Publications by authors named "Wolfgang Koenig"

587 Publications

Natriuretic Peptides and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Results From the Biomarkers for Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in Europe (BiomarCaRE) Consortium.

Diabetes Care 2021 Sep 14. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München-German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany.

Objective: Natriuretic peptide (NP) concentrations are increased in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) but are associated with a lower diabetes risk. We investigated associations of N-terminal pro-B-type NP (NT-proBNP) and midregional proatrial NP (MR-proANP) with incident type 2 diabetes stratified by the presence of CVD.

Research Design And Methods: Based on the Biomarkers for Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in Europe (BiomarCaRE) Consortium, we included 45,477 participants with NT-proBNP measurements (1,707 developed type 2 diabetes over 6.5 years of median follow-up; among these, 209 had CVD at baseline) and 11,537 participants with MR-proANP measurements (857 developed type 2 diabetes over 13.8 years of median follow-up; among these, 106 had CVD at baseline). The associations were estimated using multivariable Cox regression models.

Results: Both NPs were inversely associated with incident type 2 diabetes (hazard ratios [95% CI] per 1-SD increase of log NP: 0.84 [0.79; 0.89] for NT-proBNP and 0.77 [0.71; 0.83] for MR-proANP). The inverse association between NT-proBNP and type 2 diabetes was significant in individuals without CVD but not in individuals with CVD (0.81 [0.76; 0.86] vs. 1.04 [0.90; 1.19]; multiplicative interaction = 0.001). There was no significant difference in the association of MR-proANP with type 2 diabetes between individuals without and with CVD (0.75 [0.69; 0.82] vs. 0.81 [0.66; 0.99]; multiplicative interaction = 0.236).

Conclusions: NT-proBNP and MR-proANP are inversely associated with incident type 2 diabetes. However, the inverse association of NT-proBNP seems to be modified by the presence of CVD. Further investigations are warranted to confirm our findings and to investigate the underlying mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc21-0811DOI Listing
September 2021

Persistent inflammatory residual risk despite aggressive cholesterol-lowering therapy: what is next?

Curr Opin Cardiol 2021 Sep 1. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Department of Cardiology, University Heart and Vascular Center Hamburg German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), partner site Hamburg/Kiel/Luebeck, Hamburg Deutsches Herzzentrum München, Technische Universität München German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), partner site Munich Heart Alliance, Munich Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Purpose Of Review: To briefly summarize recently published evidence on the possible therapeutic modulation of inflammatory processes in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), focusing on the rationale for an additional randomized clinical trial, targeting both persistently elevated cholesterol and inflammatory residual risk and critically discuss still open issues and future perspectives with regard to treatment allocation.

Recent Findings: Several large-scale clinical trials over the past few years have advanced our understanding of the role of inflammation in atherosclerosis, demonstrating that targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome and the IL-1β pathway indeed represent a new avenue to reduce residual risk in patients with ASCVD. However, despite optimal lipid-lowering therapy and novel options to modulate residual inflammatory risk, there are still a large number of individuals, being at high risk for recurrent ASCVD events.

Summary: The integration of a dual target strategy aimed at lowering the inflammatory burden in combination with aggressive lipid-modifying for those at high/very high ASCVD risk may hold potential to significantly improve patient care. However, a number of questions related to the design of such 2 × 2 factorial trial still needs to be answered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HCO.0000000000000909DOI Listing
September 2021

Prevalence and Prognostic Value of Psychological Stress Events in Patients with First Myocardial Infarction-Long-Term Follow-Up Study.

J Clin Med 2021 Aug 13;10(16). Epub 2021 Aug 13.

Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany.

While there is good evidence that symptoms of depression determine prognosis of patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), the role of psychological stress is less clear. We evaluated the prognostic value of stressful events in patients with initial myocardial infarction (MI) with respect to subsequent cardiovascular events. The KAROLA-study included patients with CHD who participated in an in-patient rehabilitation program. A total of 577 patients with initial MI were included and self-reported psychological stressful events before their MI was assessed by a structured questionnaire. Hazard ratios were used to evaluate the long-term association of stressful events with secondary cardiovascular events. Additionally, associations of stressful events with depression, anxiety and other cardiovascular risk factors were investigated. Unusual stress at work (26.5%) and sleep disorder (23.4%) were the most frequently reported stressful events that occurred in the last 4 weeks before MI. However, only death of a family member showed a statistically significant increase in risk for subsequent cardiovascular events (HR: 1.59; 95%-CI: 1.01-2.50) and this result was not corrected for multiple testing. Notably, we found higher symptom scores of anxiety and depression associated with all single stressful event items. In conclusion, we found no clear patterns that psychological stressful events before MI would increase the long-term risk of subsequent adverse CHD events directly. However, we saw increased symptom scores of anxiety and depression in persons with stressful events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10163562DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8397004PMC
August 2021

Interleukin 6 and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease and Chronic Coronary Syndrome.

JAMA Cardiol 2021 Aug 25. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Importance: Inflammation promotes cardiovascular disease and anti-inflammatory treatment reduces cardiovascular events in patients with chronic coronary syndrome. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It is unclear how inflammation mediated by interleukin 6 (IL-6) in patients with CKD is linked to cardiovascular disease.

Objective: To investigate associations between IL-6 and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with chronic coronary syndrome in association with kidney function.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multicenter cohort study included patients enrolled at 663 centers in 39 countries with chronic coronary syndrome who were included in the Stabilization of Atherosclerotic Plaque by Initiation of Darapladib Therapy (STABILITY) trial. Patients were enrolled between December 2008 and April 2010 and were followed up for a median length of 3.7 years. Analysis in this substudy began September 2020.

Exposures: Exposures were IL-6 and creatinine estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR), which were collected at baseline. Associations between continuous and categorical levels (<2.0 ng/L vs ≥2.0 ng/L) of IL-6 and cardiovascular outcomes were tested in association with eGFR cutoffs (normal eGFR level [≥90 mL/min/1.73 m2], mildly decreased eGFR level [60-90 mL/min/1.73 m2], and moderately to severely decreased eGFR level [<60 mL/min/1.73 m2]).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Main outcome was major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke.

Results: This substudy of the STABILITY trial included 14 611 patients with available IL-6 levels at baseline. The median (interquartile range) age was 65 (59-71) years, and 2700 (18.5%) were female. During follow-up, MACE occurred in 1459 individuals (10.0%). Higher levels of IL-6 were in continuous models independently associated with risk of MACE (P < .001) in all CKD strata. Using predefined strata, elevated IL-6 level (≥2.0 vs <2.0 ng/L) was associated with increased risk of MACE at normal kidney function (2.9% vs 1.9% events/y [hazard ratio, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.02-1.78]), mild CKD (3.3% vs 1.9% [hazard ratio, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.35-1.83]), and moderate to severe CKD (5.0% vs 2.9% [hazard ratio, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.28-1.99]).

Conclusions And Relevance: In patients with chronic coronary syndrome, elevated levels of IL-6 were associated with risk of MACE in all CKD strata. Thus, IL-6 and CKD stage may help when identifying patients with chronic coronary syndrome for anti-inflammatory treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2021.3079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8387946PMC
August 2021

C-reactive protein levels and plaque regression with evolocumab: Insights from GLAGOV.

Am J Prev Cardiol 2020 Sep 6;3:100091. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Monash Cardiovascular Research Centre, Victorian Heart Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Objective: On-treatment levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in statin-treated patients predict plaque progression and the prospective risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular events. Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors produce additional LDL-C lowering, reduce plaque burden and improve cardiovascular outcomes in statin-treated patients. It is unknown whether residual systemic inflammation attenuates their favorable effects on plaque burden.

Methods: GLAGOV compared the effects of treatment for 78 weeks with evolocumab or placebo on progression of coronary atherosclerosis in statin-treated patients with coronary artery disease.Clinical demographics, biochemistry and changes in both the burden (percentage atheroma volume (PAV), total atheroma volume (TAV), n ​= ​413) and composition (n ​= ​162) of coronary plaque were evaluated in evolocumab-treated patients according to baseline hsCRP strata (<1, 1-3, >3 ​mg/L).

Results: The study cohort comprised 413 evolocumab-treated patients (32% low [<1 ​mg/L], 41% intermediate [1-3 ​mg/L] and 27% high [>3 ​mg/L] baseline hsCRP levels). Patients in the highest hsCRP stratum were more likely to be female and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and the metabolic syndrome. LDL-C levels were similar across the groups, however participants with higher hsCRP levels had higher triglyceride and lower HDL-C levels at baseline. At follow-up, the change in PAV from baseline (-0.87% [low] vs. -0.84% [intermediate] vs. -1.22% [high], p ​= ​0.46) and the proportion of patients experiencing any degree of regression (65.9% vs. 63.5% vs. 63.1%, p ​= ​0.88) was similar across hsCRP strata and when evaluated by levels of achieved LDL-C. There were no serial differences in plaque composition by hsCRP strata.

Conclusion: The ability of evolocumab to induce regression in statin-treated patients is not attenuated by the presence of enhanced systemic inflammation. This underscores the potential benefits of intensive lipid lowering, even in the presence of heightened inflammatory states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpc.2020.100091DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8315612PMC
September 2020

Impact of Atrial Fibrillation on Outcome in Takotsubo Syndrome: Data From the International Takotsubo Registry.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Aug 28;10(15):e014059. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Cardiology Intensive Care Medicine and Angiology Vincentius-Diakonissen-Hospital Karlsruhe Germany.

Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major risk factor for mortality. The prevalence, clinical correlates, and prognostic impact of AF in Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) have not yet been investigated in a large patient cohort. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence, clinical correlates, and prognostic impact of AF in patients with TTS. Methods and Results Patients with TTS were enrolled from the International Takotsubo Registry, which is a multinational network with 26 participating centers in Europe and the United States. Patients were dichotomized according to the presence or absence of AF at the time of admission. Of 1584 patients with TTS, 112 (7.1%) had AF. The mean age was higher (<0.001), and there were fewer women (=0.046) in the AF than in the non-AF group. Left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly lower (=0.001), and cardiogenic shock was more often observed (<0.001) in the AF group. Both in-hospital (<0.001) and long-term mortality (<0.001) were higher in the AF group. Multivariable Cox regression analysis revealed that AF was independently associated with higher long-term mortality (hazard ratio, 2.31; 95% CI, 1.50-3.55; <0.001). Among patients with AF on admission, 42% had no known history of AF before the acute TTS event, and such patients had comparable in-hospital and long-term outcomes compared with those with a history of AF. Conclusions In patients presenting with TTS, AF on admission is significantly associated with increased in-hospital and long-term mortality rates. Whether antiarrhythmics and/or cardioversion are beneficial in TTS with AF should thus be tested in a future trial. Registration URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT01947621.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.014059DOI Listing
August 2021

Serum uromodulin is inversely associated with biomarkers of subclinical inflammation in the population-based KORA F4 study.

Clin Kidney J 2021 Jun 6;14(6):1618-1625. Epub 2020 Sep 6.

Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV, Klinikum der Universität München, LMU, München, Germany.

Background: Uromodulin is a kidney-specific glycoprotein synthesized in tubular cells of Henle's loop exerting nephroprotective and immunomodulatory functions in the urinary tract. A small amount of uromodulin is also released into the systemic circulation, where its physiological role is unknown. Serum uromodulin (sUmod) has been associated with metabolic risk factors and with cardiovascular events and mortality, where these associations were partly stronger in men than in women. In this study, we investigated the associations of sUmod with biomarkers of subclinical inflammation in a population-based sample of women and men.

Methods: Associations of sUmod with 10 biomarkers of subclinical inflammation were assessed in 1065 participants of the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) F4 study aged 62-81 years using linear regression models adjusted for sex, age, body mass index, estimated glomerular filtration rate and diabetes. Analyses were performed in the total study sample and stratified by sex.

Results: sUmod was inversely associated with white blood cell count, high-sensitive C-reactive protein, interleukin (IL)-6, tumour necrosis factor-α, myeloperoxidase, superoxide dismutase-3, IL-1 receptor antagonist and IL-22 after multivariable adjustment and correction for multiple testing (P < 0.001 for each observation). There was a trend towards a stronger association of sUmod with pro-inflammatory markers in men than in women, with a significant P for sex interaction (<0.001) regarding the relation of sUmod with IL-6.

Conclusions: sUmod was inversely associated with biomarkers of subclinical inflammation in older participants of the KORA F4 study. The association of sUmod with IL-6 differed between women and men. Future research should focus on whether the immunomodulatory properties of sUmod are one explanation for the association of sUmod with cardiovascular outcomes and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ckj/sfaa165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8248959PMC
June 2021

Chronic Inflammation Mediates the Association between Cortisol and Hyperglycemia: Findings from the Cross-Sectional Population-Based KORA Age Study.

J Clin Med 2021 Jun 22;10(13). Epub 2021 Jun 22.

German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), München, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany.

(1) Background: The study aimed to investigate the role of subclinical inflammation on the association between diurnal cortisol patterns and glycaemia in an aged population. (2) Methods: Salivary cortisol, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) were analysed in a sample of 394 men and 364 women (mean age = 5 ± 6.3, 65-90 years). The ratio of morning after awakening and late-night cortisol was calculated as an indication of diurnal cortisol slope (DCS). Multivariable regression models were run to examine whether IL-6 mediates the relationship between the DCS and glycaemia. The Sobel test and bootstrapping methods were used to quantify the mediation analyses. (3) Results: In comparison to normoglycaemic counterparts ( = 676, 89.2%), an increase in IL-6 concentrations, in individuals with hyperglycaemia (HbA1c ≥ 6.5%) ( = 82, 10.8%) ( = 0.04), was significantly associated with a flatter DCS. The link between flatter DCS and elevated HbA1c level was significant mediated by a heightened IL-6 level. Our results do not suggest reverse-directionality, whereby cortisol did not mediate the association of IL-6 with HbA1c. (4) Conclusions: In our sample, the relation between flatter DCS and hyperglycaemia was partly explained by IL-6 levels. The paradigm of subclinical inflammation-mediated cortisol response on glucose metabolism could have widespread implications for improving our understanding of the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10132751DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8267679PMC
June 2021

Potential sex differences in human milk leptin and their association with asthma and wheeze phenotypes: Results of the Ulm Birth Cohorts.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2021 Jun 26. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

Pediatric Epidemiology, Department of Pediatrics, Medical Faculty, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany.

Background: The hormone leptin has been suggested to play a role in the respiratory and immune systems. Evidence on sex-specific concentrations of leptin in human milk and sex-specific associations with the development of asthma and wheeze has been put forward but is still scarce.

Objective: To investigate whether male and female infants receive different levels of leptin through human milk and whether leptin is implicated in the development of asthma and wheeze in a sex-dependent manner using data from the two Ulm Birth Cohort studies.

Methods: Leptin data were available from human milk samples collected at 6 weeks (Ulm Birth Cohort Study [UBCS, n = 678; Ulm SPATZ Health Study, n = 587]), and, in SPATZ only, at 6 months (n = 377) and 12 months (n = 66) of lactation. Sex-specific associations with doctor-diagnosed asthma and wheeze phenotypes were assessed in crude and adjusted models using logistic regression. Adjustments were made for maternal allergy, exclusive breastfeeding, infant age at the time of milk sampling, and child BMI z-score.

Results: At 6 weeks, leptin levels (median [min, max], in ng/L) were higher in the milk for girls (197 [0.100, 4120]) than in milk for boys (159 [1.02, 3280], p = .045) in UBCS. No significant sex differences were observed in SPATZ (p = .152). There were no significant associations of leptin with asthma or wheeze in both studies, even in a sex-dependent manner (p > .05).

Conclusion: It remains unclear whether male and female infants receive different levels of leptin through human milk. However, leptin in human milk may not be associated with history and development of asthma and wheeze in a sex-specific manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pai.13586DOI Listing
June 2021

Plasma Proteomics of Renal Function: A Trans-ethnic Meta-analysis and Mendelian Randomization Study.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

M Prunotto, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: Studies on the relationship between renal function and the human plasma proteome have identified several potential biomarkers. However, investigations have been conducted largely in European populations, and causality of the associations between plasma proteins and kidney function has never been addressed.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 993 plasma proteins among 2,882 participants in four studies of European and admixed ancestries (KORA, INTERVAL, HUNT, QMDiab) identified trans-ethnic associations between eGFR/CKD and proteomic biomarkers. For the replicated associations, two-sample bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) was used to investigate potential causal relationships. Publicly available datasets and transcriptomic data from independent studies were used to examine the association between gene expression in kidney tissue and eGFR .

Results: Fifty-seven plasma proteins were associated with eGFR, including one novel protein. Twenty-three of these were additionally associated with CKD. The strongest inferred causal effect was the positive effect of eGFR on testican-2, in line with the known biological role of this protein and the expression of its protein-coding gene (SPOCK2) in renal tissue. We also observed suggestive evidence of an effect of melanoma inhibitory activity (MIA), carbonic anhydrase III, and cystatin-M on eGFR.

Conclusions: In a discovery-replication setting, we identified 57 proteins trans-ethnically associated with eGFR. The revealed causal relationships are an important stepping-stone in establishing testican-2 as a clinically relevant physiological marker of kidney disease progression, and point to additional proteins warranting further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2020071070DOI Listing
June 2021

Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease: The Future.

Eur Cardiol 2021 Feb 17;16:e20. Epub 2021 May 17.

Deutsches Herzzentrum München, Technische Universität München Munich, Germany.

Despite considerable advances in reducing the global burden of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease by targeting conventional risk factors, significant residual risk remains, with low-grade inflammation being one of the strongest risk modifiers. Inflammatory processes within the arterial wall or systemic circulation, which are driven in a large part by modified lipoproteins but subsequently trigger a hypercoagulable state, are a hallmark of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and, in particular, its clinical complications. Extending conventional guideline-based clinical risk stratification algorithms by adding biomarkers of inflammation may refine phenotypic screening, improve risk stratification and guide treatment eligibility in cardiovascular disease prevention. The integration of interventions aimed at lowering the inflammatory burden, alone or in combination with aggressive lipid-modifying or even antithrombotic agents, for those at high cardiovascular risk may hold the potential to reduce the still substantial burden of cardiometabolic disease. This review provides perspectives on future clinical research in atherosclerosis addressing the tight interplay between inflammation, lipid metabolism and thrombosis, and its translation into clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15420/ecr.2020.50DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8157394PMC
February 2021

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

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Jun 6. 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
June 2021

Comparison of genetic risk prediction models to improve prediction of coronary heart disease in two large cohorts of the MONICA/KORA study.

Genet Epidemiol 2021 Sep 3;45(6):633-650. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany.

It is still unclear how genetic information, provided as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), can be most effectively integrated into risk prediction models for coronary heart disease (CHD) to add significant predictive value beyond clinical risk models. For the present study, a population-based case-cohort was used as a trainingset (451 incident cases, 1488 noncases) and an independent cohort as testset (160 incident cases, 2749 noncases). The following strategies to quantify genetic information were compared: A weighted genetic risk score including Metabochip SNPs associated with CHD in the literature (GRS ); selection of the most predictive SNPs among these literature-confirmed variants using priority-Lasso (PL ); validation of two comprehensive polygenic risk scores: GRS based on Metabochip data, and GRS (available in the testset only) based on cross-validated genome-wide genotyping data. We used Cox regression to assess associations with incident CHD. C-index, category-free net reclassification index (cfNRI) and relative integrated discrimination improvement (IDI ) were used to quantify the predictive performance of genetic information beyond Framingham risk score variables. In contrast to GRS and PL , GRS significantly improved the prediction (delta C-index [95% confidence interval]: 0.0087 [0.0044, 0.0130]; IDI : 0.0509 [0.0131, 0.0894]; cfNRI improved only in cases: 0.1761 [0.0253, 0.3219]). GRS yielded slightly worse prediction results than GRS .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22389DOI Listing
September 2021

DNAm-based signatures of accelerated aging and mortality in blood are associated with low renal function.

Clin Epigenetics 2021 Jun 2;13(1):121. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Background: The difference between an individual's chronological and DNA methylation predicted age (DNAmAge), termed DNAmAge acceleration (DNAmAA), can capture life-long environmental exposures and age-related physiological changes reflected in methylation status. Several studies have linked DNAmAA to morbidity and mortality, yet its relationship with kidney function has not been assessed. We evaluated the associations between seven DNAm aging and lifespan predictors (as well as GrimAge components) and five kidney traits (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR], urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio [uACR], serum urate, microalbuminuria and chronic kidney disease [CKD]) in up to 9688 European, African American and Hispanic/Latino individuals from seven population-based studies.

Results: We identified 23 significant associations in our large trans-ethnic meta-analysis (p < 1.43E-03 and consistent direction of effect across studies). Age acceleration measured by the Extrinsic and PhenoAge estimators, as well as Zhang's 10-CpG epigenetic mortality risk score (MRS), were associated with all parameters of poor kidney health (lower eGFR, prevalent CKD, higher uACR, microalbuminuria and higher serum urate). Six of these associations were independently observed in European and African American populations. MRS in particular was consistently associated with eGFR (β =  - 0.12, 95% CI = [- 0.16, - 0.08] change in log-transformed eGFR per unit increase in MRS, p = 4.39E-08), prevalent CKD (odds ratio (OR) = 1.78 [1.47, 2.16], p = 2.71E-09) and higher serum urate levels (β = 0.12 [0.07, 0.16], p = 2.08E-06). The "first-generation" clocks (Hannum, Horvath) and GrimAge showed different patterns of association with the kidney traits. Three of the DNAm-estimated components of GrimAge, namely adrenomedullin, plasminogen-activation inhibition 1 and pack years, were positively associated with higher uACR, serum urate and microalbuminuria.

Conclusion: DNAmAge acceleration and DNAm mortality predictors estimated in whole blood were associated with multiple kidney traits, including eGFR and CKD, in this multi-ethnic study. Epigenetic biomarkers which reflect the systemic effects of age-related mechanisms such as immunosenescence, inflammaging and oxidative stress may have important mechanistic or prognostic roles in kidney disease. Our study highlights new findings linking kidney disease to biological aging, and opportunities warranting future investigation into DNA methylation biomarkers for prognostic or risk stratification in kidney disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-021-01082-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8170969PMC
June 2021

Metabolic syndrome and the plasma proteome: from association to causation.

Cardiovasc Diabetol 2021 05 20;20(1):111. Epub 2021 May 20.

Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany.

Background: The metabolic syndrome (MetS), defined by the simultaneous clustering of cardio-metabolic risk factors, is a significant worldwide public health burden with an estimated 25% prevalence worldwide. The pathogenesis of MetS is not entirely clear and the use of molecular level data could help uncover common pathogenic pathways behind the observed clustering.

Methods: Using a highly multiplexed aptamer-based affinity proteomics platform, we examined associations between plasma proteins and prevalent and incident MetS in the KORA cohort (n = 998) and replicated our results for prevalent MetS in the HUNT3 study (n = 923). We applied logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, smoking status, and physical activity. We used the bootstrap ranking algorithm of least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) to select a predictive model from the incident MetS associated proteins and used area under the curve (AUC) to assess its performance. Finally, we investigated the causal effect of the replicated proteins on MetS using two-sample Mendelian randomization.

Results: Prevalent MetS was associated with 116 proteins, of which 53 replicated in HUNT. These included previously reported proteins like leptin, and new proteins like NTR domain-containing protein 2 and endoplasmic reticulum protein 29. Incident MetS was associated with 14 proteins in KORA, of which 13 overlap the prevalent MetS associated proteins with soluble advanced glycosylation end product-specific receptor (sRAGE) being unique to incident MetS. The LASSO selected an eight-protein predictive model with an (AUC = 0.75; 95% CI = 0.71-0.79) in KORA. Mendelian randomization suggested causal effects of three proteins on MetS, namely apolipoprotein E2 (APOE2) (Wald-Ratio = - 0.12, Wald-p = 3.63e-13), apolipoprotein B (APOB) (Wald-Ratio = - 0.09, Wald-p = 2.54e-04) and proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase receptor (RET) (Wald-Ratio = 0.10, Wald-p = 5.40e-04).

Conclusions: Our findings offer new insights into the plasma proteome underlying MetS and identify new protein associations. We reveal possible casual effects of APOE2, APOB and RET on MetS. Our results highlight protein candidates that could potentially serve as targets for prevention and therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12933-021-01299-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8138979PMC
May 2021

Ethnic comparison in takotsubo syndrome: novel insights from the International Takotsubo Registry.

Clin Res Cardiol 2021 May 19. Epub 2021 May 19.

Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Background: Ethnic disparities have been reported in cardiovascular disease. However, ethnic disparities in takotsubo syndrome (TTS) remain elusive. This study assessed differences in clinical characteristics between Japanese and European TTS patients and determined the impact of ethnicity on in-hospital outcomes.

Methods: TTS patients in Japan were enrolled from 10 hospitals and TTS patients in Europe were enrolled from 32 hospitals participating in the International Takotsubo Registry. Clinical characteristics and in-hospital outcomes were compared between Japanese and European patients.

Results: A total of 503 Japanese and 1670 European patients were included. Japanese patients were older (72.6 ± 11.4 years vs. 68.0 ± 12.0 years; p < 0.001) and more likely to be male (18.5 vs. 8.4%; p < 0.001) than European TTS patients. Physical triggering factors were more common (45.5 vs. 32.0%; p < 0.001), and emotional triggers less common (17.5 vs. 31.5%; p < 0.001), in Japanese patients than in European patients. Japanese patients were more likely to experience cardiogenic shock during the acute phase (15.5 vs. 9.0%; p < 0.001) and had a higher in-hospital mortality (8.2 vs. 3.2%; p < 0.001). However, ethnicity itself did not appear to have an impact on in-hospital mortality. Machine learning approach revealed that the presence of physical stressors was the most important prognostic factor in both Japanese and European TTS patients.

Conclusion: Differences in clinical characteristics and in-hospital outcomes between Japanese and European TTS patients exist. Ethnicity does not impact the outcome in TTS patients. The worse in-hospital outcome in Japanese patients, is mainly driven by the higher prevalence of physical triggers.

Trial Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov ; Unique Identifier: NCT01947621.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00392-021-01857-4DOI Listing
May 2021

Association Between Achieved ω-3 Fatty Acid Levels and Major Adverse Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients With High Cardiovascular Risk: A Secondary Analysis of the STRENGTH Trial.

JAMA Cardiol 2021 May 16. Epub 2021 May 16.

Monash Cardiovascular Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Importance: In patients treated with ω-3 fatty acids, it remains uncertain whether achieved levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are associated with cardiovascular outcomes.

Objective: To determine the association between plasma levels of EPA and DHA and cardiovascular outcomes in a trial of ω-3 fatty acids compared with corn oil placebo.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A double-blind, multicenter trial enrolled patients at high cardiovascular risk with elevated triglyceride levels and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol at 675 centers (enrollment from October 30, 2014, to June 14, 2017; study termination January 8, 2020; last visit May 14, 2020).

Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive 4 g daily of ω-3 carboxylic acid (CA) or an inert comparator, corn oil.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary prespecified end point was a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, coronary revascularization, or unstable angina requiring hospitalization. The primary outcome measure was the hazard ratio, adjusted for baseline characteristics, for patients treated with the ω-3 CA compared with corn oil for the top tertile of achieved EPA and DHA plasma levels 12 months after randomization.

Results: Of the 13 078 total participants, 6539 (50%) were randomized to receive ω-3 CA and 6539 (50%) randomized to corn oil. ω-3 Fatty acid levels were available at both baseline and 12 months after randomization in 10 382 participants (5175 ω-3 CA patients [49.8%] and 5207 corn oil-treated patients [50.2%]; mean [SD] age, 62.5 [8.9] years, 3588 [34.6%] were women, 9025 [86.9%] were White, and 7285 [70.2%] had type 2 diabetes). The median plasma levels at 12 months in ω-3 CA patients were 89 μg/mL (interquartile range [IQR], 46-131 μg/mL) for EPA and 91 μg/mL (IQR, 71-114 μg/mL) for DHA with top tertile levels of 151 μg/mL (IQR, 132-181 μg/mL) and 118 μg/mL (IQR, 102-143 μg/mL), respectively. Compared with corn oil, the adjusted hazard ratios for the highest tertile of achieved plasma levels were 0.98 (95% CI, 0.83-1.16; P = .81) for EPA, and 1.02 (95% CI, 0.86-1.20; P = .85 for DHA. Sensitivity analyses based on changes in plasma and red blood cell levels of EPA and DHA and primary and secondary prevention subgroups showed similar results.

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients treated with ω-3 CA, the highest achieved tertiles of EPA and DHA were associated with neither benefit nor harm in patients at high cardiovascular risk.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02104817.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2021.1157DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8126992PMC
May 2021

Prognostic value of long-term trajectories of depression for incident diabetes mellitus in patients with stable coronary heart disease.

Cardiovasc Diabetol 2021 05 13;20(1):108. Epub 2021 May 13.

Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) and depression are bidirectionally interrelated. We recently identified long-term trajectories of depression symptom severity in individuals with coronary heart disease (CHD), which were associated with the risk for subsequent cardiovascular events (CVE). We now investigated the prognostic value of these trajectories of symptoms of depression with the risk of incident DM in patients with stable coronary heart disease.

Methods: The KAROLA cohort included CHD patients participating in an in-patient rehabilitation program (years 1999/2000) and followed for up to 15 years. We included 1048 patients (mean age 59.4 years, 15% female) with information on prevalent DM at baseline and follow-up data. Cox proportional hazards models were used to model the risk for incident DM during follow-up by depression trajectory class adjusted for age, sex, education, smoking status, body mass index, and physical activity. In addition, we modeled the excess risk for subsequent CVE due to incident DM during follow-up for each of the depression trajectories.

Results: DM was prevalent in 20.7% of patients at baseline. Over follow-up, 296 (28.2%) of patients had a subsequent CVE. During follow-up, 157 (15.0%) patients developed incident DM before experiencing a subsequent CVE. Patients following a high-stable depression symptom trajectory were at substantially higher risk of developing incident DM than patients following a low-stable depression symptom trajectory (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.50; 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.35, 4.65)). A moderate-stable and an increasing depression trajectory were associated with HRs of 1.48 (95%-CI (1.10, 1.98)) and 1.77 (95%-CI (1.00, 3.15)) for incident DM. In addition, patients in the high-stable depression trajectory class who developed incident DM during follow-up were at 6.5-fold risk (HR = 6.51; 95%-CI (2.77, 15.3)) of experiencing a subsequent cardiovascular event.

Conclusions: In patients with CHD, following a trajectory of high stable symptoms of depression was associated with an increased risk of incident DM. Furthermore, incident DM in these patients was associated with a substantially increased risk of subsequent CVE. Identifying depressive symptoms and pertinent treatment offers might be an important and promising approach to enhance outcomes in patients with CHD, which should be followed up in further research and practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12933-021-01298-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8120929PMC
May 2021

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms and type 2 diabetes onset: Findings from the Prospective Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg F4 and FF4 studies.

J Psychosom Res 2021 06 30;145:110480. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University of Gießen and Marburg, Germany; Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany; German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Partner Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: To investigate the association of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptomology on the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Research Design & Methods: Participants from the prospective KORA F4/FF4 German cohort were followed for a mean of 6.5 years. Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7 (GAD-7) was used to assess GAD symptoms and incident type 2 diabetes cases were confirmed using a standard oral glucose tolerance test. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the effect of GAD symptoms on the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Results: The present study included 1694 participants (51.8% women, 48.2% men) with a mean age of 51.2 years, among whom 113 (6.7%) had high GAD symptoms. During the follow-up period (11,102 person/years), 113 (6.5%) type 2 diabetes cases were confirmed. Participants with GAD symptoms had 2-fold higher incidence of type 2 diabetes than participants without GAD (17.7 vs. 8.7 cases/1000 person-years). Correspondingly, GAD symptoms independently increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by an odds ratio of 2.09 [95%CI 1.02-4.32, p = 0.04] after adjustment for concurrent sociodemographic, lifestyle and cardiometabolic risk factors, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, depression, and the use of antidepressant medications. Additionally, GAD symptoms had an even larger impact on the onset of type 2 diabetes incidence following additional adjustment for prediabetes at baseline (2.68 [1.23-5.88], p=0.01).

Conclusions: Participants with GAD symptoms had 2-times higher odds of type 2 diabetes incidence during 6.5 years of follow-up, highlighting the significant role of dysregulated stress mechanisms in the pathway to developing type 2 diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2021.110480DOI Listing
June 2021

Discordance of High-Sensitivity Troponin Assays in Patients With Suspected Acute Coronary Syndromes.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 Mar;77(12):1487-1499

Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: High-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) assays have different analytic characteristics.

Objectives: The goal of this study was to quantify differences between assays for common analytical benchmarks and to determine whether they may result in differences in the management of patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Methods: The authors included patients with suspected ACS enrolled in the ROMICAT (Rule Out Myocardial Infarction/Ischemia Using Computer Assisted Tomography) I and II trials, with blood samples taken at emergency department presentation (ROMICAT-I and -II) or at 2 and 4 h thereafter (ROMICAT-II). hs-cTn concentrations were measured using 3 assays (Roche Diagnostics, Elecsys 2010 platform; Abbott Diagnostics, ARCHITECT i2000SR; Siemens Diagnostics, HsVista). Per blood sample, we determined concordance across analytic benchmarks (99th percentile). Per-patient, the authors determined concordance of management recommendations (rule-out/observe/rule-in) per the 0/2-h algorithm, and their association with diagnostic test findings (coronary artery stenosis >50% on coronary computed tomography angiography or inducible ischemia on perfusion imaging) and ACS.

Results: Among 1,027 samples from 624 patients (52.8 ± 10.0 years; 39.4% women), samples were classified as 99th percentile (7.2% vs. 6.0% vs. 6.2%) by Roche, Abbott, and Siemens, respectively. A total of 37.4% (n = 384 of 1,027) of blood samples were classified into the same analytical benchmark category, with low concordance across benchmarks (99th percentile 43.6%). Serial samples were available in 242 patients (40.1% women; mean age: 52.8 ± 8.0 years). The concordance of management recommendations across assays was 74.8% (n = 181 of 242) considering serial hs-cTn measurements. Of patients who were recommended to discharge, 19.6% to 21.1% had positive diagnostic test findings and 2.8% to 4.3% had ACS at presentation.

Conclusions: Caregivers should be aware that there are significant differences between hs-cTn assays in stratifying individual samples and patients with intermediate likelihood of ACS according to analytical benchmarks that may result in different management recommendations. (Rule Out Myocardial Infarction by Computer Assisted Tomography [ROMICAT]; NCT00990262) (Multicenter Study to Rule Out Myocardial Infarction by Cardiac Computed Tomography [ROMICAT-II]; NCT01084239).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.01.046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8040768PMC
March 2021

Genetically determined NLRP3 inflammasome activation associates with systemic inflammation and cardiovascular mortality.

Eur Heart J 2021 05;42(18):1742-1756

Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute, Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine, 1462 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Aims: Inflammation plays an important role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) development. The NOD-like receptor protein-3 (NLRP3) inflammasome contributes to the development of atherosclerosis in animal models. Components of the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway such as interleukin-1β can therapeutically be targeted. Associations of genetically determined inflammasome-mediated systemic inflammation with CVD and mortality in humans are unknown.

Methods And Results: We explored the association of genetic NLRP3 variants with prevalent CVD and cardiovascular mortality in 538 167 subjects on the individual participant level in an explorative gene-centric approach without performing multiple testing. Functional relevance of single-nucleotide polymorphisms on NLRP3 inflammasome activation has been evaluated in monocyte-enriched peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Genetic analyses identified the highly prevalent (minor allele frequency 39.9%) intronic NLRP3 variant rs10754555 to affect NLRP3 gene expression. rs10754555 carriers showed significantly higher C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A plasma levels. Carriers of the G allele showed higher NLRP3 inflammasome activation in isolated human PBMCs. In carriers of the rs10754555 variant, the prevalence of coronary artery disease was significantly higher as compared to non-carriers with a significant interaction between rs10754555 and age. Importantly, rs10754555 carriers had significantly higher risk for cardiovascular mortality during follow-up. Inflammasome inducers (e.g. urate, triglycerides, apolipoprotein C3) modulated the association between rs10754555 and mortality.

Conclusion: The NLRP3 intronic variant rs10754555 is associated with increased systemic inflammation, inflammasome activation, prevalent coronary artery disease, and mortality. This study provides evidence for a substantial role of genetically driven systemic inflammation in CVD and highlights the NLRP3 inflammasome as a therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8244638PMC
May 2021

Prognostic impact of acute pulmonary triggers in patients with takotsubo syndrome: new insights from the International Takotsubo Registry.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 06 13;8(3):1924-1932. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Cardiology, Charité, Campus Rudolf Virchow, Berlin, Germany.

Aims: Acute pulmonary disorders are known physical triggers of takotsubo syndrome (TTS). This study aimed to investigate prevalence of acute pulmonary triggers in patients with TTS and their impact on outcomes.

Methods And Results: Patients with TTS were enrolled from the International Takotsubo Registry and screened for triggering factors and comorbidities. Patients were categorized into three groups (acute pulmonary trigger, chronic lung disease, and no lung disease) to compare clinical characteristics and outcomes. Of the 1670 included patients with TTS, 123 (7%) were identified with an acute pulmonary trigger, and 194 (12%) had a known history of chronic lung disease. The incidence of cardiogenic shock was highest in patients with an acute pulmonary trigger compared with those with chronic lung disease or without lung disease (17% vs. 10% vs. 9%, P = 0.017). In-hospital mortality was also higher in patients with an acute pulmonary trigger than in the other two groups, although not significantly (5.7% vs. 1.5% vs. 4.2%, P = 0.13). Survival analysis demonstrated that patients with an acute pulmonary trigger had the worst long-term outcome (P = 0.002). The presence of an acute pulmonary trigger was independently associated with worse long-term mortality (hazard ratio 2.12, 95% confidence interval 1.33-3.38; P = 0.002).

Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that TTS is related to acute pulmonary triggers in 7% of all TTS patients, which accounts for 21% of patients with physical triggers. The presence of acute pulmonary trigger is associated with a severe in-hospital course and a worse long-term outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8120351PMC
June 2021

Pooled Patient-Level Analysis of Inclisiran Trials in Patients With Familial Hypercholesterolemia or Atherosclerosis.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 03;77(9):1182-1193

Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Background: Inclisiran is a double-stranded small interfering RNA that suppresses proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9) translation in the liver, leading to sustained reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and other atherogenic lipoproteins with twice-yearly dosing.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to conduct a patient-level pooled analysis from 3 phase 3 studies of inclisiran.

Methods: Participants with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (ORION-9 [Trial to Evaluate the Effect of Inclisiran Treatment on Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-C) in Subjects With Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HeFH)]), atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) (ORION-10 [Inclisiran for Participants With Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease and Elevated Low-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol]), or ASCVD and ASCVD risk equivalents (ORION-11 [Inclisiran for Subjects With ASCVD or ASCVD-Risk Equivalents and Elevated Low-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol]) taking maximally tolerated statin therapy, with or without other LDL-C-lowering agents, were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either inclisiran or placebo, administered by subcutaneous injection on day 1, day 90, and every 6 months thereafter for 540 days. The coprimary endpoints were the placebo-corrected percentage change in LDL-C level from baseline to day 510 and the time-adjusted percentage change in LDL-C level from baseline after day 90 to day 540. Levels of other atherogenic lipoproteins and treatment-emergent adverse events were also assessed.

Results: A total of 3,660 participants (n = 482, n = 1,561, and n = 1,617 from ORION-9, -10, and -11, respectively) underwent randomization. The placebo-corrected change in LDL-C with inclisiran at day 510 was -50.7% (95% confidence interval: -52.9% to -48.4%; p < 0.0001). The corresponding time-adjusted change in LDL-C was -50.5% (95% confidence interval: -52.1% to -48.9%; p < 0.0001). Safety was similar in both groups. Treatment-emergent adverse events at the injection site were more frequent with inclisiran than placebo (5.0% vs. 0.7%), but were predominantly mild, and none were severe or persistent. Liver and kidney function tests, creatine kinase values, and platelet counts did not differ between groups.

Conclusions: These pooled safety and efficacy data show that inclisiran, given twice yearly in addition to maximally tolerated statin therapy with or without other LDL-C lowering agents, is an effective, safe, and well-tolerated treatment to lower LDL-C in adults with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, ASCVD, or ASCVD risk equivalents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.12.058DOI Listing
March 2021

Serum uromodulin and decline of kidney function in older participants of the population-based KORA F4/FF4 study.

Clin Kidney J 2021 Jan 1;14(1):205-211. Epub 2020 May 1.

Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV, Klinikum der Universität München, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany.

Background: Uromodulin, a tissue-specific tubular glycoprotein, has recently emerged as a promising biomarker for kidney function and tubular integrity. However, the association of serum uromodulin (sUmod) with renal function decline is still unknown in an older general population.

Methods: We analysed the association of sUmod with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and albuminuria in 1075 participants of the population-based Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) F4 study, ages 62-81 years, at baseline and prospectively after a mean follow-up time of 6.5 years ( = 605) using logistic and linear regression models as well as receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analyses.

Results: Cross-sectionally, sUmod was positively associated with eGFR (β = 0.31 ± 0.02 per higher standard deviation sUmod; P < 0.001) and inversely associated with the urinary albumin:creatinine ratio (β = -0.19 ± 0.04; P < 0.001) after adjustment for sex, age, body mass index, arterial hypertension, prediabetes and diabetes. After multivariable adjustment including baseline eGFR, sUmod was not associated with incident chronic kidney disease (CKD), defined as a decrease in eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m after 6.5 years of follow-up {odds ratio [OR] 1.02 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77-1.36] per higher SD sUmod} but was inversely associated with advanced CKD, defined as incident eGFR <45 mL/min/1.73 m [OR 0.64 (95% CI 0.42-0.98)]. The ROC showed no added predictive value of sUmod for kidney function decline in the fully adjusted model.

Conclusions: Higher sUmod was inversely associated with progression to advanced kidney disease but does not provide additional predictive value for the development of CKD in elderly participants of the population-based KORA study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ckj/sfaa032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7857794PMC
January 2021

Repeated Measurements of Cardiac Troponin T and N-Terminal Pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide to Assess Long-Term Mortality Risk in Subjects with Osteoarthritis.

Biomolecules 2021 02 5;11(2). Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with higher cardiovascular mortality risk. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) are well-characterized prognostic cardiac markers. We aimed to describe the changes in biomarkers measured one year apart in a cohort of 347 subjects with OA who underwent hip or knee replacement surgery in 1995/1996 and to analyze the prognostic value of repeated measurements for long-term mortality. During a median follow-up of 19 years, 209 (60.2%) subjects died. Substantial changes in cardiac biomarkers, especially for NT-proBNP, and an independent prognostic value of NT-proBNP for long-term mortality were found for both baseline measurement concentration (hazard ratio (HR) 1.32, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.13-1.55)) and follow-up measurement concentration (HR 1.39, 95% CI 1.18-1.64) (all HR per standard deviation increase after natural log-transformation). Baseline concentrations were correlated with follow-up concentrations of NT-proBNP and no longer showed prognostic value when included simultaneously in a single model (HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.86-1.37), whereas the estimate for the one-year measurement remained robust (HR 1.31, 95% CI 1.04-1.66). Therefore, no significant additional benefit of repeated NT-proBNP measurements was found in this cohort, facilitating the use of a single NT-proBNP measurement as a stable prognostic marker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom11020230DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7915763PMC
February 2021

Pharmacogenomics of the Efficacy and Safety of Colchicine in COLCOT.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 04 9;14(2):e003183. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

PhyMedExp (Physiologie et Médecine Expérimentale du Coeur et des Muscles), Université de Montpellier, INSERM, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Cardiology Department, CHU de Montpellier, France (F.R.).

Background: The randomized, placebo-controlled COLCOT (Colchicine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial) has shown the benefits of colchicine 0.5 mg daily to lower the rate of ischemic cardiovascular events in patients with a recent myocardial infarction. Here, we conducted a post hoc pharmacogenomic study of COLCOT with the aim to identify genetic predictors of the efficacy and safety of treatment with colchicine.

Methods: There were 1522 participants of European ancestry from the COLCOT trial available for the pharmacogenomic study of COLCOT trial. The pharmacogenomic study's primary cardiovascular end point was defined as for the main trial, as time to first occurrence of cardiovascular death, resuscitated cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, stroke, or urgent hospitalization for angina requiring coronary revascularization. The safety end point was time to the first report of gastrointestinal events. Patients' DNA was genotyped using the Illumina Global Screening array followed by imputation. We performed a genome-wide association study in colchicine-treated patients.

Results: None of the genetic variants passed the genome-wide association study significance threshold for the primary cardiovascular end point conducted in 702 patients in the colchicine arm who were compliant to medication. The genome-wide association study for gastrointestinal events was conducted in all 767 patients in the colchicine arm and found 2 significant association signals, one with lead variant rs6916345 (hazard ratio, 1.89 [95% CI, 1.52-2.35], =7.41×10) in a locus which colocalizes with Crohn disease, and one with lead variant rs74795203 (hazard ratio, 2.51 [95% CI, 1.82-3.47]; =2.70×10), an intronic variant in gene . The interaction terms between the genetic variants and treatment with colchicine versus placebo were significant.

Conclusions: We found 2 genomic regions associated with gastrointestinal events in patients treated with colchicine. Those findings will benefit from replication to confirm that some patients may have genetic predispositions to lower tolerability of treatment with colchicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003183DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8284376PMC
April 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

Plasma proteins associated with cardiovascular death in patients with chronic coronary heart disease: A retrospective study.

PLoS Med 2021 01 13;18(1):e1003513. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Uppsala Clinical Research Center (UCR), Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: Circulating biomarkers are associated with the development of coronary heart disease (CHD) and its complications by reflecting pathophysiological pathways and/or organ dysfunction. We explored the associations between 157 cardiovascular (CV) and inflammatory biomarkers and CV death using proximity extension assays (PEA) in patients with chronic CHD.

Methods And Findings: The derivation cohort consisted of 605 cases with CV death and 2,788 randomly selected non-cases during 3-5 years follow-up included in the STabilization of Atherosclerotic plaque By Initiation of darapLadIb TherapY (STABILITY) trial between 2008 and 2010. The replication cohort consisted of 245 cases and 1,042 non-cases during 12 years follow-up included in the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) study between 1997 and 2000. Biomarker levels were measured with conventional immunoassays and/or with the OLINK PEA panels CVD I and Inflammation. Associations with CV death were evaluated by Random Survival Forest (RF) and Cox regression analyses. Both cohorts had the same median age (65 years) and 20% smokers, while there were slight differences in male sex (82% and 76%), hypertension (70% and 78%), and diabetes (39% and 30%) in the respective STABILITY and LURIC cohorts. The analyses identified 18 biomarkers with confirmed independent association with CV death by Boruta analyses and statistical significance (all p < 0.0001) by Cox regression when adjusted for clinical characteristics in both cohorts. Most prognostic information was carried by N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP), hazard ratio (HR for 1 standard deviation [SD] increase of the log scale of the distribution of the biomarker in the replication cohort) 2.079 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.799-2.402), and high-sensitivity troponin T (cTnT-hs) HR 1.715 (95% CI 1.491-1.973). The other proteins with independent associations were growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) HR 1.728 (95% CI 1.527-1.955), transmembrane immunoglobulin and mucin domain protein (TIM-1) HR 1.555 (95% CI 1.362-1.775), renin HR 1.501 (95% CI 1.305-1.727), osteoprotegerin (OPG) HR 1.488 (95% CI 1.297-1.708), soluble suppression of tumorigenesis 2 protein (sST2) HR 1.478 (95% CI 1.307-1.672), cystatin-C (Cys-C) HR 1.370 (95% CI 1.243-1.510), tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2) HR 1.205 (95% CI 1.131-1.285), carbohydrate antigen 125 (CA-125) HR 1.347 (95% CI 1.226-1.479), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) HR 1.399 (95% CI 1.255-1.561), interleukin 6 (IL-6) HR 1.478 (95% CI 1.316-1.659), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) HR 1.259 (95% CI 1.134-1.396), spondin-1 HR 1.295 (95% CI 1.156-1.450), fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) HR 1.349 (95% CI 1.237-1.472), chitinase-3 like protein 1 (CHI3L1) HR 1.284 (95% CI 1.129-1.461), tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNF-R1) HR 1.486 (95% CI 1.307-1.689), and adrenomedullin (AM) HR 1.750 (95% CI 1.490-2.056). The study is limited by the differences in design, size, and length of follow-up of the 2 studies and the lack of results from coronary angiograms and follow-up of nonfatal events.

Conclusions: Profiles of levels of multiple plasma proteins might be useful for the identification of different pathophysiological pathways associated with an increased risk of CV death in patients with chronic CHD.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00799903.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003513DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7817029PMC
January 2021

Alcohol consumption, cardiac biomarkers, and risk of atrial fibrillation and adverse outcomes.

Eur Heart J 2021 03;42(12):1170-1177

Department of Cardiology, University Heart & Vascular Center Hamburg, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

Aims: There is inconsistent evidence on the relation of alcohol intake with incident atrial fibrillation (AF), in particular at lower doses. We assessed the association between alcohol consumption, biomarkers, and incident AF across the spectrum of alcohol intake in European cohorts.

Methods And Results: In a community-based pooled cohort, we followed 107 845 individuals for the association between alcohol consumption, including types of alcohol and drinking patterns, and incident AF. We collected information on classical cardiovascular risk factors and incident heart failure (HF) and measured the biomarkers N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and high-sensitivity troponin I. The median age of individuals was 47.8 years, 48.3% were men. The median alcohol consumption was 3 g/day. N = 5854 individuals developed AF (median follow-up time: 13.9 years). In a sex- and cohort-stratified Cox regression analysis alcohol consumption was non-linearly and positively associated with incident AF. The hazard ratio for one drink (12 g) per day was 1.16, 95% CI 1.11-1.22, P < 0.001. Associations were similar across types of alcohol. In contrast, alcohol consumption at lower doses was associated with reduced risk of incident HF. The association between alcohol consumption and incident AF was neither fully explained by cardiac biomarker concentrations nor by the occurrence of HF.

Conclusions: In contrast to other cardiovascular diseases such as HF, even modest habitual alcohol intake of 1.2 drinks/day was associated with an increased risk of AF, which needs to be considered in AF prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa953DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7982286PMC
March 2021
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