Apolipoprotein (Apo) A1 is a protective factor for cardiovascular events. This study aimed to perform complex segregation analyses of Apo A1 levels in families of adolescents systematically ascertained from the junior high school students in a rural community. Both siblings and parents of the adolescent probands were recruited for the study. Apo A1 concentrations were measured by turbidimetric immunoassay methods. After adjustment for gender, age, body mass index, smoking and drinking status, residual values of Apo A1 were subjected to subsequent analyses.
Significant mother-father and parent-offspring correlations were found. Commingling analyses indicated that a four-component distribution model was needed to account for the Apo A1 variation. Segregation analysis using regressive models revealed that the best-fit model of Apo A1 was a model of environmental effect plus familial correlation (heritability = 23.9%), in which a significant mother-father correlation existed. Models containing major gene effect could be rejected.
These results suggest that variations of Apo A1 levels in the normal range, especially during adolescence, are likely to be influenced by multiple factors without significant contribution from major genes.
Left ventricular mass (LVM) is an important risk factor for stroke and vascular disease. The genetic basis of LVM is unclear although a high heritability has been suggested. We sought to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for LVM using large Dominican families.
Probands were selected from Dominican subjects of the population-based Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS). LVM was measured by transthoracic echocardiography. A set of 405 microsatellite markers was used to screen the whole genome among 1360 subjects from 100 Dominican families who had complete phenotype data and DNA available. A polygenic covariate screening was run to identify the significant covariates. Variance components analysis was used to estimate heritability and to detect evidence for linkage, after adjusting for significant risk factors. Ordered-subset Analysis (OSA) was conducted to identify a more homogeneous subset for stratification analysis.
LVM had a heritability of 0.58 in the studied population (p < 0.0001). The most significant evidence for linkage was found at chromosome 12p11 (MLOD = 3.11, empirical p = 0.0003) with peak marker at D12S1042. This linkage was significantly increased in a subset of families with the high average waist circumference (MLOD = 4.45, p = 0.0045 for increase in evidence for linkage).
We mapped a novel QTL near D12S1042 for LVM in Dominicans. Enhanced linkage evidence in families with larger waist circumference suggests that gene(s) residing within the QTL interact(s) with abdominal obesity to contribute to phenotypic variation of LVM. Suggestive evidence for linkage (LOD = 1.99) has been reported at the same peak marker for left ventricular geometry in a White population from the HyperGEN study, underscoring the importance of this QTL for left ventricular phenotype. Further fine mapping and validation studies are warranted to identify the underpinning genes.
The aim of this study was to investigate the heritability as well as genetic and environmental correlations of left ventricular (LV) structural and functional traits in complex pedigrees of a Caucasian population.
Methods and results
We randomly recruited 459 white European subjects from 52 families (50% women; mean age 45 years). LV structure was measured by M-mode and 2D echocardiography and LV function was measured by conventional Doppler and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI). Other measurements included blood pressure, anthropometric, and biochemical measurements. We estimated the heritability of LV traits while adjusting for covariables, including sex, age, body height and weight, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and heart rate. With full adjustment, heritability of LV mass was 0.23 (P= 0.025). The TDI-derived mitral annular velocities Ea and Aa showed moderate heritability (h2= 0.36 and 0.53, respectively), whereas the mitral inflow A peak had weak heritability (h2 = 0.25) and the E peak was not heritable (h2 = 0.11). We partitioned the total phenotypic correlation when it reached significance, into a genetic and an environmental component. The genetic correlations were 0.61 between the E and Ea peaks and 0.90 between the A and Aa peaks.
Our study demonstrated moderate heritability for LV mass as well as the mitral annular Ea and Aa peaks. We also found significant genetic correlations between the E and Ea peaks and between the A and Aa peaks. Our current findings support the ongoing research to map and detect genetic variants that contribute to the variation in LV mass and other LV structural and functional phenotypes.
Echocardiography; Heritability; Left ventricular phenotypes; Population science
It remains unclear whether the body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) profile are clustered within families in Chinese Han population. The aim of this study is to explore familial aggregation and parent-offspring correlations of BMI and blood pressure in Chinese Han population.
6,369 Han nucleus families, consisting of parents and at least one biological adult child who were living together, were enrolled from the nation-wide cross-sectional study (China National Nutrition and Health Survey) which was conducted in 2002, with a total number of 19,107 participants aged 18–64 years (6,369 sets of parents, 4,132 sons and 2,237 daughters). Family aggregation (Intra-class correlations, ICCs) and parent-offspring correlations in BMI, systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) were estimated using linear mixed effect regression models.
BMI and BP levels in two generations and ICCs of BMI, SBP and DBP varied across the country. Familial aggregation of overweight/obesity was observed in rural area (ICC = 5.4%, p<0.05), and high BP (defined as SBP ≥ 120 mmHg or DBP ≥ 80 mmHg) was more common in low income families (ICC = 4.4%, p<0.05) compared to middle income (ICC = 1.9%) and high income families (ICC = 2.6%). Additionally, offspring with more parents being overweight/obese tend to have higher BMI. The similar trend was found for high BP. However, we did not observe that same-sex parent-offspring correlations of BMI and BP were stronger than the correlations for mother-son or father-daughter.
Our study suggested that familial environments, alongside the impact of genetic factors, could be important non-communicable chronic diseases (NCD) risk factors. Family-based intervention taking both mother and father into account might have great potential in NCD prevention for younger generation.
Body mass index; Blood pressure; Family aggregation; Parent-offspring correlation; Sex-specific
The goal of this study is to assess the relationship between stress coping mechanisms and the risk of atherosclerosis in patients with Hwa-Byung.
The Korean version of the Ways of Coping Checklist (WOCC) was administered to 50 patients with Hwa-Byung (49.1±10.1 years, 6 males). Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) and serum cholesterol level were assessed in all participants.
After controlling for age, sex, diagnosis of hypertension, Body Mass Index (BMI), and serum cholesterol level, the score of seeking social support in coping strategies was negatively correlated with right and left baPWV (r=-0.356, p=0.016; r=-0.373, p=0.012, respectively). In addition, the score of active coping mechanism was negatively correlated with both sides of baPWV (r=-0.383, p=0.009; r=-0.389, p=0.008, respectively).
The seeking social support and active coping mechanism were inversely related to the severity of arterial stiffness in Hwa-Byung patients. Therefore, our result may suggest a possibility that coping strategies in Hwa-Byung patients are associated with the risk of atherosclerosis.
Hwa-Byung; Coping mechanism; Atherosclerosis
The genetic influences on bone mass likely change throughout the life span, but most genetic studies of bone mass regulation have focused on adults. There is, however, a growing awareness of the importance of genes influencing the acquisition of bone mass during childhood on lifelong bone health. The present investigation examines genetic influences on childhood bone mass by estimating the residual heritabilities of different measures of second metacarpal bone mass in a sample of 600 10-year-old participants from 144 families in the Fels Longitudinal Study. Bivariate quantitative genetic analyses were conducted to estimate genetic correlations between cortical bone mass measures, and measures of bone growth and development. Using a maximum likelihood-based variance components method for pedigree data, we found a residual heritability estimate of 0.71 for second metacarpal cortical index. Residual heritability estimates for individual measures of cortical bone (e.g., lateral cortical thickness, medial cortical thickness) ranged from 0.47 to 0.58, at this pre-pubertal childhood age. Low genetic correlations were found between cortical bone measures and both bone length and skeletal age. However, after Bonferonni adjustment for multiple testing, ρG was not significantly different from 0 for any of these pairs of traits. Results of this investigation provide evidence of significant genetic control over bone mass largely independent of maturation while bones are actively growing and before rapid accrual of bone that typically occurs during puberty.
bone size; genetics; radiography; maturation
C-reactive protein (CRP) largely has been studied in white non-Hispanic cohorts. There is limited information on CRP’s range of values, heritability and relation to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in African Americans. We sought to evaluate the distribution, clinical correlates, heritability and genetic linkage of log-transformed CRP in participants of the middle-aged to elderly African American community-based Jackson Heart Study. The distribution and correlates of CRP were analyzed for the entire study cohort who underwent the first examination (2001–2004). Heritability was estimated for the family cohort nested within the larger Jackson Heart Study (246 families, n=1,317). The relation between CRP and CVD risk factors were tested with multivariable stepwise regression analyses. Heritability was estimated using a variance components method. Linkage analysis was performed using the multipoint variance components approach. The study sample consisted of 4,919 participants (mean age 55±13 years, 63% women); median CRP concentration was 2.7 mg/L. In stepwise models traditional risk factors explained 23.8% of CRP’s variability, with body mass index (BMI, partial R2=13.6%) explaining 57.1% of the variability of CRP due to traditional risk factors. The heritability of CRP (adjusted for age, sex and BMI) was 0.45. The strongest linkage evidence for CRP was observed on chromosome 11 (11p13–11p11.2) with a logarithm of odds score of 2.72. In conclusion, in this large population-based cohort of African Americans, circulating CRP concentration was heritable and associated with several traditional cardiovascular risk factors, particularly BMI.
C-reactive protein; risk factors; genetics; heritability; blood pressure; cholesterol; body mass index; African Americans
The ambulatory arterial stiffness index (AASI) can be used to predict cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in hypertensive patients. However, data on AASI in Chinese patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is not available.
This cross-sectional study enrolled 583 CKD patients. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to evaluate the relationship between AASI and renal function and parameters of cardiovascular injury.
Patients with a higher AASI had a higher systolic blood pressure, a lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a higher serum cystatin C, a higher left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT). Univariate analyses showed that AASI was positively correlated with serum cystatin C (r=0.296, P < 0.001), serum creatinine (r=0.182, P < 0.001), and LVMI (r = 0.205, P < 0.001) and negatively correlated with the eGFR (r = –0.200, P < 0.001). Multivariate analyses revealed that serum cystatin C, eGFR, serum creatinine and LVMI were independently correlated with AASI.
These data suggest that AASI was closely correlated with renal function and parameters of cardiovascular injury in Chinese CKD patients. Good quality, long-term, large longitudinal trials to validate the role of AASI in clinical practice for Chinese CKD patients.
Ambulatory arterial stiffness index; Chronic kidney disease; Renal function; Left ventricular mass index
Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy is a strong independent predictor of increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in clinical and population-based samples. Clinical and hemodynamic stimuli to LV hypertrophy induce not only an increase in cardiac mass and wall thickness but also a fundamental reconfiguration of the protein, cellular and molecular components of the myocardium. Several studies have indicated that LV mass is influenced by genetic factors. The substantial heritability (h2) for LV mass in population-based samples of varying ethnicity indicates robust genetic influences on LV hypertrophy. Genome-wide linkage and association studies in diverse populations have been performed to identify genes influencing LV mass, and although several chromosomal regions have been found to be significantly associated with LV mass, the specific genes and functional variants contained in these chromosomal regions have yet to be identified. In addition, multiple studies have tried to link single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in regulatory and pathway genes with common forms of LV hypertrophy, but there is little evidence that these genetic variations are functional. Up to this point in time, the results obtained in genetic studies are of limited clinical value. Much of the heritability remains unexplained, the identity of the underlying gene pathways, genes, and functional variants remains unknown, and the promise of genetically-based risk prediction and personalized medicine remain unfulfilled. However, molecular biological technologies continue to improve rapidly, and the long-term potential of sophisticated genetic investigations using these modern genomic technologies, coupled with smart study designs, remains intact. Ultimately, genetic investigations offer much promise for future prevention, early intervention and treatment of this major public health issue.
Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy; genetic epidemiology; Genome-wide linkage and association studies
Left ventricular (LV) mass and related phenotypes are heritable, important predictors of cardiovascular disease, particularly in hypertensive individuals.
Identify genetic predictors of echocardiographic phenotypes in hypertensive families.
Methods & Results
A multi-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted in hypertensive-ascertained African American families (HyperGEN, Stage I; GENOA, Stage II); findings were replicated in HyperGEN Caucasian families (Stage III). Echocardiograms were collected using a common protocol, and participants were genotyped with the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP 6.0 Array. In Stages I and II, 1258 and 989 African Americans, and Stage III 1316 Caucasians, were analyzed using mixed models adjusted for ancestry. Phenotypes included LV mass, LV internal dimension (LVID), wall thicknesses (posterior (PWT) and intraventricular septum (IVST)), and relative wall thickness (RWT). In Stage I, 5 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) had P≤10−6. In Stage II, one SNP (rs1436109; NCAM1 intron 1) replicated with the same phenotype (PWT, P=0.025) in addition to RWT (P=0.032). In Stage III, rs1436109 was associated with RWT (P=5.47×10−4) and LVID (P=1.86×10−4). Fisher’s combined P-value for all stages was RWT=3.80×10−9, PWT=3.12×10−7, IVST=8.69×10−7, LV mass=2.52×10−3, and LVID=4.80×10−4.
This GWAS conducted in hypertensive families identified a variant in NCAM1 associated with LV wall thickness and RWT. NCAM is upregulated during the remodeling period of hypertrophy to heart failure in Dahl salt-sensitive rats. Our initial screening in hypertensive African-Americans may have provided the context for this novel locus.
GWAS; NCAM1; hypertrophy; genomics
To date, all known Alzheimer's disease genes influence amyloid beta (Aβ). The development of in vivo imaging of Aβ deposition in the human brain using Pittsburgh compound B (PIB) offers the possibility of using cortical PIB binding as a quantitative endophenotype for genetic studies of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD).
Heritability of Aβ deposition was determined using 82 elderly siblings from 35 families. Correlation with other Aβ related traits was determined using an unrelated sample of 112 individuals. For both samples, APOE ε4 was genotyped and PET imaging was performed using the PIB ligand. Mean cortical binding potential (MCBP) was computed from several regions-of-interest.
MCBP has a high heritability (0.61, p=0.043). Furthermore, most of the heritable component (74%) cannot be explained by APOE ε4 genotype. Analysis of the unrelated sample reveals that a third of the variance of MCBP cannot be predicted by other biological traits, including CSF Aβ42 levels.
These findings demonstrate that MCBP is a genetic trait and that other more easily measured Aβ related traits such as CSF Aβ42 do not fully explain the variance in MCBP. Thus, mean cortical PIB binding is a useful trait for large-scale genetic studies of LOAD.
Increasing left ventricular mass is a risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
To examine the possible association of smoking with the left ventricular growth response in men.
Left ventricular mass was measured in 309 army recruits before and after an identical 12‐week physical training programme. Left ventricular mass was determined using cardiovascular magnetic resonance.
Left ventricular mass increased with training (mean (standard deviation (SD)) 3.83 (10.81) g, p<0.001). By univariate analysis, exercise‐induced change in left ventricular mass was positively associated with cigarette smoking (mean (SD) 1.69 (11.10) g v 4.76 (10.23) g for non‐smokers v ex‐ and current smokers, respectively; p = 0.026), whereas age, height, diastolic and systolic blood pressure (SBP), alcohol consumption or indices of physical activity were not significantly associated with change in left ventricular mass. Multivariate analysis showed body weight, smoking status and SBP to be independent predictors of left ventricular mass (incremental R2 = 3.4%, p = 0.004; R2 = 4.9%, p = 0.024; and R2 = 1.7%, p = 0.041, respectively).
Cigarette smoking and SBP are associated with exercise‐induced left ventricular growth in young men. The positive association of smoking with changes in left ventricular mass is surprising, given the limited exposure of these subjects to smoking, and although these data do not prove causation, they are of great interest to those trying to uncover the drivers of left ventricular hypertrophy, as well as to those examining the possible ill‐effects of smoking in the young.
We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and validation study for left ventricular (LV) mass in the Family Blood Pressure Program – HyperGEN population. LV mass is a sensitive predictor of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in all genders, races, and ages. Polymorphisms of candidate genes in diverse pathways have been associated with LV mass. However, subsequent studies have often failed to replicate these associations. Genome-wide association studies have unprecedented power to identify potential genes with modest effects on left LV mass. We describe here a GWAS for LV mass in Caucasians using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping 100 k Set. Cases (N = 101) and controls (N = 101) were selected from extreme tails of the LV mass index distribution from 906 individuals in the HyperGEN study. Eleven of 12 promising (Q < 0.8) single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the genome-wide study were successfully genotyped using quantitative real time PCR in a validation study.
Despite the relatively small sample, we identified 12 promising SNPs in the GWAS. Eleven SNPs were successfully genotyped in the validation study of 704 Caucasians and 1467 African Americans; 5 SNPs on chromosomes 5, 12, and 20 were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) associated with LV mass after correction for multiple testing. One SNP (rs756529) is intragenic within KCNB1, which is dephosphorylated by calcineurin, a previously reported candidate gene for LV hypertrophy within this population.
These findings suggest KCNB1 may be involved in the development of LV hypertrophy in humans.
The relation of cardiac dyspnoea to diastolic left ventricular dysfunction was examined in a sample of 67 year old men from the general population of Gothenburg, Sweden. Forty two men with cardiac dyspnoea and 45 controls were selected from the screened cohort of 644 men. M mode echocardiography, apexcardiography, and phonocardiography were used to evaluate heart sounds, diastolic time intervals, aortic root motion (atrial emptying index); peak rate of change in left ventricular dimension, left atrial and ventricular size; and left ventricular mass. There was a significant relation between dyspnoea grade and left ventricular mass and posterior wall thickness. Dyspnoea grade also correlated significantly with the amplitude of the rapid filling wave and the third heart sound, atrial emptying index and left atrial size, the pulmonary component of the second heart sound, and the dimension of the right ventricle. In mild to moderate dyspnoea fractional shortening was normal, but posterior wall thickness and left atrial dimension were increased. The time from the second heart sound to the O point of the apexcardiogram, adjusted for heart rate, was significantly prolonged in mild to moderate dyspnoea, but not in severe dyspnoea. There was a significant decrease of rate adjusted isovolumic relaxation time, probably secondary to altered loading conditions, in severe dyspnoea, but not in mild to moderate dyspnoea. When the effect of systolic function was excluded multivariate analyses showed that the relation between dyspnoea grade and left atrial dimension persisted. The finding that diastolic abnormalities of the heart contributed to the generation of cardiac dyspnoea may have implications for treatment.
Rationale: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is a heritable predictor of cardiovascular disease, particularly in blacks. Objective: Determine the feasibility of combining evidence from two distinct but complementary experimental approaches to identify novel genetic predictors of increased LV mass. Methods: Whole-exome sequencing (WES) was conducted in seven African-American sibling trios ascertained on high average familial LV mass indexed to height (LVMHT) using Illumina HiSeq technology. Identified missense or nonsense (MS/NS) mutations were examined for association with LVMHT using linear mixed models adjusted for age, sex, body weight, and familial relationship. To functionally assess WES findings, human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (induced pluripotent stem cell-CM) were stimulated to induce hypertrophy; mRNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was used to determine gene expression differences associated with hypertrophy onset. Statistically significant findings under both experimental approaches identified LVH candidate genes. Candidate genes were further prioritized by seven supportive criteria that included additional association tests (two criteria), regional linkage evidence in the larger HyperGEN cohort (one criterion), and publically available gene and variant based annotations (four criteria). Results: WES reads covered 91% of the target capture region (of size 37.2 MB) with an average coverage of 65×. WES identified 31,426 MS/NS mutations among the 21 individuals. A total of 295 MS/NS variants in 265 genes were associated with LVMHT with q-value <0.25. Of the 265 WES genes, 44 were differentially expressed (P < 0.05) in hypertrophied cells. Among the 44 candidate genes identified, 5, including HLA-B, HTT, MTSS1, SLC5A12, and THBS1, met 3 of 7 supporting criteria. THBS1 encodes an adhesive glycoprotein that promotes matrix preservation in pressure-overload LVH. THBS1 gene expression was 34% higher in hypertrophied cells (P = 0.0003) and a predicted conserved and damaging NS variant in exon 13 (A2099G) was significantly associated with LVHMT (P = 4 × 10−6). Conclusion: Combining evidence from cutting-edge genetic and cellular experiments can enable identification of novel LVH risk loci.
hypertrophy; left ventricular mass; cardiomyocyte; exome; genomics
Elevated resting heart rate has been shown in multiple studies to be a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease. Previous family studies have shown a significant heritable component to heart rate with several groups conducting genomic linkage scans to identify quantitative trait loci.
We performed a genome-wide linkage scan to identify quantitative trait loci influencing resting heart rate among 3,282 Caucasians and 3,989 African-Americans in three independent networks comprising the Family Blood Pressure Program (FBPP) using 368 microsatellite markers. Mean heart rate measurements were used in a regression model including covariates for age, body mass index, pack-years, currently drinking alcohol (yes/no), hypertension status and medication usage to create a standardized residual for each gender/ethnic group within each study network. This residual was used in a nonparametric variance component model to generate a LOD score and a corresponding P value for each ethnic group within each study network. P values from each ethnic group and study network were merged using an adjusted Fisher's combining P values method and the resulting P values were converted to LOD scores. The entire analysis was redone after individuals currently taking beta-blocker medication were removed.
We identified significant evidence of linkage (LOD = 4.62) to chromosome 10 near 142.78 cM in the Caucasian group of HyperGEN. Between race and network groups we identified a LOD score of 1.86 on chromosome 5 (between 39.99 and 45.34 cM) in African-Americans in the GENOA network and the same region produced a LOD score of 1.12 among Caucasians within a different network (HyperGEN). Combining all network and race groups we identified a LOD score of 1.92 (P = 0.0013) on chromosome 5p13-14. We assessed heterogeneity for this locus between networks and ethnic groups and found significant evidence for low heterogeneity (P ≤ 0.05).
We found replication (LOD > 1) between ethnic groups and between study networks with low heterogeneity on chromosome 5p13-14 suggesting that a gene in this region influences resting heart rate.
There is a relationship between CD4-T-cell number and circulating interleukin 7 (IL-7) levels in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals. Here, we show that IL-7 induced a dose-dependent production of CCL3 (MIP-1α), CCL4 (MIP-1β), and CCL5 (RANTES) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), ex vivo tonsil lymphoid tissue of HIV− individuals, and PBMC from HIV+ individuals, suggesting that IL-7 may regulate β-chemokine production in vivo. In a cross-sectional study of HIV+ individuals (n = 130), a weak but significant correlation between IL-7 and RANTES was noted (r = 0.379; P < 0.001). Remarkably, the correlation between IL-7 and RANTES increased to an r value of 0.798 (P < 0.001) if individuals with low CD4 cell counts (<200 cells/μl) were excluded from the analysis. Our results suggest that there is a relationship between IL-7 and the production of RANTES both in vitro and in vivo that is lost in immune-compromised patients (CD4 count of <200 cells/μl) but that could be restored by antiretroviral therapy. Unlike the case for IL-7, high levels of RANTES suggest an intermediate stage of HIV disease progression.
Studies have shown that left ventricular mass, diagnosed by echocardiography, correlated poorly with blood pressure, even when the 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring was taken into account in the analysis. This may be partly because there are other determinants of left ventricular mass such as age, gender, neurohormonal factors and heredity.
Knowledge of the correlates of left ventricular mass could help design individual and population strategies to prevent or reverse left ventricular hypertrophy. To the best of our knowledge, there is a paucity of such studies in native Africans. Hence the purpose of this study was to define the correlates of left ventricular mass in hypertensive Nigerians.
The study was a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data in 285 hypertensive subjects. Echocardiographic left ventricular mass was determined using the standard formula. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to determine the independent predictors of left ventricular mass with a probability value to enter and remove of p < 0.05.
There were 153 men (53.7%) and 132 women (46.3%) in the study. The mean age of all subjects was 58.2 ± 13.7 years. There was no significant gender difference in most of the echocardiographic parameters. In a stepwise multiple regression analysis, left ventricular wall tension, left ventricular wall stress, left atrial size, diastolic blood pressure, alcohol consumption and a family history of hypertension were the independent predictors of left ventricular mass in this population. The optimum multivariate linear regression main effects had an adjusted model, r2 of 0.945, thus explaining about 95% of left ventricular mass variability.
Mechanical or haemodynamic factors possibly interacting with genetic and social factors are the likely determinants of left ventricular mass in hypertensive Nigerians. Therefore modulation of some of these factors pharmacologically or non-pharmacologically will be of benefit in the management of this patient population.
hypertension; left ventricular mass; correlates; determinants; Nigeria
Substituted judgment asks the proxy to decide what the patient would have decided, had he or she been competent. It is unclear whether substituted judgment of the patient's quality of life can serve as a surrogate measure in patients with dementia.
212 patients with dementia and their proxies were interviewed in their homes. Dementia syndrome was characterized with cognitive, non-cognitive and functional scales. Quality of life (QoL) was assessed with the QoL-AD.
Substituted judgment of the patient's QoL was unrelated to dementia severity but also correlated with the proxie's own QoL (r = 0.356; p < 0.001). Gender-specific analysis reveals that for male proxies the most important variable is severity of patient's depression (r = -0.895; p = 0.001) while for female proxies it is the proxie's own QoL (r = 0.371; p < 0.001). Subjective burden correlates with the proxie's QoL in females (r = -0.282; p = 0.001) but not in males (r = -0.163, p = 0.161).
Substituted judgment of the patient's QoL does not correlate with dementia severity. Substituted judgment is subject to proxy-related variables in a gender-dependent fashion and therefore not suited to serve as an appropriate surrogate of the patients' quality of life.
Telomere length is documented to have a hereditary component, and both paternal and X-linked inheritance have been proposed. We investigated blood cell telomere length in 962 individuals with an age range between 0 and 102 years. Telomere length correlations were analyzed between parent–child pairs in different age groups and between grandparent–grandchild pairs. A highly significant correlation between the father's and the child's telomere length was observed (r=0.454, P<0.001), independent of the sex of the offspring (father–son: r=0.465, P<0.001; father–daughter: r=0.484, P<0.001). For mothers, the correlations were weaker (mother–child: r=0.148, P=0.098; mother–son: r=0.080, P=0.561; mother–daughter: r=0.297, P=0.013). A positive telomere length correlation was also observed for grandparent–grandchild pairs (r=0.272, P=0.013). Our findings indicate that fathers contribute significantly stronger to the telomere length of the offspring compared with mothers (P=0.012), but we cannot exclude a maternal influence on the daughter's telomeres. Interestingly, the father–child correlations diminished with increasing age (P=0.022), suggesting that nonheritable factors have an impact on telomere length dynamics during life.
telomere length; heredity; gender; age
OBJECTIVE—Echocardiographic and Doppler analysis of myocardial mass and diastolic function in patients infected with HIV.
SETTING—Tertiary referral centre, Huelva, Spain.
PATIENTS—61 asymptomatic patients with HIV infection and 32 healthy controls.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Time motion, cross sectional, and Doppler echocardiographic studies were performed, and left ventricular mass and diastolic function variables determined (peak velocity of early and late mitral outflow and isovolumic relaxation time).
RESULTS—Left ventricular mass index (LVMI) was decreased in patients compared with healthy controls (mean (SD): 76.7 (23.6) v 118.8 (23.5) g/m2, p < 0.001). Linear regression analysis showed a correlation between LVMI and brachial fat and muscle areas. The ratio of peak velocities of early and late mitral outflow was decreased in HIV infected patients compared with controls (1.19 (0.44) v 1.58 (0.38), p < 0.001). This ratio was exclusively related to haemodynamic variables (heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressures). HIV infected patients had a prolonged isovolumic relaxation time (103.0 (10.5) v 72.9 (12.9) ms, p < 0.001). Isovolumic relaxation time was correlated only with brachial muscle area on multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSIONS—HIV infected patients had a reduced left ventricular mass index and diastolic functional abnormalities. These cardiac abnormalities are predominantly related to nutritional status.
Keywords: HIV infection; cardiac function; nutrition
Obesity and obstructive sleep apnea each have a substantial genetic basis and commonly co-exist in individuals. The degree to which the genetic underpinnings for these disorders overlap has not been previously quantified.
A total of 1802 individuals from 310 families in the Cleveland Family Study underwent home sleep studies as well as standardized assessment of body mass index and circumferences at the waist, hip, and neck. In 713 participants with laboratory sleep studies, fasting blood samples were assayed for leptin, adiponectin, and resistin. Variance component models were used to estimate heritability and genetic correlations.
The heritability of the apnea hypopnea index was 0.37 ± 0.04 and 0.33 ± 0.07 for home and laboratory sleep studies respectively. The genetic correlations between apnea hypopnea index and anthropomorphic adiposity measures ranged from 0.57 to 0.61 suggesting obesity can explain nearly 40% of the genetic variance in sleep apnea. The magnitude of the genetic correlations between apnea severity and adipokine levels was substantially less than those with anthropomorphic measures, ranging from 0.11–0.46. After adjusting for body mass index, no significant genetic correlation with apnea severity was observed for any of the other adiposity measures.
Substantial but not complete overlap in genetic bases exist between sleep apnea and anthropomorphic indices of adiposity, and this overlap accounts for more than one third of the genetic variance in apnea severity. These findings suggest that genetic polymorphisms exist that importantly influence sleep apnea susceptibility through both obesity-dependent and obesity-independent pathways.
obesity; sleep apnea; genetics; heritability; genetic correlation
Information is limited regarding the longitudinal tracking of left ventricular (LV) mass over the adult life-course and the determinants of such change.
Methods and Results
We used multi-level modeling to evaluate the correlates of LV mass prospectively over a 16-year period in 4217 Framingham study participants (mean age 45 years, 53% women) using up to 4 serial routine echocardiographic observations on each individual (11,762 observations). Age, sex, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (BP), antihypertensive treatment, smoking, and diabetes were related to longitudinal measures of LV mass. Women and participants with diabetes experienced a steeper increase in LV mass with advancing age (compared to men, and those without diabetes; p for interactions <0.0001and 0.0003, respectively). Women also displayed greater increments in LV mass with increasing BMI (compared to men, p=0.04 for interaction). Participants with optimal values of these risk factors experienced lesser increases in LV mass over time. Analyses evaluating short-term (4-year) changes in LV mass (2605 unique individuals providing 4494 observations) identified the same key determinants that influenced its long-term trajectory, i.e., BMI, sex, systolic BP, antihypertensive treatment, and smoking.
Our longitudinal observations on a large community-based sample identified higher blood pressure, excess adiposity, smoking and diabetes as fundamental determinants of LV mass tracking over the adult life course. These observations are consistent with the notion that maintenance of optimal levels of these risk factors in midlife will reduce the burden of LV hypertrophy, and possibly heart failure, in older age.
cardiac mass; change; serial measurements; hypertrophy; epidemiology; multi-level modeling; echocardiography
Tumoral calcinosis is a rare and benign condition characterized by massive subcutaneous soft tissue deposits of calcium phosphate predominantly around large joints.
Familial tumoral calcinosis was present in two members of a Han Chinese family, namely, the son and daughter. The 14-year-old son had the first operation on his right sole of the foot at the age of six, and then experienced subsequent surgeries at a lesion in his right sole of the foot and left hip, respectively. The 16-year-old daughter underwent her first operation at the age of six in her left gluteal region, and subsequent surgeries were performed due to recurrence at the same lesion. Pathologic diagnoses of surgical specimens in both of the patients were reported as tumoral calcinosis. The laboratory results showed hyperphosphatemia with normal levels of serum calcium and alkaline phosphatase. Only surgical treatment was performed in both patients with satisfactory prognosis.
This is the first report of Chinese familial tumoral calcinosis. The etiopathogenisis and treatment are discussed.
To study in parallel the outflow of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the hypothalamic‐pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis tone in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
32 patients with SLE, 62 with RA, and 65 healthy subjects (HS) were included. To measure the tone of the HPA axis, plasma ACTH and serum cortisol were determined. Serum neuropeptide Y (NPY) was used to evaluate the sympathetic outflow.
Patients with SLE had increased NPY levels in comparison with HS, irrespective of prior prednisolone treatment (p<0.001). For patients with RA, only those with prednisolone treatment had increased NPY levels in comparison with HS (p = 0.016). Daily prednisolone dose correlated positively with serum NPY in RA (RRank = 0.356, p = 0.039). In contrast, plasma ACTH levels were generally decreased significantly in comparison with HS in SLE with prednisolone, and in RA with/without prednisolone. Similarly, serum cortisol levels were also decreased in SLE with/without prednisolone, and in RA with prednisolone. The NPY/ACTH ratio was increased in SLE and RA, irrespective of prior prednisolone treatment. The NPY/cortisol ratio was increased in SLE with/without prednisolone, and in RA with prednisolone. Twelve weeks' anti‐TNF antibody treatment with adalimumab did not decrease NPY levels in RA, irrespective of prednisolone treatment.
An increased outflow of the SNS was shown and a decreased tone of the HPA axis in patients with SLE and RA. Low levels of cortisol in relation to SNS neurotransmitters may be proinflammatory because cooperative anti‐inflammatory coupling of the two endogenous response axes is missing.
adrenal hormones; neuropeptide Y; rheumatoid arthritis; sympathetic nervous system hormones; systemic lupus erythematosus