minority groups. These cohorts are densely phenotyped, with extensive longitudinal follow-up, and they continue to provide us with important information on human cardiovascular and noncardiovascular physiology over the lifespan, as well as to identify major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This paper also summarizes some of the more recent progress in molecular epidemiology and discusses the future of the study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.01.059DOI Listing
June 2021

Multiomic Profiling in Black and White Populations Reveals Novel Candidate Pathways in Left Ventricular Hypertrophy and Incident Heart Failure Specific to Black Adults.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 Jun 21;14(3):e003191. Epub 2021 May 21.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA (D.H.K., U.A.T., D.N., M.D.B., X.S., M.J.K., D.S., M.H., J.M.R., Z.-Z.C., D.E.C., B.P., J.G.W., R.E.G.).

Background: Increased left ventricular (LV) mass is associated with adverse cardiovascular events including heart failure (HF). Both increased LV mass and HF disproportionately affect Black individuals. To understand the underlying mechanisms, we undertook a proteomic screen in a Black cohort and compared the findings to results from a White cohort.

Methods: We measured 1305 plasma proteins using the SomaScan platform in 1772 Black participants (mean age, 56 years; 62% women) in JHS (Jackson Heart Study) with LV mass assessed by 2-dimensional echocardiography. Incident HF was assessed in 1600 participants. We then compared protein associations in JHS to those observed in White participants from FHS (Framingham Heart Study; mean age, 54 years; 56% women).

Results: In JHS, there were 110 proteins associated with LV mass and 13 proteins associated with incident HF hospitalization with false discovery rate <5% after multivariable adjustment. Several proteins showed expected associations with both LV mass and HF, including NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide; β=0.04; =2×10; hazard ratio, 1.48; =0.0001). The strongest association with LV mass was novel: LKHA4 (leukotriene-A4 hydrolase; β=0.05; =5×10). This association was confirmed on an alternate proteomics platform and further supported by related metabolomic data. Fractalkine/CX3CL1 (C-X3-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 1) showed a novel association with incident HF (hazard ratio, 1.32; =0.0002). While established biomarkers such as cystatin C and NT-proBNP showed consistent associations in Black and White individuals, LKHA4 and fractalkine were significantly different between the two groups.

Conclusions: We identified several novel biological pathways specific to Black adults hypothesized to contribute to the pathophysiologic cascade of LV hypertrophy and incident HF including LKHA4 and fractalkine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003191DOI Listing
June 2021

Heart failure risk estimation based on novel biomarkers.

Expert Rev Mol Diagn 2021 Jul 7;21(7):655-672. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

: Despite advances in medical care, heart failure (HF)-associated morbidity and mortality remains high. Consequently, there is increased effort to find better ways for predicting, screening, and prognosticating HF in order to facilitate effective primary and secondary prevention.: In this review, we describe the various biomarkers associated with different etiologic pathways implicated in HF, and discuss their roles in screening, diagnosing, prognosticating and predicting HF. We explore the emerging role of multi-omic approaches. We performed electronic searches in databases (PubMed and Google Scholar) through December 2020, using the following key terms: biomarker, novel, heart failure, risk, prediction, and estimation.Circulating BNP and troponin concentrations have been established in clinical care as key biomarkers for diagnosing and prognosticating HF. Emerging biomarkers (such as galectin-3 and ST-2) have gained further recognition for use in evaluating prognosis of HF patients. Promising biomarkers that are yet to be part of clinical recommendations include biomarkers of cardiorenal disease.: Increasing recognition of the complex and interdependent nature of pathophysiological pathways of HF has led to the application of multi-marker approaches including multi-omic high throughput assays. These newer approaches have the potential for new therapeutic discoveries and improving precision medicine in HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14737159.2021.1933446DOI Listing
July 2021

Sex Differences in the Associations of Visceral Adipose Tissue and Cardiometabolic and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: The Framingham Heart Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Jun 15;10(11):e019968. Epub 2021 May 15.

Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical School Boston MA.

Background Men and women are labeled as obese on the basis of a body mass index (BMI) using the same criterion despite known differences in their fat distributions. Subcutaneous adipose tissue and visceral adipose tissue (VAT), as measured by computed tomography, are advanced measures of obesity that closely correlate with cardiometabolic risk independent of BMI. However, it remains unknown whether prognostic significance of anthropometric measures of adiposity versus VAT varies in men versus women. Methods and Results In 3482 FHS (Framingham Heart Study) participants (48.1% women; mean age, 50.8±10.3 years), we tested the associations of computed tomography-based versus anthropometric measures of fat with cardiometabolic and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Mean follow-up was 12.7±2.1 years. In men, VAT, as compared with BMI, had a similar strength of association with incident cardiometabolic risk factors (eg, adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.36 [95% CI, 1.84-3.04] versus 2.66 [95% CI, 2.04-3.47] for diabetes mellitus) and CVD events (eg, adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.32 [95% CI, 0.97-1.80] versus 1.74 [95% CI, 1.14-2.65] for CVD death). In women, however, VAT, when compared with BMI, conferred a markedly greater association with incident cardiometabolic risk factors (eg, adjusted OR, 4.51 [95% CI, 3.13-6.50] versus 2.33 [95% CI, 1.88-3.04] for diabetes mellitus) as well as CVD events (eg, adjusted HR, 1.85 [95% CI, 1.26-2.71] versus 1.19 [95% CI, 1.01-1.40] for CVD death). Conclusions Anthropometric measures of obesity, including waist circumference and BMI, adequately capture VAT-associated cardiometabolic and cardiovascular risk in men but not in women. In women, abdominal computed tomography-based VAT measures permit more precise assessment of obesity-associated cardiometabolic and cardiovascular risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.019968DOI Listing
June 2021

Biomarkers representing key aging-related biological pathways are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis and all-cause mortality: The Framingham Study.

PLoS One 2021 14;16(5):e0251308. Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Medicine, Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Background: Increased oxidative stress, leukocyte telomere length (LTL) shortening, endothelial dysfunction, and lower insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 concentrations reflect key molecular mechanisms of aging. We hypothesized that biomarkers representing these pathways are associated with measures of subclinical atherosclerosis and all-cause mortality.

Methods And Results: We evaluated up to 2,314 Framingham Offspring Study participants (mean age 61 years, 55% women) with available biomarkers of aging: LTL, circulating concentrations of IGF-1, asymmetrical dimethylarginine (ADMA), and urinary F2-Isoprostanes indexed to urinary creatinine. We evaluated the association of each biomarker with coronary artery calcium [ln (CAC+1)] and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). In multivariable-adjusted linear regression models, higher ADMA levels were associated with higher CAC values (βADMA per 1-SD increase 0.25; 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.11, 0.39]). Additionally, shorter LTL and lower IGF-1 values were associated with higher IMT values (βLTL -0.08, 95%CI -0.14, -0.02, and βIGF-1 -0.04, 95%CI -0.08, -0.01, respectively). During a median follow-up of 15.5 years, 593 subjects died. In multivariable-adjusted Cox regression models, LTL and IGF-1 values were inversely associated with all-cause mortality (hazard ratios [HR] per SD increase in biomarker, 0.85, 95% CI 0.74-0.99, and 0.90, 95% CI 0.82-0.98 for LTL and IGF-1, respectively). F2-Isoprostanes and ADMA values were positively associated with all-cause mortality (HR per SD increase in biomarker, 1.15, 95% CI, 1.10-1.22, and 1.10, 95% CI, 1.02-1.20, respectively).

Conclusion: In our prospective community-based study, aging-related biomarkers were associated with measures of subclinical atherosclerosis cross-sectionally and with all-cause mortality prospectively, supporting the concept that these biomarkers may reflect the aging process in community-dwelling adults.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0251308PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8121535PMC
May 2021

Sex-Specific Prevalence, Incidence, and Mortality Associated With Atrial Fibrillation in Heart Failure.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2021 Apr 22. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Cardiology, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev and Gentofte, Gentofte, Denmark. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study sought to investigate the mortality associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) in men and women with heart failure (HF) according to the sequence of presentation and rhythm versus rate control.

Background: The sex-specific epidemiology of AF in HF is sparse.

Methods: Using the Danish nationwide registries, all first-time cases of HF were identified and followed for all-cause mortality from 1998 to 2018.

Results: Among 252,988 patients with HF (mean age: 74 ± 13 years, 45% women), AF presented before HF in 54,064 (21%) and on the same day in 27,651 (11%) individuals, similar in women and men. Among patients without AF, the cumulative 10-year incidence of AF was 18.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 18.2% to 19.1%) in women and 21.3% (95% CI: 21.0% to 21.6%) in men. On follow-up (mean: 6.2 ± 5.8 years), adjusted mortality rate ratios were 3.33 (95% CI: 3.25 to 3.41) in women and 2.84 (95% CI: 2.78 to 2.90) in men if AF antedated HF, 3.45 (95% CI: 3.37 to 3.56) in women versus 2.76 (95% CI: 2.69 to 2.83) in men when AF and HF were diagnosed concomitantly, and 4.85 (95% CI: 4.73 to 4.97) in women versus 3.89 (95% CI: 3.80 to 3.98) in men when AF developed after HF. Compared with rate control for AF, a rhythm-controlling strategy was associated with lowered mortality in inverse probability-weighted models across all strata and in both sexes (hazard ratios: 0.75 to 0.83), except for women who developed AF after HF onset (hazard ratio: 1.03).

Conclusions: More than half of all men and women with HF will develop AF during their clinical course, with prognosis associated with AF being worse in women than men. Further studies are needed to understand the underlying mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2021.02.021DOI Listing
April 2021

Whole-genome sequencing association analysis of quantitative red blood cell phenotypes: The NHLBI TOPMed program.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 05 21;108(5):874-893. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

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

Whole-genome sequencing (WGS), a powerful tool for detecting novel coding and non-coding disease-causing variants, has largely been applied to clinical diagnosis of inherited disorders. Here we leveraged WGS data in up to 62,653 ethnically diverse participants from the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program and assessed statistical association of variants with seven red blood cell (RBC) quantitative traits. We discovered 14 single variant-RBC trait associations at 12 genomic loci, which have not been reported previously. Several of the RBC trait-variant associations (RPN1, ELL2, MIDN, HBB, HBA1, PIEZO1, and G6PD) were replicated in independent GWAS datasets imputed to the TOPMed reference panel. Most of these discovered variants are rare/low frequency, and several are observed disproportionately among non-European Ancestry (African, Hispanic/Latino, or East Asian) populations. We identified a 3 bp indel p.Lys2169del (g.88717175_88717177TCT[4]) (common only in the Ashkenazi Jewish population) of PIEZO1, a gene responsible for the Mendelian red cell disorder hereditary xerocytosis (MIM: 194380), associated with higher mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC). In stepwise conditional analysis and in gene-based rare variant aggregated association analysis, we identified several of the variants in HBB, HBA1, TMPRSS6, and G6PD that represent the carrier state for known coding, promoter, or splice site loss-of-function variants that cause inherited RBC disorders. Finally, we applied base and nuclease editing to demonstrate that the sentinel variant rs112097551 (nearest gene RPN1) acts through a cis-regulatory element that exerts long-range control of the gene RUVBL1 which is essential for hematopoiesis. Together, these results demonstrate the utility of WGS in ethnically diverse population-based samples and gene editing for expanding knowledge of the genetic architecture of quantitative hematologic traits and suggest a continuum between complex trait and Mendelian red cell disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.04.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206199PMC
May 2021

Epidemiology of Heart Failure Stages in Middle-Aged Black People in the Community: Prevalence and Prognosis in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 May 21;10(9):e016524. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Medicine University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson MS.

Background Black individuals have a higher burden of risk factors for heart failure (HF) and subclinical left ventricular remodeling. Methods and Results We evaluated 1871 Black participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study cohort who attended a routine examination (1993-1996, median age 58 years) when they underwent echocardiography. We estimated the prevalences of 4 HF stages: (1) : no risk factors; (2) : presence of HF risk factors (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity, smoking, dyslipidemia, coronary artery disease without clinical myocardial infarction), no cardiac structural/functional abnormality; (3) : presence of prior myocardial infarction, systolic dysfunction, left ventricular hypertrophy, regional wall motion abnormality, or left ventricular enlargement; and (4) : prevalent HF. We assessed the incidence of clinical HF, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events, and all-cause mortality on follow-up according to HF stage. The prevalence of HF Stages 0, A, B, and C/D were 3.8%, 20.6%, 67.0%, and 8.6%, respectively, at baseline. On follow-up (median 19.0 years), 309 participants developed overt HF, 390 incurred new-onset cardiovascular disease events, and 651 individuals died. Incidence rates per 1000 person-years for overt HF, cardiovascular disease events, and death, respectively, were Stage 0, 2.4, 0.8, and 7.6; Stage A, 7.4, 9.7, and 13.5; Stage B 13.6, 15.9, and 22.0. Stage B HF was associated with a 1.5- to 2-fold increased adjusted risk of HF, cardiovascular disease events and death compared with Stages 0/A. Conclusions In our large community-based sample of Black individuals, we observed a strikingly high prevalence of Stage B HF in middle age that was a marker of high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.016524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8200743PMC
May 2021

Cardiovascular Risk Factors are Associated with Future Cancer.

JACC CardioOncol 2021 Mar 16;3(1):48-58. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: The extent to which co-occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer is due to shared risk factors or other mechanisms is unknown.

Objectives: We investigated the association of standard CVD risk factors, CVD biomarkers, preexisting CVD, and ideal CV health metrics with the development of future cancer.

Methods: We prospectively followed Framingham Heart Study and PREVEND participants free of cancer at baseline, and ascertained histology-proven cancer. We studied the association of baseline CV risk factors, 10-year atherosclerotic CVD risk score, established CVD biomarkers, prevalent CVD, and AHA Life's Simple 7 CV health score with incident cancer using multivariable Cox models. Analyses of interim CVD events with incident cancer used time-dependent covariates.

Results: Among 20,305 participants (mean age 50 ± 14 years, 54% women), 2,548 incident cancer cases occurred over a median follow-up of 15.0 (13.3-15.0) surveillance years. Traditional CVD risk factors including age, sex, and smoking status were independently associated with cancer (P <0.001 for all). Estimated 10-year atherosclerotic CVD risk was also associated with future cancer (HR 1.16 per 5% increase in risk, 95% CI 1.14-1.17, P<0.001). We found that natriuretic peptides (NP) (tertile 3 vs 1: HR 1.40, 95% CI 1.03-1.91, p=0.035) was associated with incident cancer, but not high sensitivity troponin (hs-cTn) (p=0.47). Prevalent CVD and the development of interim CV events were not associated with higher risk of subsequent cancer. However, ideal CV health was associated with lower future cancer risk (HR 0.95 per 1-point increase in AHA health score, 95% CI 0.92-0.99, p=0.009).

Conclusions: CVD risk as captured by traditional CVD risk factors, 10-year atherosclerotic CVD risk score, and NP concentrations are associated with increased risk of future cancer. Conversely, a heart healthy lifestyle is associated with a reduced risk of future cancer. Our data suggest that the association between CVD and future cancer is attributable to shared risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccao.2020.12.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8045786PMC
March 2021

A System for Phenotype Harmonization in the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program.

Am J Epidemiol 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

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

Genotype-phenotype association studies often combine phenotype data from multiple studies to increase 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 program, which is generating genomic and other omics data for >80 studies with extensive phenotype data. To date, 63 phenotypes have been harmonized across thousands of participants from up to 17 studies per phenotype (participants recruited 1948-2012). 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 code used to generate the 63 harmonized phenotypes, enabling others to reproduce, modify or extend these harmonizations to additional studies; and (2) results of labeling thousands of phenotype variables with controlled vocabulary terms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwab115DOI Listing
April 2021

Chromosome Xq23 is associated with lower atherogenic lipid concentrations and favorable cardiometabolic indices.

Nat Commun 2021 04 12;12(1):2182. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Division of Cardiology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Healthcare Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.

Autosomal genetic analyses of blood lipids have yielded key insights for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, X chromosome genetic variation is understudied for blood lipids in large sample sizes. We now analyze genetic and blood lipid data in a high-coverage whole X chromosome sequencing study of 65,322 multi-ancestry participants and perform replication among 456,893 European participants. Common alleles on chromosome Xq23 are strongly associated with reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (min P = 8.5 × 10), with similar effects for males and females. Chromosome Xq23 lipid-lowering alleles are associated with reduced odds for CHD among 42,545 cases and 591,247 controls (P = 1.7 × 10), and reduced odds for diabetes mellitus type 2 among 54,095 cases and 573,885 controls (P = 1.4 × 10). Although we observe an association with increased BMI, waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI is reduced, bioimpedance analyses indicate increased gluteofemoral fat, and abdominal MRI analyses indicate reduced visceral adiposity. Co-localization analyses strongly correlate increased CHRDL1 gene expression, particularly in adipose tissue, with reduced concentrations of blood lipids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22339-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042019PMC
April 2021

Conjoint Associations of Adherence to Physical Activity and Dietary Guidelines With Cardiometabolic Health: The Framingham Heart Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Apr 31;10(7):e019800. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology Boston University School of Medicine Boston MA.

Background The conjoint associations of adherence to the recent physical activity and dietary guidelines with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) are incompletely understood. Methods and Results We evaluated 2379 FHS (Framingham Heart Study) Third Generation participants (mean age, 47 years; 54.4% women) attending examination cycle 2. We examined the cross-sectional relations of adherence to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (binary; moderate-to-vigorous physical activity ≥150 versus <150 min/wk) and 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (binary; 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Adherence Index ≥median versus
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.019800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8174320PMC
April 2021

Association of Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Responses to Submaximal Exercise With Incident Heart Failure: The Framingham Heart Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Apr 24;10(7):e019460. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Sections of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, and Cardiovascular Medicine Department of Medicine Boston University School of Medicine Boston MA.

Background Exercise stress tests are conventionally performed to assess risk of coronary artery disease. Using the FHS (Framingham Heart Study) Offspring cohort, we related blood pressure (BP) and heart rate responses during and after submaximal exercise to the incidence of heart failure (HF). Methods and Results We evaluated Framingham Offspring Study participants (n=2066; mean age, 58 years; 53% women) who completed 2 stages of an exercise test (Bruce protocol) at their seventh examination (1998-2002). We measured pulse pressure, systolic BP, diastolic BP, and heart rate responses during stage 2 exercise (2.5 mph at 12% grade). We calculated the changes in systolic BP, diastolic BP, and heart rate from stage 2 to recovery 3 minutes after exercise. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to relate each standardized exercise variable (during stage 2, and at 3 minutes of recovery) individually to HF incidence, adjusting for standard risk factors. On follow-up (median, 16.8 years), 85 participants developed new-onset HF. Higher exercise diastolic BP was associated with higher HF with reduced ejection fraction (ejection fraction <50%) risk (hazard ratio [HR] per SD increment, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.01-1.59). Lower stage 2 pulse pressure and rapid postexercise recovery of heart rate and systolic BP were associated with higher HF with reduced ejection fraction risk (HR per SD increment, 0.73 [95% CI, 0.57-0.94]; 0.52 [95% CI, 0.35-0.76]; and 0.63 [95% CI, 0.47-0.84], respectively). BP and heart rate responses to submaximal exercise were not associated with risk of HF with preserved ejection fraction (ejection fraction ≥50%). Conclusions Accentuated diastolic BP during exercise with slower systolic BP and heart rate recovery after exercise are markers of HF with reduced ejection fraction risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.019460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8174367PMC
April 2021

Collaborative Cohort of Cohorts for COVID-19 Research (C4R) Study: Study Design.

medRxiv 2021 Mar 20. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

The Collaborative Cohort of Cohorts for COVID-19 Research (C4R) is a national prospective study of adults at risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) comprising 14 established United States (US) prospective cohort studies. For decades, C4R cohorts have collected extensive data on clinical and subclinical diseases and their risk factors, including behavior, cognition, biomarkers, and social determinants of health. C4R will link this pre-COVID phenotyping to information on SARS-CoV-2 infection and acute and post-acute COVID-related illness. C4R is largely population-based, has an age range of 18-108 years, and broadly reflects the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity of the US. C4R is ascertaining severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and COVID-19 illness using standardized questionnaires, ascertainment of COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths, and a SARS-CoV-2 serosurvey via dried blood spots. Master protocols leverage existing robust retention rates for telephone and in-person examinations, and high-quality events surveillance. Extensive pre-pandemic data minimize referral, survival, and recall bias. Data are being harmonized with research-quality phenotyping unmatched by clinical and survey-based studies; these will be pooled and shared widely to expedite collaboration and scientific findings. This unique resource will allow evaluation of risk and resilience factors for COVID-19 severity and outcomes, including post-acute sequelae, and assessment of the social and behavioral impact of the pandemic on long-term trajectories of health and aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.19.21253986DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987050PMC
March 2021

Age dependent associations of risk factors with heart failure: pooled population based cohort study.

BMJ 2021 03 23;372:n461. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Cardiovascular Research Center, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Objective: To assess age differences in risk factors for incident heart failure in the general population.

Design: Pooled population based cohort study.

Setting: Framingham Heart Study, Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-stage Disease Study, and Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

Participants: 24 675 participants without a history of heart failure stratified by age into young (<55 years; n=11 599), middle aged (55-64 years; n=5587), old (65-74 years; n=5190), and elderly (≥75 years; n=2299) individuals.

Main Outcome Measure: Incident heart failure.

Results: Over a median follow-up of 12.7 years, 138/11 599 (1%), 293/5587 (5%), 538/5190 (10%), and 412/2299 (18%) of young, middle aged, old, and elderly participants, respectively, developed heart failure. In young participants, 32% (n=44) of heart failure cases were classified as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction compared with 43% (n=179) in elderly participants. Risk factors including hypertension, diabetes, current smoking history, and previous myocardial infarction conferred greater relative risk in younger compared with older participants (P for interaction <0.05 for all). For example, hypertension was associated with a threefold increase in risk of future heart failure in young participants (hazard ratio 3.02, 95% confidence interval 2.10 to 4.34; P<0.001) compared with a 1.4-fold risk in elderly participants (1.43, 1.13 to 1.81; P=0.003). The absolute risk for developing heart failure was lower in younger than in older participants with and without risk factors. Importantly, known risk factors explained a greater proportion of overall population attributable risk for heart failure in young participants (75% 53% in elderly participants), with better model performance (C index 0.79 0.64). Similarly, the population attributable risks of obesity (21% 13%), hypertension (35% 23%), diabetes (14% 7%), and current smoking (32% 1%) were higher in young compared with elderly participants.

Conclusions: Despite a lower incidence and absolute risk of heart failure among younger compared with older people, the stronger association and greater attributable risk of modifiable risk factors among young participants highlight the importance of preventive efforts across the adult life course.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n461DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7986583PMC
March 2021
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