Publications by authors named "Stella Aslibekyan"

113 Publications

Trans-ancestry analysis reveals genetic and nongenetic associations with COVID-19 susceptibility and severity.

Nat Genet 2021 06 22;53(6):801-808. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

23andMe Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA.

COVID-19 presents with a wide range of severity, from asymptomatic in some individuals to fatal in others. Based on a study of 1,051,032 23andMe research participants, we report genetic and nongenetic associations with testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, respiratory symptoms and hospitalization. Using trans-ancestry genome-wide association studies, we identified a strong association between blood type and COVID-19 diagnosis, as well as a gene-rich locus on chromosome 3p21.31 that is more strongly associated with outcome severity. Hospitalization risk factors include advancing age, male sex, obesity, lower socioeconomic status, non-European ancestry and preexisting cardiometabolic conditions. While non-European ancestry was a significant risk factor for hospitalization after adjusting for sociodemographics and preexisting health conditions, we did not find evidence that these two primary genetic associations explain risk differences between populations for severe COVID-19 outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00854-7DOI Listing
June 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

Temporal changes in allostatic load patterns by age, race/ethnicity, and gender among the US adult population; 1988-2018.

Prev Med 2021 06 26;147:106483. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Population Health Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA. Electronic address:

The objective of this study is to provide an assessment of allostatic load (AL) burden among US adults across race/ethnicity, gender, and age groups over a 30-year time period. We analyzed data from 50,671 participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) years 1988 through 2018. AL score was defined as the sum total for abnormal measures of the following components: serum albumin, body mass index, serum C - reactive protein, serum creatinine, diastolic blood pressure, glycated hemoglobin, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and serum triglycerides. We performed modified Poisson regression to estimate the adjusted Relative Risks (aRRs) of allostatic load, and generalized linear models to determine adjusted mean differences accounting for NHANES sampling weights. Among US adults aged 18 or older, the prevalence of high AL increased by more than 45% from 1988 to 1991 to 2015-2018, from 33.5% to 48.6%. By the latest period, 2015-2018, Non-Hispanic Black women (aRR: 1.292; 95% CI: 1.290-1.293) and Latina women (aRR: 1.266; 95% CI: 1.265-1.267) had higher risks of AL than non-Hispanic White women. Similar trends were observed among men. Age-adjusted mean AL score among NH-Black and Latinx adults was higher than for NH-Whites of up to a decade older regardless of gender. From 1988 through 2018, Adults aged 40 years old and older had over 2-fold increased risks of high AL when compared to adults 18-29 years old. After 30-years of collective data, racial disparities in allostatic load persist for NH-Black and Latinx adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106483DOI Listing
June 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

Genetic determinants of daytime napping and effects on cardiometabolic health.

Nat Commun 2021 02 10;12(1):900. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Center for Genomic Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Daytime napping is a common, heritable behavior, but its genetic basis and causal relationship with cardiometabolic health remain unclear. Here, we perform a genome-wide association study of self-reported daytime napping in the UK Biobank (n = 452,633) and identify 123 loci of which 61 replicate in the 23andMe research cohort (n = 541,333). Findings include missense variants in established drug targets for sleep disorders (HCRTR1, HCRTR2), genes with roles in arousal (TRPC6, PNOC), and genes suggesting an obesity-hypersomnolence pathway (PNOC, PATJ). Association signals are concordant with accelerometer-measured daytime inactivity duration and 33 loci colocalize with loci for other sleep phenotypes. Cluster analysis identifies three distinct clusters of nap-promoting mechanisms with heterogeneous associations with cardiometabolic outcomes. Mendelian randomization shows potential causal links between more frequent daytime napping and higher blood pressure and waist circumference.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20585-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7876146PMC
February 2021

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

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

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

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

HSV-infection-related herpetic anogenital ulcer disease among PLWH in southeastern US: electronic medical record based analysis.

Sex Transm Infect 2021 Jan 12. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA

ObjectivesThe southeastern US is a domestic epicentre for incident HIV with high prevalence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) coinfection. We estimated the incidence rates (IR) of symptomatic herpetic anogenital ulcer disease (HAUD) and assessed its associations with demographic and clinical characteristics, specifically with immunological markers using median, nadir and trajectory CD4 counts.

Methods: Electronic medical records (EMR) of over 7000 people living with HIV (PLWH) attending one of the leading HIV clinics in the southeastern US between 2006 and 2018 were reviewed and analysed. IR of HSV-related HAUD were estimated per 10 000 person years. Joinpoint regressions were performed to examine temporal changes in the trends of IR. All IR and trends were stratified by gender and race. Six CD4 trajectory groups were constructed using the group-based trajectory modelling. Multivariable logistic models were conducted to assess the associations of CD4 counts (nadir, median CD4 and newly defined CD4 trajectory), separately with HAUD.

Results: Of the 4484 PLWH eligible individuals (3429 men, 1031 women and 24 transgender), we observed 425 patients with HSV-related HAUD. The mean logviral load was higher in HAUD than HAUD-free groups, whereas the median nadir CD4 count (cells/uL) was higher in the non-cases than the case groups (p<0.05). HAUD were more frequent in women than men. Median CD4 (<200 cell/uL) was associated with HAUD (OR=2.1), but there were no significant associations with nadir CD4. Significant associations with declining and sustained low CD4 counts trajectory patterns were observed with HAUD.

Conclusions: There were significant differences between men and women with incident HAUD among PLWH. EMR-based studies can provide innovative trajectory models that can potentially be helpful in guiding screening and clinical care of HAUD among high-risk PLWH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2020-054503DOI Listing
January 2021

Loss-of-function genomic variants highlight potential therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease.

Nat Commun 2020 12 18;11(1):6417. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, Department of Pediatrics and Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA, Torrance, CA, USA.

Pharmaceutical drugs targeting dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease (CVD) may increase the risk of fatty liver disease and other metabolic disorders. To identify potential novel CVD drug targets without these adverse effects, we perform genome-wide analyses of participants in the HUNT Study in Norway (n = 69,479) to search for protein-altering variants with beneficial impact on quantitative blood traits related to cardiovascular disease, but without detrimental impact on liver function. We identify 76 (11 previously unreported) presumed causal protein-altering variants associated with one or more CVD- or liver-related blood traits. Nine of the variants are predicted to result in loss-of-function of the protein. This includes ZNF529:p.K405X, which is associated with decreased low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (P = 1.3 × 10) without being associated with liver enzymes or non-fasting blood glucose. Silencing of ZNF529 in human hepatoma cells results in upregulation of LDL receptor and increased LDL uptake in the cells. This suggests that inhibition of ZNF529 or its gene product should be prioritized as a novel candidate drug target for treating dyslipidemia and associated CVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20086-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749177PMC
December 2020

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

Carbohydrate and fat intake associated with risk of metabolic diseases through epigenetics of CPT1A.

Am J Clin Nutr 2020 11;112(5):1200-1211

Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory, JM-USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Epigenome-wide association studies identified the cg00574958 DNA methylation site at the carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1A (CPT1A) gene to be associated with reduced risk of metabolic diseases (hypertriglyceridemia, obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome), but the mechanism underlying these associations is unknown.

Objectives: We aimed to elucidate whether carbohydrate and fat intakes modulate cg00574958 methylation and the risk of metabolic diseases.

Methods: We examined associations between carbohydrate (CHO) and fat (FAT) intake, as percentages of total diet energy, and the CHO/FAT ratio with CPT1A-cg00574958, and the risk of metabolic diseases in 3 populations (Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network, n = 978; Framingham Heart Study, n = 2331; and REgistre GIroní del COR study, n = 645) while adjusting for confounding factors. To understand possible causal effects of dietary intake on the risk of metabolic diseases, we performed meta-analysis, CPT1A transcription analysis, and mediation analysis with CHO and FAT intakes as exposures and cg00574958 methylation as the mediator.

Results: We confirmed strong associations of cg00574958 methylation with metabolic phenotypes (BMI, triglyceride, glucose) and diseases in all 3 populations. Our results showed that CHO intake and CHO/FAT ratio were positively associated with cg00574958 methylation, whereas FAT intake was negatively correlated with cg00574958 methylation. Meta-analysis further confirmed this strong correlation, with β = 58.4 ± 7.27, P = 8.98 x 10-16 for CHO intake; β = -36.4 ± 5.95, P = 9.96 x 10-10 for FAT intake; and β = 3.30 ± 0.49, P = 1.48 x 10-11 for the CHO/FAT ratio. Furthermore, CPT1A mRNA expression was negatively associated with CHO intake, and positively associated with FAT intake, and metabolic phenotypes. Mediation analysis supports the hypothesis that CHO intake induces CPT1A methylation, hence reducing the risk of metabolic diseases, whereas FAT intake inhibits CPT1A methylation, thereby increasing the risk of metabolic diseases.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that the proportion of total energy supplied by CHO and FAT can have a causal effect on the risk of metabolic diseases via the epigenetic status of CPT1A.Study registration at https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/: the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN)-NCT01023750; and the Framingham Heart Study (FHS)-NCT00005121.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa233DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7657341PMC
November 2020

Dynamic incorporation of multiple in silico functional annotations empowers rare variant association analysis of large whole-genome sequencing studies at scale.

Nat Genet 2020 09 24;52(9):969-983. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Data Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Large-scale whole-genome sequencing studies have enabled the analysis of rare variants (RVs) associated with complex phenotypes. Commonly used RV association tests have limited scope to leverage variant functions. We propose STAAR (variant-set test for association using annotation information), a scalable and powerful RV association test method that effectively incorporates both variant categories and multiple complementary annotations using a dynamic weighting scheme. For the latter, we introduce 'annotation principal components', multidimensional summaries of in silico variant annotations. STAAR accounts for population structure and relatedness and is scalable for analyzing very large cohort and biobank whole-genome sequencing studies of continuous and dichotomous traits. We applied STAAR to identify RVs associated with four lipid traits in 12,316 discovery and 17,822 replication samples from the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program. We discovered and replicated new RV associations, including disruptive missense RVs of NPC1L1 and an intergenic region near APOC1P1 associated with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0676-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483769PMC
September 2020

Find the Needle in the Haystack, Then Find It Again: Replication and Validation in the 'Omics Era.

Metabolites 2020 Jul 12;10(7). Epub 2020 Jul 12.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.

Advancements in high-throughput technologies have made it feasible to study thousands of biological pathways simultaneously for a holistic assessment of health and disease risk via 'omics platforms. A major challenge in 'omics research revolves around the reproducibility of findings-a feat that hinges upon balancing false-positive associations with generalizability. Given the foundational role of reproducibility in scientific inference, replication and validation of 'omics findings are cornerstones of this effort. In this narrative review, we define key terms relevant to replication and validation, present issues surrounding each concept with historical and contemporary examples from genomics (the most well-established and upstream 'omics), discuss special issues and unique considerations for replication and validation in metabolomics (an emerging field and most downstream 'omics for which best practices remain yet to be established), and make suggestions for future research leveraging multiple 'omics datasets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo10070286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7408356PMC
July 2020

Association of Allostatic Load with All-Cause andCancer Mortality by Race and Body Mass Index in theREGARDS Cohort.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Jun 26;12(6). Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA.

Among 29,701 Black and White participants aged 45 years and older in the Reasons forGeographic and Racial Difference in Stroke (REGARDS) study, allostatic load (AL) was defined asthe sum score of established baseline risk-associated biomarkers for which participants exceeded aset cutoff point. Cox proportional hazard regression was utilized to determine the association of ALscore with all-cause and cancer-specific mortality, with analyses stratified by body-mass index, agegroup, and race. At baseline, Blacks had a higher AL score compared with Whites (Black mean ALscore: 2.42, SD: 1.50; White mean AL score: 1.99, SD: 1.39; < 0.001). Over the follow-up period,there were 4622 all-cause and 1237 cancer-specific deaths observed. Every unit increase in baselineAL score was associated with a 24% higher risk of all-cause (HR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.22, 1.27) and a 7%higher risk of cancer-specific mortality (HR: 1.07, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.12). The association of AL withoverall- and cancer-specific mortality was similar among Blacks and Whites and across age-groups,however the risk of cancer-specific mortality was higher among normal BMI than overweight orobese participants. In conclusion, a higher baseline AL score was associated with increased risk ofall-cause and cancer-specific mortality among both Black and White participants. Targetedinterventions to patient groups with higher AL scores, regardless of race, may be beneficial as astrategy to reduce all-cause and cancer-specific mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12061695DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7352652PMC
June 2020

Demographic, spatial and temporal dietary intake patterns among 526 774 23andMe research participants.

Public Health Nutr 2021 Jul 29;24(10):2952-2963. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

23andMe, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA94086, USA.

Objective: To characterise dietary habits, their temporal and spatial patterns and associations with BMI in the 23andMe study population.

Design: We present a large-scale cross-sectional analysis of self-reported dietary intake data derived from the web-based National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2010 dietary screener. Survey-weighted estimates for each food item were characterised by age, sex, race/ethnicity, education and BMI. Temporal patterns were plotted over a 2-year time period, and average consumption for select food items was mapped by state. Finally, dietary intake variables were tested for association with BMI.

Setting: US-based adults 20-85 years of age participating in the 23andMe research programme.

Participants: Participants were 23andMe customers who consented to participate in research (n 526 774) and completed web-based surveys on demographic and dietary habits.

Results: Survey-weighted estimates show very few participants met federal recommendations for fruit: 2·6 %, vegetables: 5·9 % and dairy intake: 2·8 %. Between 2017 and 2019, fruit, vegetables and milk intake frequency declined, while total dairy remained stable and added sugars increased. Seasonal patterns in reporting were most pronounced for ice cream, chocolate, fruits and vegetables. Dietary habits varied across the USA, with higher intake of sugar and energy dense foods characterising areas with higher average BMI. In multivariate-adjusted models, BMI was directly associated with the intake of processed meat, red meat, dairy and inversely associated with consumption of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

Conclusions: 23andMe research participants have created an opportunity for rapid, large-scale, real-time nutritional data collection, informing demographic, seasonal and spatial patterns with broad geographical coverage across the USA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980020001251DOI Listing
July 2021

A lipidome-wide association study of the lipoprotein insulin resistance index.

Lipids Health Dis 2020 Jun 25;19(1):153. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1665 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL, 35294, USA.

Background: The lipoprotein insulin resistance (LPIR) score was shown to predict insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) in healthy adults. However, the molecular basis underlying the LPIR utility for classification remains unclear.

Objective: To identify small molecule lipids associated with variation in the LPIR score, a weighted index of lipoproteins measured by nuclear magnetic resonance, in the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN) study (n = 980).

Methods: Linear mixed effects models were used to test the association between the LPIR score and 413 lipid species and their principal component analysis-derived groups. Significant associations were tested for replication with homeostatic model assessment-IR (HOMA-IR), a phenotype correlated with the LPIR score (r = 0.48, p <  0.001), in the Heredity and Phenotype Intervention (HAPI) Heart Study (n = 590).

Results: In GOLDN, 319 lipids were associated with the LPIR score (false discovery rate-adjusted p-values ranging from 4.59 × 10 to 49.50 × 10). Factors 1 (triglycerides and diglycerides/storage lipids) and 3 (mixed lipids) were positively (β = 0.025, p = 4.52 × 10 and β = 0.021, p = 5.84 × 10, respectively) and factor 2 (phospholipids/non-storage lipids) was inversely (β = - 0.013, p = 2.28 × 10) associated with the LPIR score. These findings were replicated for HOMA-IR in the HAPI Heart Study (β = 0.10, p = 1.21 × 10 for storage, β = - 0.13, p = 3.14 × 10 for non-storage, and β = 0.19, p = 8.40 × 10 for mixed lipids).

Conclusions: Non-storage lipidomics species show a significant inverse association with the LPIR metabolic dysfunction score and present a promising focus for future therapeutic and prevention studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12944-020-01321-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7318473PMC
June 2020

CD4 Trajectory Models and Onset of Non-AIDS-Defining Anal Genital Warts, Precancer, and Cancer in People Living With HIV Infection-1.

Sex Transm Dis 2020 Sep;47(9):628-633

From the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health.

Background: It is unclear how the characteristics of CD4 counts predict non-AIDS-defining human papillomavirus-related anogenital warts (AGWs) and anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions/cancer (HSIL) in people living with HIV infection-1 (PLWH). We compared the associations between 3 CD4 counts measures and these disease outcomes in the study.

Methods: Retrospective sociobehavioral and clinical data from electronic health records of 4803 PLWH from 2006 to 2018 were included. Three different measurements of CD4 counts-(a) nadir, (b) median, and (c) trajectory-were estimated. Six CD4 trajectory groups were constructed using the group-based trajectory modeling from all patients older than 18 years with ≥3 clinical visits. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the associations with AGW and HSIL, separately.

Results: A total of 408 AGW, 102 anal HSIL (43 HSIL, 59 cancer), 4 penile cancer, and 15 vaginal cancer cases were observed. Median CD4 (<200 cell/μL) was associated with AGW (odds ratio [OR], 2.2 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.6-3.0]), and anal HSIL (OR, 2.7 [95% CI, 1.5-5.0]; each, P < 0.001). Low nadir CD4 (<200 cell/μL) was associated with AGW (OR, 1.8 [95% CI, 1.3-2.6]) and anal HSIL (OR, 2.4 [95% CI, 1.2-4.7]; each, P ≤ 0.001). Different patterns (declining and sustained low CD4 counts) of CD4 trajectories showed the strongest associations with onset of both AGW (OR, 1.8-3.1) and HSIL (OR, 2.7-6.7).

Conclusions: People living with HIV infection-1 with the same median CD4 could have very different CD4 trajectories, implying different dynamics of immune status. CD4 trajectory could be a better predictor of incident AGW and HSIL among PLWH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001215DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7447125PMC
September 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comorbidities associated with HPV infection among people living with HIV-1 in the southeastern US: a retrospective clinical cohort study.

BMC Infect Dis 2020 Feb 14;20(1):144. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 35242, USA.

Background: The southeastern US is an epicenter for incident HIV in the US with high prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) co-infections. However, epidemiologies of HPV-associated clinical conditions (CC) among people living with HIV-1 infection (PLWH) are not fully known.

Methods: Electronic medical records (EMR) of PLWH attending one of the leading HIV clinics in the southeastern US between 2006 and 2018 were reviewed and analyzed. The retrospective study was nested within the University of Alabama at Birmingham HIV clinical cohort, which has electronically collected over 7000 PLWH's clinical and sociobehavioral data since 1999. Incidence rates of HPV-related CC including anogenital warts, penile, anal, cervical, and vaginal/vulvar low- and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL and HSIL) were estimated per 10,000 person years. Joinpoint regressions were performed to examine temporal changes in the trends of incident CC. All rates and trends were stratified by gender and race.

Results: Of the 4484 PLWH included in the study (3429 men, 1031 women, and 24 transgender), we observed 1038 patients with HPV-related CC. The median nadir CD4 count (cells/uL) was higher in the HPV-condition free group than the case groups (P < 0.0001). Anogenital warts, anal LSIL, HSIL, and cancer were more likely to be diagnosed among HIV-infected men than women. White men presented more frequently with anal LSIL and anal and penile cancers than black men (P < 0.03). White women were also more likely to be diagnosed with cervical HSIL (P = 0.023) and cancer (P = 0.037) than black women.

Conclusions: There were significant differences between gender and race with incidence of HPV-related CC among HIV patients. EMR-based studies provide insights on understudied HPV-related anogenital conditions in PLWH; however, large-scale studies in other regions are needed to generalize current findings and draw public health attention to co-infection induced non-AIDS defining comorbidities among PLWH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-020-4822-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023731PMC
February 2020

Multi-ancestry sleep-by-SNP interaction analysis in 126,926 individuals reveals lipid loci stratified by sleep duration.

Nat Commun 2019 11 12;10(1):5121. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands.

Both short and long sleep are associated with an adverse lipid profile, likely through different biological pathways. To elucidate the biology of sleep-associated adverse lipid profile, we conduct multi-ancestry genome-wide sleep-SNP interaction analyses on three lipid traits (HDL-c, LDL-c and triglycerides). In the total study sample (discovery + replication) of 126,926 individuals from 5 different ancestry groups, when considering either long or short total sleep time interactions in joint analyses, we identify 49 previously unreported lipid loci, and 10 additional previously unreported lipid loci in a restricted sample of European-ancestry cohorts. In addition, we identify new gene-sleep interactions for known lipid loci such as LPL and PCSK9. The previously unreported lipid loci have a modest explained variance in lipid levels: most notable, gene-short-sleep interactions explain 4.25% of the variance in triglyceride level. Collectively, these findings contribute to our understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in sleep-associated adverse lipid profiles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12958-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6851116PMC
November 2019

Physical Activity and Genome-wide DNA Methylation: The REgistre GIroní del COR Study.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2020 03;52(3):589-597

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.

Introduction: DNA methylation may be one of the biological mechanisms underlying the health benefits of physical activity (PA). Our objective was to determine the association between PA and genome-wide DNA methylation at CpG level.

Methods: We designed a two-stage epigenome wide association study. In the discovery stage, we used 619 individuals from the REgistre GIroní del COR cohort. Next, we validated the CpG suggestively associated with PA (P < 10) in two independent populations (n = 1735 and 190, respectively). Physical activity was assessed with validated questionnaires and classified as light PA (LPA), moderate PA, vigorous PA, moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) and total PA. We examined linear and nonlinear associations and meta-analyzed the results in the three populations. The linear associations were meta-analyzed with a fixed-effects model and the P values of the nonlinear associations with the Stouffer and Fisher methods. We established a P value threshold that fulfilled Bonferroni criteria over the number of CpG analyzed (0.05/421,940 = 1.185 × 10).

Results: In the meta-analyses, two CpG sites had a statistically significant nonlinear association with MVPA. cg24155427 (P = 1.19 × 10), located in an intergenic region in chromosome 1, has been previously associated with smoking, lupus, and aging. cg09565397 (P = 1.59 × 10), located within DGAT1 in chromosome 8, which encodes an enzyme involved in triacylglycerol synthesis.

Conclusions: This population-based study identified two new, differentially methylated CpG sites with a nonlinear dose-response relationship to MVPA. These associations must be additionally validated and may be considered for further research on the biological mechanisms underlying health benefits of PA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000002174DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023998PMC
March 2020

Temporal trends in incidence of pediatric type 1 diabetes in Alabama: 2000-2017.

Pediatr Diabetes 2020 02 16;21(1):40-47. Epub 2019 Oct 16.

Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.

Objective: The incidence of type 1 diabetes has increased in the United States and worldwide. We hypothesized that trends in the annual incidence rates of childhood-onset type 1 diabetes in the state of Alabama would be different by race and sex.

Methods: We performed a retrospective observational cohort study, analyzing children with type 1 diabetes (n = 3770) managed at the Children's Hospital of Alabama between 2000 and 2017. We compared crude incidence rates using negative binomial regression models and analyzed differences in annual trends of age-adjusted incidence by race and sex using joinpoint regression.

Results: The crude type 1 diabetes incidence rate was estimated at 16.7 per 100 000 children <19 years of age in Alabama. Between 2000 and 2007, there was an increase in age-adjusted incidence of type 1 diabetes with an annual percent change (APC) of 10% from 2000 to 2007 and a 1.7% APC decrease from 2007 to 2017. The age-adjusted incidence for Whites and Blacks increased with an average annual percentage change (AAPC) of 4.4% and 2.8%, respectively. A nearly 11% increasing trend in age-adjusted incidence was observed for both races, though the increase plateaued in 2006 for Whites and 2010 for Blacks.

Conclusions: Following significantly increasing annual trends for both races, the age-adjusted rate remained statistically stable for Whites and decreased significantly for Blacks. Longer-sustained trend increases for Blacks resulted in type 1 diabetes incidence tripling compared to the doubling of the rate for Whites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pedi.12927DOI Listing
February 2020

Comparison of smoking-related DNA methylation between newborns from prenatal exposure and adults from personal smoking.

Epigenomics 2019 10 19;11(13):1487-1500. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Cigarette smoking influences DNA methylation genome wide, in newborns from pregnancy exposure and in adults from personal smoking. Whether a unique methylation signature exists for exposure in newborns is unknown. We separately meta-analyzed newborn blood DNA methylation (assessed using Illumina450k Beadchip), in relation to sustained maternal smoking during pregnancy (9 cohorts, 5648 newborns, 897 exposed) and adult blood methylation and personal smoking (16 cohorts, 15907 participants, 2433 current smokers). Comparing meta-analyses, we identified numerous signatures specific to newborns along with many shared between newborns and adults. Unique smoking-associated genes in newborns were enriched in xenobiotic metabolism pathways. Our findings may provide insights into specific health impacts of prenatal exposure on offspring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/epi-2019-0066DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836223PMC
October 2019

Genome-wide meta-analysis of SNP and antihypertensive medication interactions on left ventricular traits in African Americans.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2019 10 13;7(10):e00788. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

Background: Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy affects up to 43% of African Americans (AAs). Antihypertensive treatment reduces LV mass (LVM). However, interindividual variation in LV traits in response to antihypertensive treatments exists. We hypothesized that genetic variants may modify the association of antihypertensive treatment class with LV traits measured by echocardiography.

Methods: We evaluated the main effects of the three most common antihypertensive treatments for AAs as well as the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-by-drug interaction on LVM and relative wall thickness (RWT) in 2,068 participants across five community-based cohorts. Treatments included thiazide diuretics (TDs), angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-Is), and dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (dCCBs) and were compared in a pairwise manner. We performed fixed effects inverse variance weighted meta-analyses of main effects of drugs and 2.5 million SNP-by-drug interaction estimates.

Results: We observed that dCCBs versus TDs were associated with higher LVM after adjusting for covariates (p = 0.001). We report three SNPs at a single locus on chromosome 20 that modified the association between RWT and treatment when comparing dCCBs to ACE-Is with consistent effects across cohorts (smallest p = 4.7 × 10 , minor allele frequency range 0.09-0.12). This locus has been linked to LV hypertrophy in a previous study. A marginally significant locus in BICD1 (rs326641) was validated in an external population.

Conclusions: Our study identified one locus having genome-wide significant SNP-by-drug interaction effect on RWT among dCCB users in comparison to ACE-I users. Upon additional validation in future studies, our findings can enhance the precision of medical approaches in hypertension treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.788DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6785453PMC
October 2019

Glycemic control and lipid outcomes in children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes.

PLoS One 2019 1;14(7):e0219144. Epub 2019 Jul 1.

Department of Pediatrics/Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Children's of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America.

Background: The incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in children has increased dramatically. However, limited published information is known about the glycemic control and lipid outcomes in pediatric T2DM outside of clinical trials.

Objectives: To determine the glycemic control and lipid measure outcomes at one and three- year follow-up in children with T2DM.

Methods: A retrospective electronic medical record review of children with T2DM at the Children's Hospital of Alabama over a 12-year period.

Results: There were 301 patients with a diagnosis of T2DM who had a 1-year follow-up visit, of which 184 also had a 3-year follow-up. Most patients (78%) received either insulin with metformin or insulin alone at diagnosis. At one year, 37% of the cohort achieved 'optimal glycemic control' (HbA1C ≤6.5%) and 58% of patients achieved durable glycemic control (HbA1C ≤8%). Optimal glycemic control was seen in 48 patients at 3 years. The patients treated with insulin (alone or in combination with metformin) tended to have higher HbA1C at diagnosis, but had improved lipid and glycemic outcomes at follow-up. The group treated with insulin along with metformin had significant improvements in non-HDL, HDL and TC/HDL ratios. The effects of insulin treatment on glycemic control at 3 years were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: With the current modality of treatment, only a minority of patients achieve optimal glycemic control at 1 and 3 years of follow-up. Studies are warranted to further elucidate the optimal therapies in the management of pediatric T2DM.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0219144PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6602203PMC
March 2020

Association of dietary folate and vitamin B-12 intake with genome-wide DNA methylation in blood: a large-scale epigenome-wide association analysis in 5841 individuals.

Am J Clin Nutr 2019 08;110(2):437-450

Molecular Epidemiology, Department of Biomedical Data Sciences, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Folate and vitamin B-12 are essential micronutrients involved in the donation of methyl groups in cellular metabolism. However, associations between intake of these nutrients and genome-wide DNA methylation levels have not been studied comprehensively in humans.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess whether folate and/or vitamin B-12 intake are asssociated with genome-wide changes in DNA methylation in leukocytes.

Methods: A large-scale epigenome-wide association study of folate and vitamin B-12 intake was performed on DNA from 5841 participants from 10 cohorts using Illumina 450k arrays. Folate and vitamin B-12 intakes were calculated from food-frequency questionnaires (FFQs). Continuous and categorical (low compared with high intake) linear regression mixed models were applied per cohort, controlling for confounders. A meta-analysis was performed to identify significant differentially methylated positions (DMPs) and regions (DMRs), and a pathway analysis was performed on the DMR annotated genes.

Results: The categorical model resulted in 6 DMPs, which are all negatively associated with folate intake, annotated to FAM64A, WRAP73, FRMD8, CUX1, and LCN8 genes, which have a role in cellular processes including centrosome localization, cell proliferation, and tumorigenesis. Regional analysis showed 74 folate-associated DMRs, of which 73 were negatively associated with folate intake. The most significant folate-associated DMR was a 400-base pair (bp) spanning region annotated to the LGALS3BP gene. In the categorical model, vitamin B-12 intake was associated with 29 DMRs annotated to 48 genes, of which the most significant was a 1100-bp spanning region annotated to the calcium-binding tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated gene (CABYR). Vitamin B-12 intake was not associated with DMPs.

Conclusions: We identified novel epigenetic loci that are associated with folate and vitamin B-12 intake. Interestingly, we found a negative association between folate and DNA methylation. Replication of these methylation loci is necessary in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqz031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6669135PMC
August 2019

A multi-ancestry genome-wide study incorporating gene-smoking interactions identifies multiple new loci for pulse pressure and mean arterial pressure.

Hum Mol Genet 2019 08;28(15):2615-2633

Icelandic Heart Association, Kopavogur, Iceland.

Elevated blood pressure (BP), a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality, is influenced by both genetic and lifestyle factors. Cigarette smoking is one such lifestyle factor. Across five ancestries, we performed a genome-wide gene-smoking interaction study of mean arterial pressure (MAP) and pulse pressure (PP) in 129 913 individuals in stage 1 and follow-up analysis in 480 178 additional individuals in stage 2. We report here 136 loci significantly associated with MAP and/or PP. Of these, 61 were previously published through main-effect analysis of BP traits, 37 were recently reported by us for systolic BP and/or diastolic BP through gene-smoking interaction analysis and 38 were newly identified (P < 5 × 10-8, false discovery rate < 0.05). We also identified nine new signals near known loci. Of the 136 loci, 8 showed significant interaction with smoking status. They include CSMD1 previously reported for insulin resistance and BP in the spontaneously hypertensive rats. Many of the 38 new loci show biologic plausibility for a role in BP regulation. SLC26A7 encodes a chloride/bicarbonate exchanger expressed in the renal outer medullary collecting duct. AVPR1A is widely expressed, including in vascular smooth muscle cells, kidney, myocardium and brain. FHAD1 is a long non-coding RNA overexpressed in heart failure. TMEM51 was associated with contractile function in cardiomyocytes. CASP9 plays a central role in cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Identified only in African ancestry were 30 novel loci. Our findings highlight the value of multi-ancestry investigations, particularly in studies of interaction with lifestyle factors, where genomic and lifestyle differences may contribute to novel findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddz070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6644157PMC
August 2019

Biomarkers of Dietary Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality.

Circulation 2019 05;139(21):2422-2436

Benjamin Leon for Geriatrics Research and Education, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami (P.H.M.C.).

Background: Global dietary recommendations for and cardiovascular effects of linoleic acid, the major dietary omega-6 fatty acid, and its major metabolite, arachidonic acid, remain controversial. To address this uncertainty and inform international recommendations, we evaluated how in vivo circulating and tissue levels of linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA) relate to incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) across multiple international studies.

Methods: We performed harmonized, de novo, individual-level analyses in a global consortium of 30 prospective observational studies from 13 countries. Multivariable-adjusted associations of circulating and adipose tissue LA and AA biomarkers with incident total CVD and subtypes (coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, cardiovascular mortality) were investigated according to a prespecified analytic plan. Levels of LA and AA, measured as the percentage of total fatty acids, were evaluated linearly according to their interquintile range (ie, the range between the midpoint of the first and fifth quintiles), and categorically by quintiles. Study-specific results were pooled using inverse-variance-weighted meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was explored by age, sex, race, diabetes mellitus, statin use, aspirin use, omega-3 levels, and fatty acid desaturase 1 genotype (when available).

Results: In 30 prospective studies with medians of follow-up ranging 2.5 to 31.9 years, 15 198 incident cardiovascular events occurred among 68 659 participants. Higher levels of LA were significantly associated with lower risks of total CVD, cardiovascular mortality, and ischemic stroke, with hazard ratios per interquintile range of 0.93 (95% CI, 0.88-0.99), 0.78 (0.70-0.85), and 0.88 (0.79-0.98), respectively, and nonsignificantly with lower coronary heart disease risk (0.94; 0.88-1.00). Relationships were similar for LA evaluated across quintiles. AA levels were not associated with higher risk of cardiovascular outcomes; in a comparison of extreme quintiles, higher levels were associated with lower risk of total CVD (0.92; 0.86-0.99). No consistent heterogeneity by population subgroups was identified in the observed relationships.

Conclusions: In pooled global analyses, higher in vivo circulating and tissue levels of LA and possibly AA were associated with lower risk of major cardiovascular events. These results support a favorable role for LA in CVD prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.038908DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6582360PMC
May 2019

Plasma metabolomic profiling of amino acids and polar lipids in Iranian obese adults.

Lipids Health Dis 2019 Apr 9;18(1):94. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Division of Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital, 80337, Munich, Germany.

Background: Obesity, widely recognized as a serious health concern, is characterized by profoundly altered metabolism. However, the intermediate metabolites involved in this change remain largely unknown.

Objective: We conducted targeted metabolomics profiling to identify moieties associated with adult obesity.

Methods: In this case-control study of Iranian adults, 200 obese patients were compared with 100 controls based on 104 metabolites profiled by a targeted metabolomic approach using liquid chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The analysis comprised acylcarnitines, diacyl-phosphatidylcholines (PCaa), acyl-alkyl-phosphatidylcholines (PCae), sphingomyelins (SM), lyso-phospholipids (LPC) and amino acids. We performed multivariable linear regression to identify metabolites associated with obesity, adjusting for age, sex, total energy intake, total physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The Bonferroni correction was used to adjust for multiple testing.

Results: A pattern of 19 metabolites was significantly associated with obesity. Branched chain amino acids, alanine, glutamic acid, proline, tyrosine LPCa C16:1, PCaa C32:1, PCaa C32:2 and PCaa C38:3 were positively, while serine, asparagine, LPCa C18:1, LPCa C18:2, LPCe C18:0, PCae C34:3, PCae C38:4 and PCae C40:6 were negatively associated with obesity (all p < 0.00048).

Conclusions: A metabolomic profile containing 9 amino acids and 10 polar lipids may serve as a potential biomarker of adult obesity. Further studies are warranted to replicate these findings as well as investigate potential changes in this profile after weight reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12944-019-1037-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6456979PMC
April 2019
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