Publications by authors named "Sunita Miles"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Perceived Discrimination, Nativity, and Cognitive Performance in a Multi-ethnic Study of Older Adults: Findings from the Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences (KHANDLE) Study.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 Jun 14. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA.

Background: Despite growing research on the association between discrimination and disparities in cognitive aging, an evidence gap remains on how the association varies by racial/ethnic group. This study evaluates the associations of experiences of discrimination with cognitive function and whether these associations varied by race/ethnicity and nativity.

Methods: Using the Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences (KHANDLE) cohort (N=1,712) with approximately equal groups of Black, White, Latino, and Asian community-dwelling older adults aged 65 years and older, we evaluated the associations between self-reported experiences of everyday and major lifetime discrimination with overall cognitive performance and domain-specific cognition (verbal episodic memory, semantic memory and executive functioning) across race/ethnicity and nativity. Linear regression models examined the cross-sectional association between self-reported experiences of everyday and major lifetime discrimination with z-standardized coefficients for cognition. We tested for effect modification by race and nativity. All models controlled for age, sex and education.

Results: Among KHANDLE participants (mean age: 76 years; standard deviation: 6.8), everyday discrimination was not associated with cognitive scores. Major lifetime discrimination was associated with better average cognitive scores among Black participants but not among other racial/ethnic groups. Major lifetime discrimination was associated with better average cognitive scores among US-born but not among non-US born individuals.

Conclusion: Our findings do not imply that discrimination improves cognition, but rather suggest that future research should include more detailed measures on discrimination and unfair treatment that could help disentangle the extent to which relationships are causal or reflect some other underlying factor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glab170DOI Listing
June 2021

Measuring cognitive health in ethnically diverse older adults.

J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2021 Apr 12. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

University of California Davis, Department of Neurology.

Objective: Understanding racial/ethnic disparities in late-life cognitive health is a public health imperative. We used baseline data from the Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences (KHANDLE) study to examine how age, education, gender, and clinical diagnosis, a proxy for brain health, are associated with cross-sectional measures of cognition in diverse racial/ethnic groups.

Method: Comprehensive measures of cognition were obtained using the Spanish and English Neuropsychological Assessment Scales and the NIH Toolbox Cognitive Health Battery in a sample of 1695 KHANDLE participants (Asians 24%, Blacks 26%, Latinos 20%, Whites 29%). A 25% random subsample was clinically evaluated and diagnosed with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or dementia. Cognitive test scores were regressed on core demographic variables and diagnosis in the combined sample and in multiple group analyses stratified by racial/ethnic group.

Results: Race/ethnicity and education were variably associated with test scores with strongest associations with tests of vocabulary and semantic memory. Older age was associated with poorer performance on all measures, and gender differences varied across cognitive tests. Clinical diagnosis of MCI or dementia was associated with average decrements in test scores that ranged from -0.41 to -0.84 SD, with largest differences on tests of executive function and episodic memory. With few exceptions, associations of demographic variables and clinical diagnosis did not differ across racial/ethnic groups.

Discussion: The robust associations of cognitive test results with clinical diagnosis independent of core demographic variables and race/ethnicity supports the validity of cognitive tests as indicators for brain health in diverse older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbab062DOI Listing
April 2021

Physical Performance and Cognition in a Diverse Cohort: Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences (KHANDLE) Study.

Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2021 Jan-Mar 01;35(1):23-29

Departments of Public Health Sciences.

Background: The authors assessed the cross-sectional association of physical function measures with cognition in the Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences Cohort.

Methods: Analyses included 1369 participants (24% Asian, 26% Black, 18% Latino, 32% White). Grip strength was measured using a hand-held dynamometer (kilograms) and gait speed was measured over a 4-m walk (seconds/meter). The Spanish and English Neuropsychological Assessment Scales was used to evaluate cognitive domains of executive function, semantic memory, and verbal episodic memory. Physical function measures (per SD) were associated with cognitive test z-scores in linear regression models adjusted for demographic, behavioral, and clinical factors. Racial/ethnic differences were tested using interaction terms and stratification.

Results: Stronger grip was associated with better executive function [β=0.10 (95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.15)], semantic memory [β=0.13 (0.09-0.18)] and verbal episodic memory [β=0.07 (0.02-0.13)] with no racial/ethnic differences. Faster gait was associated with better executive function [β=0.29 (0.22-0.36)], semantic memory [β=0.23 (0.16-0.30)], and verbal episodic memory [β=0.20 (0.13-0.27)]; however, the association between gait speed and executive function varied by race/ethnicity with the strongest associations in Asians and Whites.

Conclusion: Across race/ethnicity, grip strength and gait speed were associated with cognition with racial/ethnic differences in the association of gait speed and executive function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0000000000000428DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7904590PMC
October 2021

Are adverse childhood experiences associated with late-life cognitive performance across racial/ethnic groups: results from the Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences study baseline.

BMJ Open 2021 02 5;11(2):e042125. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

Objectives: Evidence on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and late-life cognitive outcomes is inconsistent, with little research among diverse racial/ethnic groups. We investigated whether ACE exposures were associated with worse late-life cognition for all racial/ethnic groups and at different ages of exposure.

Design: Covariate-adjusted mixed-effects linear regression models estimated associations of: (1) total number of ACEs experienced, (2) earliest age when ACE occurred and (3) type of ACE with overall cognition.

Setting: Kaiser Permanente Northern California members aged 65 years and older, living in Northern California.

Participants: Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences study baseline participants, aged 65 years and older (n=1661; including 403 Asian-American, 338 Latino, 427 Black and 493 white participants).

Results: Most respondents (69%) reported one or more ACE, most frequently family illness (36%), domestic violence (23%) and parental divorce (22%). ACE count was not adversely associated with cognition overall (β=0.01; 95% CI -0.01 to 0.03), in any racial/ethnic group or for any age category of exposure. Pooling across all race/ethnicities, parent's remarriage (β=-0.11; 95% CI -0.20 to -0.03), mother's death (β=-0.18; 95% CI -0.30 to -0.07) and father's death (β=-0.11; 95% CI -0.20 to -0.01) were associated with worse cognition.

Conclusion: Adverse childhood exposures overall were not associated with worse cognition in older adults in a diverse sample, although three ACEs were associated with worse cognitive outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7925876PMC
February 2021

Genotyping Informatics and Quality Control for 100,000 Subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) Cohort.

Genetics 2015 Aug 19;200(4):1051-60. Epub 2015 Jun 19.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, Oakland, California 94612.

The Kaiser Permanente (KP) Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health (RPGEH), in collaboration with the University of California-San Francisco, undertook genome-wide genotyping of >100,000 subjects that constitute the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) cohort. The project, which generated >70 billion genotypes, represents the first large-scale use of the Affymetrix Axiom Genotyping Solution. Because genotyping took place over a short 14-month period, creating a near-real-time analysis pipeline for experimental assay quality control and final optimized analyses was critical. Because of the multi-ethnic nature of the cohort, four different ethnic-specific arrays were employed to enhance genome-wide coverage. All assays were performed on DNA extracted from saliva samples. To improve sample call rates and significantly increase genotype concordance, we partitioned the cohort into disjoint packages of plates with similar assay contexts. Using strict QC criteria, the overall genotyping success rate was 103,067 of 109,837 samples assayed (93.8%), with a range of 92.1-95.4% for the four different arrays. Similarly, the SNP genotyping success rate ranged from 98.1 to 99.4% across the four arrays, the variation depending mostly on how many SNPs were included as single copy vs. double copy on a particular array. The high quality and large scale of genotype data created on this cohort, in conjunction with comprehensive longitudinal data from the KP electronic health records of participants, will enable a broad range of highly powered genome-wide association studies on a diversity of traits and conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.115.178905DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4574249PMC
August 2015

Automated Assay of Telomere Length Measurement and Informatics for 100,000 Subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) Cohort.

Genetics 2015 Aug 19;200(4):1061-72. Epub 2015 Jun 19.

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158-2517

The Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment, and Health (RPGEH) Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) cohort includes DNA specimens extracted from saliva samples of 110,266 individuals. Because of its relationship to aging, telomere length measurement was considered an important biomarker to develop on these subjects. To assay relative telomere length (TL) on this large cohort over a short time period, we created a novel high throughput robotic system for TL analysis and informatics. Samples were run in triplicate, along with control samples, in a randomized design. As part of quality control, we determined the within-sample variability and employed thresholds for the elimination of outlying measurements. Of 106,902 samples assayed, 105,539 (98.7%) passed all quality control (QC) measures. As expected, TL in general showed a decline with age and a sex difference. While telomeres showed a negative correlation with age up to 75 years, in those older than 75 years, age positively correlated with longer telomeres, indicative of an association of longer telomeres with more years of survival in those older than 75. Furthermore, while females in general had longer telomeres than males, this difference was significant only for those older than age 50. An additional novel finding was that the variance of TL between individuals increased with age. This study establishes reliable assay and analysis methodologies for measurement of TL in large, population-based human studies. The GERA cohort represents the largest currently available such resource, linked to comprehensive electronic health and genotype data for analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.115.178624DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4574243PMC
August 2015

Next generation genome-wide association tool: design and coverage of a high-throughput European-optimized SNP array.

Genomics 2011 Aug 30;98(2):79-89. Epub 2011 Apr 30.

Institute for Human Genetics, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0794, CA, USA.

The success of genome-wide association studies has paralleled the development of efficient genotyping technologies. We describe the development of a next-generation microarray based on the new highly-efficient Affymetrix Axiom genotyping technology that we are using to genotype individuals of European ancestry from the Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health (RPGEH). The array contains 674,517 SNPs, and provides excellent genome-wide as well as gene-based and candidate-SNP coverage. Coverage was calculated using an approach based on imputation and cross validation. Preliminary results for the first 80,301 saliva-derived DNA samples from the RPGEH demonstrate very high quality genotypes, with sample success rates above 94% and over 98% of successful samples having SNP call rates exceeding 98%. At steady state, we have produced 462 million genotypes per week for each Axiom system. The new array provides a valuable addition to the repertoire of tools for large scale genome-wide association studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygeno.2011.04.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3146553PMC
August 2011

Early discontinuation and nonadherence to adjuvant hormonal therapy in a cohort of 8,769 early-stage breast cancer patients.

J Clin Oncol 2010 Sep 28;28(27):4120-8. Epub 2010 Jun 28.

Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University Medical Center, 161 Fort Washington Ave, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Purpose: While studies have found that adjuvant hormonal therapy for hormone-sensitive breast cancer (BC) dramatically reduces recurrence and mortality, adherence to medications is suboptimal. We investigated the rates and predictors of early discontinuation and nonadherence to hormonal therapy in patients enrolled in Kaiser Permanente of Northern California health system.

Patients And Methods: We identified women diagnosed with hormone-sensitive stage I-III BC from 1996 to 2007 and used automated pharmacy records to identify hormonal therapy prescriptions and dates of refill. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to analyze factors associated with early discontinuation and nonadherence (medication possession ratio < 80%) of hormonal therapy.

Results: We identified 8,769 patients with BC who met our eligibility criteria and who filled at least one prescription for tamoxifen (43%), aromatase inhibitors (26%), or both (30%) within 1 year of diagnosis. Younger or older age, lumpectomy (v mastectomy), and comorbidities were associated with earlier discontinuation, while Asian race, being married, earlier year at diagnosis, receipt of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and longer prescription refill interval were associated with completion of 4.5 years of therapy. Of those who continued therapy, similar factors were associated with full adherence. Women age younger than 40 years had the highest risk of discontinuation (hazard ratio, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.23 to 1.85). By 4.5 years, 32% discontinued therapy, and of those who continued, 72% were fully adherent.

Conclusion: Only 49% of patients with BC took adjuvant hormonal therapy for the full duration at the optimal schedule. Younger women are at high risk of nonadherence. Interventions to improve adherence and continuation of hormonal therapy are needed, especially for younger women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2009.25.9655DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2953970PMC
September 2010

Quality of life among women recently diagnosed with invasive breast cancer: the Pathways Study.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2010 Sep 6;123(2):507-24. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, 2000 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, USA.

Few studies have assessed quality of life (QOL) of women diagnosed with breast cancer within the first few weeks of their initial diagnosis. We describe QOL among 950 women recently diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Starting in January 2006, we invited women aged > or =21 years who were diagnosed with first primary invasive breast cancer within Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) to enroll in the Pathways Study, a prospective study of breast cancer survivorship. QOL was measured using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast Cancer (FACT-B), along with sociodemographic and social support information. Clinical characteristics were obtained from the KPNC cancer registry and electronic medical record. We used multivariable linear regression models to identify factors associated with QOL scores calculated from the FACT-B. The mean age +/- SD of the sample was 59.6 years (+/-11.9 years), and the mean time +/-SD from diagnosis until interview was 8.0 weeks (+/-3.2 weeks). Younger age at diagnosis was associated with lower scores in all QOL domains (P < 0.01), and later stage at diagnosis was associated with lower scores in all domains (P < 0.05) except for social well-being. Higher levels of social support were associated with higher QOL except for physical well-being (P < 0.05). These associations were stronger within 2 months of breast cancer diagnosis. Quality of life as influenced by a diagnosis of breast cancer is an important factor in cancer survivorship. Age, stage at diagnosis, and social support are key factors in this important variable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-010-0764-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2935682PMC
September 2010
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