Publications by authors named "Traci M Bartz"

119 Publications

Body Composition and Incident Heart Failure in Older Adults: Results From 2 Prospective Cohorts.

J Am Heart Assoc 2022 Jan 20;11(1):e023707. Epub 2021 Dec 20.

Cardiology Section San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System and University of California San Francisco San Francisco CA.

Background Aging is associated with central fat redistribution and skeletal muscle decline, yet the relationships of tissue compartments with heart failure (HF) remain incompletely characterized. We assessed the contribution of body composition to incident HF in elders. Methods and Results Participants from 2 older cohorts who completed dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and, in one cohort, computed tomography were included. We evaluated associations with incident HF for DEXA principal components (PCs) and total lean, appendicular lean, total fat and trunk fat mass; and for computed tomography measures of abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat, thigh muscle, intermuscular fat area and thigh muscle density. DEXA analysis included 3621, and computed tomography analysis 2332 participants. During median follow-up of 11.8 years, 927 participants developed HF. DEXA principal components showed no relationship with HF. After adjustment for height, weight, and cardiovascular risk factors, total lean mass was near significantly associated with higher HF (hazard ratio [HR], 1.25 per SD [1.00-1.56]), whereas total fat mass and thigh muscle density were significantly related to lower HF (HR, 0.82 [0.68-0.99] and HR, 0.87 [0.78-0.97], respectively). Patterns were similar for HF subtypes. The relationships with HF for total lean and fat mass were attenuated after adjusting for intercurrent atrial fibrillation or excluding high natriuretic peptide levels. Conclusions Total lean mass was positively associated, while total fat mass and thigh muscle density were inversely associated, with incident HF. These findings highlight the limitations of DEXA for assessment of HF risk in elders and support the preeminence of computed tomography-measured skeletal muscle quality over mass as a determinant of HF incidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.121.023707DOI Listing
January 2022

Association of Serum Neurofilament Light Chain Concentration and MRI Findings in Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study.

Neurology 2021 Dec 17. Epub 2021 Dec 17.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Background And Objectives: Neurofilament light chain (NfL) in blood is a sensitive but non-specific marker of brain injury. This study sought to evaluate associations between NfL concentration and MRI findings of vascular brain injury in older adults.

Methods: A longitudinal cohort study included two cranial MRI scans performed about 5 years apart and assessed for white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and infarcts. About one year before their second MRI, 1,362 participants (median age 77 years and 61.4% women) without a history of TIA or stroke had measurement of four biomarkers: NfL, total tau, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1. Most (n = 1,279) also had the first MRI scan, and some (n=633) had quantitative measurements of hippocampal and WMH. In primary analyses, we assessed associations of NfL with a 10-point white matter grade (WMG) and prevalent infarcts on second MRI and with worsening WMG and incident infarct comparing the two scans. A p-value <0.0125 (0.05/4) was considered significant for these analyses. We also assessed associations with hippocampal and WMH volume.

Results: In fully adjusted models, log(NfL) concentration was associated with WMG (β=0.27; p=2.3x10) and worsening WMG (RR=1.24; p=0.0022), but less strongly with prevalent brain infarcts (RR=1.18; p=0.013) and not with incident brain infarcts (RR=1.18; p=0.18). Associations were also present with WMH volume (beta=2242.9, p=0.0036). For the other three biomarkers, the associations for log(GFAP) concentration with WMG and worsening WMG were significant.

Discussion: Among older adults without a history of stroke, higher serum NfL concentration was associated with covert MRI findings of vascular brain injury, especially the burden of WMH and its worsening. Whether these results offer opportunities for the use of NfL as a non-invasive biomarker of WMH or to control vascular risk factors remains to be determined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000013229DOI Listing
December 2021

Multi-Ancestry Genome-wide Association Study Accounting for Gene-Psychosocial Factor Interactions Identifies Novel Loci for Blood Pressure Traits.

HGG Adv 2021 Jan 31;2(1). Epub 2020 Oct 31.

Interfaculty Institute for Genetics and Functional Genomics, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, 17489, Germany.

Psychological and social factors are known to influence blood pressure (BP) and risk of hypertension and associated cardiovascular diseases. To identify novel BP loci, we carried out genome-wide association meta-analyses of systolic, diastolic, pulse, and mean arterial BP taking into account the interaction effects of genetic variants with three psychosocial factors: depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and social support. Analyses were performed using a two-stage design in a sample of up to 128,894 adults from 5 ancestry groups. In the combined meta-analyses of Stages 1 and 2, we identified 59 loci (p value <5e-8), including nine novel BP loci. The novel associations were observed mostly with pulse pressure, with fewer observed with mean arterial pressure. Five novel loci were identified in African ancestry, and all but one showed patterns of interaction with at least one psychosocial factor. Functional annotation of the novel loci supports a major role for genes implicated in the immune response (), synaptic function and neurotransmission (), as well as genes previously implicated in neuropsychiatric or stress-related disorders (). These findings underscore the importance of considering psychological and social factors in gene discovery for BP, especially in non-European populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xhgg.2020.100013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8562625PMC
January 2021

Identification of Functional Genetic Determinants of Cardiac Troponin T and I in a Multiethnic Population and Causal Associations With Atrial Fibrillation.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 12 4;14(6):e003460. Epub 2021 Nov 4.

Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences and Human Genetics Center, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX (M.R.B., E.B., M.F., G.J., B.Y.).

Background: Elevated cardiac troponin levels in blood are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and mortality. Cardiac troponin levels are heritable, but their genetic architecture remains elusive.

Methods: We conducted a transethnic genome-wide association analysis on high-sensitivity cTnT (cardiac troponin T; hs-cTnT) and high-sensitivity cTnI (cardiac troponin I; hs-cTnI) levels in 24 617 and 14 336 participants free of coronary heart disease and heart failure from 6 population-based cohorts, followed by a series of bioinformatic analyses to decipher the genetic architecture of hs-cTnT and hs-cTnI.

Results: We identified 4 genome-wide significant loci for hs-cTnT including a novel locus rs3737882 in and 3 previously reported loci at , , and . One known locus at was replicated for hs-cTnI. One copy of C allele for rs3737882 was associated with a 6% increase in hs-cTnT levels (minor allele frequency, 0.18; =2.80×10). We observed pleiotropic loci located at and . The proportions of variances explained by single-nucleotide polymorphisms were 10.15% and 7.74% for hs-cTnT and hs-cTnI, respectively. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms were colocalized with expression in heart tissues and hs-cTnT and with expression in artery, heart tissues, and whole blood and both troponins. Mendelian randomization analyses showed that genetically increased hs-cTnT and hs-cTnI levels were associated with higher odds of atrial fibrillation (odds ratio, 1.38 [95% CI, 1.25-1.54] for hs-cTnT and 1.21 [95% CI, 1.06-1.37] for hs-cTnI).

Conclusions: We identified a novel genetic locus associated with hs-cTnT in a multiethnic population and found that genetically regulated troponin levels were associated with atrial fibrillation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.121.003460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8692416PMC
December 2021

Rare and low-frequency exonic variants and gene-by-smoking interactions in pulmonary function.

Sci Rep 2021 09 29;11(1):19365. Epub 2021 Sep 29.

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

Genome-wide association studies have identified numerous common genetic variants associated with spirometric measures of pulmonary function, including forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV), forced vital capacity, and their ratio. However, variants with lower minor allele frequencies are less explored. We conducted a large-scale gene-smoking interaction meta-analysis on exonic rare and low-frequency variants involving 44,429 individuals of European ancestry in the discovery stage and sought replication in the UK BiLEVE study with 45,133 European ancestry samples and UK Biobank study with 59,478 samples. We leveraged data on cigarette smoking, the major environmental risk factor for reduced lung function, by testing gene-by-smoking interaction effects only and simultaneously testing the genetic main effects and interaction effects. The most statistically significant signal that replicated was a previously reported low-frequency signal in GPR126, distinct from common variant associations in this gene. Although only nominal replication was obtained for a top rare variant signal rs142935352 in one of the two studies, interaction and joint tests for current smoking and PDE3B were significantly associated with FEV. This study investigates the utility of assessing gene-by-smoking interactions and underscores their effects on potential pulmonary function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-98120-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8481467PMC
September 2021

Epigenetic Age and the Risk of Incident Atrial Fibrillation.

Circulation 2021 12 30;144(24):1899-1911. Epub 2021 Sep 30.

Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine (G.M.M.); University of California, San Francisco.

Background: The most prominent risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF) is chronological age; however, underlying mechanisms are unexplained. Algorithms using epigenetic modifications to the human genome effectively predict chronological age. Chronological and epigenetic predicted ages may diverge in a phenomenon referred to as epigenetic age acceleration (EAA), which may reflect accelerated biological aging. We sought to evaluate for associations between epigenetic age measures and incident AF.

Methods: Measures for 4 epigenetic clocks (Horvath, Hannum, DNA methylation [DNAm] PhenoAge, and DNAm GrimAge) and an epigenetic predictor of PAI-1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) levels (ie, DNAm PAI-1) were determined for study participants from 3 population-based cohort studies. Cox models evaluated for associations with incident AF and results were combined via random-effects meta-analyses. Two-sample summary-level Mendelian randomization analyses evaluated for associations between genetic instruments of the EAA measures and AF.

Results: Among 5600 participants (mean age, 65.5 years; female, 60.1%; Black, 50.7%), there were 905 incident AF cases during a mean follow-up of 12.9 years. Unadjusted analyses revealed all 4 epigenetic clocks and the DNAm PAI-1 predictor were associated with statistically significant higher hazards of incident AF, though the magnitudes of their point estimates were smaller relative to the associations observed for chronological age. The pooled EAA estimates for each epigenetic measure, with the exception of Horvath EAA, were associated with incident AF in models adjusted for chronological age, race, sex, and smoking variables. After multivariable adjustment for additional known AF risk factors that could also potentially function as mediators, pooled EAA measures for 2 clocks remained statistically significant. Five-year increases in EAA measures for DNAm GrimAge and DNAm PhenoAge were associated with 19% (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.19 [95% CI, 1.09-1.31]; <0.01) and 15% (adjusted HR, 1.15 [95% CI, 1.05-1.25]; <0.01) higher hazards of incident AF, respectively. Mendelian randomization analyses for the 5 EAA measures did not reveal statistically significant associations with AF.

Conclusions: Our study identified adjusted associations between EAA measures and incident AF, suggesting that biological aging plays an important role independent of chronological age, though a potential underlying causal relationship remains unclear. These aging processes may be modifiable and not constrained by the immutable factor of time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.056456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8671333PMC
December 2021

Cardiac mechanics and incident ischemic stroke: the Cardiovascular Health Study.

Sci Rep 2021 08 30;11(1):17358. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Division of Cardiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.

Recent evidence indicates that our understanding of the relationship between cardiac function and ischemic stroke remains incomplete. The Cardiovascular Health Study enrolled community-dwelling adults ≥ 65 years old. We included participants with speckle-tracking data from digitized baseline study echocardiograms. Exposures were left atrial reservoir strain (primary), left ventricular longitudinal strain, left ventricular early diastolic strain rate, septal e' velocity, and lateral e' velocity. The primary outcome was incident ischemic stroke. Cox proportional hazards models were adjusted for demographics, image quality, and risk factors including left ventricular ejection fraction and incident atrial fibrillation. Among 4,000 participants in our analysis, lower (worse) left atrial reservoir strain was associated with incident ischemic stroke (HR per SD absolute decrease, 1.14; 95% CI 1.04-25). All secondary exposure variables were significantly associated with the outcome. Left atrial reservoir strain was associated with cardioembolic stroke (HR per SD absolute decrease, 1.42; 95% CI 1.21-1.67) and cardioembolic stroke related to incident atrial fibrillation (HR per SD absolute decrease, 1.60; 1.32-1.95). Myocardial dysfunction that can ultimately lead to stroke may be identifiable at an early stage. This highlights opportunities to identify cerebrovascular risk earlier and improve stroke prevention via therapies for early myocardial dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-96702-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8405795PMC
August 2021

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

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 08 16;14(4):e003288. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

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

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

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

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

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

Adverse cardiac mechanics and incident coronary heart disease in the Cardiovascular Health Study.

Heart 2021 Jul 13. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Division of Cardiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Objectives: Speckle-tracking echocardiography enables detection of abnormalities in cardiac mechanics with higher sensitivity than conventional measures of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and may provide insight into the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease (CHD). We investigated the relationship of LV longitudinal strain, LV early diastolic strain rate (SR) and left atrial (LA) reservoir strain with long-term CHD incidence in community-dwelling older adults.

Methods: The association of all three strain measures with incidence of non-fatal and fatal CHD (primary outcome of revascularisation, non-fatal and fatal myocardial infarction) was examined in the population-based Cardiovascular Health Study using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. Follow-up was truncated at 10 years.

Results: We included 3313 participants (mean (SD) age 72.6 (5.5) years). During a median follow-up of 10.0 (25th-75th percentile 7.7-10.0) years, 439 CHD events occurred. LV longitudinal strain (HR=1.25 per SD decrement, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.43) and LV early diastolic SR (HR=1.31 per SD decrement, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.50) were associated with a significantly greater risk of incident CHD after adjustment for potential confounders. By contrast, LA reservoir strain was not associated with incident CHD (HR=1.06 per SD decrement, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.19). Additional adjustment for biochemical and echocardiographic measures of myocardial stress, dysfunction and remodelling did not meaningfully alter these associations.

Conclusion: We found an association between echocardiographic measures of subclinically altered LV mechanics and incident CHD. These findings inform the underlying biology of subclinical LV dysfunction and CHD. Early detection of asymptomatic myocardial dysfunction may offer an opportunity for prevention and early intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2021-319296DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8755845PMC
July 2021

A multi-ethnic epigenome-wide association study of leukocyte DNA methylation and blood lipids.

Nat Commun 2021 06 28;12(1):3987. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

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

Here we examine the association between DNA methylation in circulating leukocytes and blood lipids in a multi-ethnic sample of 16,265 subjects. We identify 148, 35, and 4 novel associations among Europeans, African Americans, and Hispanics, respectively, and an additional 186 novel associations through a trans-ethnic meta-analysis. We observe a high concordance in the direction of effects across racial/ethnic groups, a high correlation of effect sizes between high-density lipoprotein and triglycerides, a modest overlap of associations with epigenome-wide association studies of other cardio-metabolic traits, and a largely non-overlap with lipid loci identified to date through genome-wide association studies. Thirty CpGs reached significance in at least 2 racial/ethnic groups including 7 that showed association with the expression of an annotated gene. CpGs annotated to CPT1A showed evidence of being influenced by triglycerides levels. DNA methylation levels of circulating leukocytes show robust and consistent association with blood lipid levels across multiple racial/ethnic groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23899-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8238961PMC
June 2021

Incidence, Determinants and Mortality of Heart Failure Associated With Medical-Surgical Procedures in Patients ≥ 65 Years of Age (from the Cardiovascular Health Study).

Am J Cardiol 2021 08 24;153:71-78. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Medicine (Cardiology), University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore MD, USA.

Heart failure (HF) and myocardial infarction are serious complications of major noncardiac surgery in older adults. Many factors can contribute to the development of HF during the postoperative period. The incidence of, and risk factors for, procedure-associated heart failure (PHF) occurring at the time of, or shortly after, medical procedures in a population-based sample ≥ 65 years of age have not been fully characterized, particularly in comparison with HF not proximate to medical procedures. This analysis comprises 5,121 men and women free of HF at baseline from the Cardiovascular Health Study who were followed up for 12.0 years (median). HF events were documented by self-report at semi-annual contacts and confirmed by a formal adjudication committee using a review of the participants' medical records and standardized criteria for HF. Incident HF events were additionally adjudicated as either being related or unrelated to a medical procedure (PHF and non-PHF, respectively). We estimated cause-specific hazards ratios for the association of covariates with PHF and non-PHF. There were 1,728 incident HF events in the primary analysis: 168 (10%) classified as PHF, 1,526 (88%) as non-PHF, and 34 unclassified (2%). For those 1,045 participants in whom LV ejection fraction was known at the time of the HF event, it was ≥45% in 89 of 118 participants (75%) with PHF, compared to 517 of 927 participants (55%) with non-PHF (p < 0.001). Increased age, male gender, diabetes, and angina at baseline were associated with both PHF and non-PHF (range of hazard ratios (HR): 1.04-2.05]. Being Black was inversely associated with PHF [HR: 0.46, 95% confidence interval: 0.25-0.86]. Participants with increased age, without baseline angina, and with baseline LVEF<55% were at a significantly lower risk for PHF compared to non-PHF. Among those with PHF, surgical procedures-including cardiac, orthopedic, gastrointestinal, vascular, and urologic-comprised 83.3%, while percutaneous procedures comprised 8.9% (including 6.5% represented by cardiac catheterizations and pacemaker placements). Another group composed of a variety of procedures commonly requiring large fluid volume administration comprised 7.7%. There was a lower all-cause 30-day mortality in the PHF versus the non-PHF group (2.2% vs 5.7%), with a nonsignificant odds ratio of 0.39 in a minimally adjusted model. When individuals with prior myocardial infarction (MI) were excluded in a sensitivity analysis, the proportion of incident HF with concurrent MI was greater for PHF (32.9%) than for non-PHF (19.8%). In conclusion, PHF in older adults is a common entity with relatively low 30-day mortality. Baseline angina, lower age, and LVEF ≥ 55% were associated with a higher risk of PHF compared to non-PHF. Being Black was associated with a lower risk of PHF and PHF as a proportion of HF was lower in Black than in non-Black participants. Compared to non-PHF, PHF more frequently presented with concurrent MI and with preserved LV ejection fraction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2021.05.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8318205PMC
August 2021

Meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies of carotid intima-media thickness.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Nov 6;36(11):1143-1155. Epub 2021 Jun 6.

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK.

Common carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) is an index of subclinical atherosclerosis that is associated with ischemic stroke and coronary artery disease (CAD). We undertook a cross-sectional epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) of measures of cIMT in 6400 individuals. Mendelian randomization analysis was applied to investigate the potential causal role of DNA methylation in the link between atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk factors and cIMT or clinical cardiovascular disease. The CpG site cg05575921 was associated with cIMT (beta = -0.0264, p value = 3.5 × 10) in the discovery panel and was replicated in replication panel (beta = -0.07, p value = 0.005). This CpG is located at chr5:81649347 in the intron 3 of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor gene (AHRR). Our results indicate that DNA methylation at cg05575921 might be in the pathway between smoking, cIMT and stroke. Moreover, in a region-based analysis, 34 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were identified of which a DMR upstream of ALOX12 showed the strongest association with cIMT (p value = 1.4 × 10). In conclusion, our study suggests that DNA methylation may play a role in the link between cardiovascular risk factors, cIMT and clinical cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-021-00759-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8629903PMC
November 2021

Cumulative burden of clinically significant aortic stenosis in community-dwelling older adults.

Heart 2021 09 2;107(18):1493-1502. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Cardiology Section, San Francisco VA Health Care System, San Francisco, California, USA

Objectives: Current estimates of aortic stenosis (AS) frequency have mostly relied on cross-sectional echocardiographic or longitudinal administrative data, making understanding of AS burden incomplete. We performed case adjudications to evaluate the frequency of AS and assess differences by age, sex and race in an older cohort with long-term follow-up.

Methods: We developed case-capture methods using study echocardiograms, procedure and diagnosis codes, heart failure events and deaths for targeted review of medical records in the Cardiovascular Health Study to identify moderate or severe AS and related procedures or hospitalisations. The primary outcome was clinically significant AS (severe AS or procedure). Assessment of incident AS burden was based on subdistribution survival methods, while associations with age, sex and race relied on cause-specific survival methods.

Results: The cohort comprised 5795 participants (age 73±6, 42.2% male, 14.3% Black). Cumulative frequency of clinically significant AS at maximal 25-year follow-up was 3.69% (probable/definite) to 4.67% (possible/probable/definite), while the corresponding 20-year cumulative incidence was 2.88% to 3.71%. Of incident cases, about 85% had a hospitalisation for severe AS, but roughly half did not undergo valve intervention. The adjusted incidence of clinically significant AS was higher in men (HR 1.62 [95% CI 1.21 to 2.17]) and increased with age (HR 1.08 [95% CI 1.04 to 1.11]), but was lower in Blacks (HR 0.43 [95% CI 0.23 to 0.81]).

Conclusions: In this community-based study, we identified a higher burden of clinically significant AS than reported previously, with differences by age, sex and race. These findings have important implications for public health resource planning, although the lower burden in Blacks merits further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2021-319025DOI Listing
September 2021

Silent Myocardial Infarction and Subsequent Ischemic Stroke in the Cardiovascular Health Study.

Neurology 2021 08 24;97(5):e436-e443. Epub 2021 May 24.

From the Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Unit (A.E.M., H.K.), Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute (A.E.M., H.K.), and Departments of Neurology (A.E.M., H.K.) and Medicine (P.M.O., M.M.S.), Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY; Department of Biostatistics (T.M.B.), Cardiovascular Health Research Unit (B.M.P.), and Departments of Medicine (B.M.P.), Epidemiology (B.M.P., W.T.L.), Health Services (B.M.P.), and Neurology (W.T.L.), University of Washington, Seattle; Epidemiological Cardiology Research Center (E.Z.S.), Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC; Department of Epidemiology (V.H.), School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (B.M.P.), Seattle; and Department of Neurology, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (M.S.V.E.), and Department of Epidemiology (M.S.V.E.), Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY.

Objective: To test the hypothesis that silent myocardial infarction (MI) is a risk factor for ischemic stroke, we evaluated the association between silent MI and subsequent ischemic stroke in the Cardiovascular Health Study.

Methods: The Cardiovascular Health Study prospectively enrolled community-dwelling individuals ≥65 years of age. We included participants without prevalent stroke or baseline evidence of MI. Our exposures were silent and clinically apparent, overt MI. Silent MI was defined as new evidence of Q-wave MI, without clinical symptoms of MI, on ECGs performed during annual study visits from 1989 to 1999. The primary outcome was incident ischemic stroke. Secondary outcomes were ischemic stroke subtypes: nonlacunar, lacunar, and other/unknown. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to model the association between time-varying MI status (silent, overt, or no MI) and stroke after adjustment for baseline demographics and vascular risk factors.

Results: Among 4,224 participants, 362 (8.6%) had an incident silent MI, 421 (10.0%) an incident overt MI, and 377 (8.9%) an incident ischemic stroke during a median follow-up of 9.8 years. After adjustment for demographics and comorbidities, silent MI was independently associated with subsequent ischemic stroke (hazard ratio [HR], 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-2.21). Overt MI was associated with ischemic stroke both in the short term (HR, 80; 95% CI, 53-119) and long term (HR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.04-2.44). In secondary analyses, the association between silent MI and stroke was limited to nonlacunar ischemic stroke (HR, 2.40; 95% CI, 1.36-4.22).

Conclusion: In a community-based sample, we found an association between silent MI and ischemic stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000012249DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8356380PMC
August 2021

Association Between Intracerebral Hemorrhage and Subsequent Arterial Ischemic Events in Participants From 4 Population-Based Cohort Studies.

JAMA Neurol 2021 07;78(7):809-816

Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Unit, Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York.

Importance: Intracerebral hemorrhage and arterial ischemic disease share risk factors, to our knowledge, but the association between the 2 conditions remains unknown.

Objective: To evaluate whether intracerebral hemorrhage was associated with an increased risk of incident ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction.

Design, Setting, And Participants: An analysis was conducted of pooled longitudinal participant-level data from 4 population-based cohort studies in the United States: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), and the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. Patients were enrolled from 1987 to 2007, and the last available follow-up was December 31, 2018. Data were analyzed from September 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

Exposure: Intracerebral hemorrhage, as assessed by an adjudication committee based on predefined clinical and radiologic criteria.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was an arterial ischemic event, defined as a composite of ischemic stroke or myocardial infarction, centrally adjudicated within each study. Secondary outcomes were ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction. Participants with prevalent intracerebral hemorrhage, ischemic stroke, or myocardial infarction at their baseline study visit were excluded. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to examine the association between intracerebral hemorrhage and subsequent arterial ischemic events after adjustment for baseline age, sex, race/ethnicity, vascular comorbidities, and antithrombotic medications.

Results: Of 55 131 participants, 47 866 (27 639 women [57.7%]; mean [SD] age, 62.2 [10.2] years) were eligible for analysis. During a median follow-up of 12.7 years (interquartile range, 7.7-19.5 years), there were 318 intracerebral hemorrhages and 7648 arterial ischemic events. The incidence of an arterial ischemic event was 3.6 events per 100 person-years (95% CI, 2.7-5.0 events per 100 person-years) after intracerebral hemorrhage vs 1.1 events per 100 person-years (95% CI, 1.1-1.2 events per 100 person-years) among those without intracerebral hemorrhage. In adjusted models, intracerebral hemorrhage was associated with arterial ischemic events (hazard ratio [HR], 2.3; 95% CI, 1.7-3.1), ischemic stroke (HR, 3.1; 95% CI, 2.1-4.5), and myocardial infarction (HR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-2.9). In sensitivity analyses, intracerebral hemorrhage was associated with arterial ischemic events when updating covariates in a time-varying manner (HR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.6-3.0); when using incidence density matching (odds ratio, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.3-4.2); when including participants with prevalent intracerebral hemorrhage, ischemic stroke, or myocardial infarction (HR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.6-2.9); and when using death as a competing risk (subdistribution HR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1-2.1).

Conclusions And Relevance: This study found that intracerebral hemorrhage was associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction. These findings suggest that intracerebral hemorrhage may be a novel risk marker for arterial ischemic events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.0925DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8094038PMC
July 2021

A systematic analysis of protein-altering exonic variants in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2021 07 28;321(1):L130-L143. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom.

Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified regions associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). GWASs of other diseases have shown an approximately 10-fold overrepresentation of nonsynonymous variants, despite limited exonic coverage on genotyping arrays. We hypothesized that a large-scale analysis of coding variants could discover novel genetic associations with COPD, including rare variants with large effect sizes. We performed a meta-analysis of exome arrays from 218,399 controls and 33,851 moderate-to-severe COPD cases. All exome-wide significant associations were present in regions previously identified by GWAS. We did not identify any novel rare coding variants with large effect sizes. Within GWAS regions on chromosomes 5q, 6p, and 15q, four coding variants were conditionally significant ( < 0.00015) when adjusting for lead GWAS single-nucleotide polymorphisms A common gasdermin B () splice variant (rs11078928) previously associated with a decreased risk for asthma was nominally associated with a decreased risk for COPD [minor allele frequency (MAF) = 0.46, = 1.8e-4]. Two stop variants in coiled-coil α-helical rod protein 1 (), a gene involved in regulating cell proliferation, were associated with COPD (both < 0.0001). The Z allele was associated with a random-effects odds ratio of 1.43 for COPD (95% confidence interval = 1.17-1.74), though with marked heterogeneity across studies. Overall, COPD-associated exonic variants were identified in genes involved in DNA methylation, cell-matrix interactions, cell proliferation, and cell death. In conclusion, we performed the largest exome array meta-analysis of COPD to date and identified potential functional coding variants. Future studies are needed to identify rarer variants and further define the role of coding variants in COPD pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajplung.00009.2021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8321852PMC
July 2021

Multi-ancestry genome-wide gene-sleep interactions identify novel loci for blood pressure.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Nov 15;26(11):6293-6304. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Long and short sleep duration are associated with elevated blood pressure (BP), possibly through effects on molecular pathways that influence neuroendocrine and vascular systems. To gain new insights into the genetic basis of sleep-related BP variation, we performed genome-wide gene by short or long sleep duration interaction analyses on four BP traits (systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure, and pulse pressure) across five ancestry groups in two stages using 2 degree of freedom (df) joint test followed by 1df test of interaction effects. Primary multi-ancestry analysis in 62,969 individuals in stage 1 identified three novel gene by sleep interactions that were replicated in an additional 59,296 individuals in stage 2 (stage 1 + 2 P < 5 × 10), including rs7955964 (FIGNL2/ANKRD33) that increases BP among long sleepers, and rs73493041 (SNORA26/C9orf170) and rs10406644 (KCTD15/LSM14A) that increase BP among short sleepers (P < 5 × 10). Secondary ancestry-specific analysis identified another novel gene by long sleep interaction at rs111887471 (TRPC3/KIAA1109) in individuals of African ancestry (P = 2 × 10). Combined stage 1 and 2 analyses additionally identified significant gene by long sleep interactions at 10 loci including MKLN1 and RGL3/ELAVL3 previously associated with BP, and significant gene by short sleep interactions at 10 loci including C2orf43 previously associated with BP (P < 10). 2df test also identified novel loci for BP after modeling sleep that has known functions in sleep-wake regulation, nervous and cardiometabolic systems. This study indicates that sleep and primary mechanisms regulating BP may interact to elevate BP level, suggesting novel insights into sleep-related BP regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01087-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8517040PMC
November 2021

Brachial Flow-Mediated Dilation and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study.

Vasc Health Risk Manag 2021 11;17:95-102. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Endothelial dysfunction is associated with common risk factors for AF and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation (AF) through a variety of mechanisms. We determined the prospective association of brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) with incident AF among older adults.

Methods: We included 2027 Cardiovascular Health Study participants (mean age=78.3 years, male=39%, Black=17%) who underwent brachial FMD measurement at the 1997 to 1998 clinic visit. Incident AF was ascertained by study electrocardiograms, hospital discharge diagnosis coding and Medicare claims data. Cox regression models were used to examine the association between FMD and incident AF.

Results: We identified 754 incident of AF cases (37%) over a median follow-up of 11.0 years. After adjusting for age, sex, race, height, weight, cardiovascular disease, cigarette smoking, hypertension, diabetes, kidney function, c-reactive protein, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and statins, the risk of AF did not differ according to brachial FMD response (4th vs 1st quartile hazard ratio (HR)=1.01, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.81, 1.26; per FMD unit increment HR=1.01, 95% CI: 0.97, 1.05).

Conclusion: We found no relationship between brachial FMD and the risk of developing AF in this elderly cohort. Our findings suggest that the utility of brachial FMD as a risk marker for AF in older individuals is minimal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S297720DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7961139PMC
March 2021

Associations between neighborhood greenspace and brain imaging measures in non-demented older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study.

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2021 Sep 3;56(9):1575-1585. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Departments of Neurology and Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195-9775, USA.

Purpose: Greater neighborhood greenspace has been associated with brain health, including better cognition and lower odds of Alzheimer's disease in older adults. We investigated associations between neighborhood greenspace and brain-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures and potential effect modification by sex or apolipoprotein E genotype (APOE), a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

Methods: We obtained a sample of non-demented participants 65 years or older (n = 1125) from the longitudinal, population-based Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). Greenspace data were derived from the National Land Cover Dataset. Adjusted multivariable linear regression estimated associations between neighborhood greenspace five years prior to the MRI and left and right hippocampal volume and 10-point grades of ventricular size and burden of white matter hyperintensity. Interaction terms tested effect modification by APOE genotype and sex. CHS data (1989-1999) were obtained/analyzed in 2020.

Results: Participants were on average 79 years old [standard deviation (SD) = 4], 58% were female, and 11% were non-white race. Mean neighborhood greenspace was 38% (SD = 28%). Greater proportion of greenspace in the neighborhood five years before MRI was borderline associated with lower ventricle grade (estimate: - 0.30; 95% confidence interval: - 0.61, 0.00). We observed no associations between greenspace and the other MRI outcome measures and no evidence of effect modification by APOE genotype and sex.

Conclusion: This study suggests a possible association between greater greenspace and less ventricular enlargement, a measure reflecting global brain atrophy. If confirmed in other longitudinal cohort studies, interventions and policies to improve community greenspaces may help to maintain brain health in older age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00127-020-02000-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253869PMC
September 2021

Genetic loci associated with prevalent and incident myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium.

PLoS One 2020 13;15(11):e0230035. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, Department of Pediatrics, The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California, United States of America.

Background: Genome-wide association studies have identified multiple genomic loci associated with coronary artery disease, but most are common variants in non-coding regions that provide limited information on causal genes and etiology of the disease. To overcome the limited scope that common variants provide, we focused our investigation on low-frequency and rare sequence variations primarily residing in coding regions of the genome.

Methods And Results: Using samples of individuals of European ancestry from ten cohorts within the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium, both cross-sectional and prospective analyses were conducted to examine associations between genetic variants and myocardial infarction (MI), coronary heart disease (CHD), and all-cause mortality following these events. For prevalent events, a total of 27,349 participants of European ancestry, including 1831 prevalent MI cases and 2518 prevalent CHD cases were used. For incident cases, a total of 55,736 participants of European ancestry were included (3,031 incident MI cases and 5,425 incident CHD cases). There were 1,860 all-cause deaths among the 3,751 MI and CHD cases from six cohorts that contributed to the analysis of all-cause mortality. Single variant and gene-based analyses were performed separately in each cohort and then meta-analyzed for each outcome. A low-frequency intronic variant (rs988583) in PLCL1 was significantly associated with prevalent MI (OR = 1.80, 95% confidence interval: 1.43, 2.27; P = 7.12 × 10-7). We conducted gene-based burden tests for genes with a cumulative minor allele count (cMAC) ≥ 5 and variants with minor allele frequency (MAF) < 5%. TMPRSS5 and LDLRAD1 were significantly associated with prevalent MI and CHD, respectively, and RC3H2 and ANGPTL4 were significantly associated with incident MI and CHD, respectively. No loci were significantly associated with all-cause mortality following a MI or CHD event.

Conclusion: This study identified one known locus (ANGPTL4) and four new loci (PLCL1, RC3H2, TMPRSS5, and LDLRAD1) associated with cardiovascular disease risk that warrant further investigation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230035PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665790PMC
December 2020

Whole genome sequence analysis of pulmonary function and COPD in 19,996 multi-ethnic participants.

Nat Commun 2020 10 14;11(1):5182. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, The Department of Pediatrics, The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, 90502, USA.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diagnosed by reduced lung function, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. We performed whole genome sequence (WGS) analysis of lung function and COPD in a multi-ethnic sample of 11,497 participants from population- and family-based studies, and 8499 individuals from COPD-enriched studies in the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program. We identify at genome-wide significance 10 known GWAS loci and 22 distinct, previously unreported loci, including two common variant signals from stratified analysis of African Americans. Four novel common variants within the regions of PIAS1, RGN (two variants) and FTO show evidence of replication in the UK Biobank (European ancestry n ~ 320,000), while colocalization analyses leveraging multi-omic data from GTEx and TOPMed identify potential molecular mechanisms underlying four of the 22 novel loci. Our study demonstrates the value of performing WGS analyses and multi-omic follow-up in cohorts of diverse ancestry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18334-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7598941PMC
October 2020

Mitochondrial DNA copy number can influence mortality and cardiovascular disease via methylation of nuclear DNA CpGs.

Genome Med 2020 09 28;12(1):84. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

McKusick-Nathans Department of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN) has been associated with a variety of aging-related diseases, including all-cause mortality. However, the mechanism by which mtDNA-CN influences disease is not currently understood. One such mechanism may be through regulation of nuclear gene expression via the modification of nuclear DNA (nDNA) methylation.

Methods: To investigate this hypothesis, we assessed the relationship between mtDNA-CN and nDNA methylation in 2507 African American (AA) and European American (EA) participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. To validate our findings, we assayed an additional 2528 participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) (N = 533) and Framingham Heart Study (FHS) (N = 1995). We further assessed the effect of experimental modification of mtDNA-CN through knockout of TFAM, a regulator of mtDNA replication, via CRISPR-Cas9.

Results: Thirty-four independent CpGs were associated with mtDNA-CN at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10). Meta-analysis across all cohorts identified six mtDNA-CN-associated CpGs at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10). Additionally, over half of these CpGs were associated with phenotypes known to be associated with mtDNA-CN, including coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. Experimental modification of mtDNA-CN demonstrated that modulation of mtDNA-CN results in changes in nDNA methylation and gene expression of specific CpGs and nearby transcripts. Strikingly, the "neuroactive ligand receptor interaction" KEGG pathway was found to be highly overrepresented in the ARIC cohort (P = 5.24 × 10), as well as the TFAM knockout methylation (P = 4.41 × 10) and expression (P = 4.30 × 10) studies.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that changes in mtDNA-CN influence nDNA methylation at specific loci and result in differential expression of specific genes that may impact human health and disease via altered cell signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-020-00778-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7523322PMC
September 2020

Sex-Specific Associations of Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Biomarkers With Incident Heart Failure.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2020 09;76(12):1455-1465

Department of Cardiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: Whether cardiovascular (CV) disease risk factors and biomarkers associate differentially with heart failure (HF) risk in men and women is unclear.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate sex-specific associations of CV risk factors and biomarkers with incident HF.

Methods: The analysis was performed using data from 4 community-based cohorts with 12.5 years of follow-up. Participants (recruited between 1989 and 2002) were free of HF at baseline. Biomarker measurements included natriuretic peptides, cardiac troponins, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, D-dimer, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, sST2, galectin-3, cystatin-C, and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio.

Results: Among 22,756 participants (mean age 60 ± 13 years, 53% women), HF occurred in 2,095 participants (47% women). Age, smoking, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, body mass index, atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, left ventricular hypertrophy, and left bundle branch block were strongly associated with HF in both sexes (p < 0.001), and the combined clinical model had good discrimination in men (C-statistic = 0.80) and in women (C-statistic = 0.83). The majority of biomarkers were strongly and similarly associated with HF in both sexes. The clinical model improved modestly after adding natriuretic peptides in men (ΔC-statistic = 0.006; likelihood ratio chi-square = 146; p < 0.001), and after adding cardiac troponins in women (ΔC-statistic = 0.003; likelihood ratio chi-square = 73; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: CV risk factors are strongly and similarly associated with incident HF in both sexes, highlighting the similar importance of risk factor control in reducing HF risk in the community. There are subtle sex-related differences in the predictive value of individual biomarkers, but the overall improvement in HF risk estimation when included in a clinical HF risk prediction model is limited in both sexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.07.044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7493711PMC
September 2020

Mitochondrial DNA copy number and incident atrial fibrillation.

BMC Med 2020 09 16;18(1):246. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 733 N. Broadway, Miller Research Building, Room 459, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA.

Background: Mechanistic studies suggest that mitochondria DNA (mtDNA) dysfunction may be associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). The association between mtDNA copy number (mtDNA-CN) and incident AF in the general population, however, remains unknown.

Methods: We conducted prospective analyses of 19,709 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC), the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), and the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). mtDNA-CN from the peripheral blood was calculated from probe intensities on the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) Array 6.0 in ARIC and MESA and from multiplexed real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in CHS. Incident AF cases were identified through electrocardiograms, review of hospital discharge codes, Medicare claims, and death certificates.

Results: The median follow-up time was 21.4 years in ARIC, 12.9 years in MESA, and 11.0 years in CHS, during which 4021 participants developed incident atrial fibrillation (1761 in ARIC, 790 in MESA, and 1470 in CHS). In fully adjusted models, participants with the lowest quintile of mitochondria DNA copy number had an overall 13% increased risk (95% CI 1 to 27%) of incident atrial fibrillation compared to those with the highest quintile. Dose-response spline analysis also showed an inverse association between mitochondria DNA copy number and hazard for atrial fibrillation for all three cohorts. These associations were consistent across subgroups.

Conclusions: Mitochondria DNA copy number was inversely associated with the risk of AF independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. These findings implicate mitochondria DNA copy number as a novel risk factor for atrial fibrillation. Further research is warranted to understand the underlying mechanisms and to evaluate the role of mitochondria DNA copy number in the management of atrial fibrillation risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01715-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7493408PMC
September 2020

The Polygenic and Monogenic Basis of Blood Traits and Diseases.

Cell 2020 09;182(5):1214-1231.e11

Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Science, National Institute on Aging/NIH, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.

Blood cells play essential roles in human health, underpinning physiological processes such as immunity, oxygen transport, and clotting, which when perturbed cause a significant global health burden. Here we integrate data from UK Biobank and a large-scale international collaborative effort, including data for 563,085 European ancestry participants, and discover 5,106 new genetic variants independently associated with 29 blood cell phenotypes covering a range of variation impacting hematopoiesis. We holistically characterize the genetic architecture of hematopoiesis, assess the relevance of the omnigenic model to blood cell phenotypes, delineate relevant hematopoietic cell states influenced by regulatory genetic variants and gene networks, identify novel splice-altering variants mediating the associations, and assess the polygenic prediction potential for blood traits and clinical disorders at the interface of complex and Mendelian genetics. These results show the power of large-scale blood cell trait GWAS to interrogate clinically meaningful variants across a wide allelic spectrum of human variation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7482360PMC
September 2020

Trans-ethnic and Ancestry-Specific Blood-Cell Genetics in 746,667 Individuals from 5 Global Populations.

Cell 2020 09;182(5):1198-1213.e14

Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA; Department of Medicine, Division on Aging, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Most loci identified by GWASs have been found in populations of European ancestry (EUR). In trans-ethnic meta-analyses for 15 hematological traits in 746,667 participants, including 184,535 non-EUR individuals, we identified 5,552 trait-variant associations at p < 5 × 10, including 71 novel associations not found in EUR populations. We also identified 28 additional novel variants in ancestry-specific, non-EUR meta-analyses, including an IL7 missense variant in South Asians associated with lymphocyte count in vivo and IL-7 secretion levels in vitro. Fine-mapping prioritized variants annotated as functional and generated 95% credible sets that were 30% smaller when using the trans-ethnic as opposed to the EUR-only results. We explored the clinical significance and predictive value of trans-ethnic variants in multiple populations and compared genetic architecture and the effect of natural selection on these blood phenotypes between populations. Altogether, our results for hematological traits highlight the value of a more global representation of populations in genetic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.06.045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7480402PMC
September 2020

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and related phenotypes: polygenic risk scores in population-based and case-control cohorts.

Lancet Respir Med 2020 07;8(7):696-708

Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO, USA.

Background: Genetic factors influence chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk, but the individual variants that have been identified have small effects. We hypothesised that a polygenic risk score using additional variants would predict COPD and associated phenotypes.

Methods: We constructed a polygenic risk score using a genome-wide association study of lung function (FEV and FEV/forced vital capacity [FVC]) from the UK Biobank and SpiroMeta. We tested this polygenic risk score in nine cohorts of multiple ethnicities for an association with moderate-to-severe COPD (defined as FEV/FVC <0·7 and FEV <80% of predicted). Associations were tested using logistic regression models, adjusting for age, sex, height, smoking pack-years, and principal components of genetic ancestry. We assessed predictive performance of models by area under the curve. In a subset of studies, we also studied quantitative and qualitative CT imaging phenotypes that reflect parenchymal and airway pathology, and patterns of reduced lung growth.

Findings: The polygenic risk score was associated with COPD in European (odds ratio [OR] per SD 1·81 [95% CI 1·74-1·88] and non-European (1·42 [1·34-1·51]) populations. Compared with the first decile, the tenth decile of the polygenic risk score was associated with COPD, with an OR of 7·99 (6·56-9·72) in European ancestry and 4·83 (3·45-6·77) in non-European ancestry cohorts. The polygenic risk score was superior to previously described genetic risk scores and, when combined with clinical risk factors (ie, age, sex, and smoking pack-years), showed improved prediction for COPD compared with a model comprising clinical risk factors alone (AUC 0·80 [0·79-0·81] vs 0·76 [0·75-0·76]). The polygenic risk score was associated with CT imaging phenotypes, including wall area percent, quantitative and qualitative measures of emphysema, local histogram emphysema patterns, and destructive emphysema subtypes. The polygenic risk score was associated with a reduced lung growth pattern.

Interpretation: A risk score comprised of genetic variants can identify a small subset of individuals at markedly increased risk for moderate-to-severe COPD, emphysema subtypes associated with cigarette smoking, and patterns of reduced lung growth.

Funding: US National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30101-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429152PMC
July 2020

Role of Rare and Low-Frequency Variants in Gene-Alcohol Interactions on Plasma Lipid Levels.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2020 08 8;13(4):e002772. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health (L.F.B., J.A.S., W.Z., S.L.R.K.), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Background: Alcohol intake influences plasma lipid levels, and such effects may be moderated by genetic variants. We aimed to characterize the role of aggregated rare and low-frequency protein-coding variants in gene by alcohol consumption interactions associated with fasting plasma lipid levels.

Methods: In the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium, fasting plasma triglycerides and high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were measured in 34 153 individuals with European ancestry from 5 discovery studies and 32 277 individuals from 6 replication studies. Rare and low-frequency functional protein-coding variants (minor allele frequency, ≤5%) measured by an exome array were aggregated by genes and evaluated by a gene-environment interaction test and a joint test of genetic main and gene-environment interaction effects. Two dichotomous self-reported alcohol consumption variables, current drinker, defined as any recurrent drinking behavior, and regular drinker, defined as the subset of current drinkers who consume at least 2 drinks per week, were considered.

Results: We discovered and replicated 21 gene-lipid associations at 13 known lipid loci through the joint test. Eight loci (, , , , , , , and ) remained significant after conditioning on the common index single-nucleotide polymorphism identified by previous genome-wide association studies, suggesting an independent role for rare and low-frequency variants at these loci. One significant gene-alcohol interaction on triglycerides in a novel locus was significantly discovered (=6.65×10 for the interaction test) and replicated at nominal significance level (=0.013) in .

Conclusions: In conclusion, this study applied new gene-based statistical approaches and suggested that rare and low-frequency genetic variants interacted with alcohol consumption on lipid levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002772DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7442680PMC
August 2020

Gene-educational attainment interactions in a multi-ancestry genome-wide meta-analysis identify novel blood pressure loci.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 06 5;26(6):2111-2125. Epub 2020 May 5.

Health Disparities Research Section, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.

Educational attainment is widely used as a surrogate for socioeconomic status (SES). Low SES is a risk factor for hypertension and high blood pressure (BP). To identify novel BP loci, we performed multi-ancestry meta-analyses accounting for gene-educational attainment interactions using two variables, "Some College" (yes/no) and "Graduated College" (yes/no). Interactions were evaluated using both a 1 degree of freedom (DF) interaction term and a 2DF joint test of genetic and interaction effects. Analyses were performed for systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure, and pulse pressure. We pursued genome-wide interrogation in Stage 1 studies (N = 117 438) and follow-up on promising variants in Stage 2 studies (N = 293 787) in five ancestry groups. Through combined meta-analyses of Stages 1 and 2, we identified 84 known and 18 novel BP loci at genome-wide significance level (P < 5 × 10). Two novel loci were identified based on the 1DF test of interaction with educational attainment, while the remaining 16 loci were identified through the 2DF joint test of genetic and interaction effects. Ten novel loci were identified in individuals of African ancestry. Several novel loci show strong biological plausibility since they involve physiologic systems implicated in BP regulation. They include genes involved in the central nervous system-adrenal signaling axis (ZDHHC17, CADPS, PIK3C2G), vascular structure and function (GNB3, CDON), and renal function (HAS2 and HAS2-AS1, SLIT3). Collectively, these findings suggest a role of educational attainment or SES in further dissection of the genetic architecture of BP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0719-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7641978PMC
June 2021
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