Aortic calcification is a major risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease. We investigated the relationship between mortality and the composite markers of number, size, morphology and distribution of calcified plaques in the lumbar aorta.
308 postmenopausal women aged 48-76 were followed for 8.3 ± 0.3 years, with deaths related to cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other causes being recorded. From lumbar X-rays at baseline the number (NCD), size, morphology and distribution of aortic calcification lesions were scored and combined into one Morphological Atherosclerotic Calcification Distribution (MACD) index. The hazard ratio for mortality was calculated for the MACD and for three other commonly used predictors: the EU SCORE card, the Framingham Coronary Heart Disease Risk Score (Framingham score), and the gold standard Aortic Calcification Severity score (AC24) developed from the Framingham Heart Study cohorts.
All four scoring systems showed increasing age, smoking, and raised triglyceride levels were the main predictors of mortality after adjustment for all other metabolic and physical parameters. The SCORE card and the Framingham score resulted in a mortality hazard ratio increase per standard deviation (HR/SD) of 1.8 (1.51-2.13) and 2.6 (1.87-3.71), respectively. Of the morphological x-ray based measures, NCD revealed a HR/SD >2 adjusted for SCORE/Framingham. The MACD index scoring the distribution, size, morphology and number of lesions revealed the best predictive power for identification of patients at risk of mortality, with a hazard ratio of 15.6 (p < 0.001) for the 10% at greatest risk of death.
This study shows that it is not just the extent of aortic calcification that predicts risk of mortality, but also the distribution, shape and size of calcified lesions. The MACD index may provide a more sensitive predictor of mortality from aortic calcification than the commonly used AC24 and SCORE/Framingham point card systems.
The ten year probability of cardiovascular events can be calculated, but many people are unaware of their risk and unclear how to reduce it. The aim of this study was to assess whether a community based intervention, for men and women aged between 45 and 64 years without pre-existing coronary heart disease, would reduce their Framingham scores when reassessed one year later.
Individuals in the relevant age group from a defined geographical area were sent an invitation to attend for an assessment of their cardiovascular risk. Individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular disease or terminal illness were excluded. The invitation was in the form of a "Many Happy Returns" card with a number of self-screening questions including the question, "If you put the enclosed string around your waist, is it too short?" The card contained a red 80 cm piece of string in the case of women, or a green 90 cm piece of string in the case of men. At the assessment appointment, Framingham scores were calculated and a printout was given to each individual. Advice was provided for relevant risk factors identified using agreed guidelines. If appropriate, onward referral was also made to a GP, dietician, an exercise referral scheme, or to smoking cessation services, using a set of guidelines. Individuals were sent a second invitation one year later to return for re-assessment.
Results and discussion
2031 individuals were asked to self-assess their eligibility to participate, 596 individuals attended for assessment and 313 of these attended for follow-up one year later. The mean reduction in the Framingham risk score, was significantly lower at one year (0.876, 95% CI 0.211 to 1.541, p = 0.01). The mean 10-year risk of CHD at baseline was 13.14% (SD 9.18) and had fallen at follow-up to 12.34% (SD 8.71), a mean reduction of 6.7% of the initial 10-year Framingham risk. If sustained, the estimated NNT to prevent each year of CHD would be 1141 (95% CI 4739 to 649) individual appointments.
This community intervention for primary prevention of CHD reduces Framingham risk scores at one year in those who engage with the programme.
Meta-analyses of short-term studies indicate favorable effects of higher protein vs. lower protein diets on health outcomes like adiposity or cardiovascular risk factors, but their long-term effects are unknown.
Electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Trial Register) were searched up to August 2012 with no restriction to language or calendar date. A random effect meta-analysis was performed using the Software package by the Cochrane Collaboration Review Manager 5.1. Sensitivity analysis was performed for RCTs with a Jadad Score ≥3, and excluding type 2 diabetic subjects (T2D).
15 RCTs met all objectives and were included in the present meta-analysis. No significant differences were observed for weight, waist circumference, fat mass, blood lipids (i.e. total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerols), C-reactive protein, diastolic and systolic blood pressure, fasting glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin. In contrast, improvements of fasting insulin was significantly more pronounced following high protein diets as compared to the low protein counterparts (weighted mean difference: -0.71 μIU/ml, 95% CI -1.36 to -0.05, p = 0.03). Sensitivity analysis of high quality RCTs confirmed the data of the primary analyses, while exclusion of studies with diabetic subjects resulted in an additional benefit of high-protein diets with respect to a more marked increase in HDL-cholesterol.
According to the present meta-analysis of long-term RCTs, high-protein diets exerted neither specific beneficial nor detrimental effects on outcome markers of obesity, cardiovascular disease or glycemic control. Thus, it seems premature to recommend high-protein diets in the management of overweight and obesity.
High-protein; Cardiovascular risk factors; Low-fat; Glycemic control
In this study, we tested the efficacy of a low-intensity lifestyle intervention aimed at reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease among mid-life individuals.
We conducted a randomized controlled trial in which participants were randomly assigned either to receive a health report card with counselling (from a Telehealth nurse) on smoking, exercise, nutrition and stress or to receive usual care. The patients were divided into 2 groups on the basis of risk: the primary prevention group, with a Framingham risk score of 10% or higher (intervention, n = 157; control, n = 158), and the secondary prevention group, who had a diagnosis of coronary artery disease (intervention, n = 153; control, n = 143). The primary outcome was a change in the Framingham global risk score between baseline and 1-year follow-up. Data were analyzed separately for the 2 prevention groups using an intention-to-treat analysis controlling for covariates.
Within the primary prevention group, there were statistically significant changes for the treatment group relative to the controls, from baseline to year 1, in Framingham score (intervention, –3.10 [95% confidence interval (CI) –3.98 to –2.22]; control, –1.30 [95% CI –2.18 to –0.42]; p < 0.01) and scores for total cholesterol (intervention, –0.41 [95% CI –0.59 to –0.23]; control, –0.14 [95% CI –0.32 to 0.04]; p < 0.05), systolic blood pressure (intervention, –7.49 [95% CI –9.97 to –5.01]; control, –3.58 [95% CI –6.08 to –1.08]; p < 0.05), nutrition level (intervention, 0.30 [95% CI 0.13 to 0.47]; control, –0.05 [95% CI –0.22 to 0.12]; p < 0.01), and health confidence (intervention, 0.20 [95% CI 0.09 to 0.31]; control, 0.04 [95% CI –0.07 to 0.15]; p < 0.05), with adjustment for covariates. No significant changes in outcome variables were found for the secondary prevention group.
We found evidence for the efficacy of an intervention addressing multiple risk factors for primary prevention at 1 year using Framingham risk score report cards and telephone counselling. (Requirement for clinical trial registration waived [enrolment completed before requirement became applicable].)
Microalbuminuria in hypertension has been described as an early sign of kidney damage and a predictor for end stage renal disease and cardiovascular disease. Thus, it is of great importance to study urinary albumin creatinine ratio and progression of kidney disease in hypertensive patients.
The present study was undertaken to find out the prevalence and association of microalbuminuria in newly diagnosed essential hypertension.
Materials and Methods:
Newly diagnosed essential hypertensive cases (n = 106) and normotensive controls (n = 106) were enrolled. Hypertension was defined according to Joint national committee-VII definitions. Microalbuminuria was measured using an U-Albumin (NycoCard, Norway) and adjusted for urine creatinine. Descriptive statistics and testing of hypothesis were used for the analysis using SPSS 16 software.
51.88% of hypertension cases and 13.2% of normotensive controls had microalbuminuria in total population (odds ratio 7.086, P-value <0.001). 46.67% of cases and 12.08% of controls had microalbuminuria in male population (odds ratio 6.375, P-value <0.001). Similarly, 58.7% of cases and 14.58% of controls had microalbuminuria in female population (odds ratio 8.32, P-value <0.001).
By showing strong association between microalbuminuria and hypertension, our findings suggest that microalbuminuria could be a useful marker to assess risk management of cardiovascular disease and renal disease.
Albumin creatinine ratio; Hypertension; Normotension; Microalbuminuria
Growth failure remains a common complication of pediatric Crohn Disease (CD), and has been associated with small bowel involvement and need for surgery. We have reported that patients with elevated (≥ 1.6 mcg/mL) Granulocyte Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor auto-antibodies (GM-CSF Ab) are more likely to experience complicated ileal disease requiring surgery. We hypothesized that concurrent GM-CSF Ab and CARD15 risk allele carriage (C15+GMAb+) would be associated with growth failure in CD, and growth hormone (GH) resistance in murine ileitis.
We enrolled 229 pediatric CD patients at two sites and determined CARD15 genotype, serum GM-CSF Ab and GH binding protein (GHBP), and height (HTz) and weight (WTz) z scores at diagnosis. Ileitis was induced in card15 deficient mice by gm-csf neutralization and NSAID exposure. Hepatic GH receptor (Ghr) abundance and GH dependent Stat5 activation were determined by western blot, and Igf-I mRNA expression by real-time PCR.
Mean[95th CI] HTz at diagnosis was reduced to −0.48[−4.2,2.3] in C15+GMAb+patients, compared to −0.07[−4.9,3.4] in disease controls, p≤0.05. Circulating GHBP, as a marker for tissue GHR abundance, was reduced in C15+GMAb+ patients. Hepatic Ghr abundance, GH induction of Stat5 tyrosine phosphorylation, and Igf-I mRNA expression were reduced in male card15 deficient mice with ileitis due to gm-csf neutralization and NSAID exposure.
Innate dysfunction due to concurrent genetic variation in CARD15 and neutralizing GM-CSF Ab is associated with linear growth failure in pediatric CD, and hepatic GH resistance in murine ileitis.
granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor; pediatric Crohn disease; linear growth; caspase recruitment domain family member 15; nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain containing 2
The Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control (COSEHC) promotes global risk factor management in patients with metabolic syndrome. The COSEHC Global Vascular Risk Management Study (GVRM) intends to quantify these efforts on long-term patient outcomes. The objectives of this study were to present baseline demographics of patients enrolled in the GVRM, calculate a modified COSEHC risk score using 11 variables (COSEHC-11), and compare it with the original COSEHC-17 and Framingham, Prospective Cardiovascular Münster (PROCAM), and Systemic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) risk scores.
Deidentified electronic medical records of enrolled patients were used to calculate the risk scores. The ability of the COSEHC-11 score to predict the COSEHC-17 score was assessed by regression analysis. Raw risk scores were converted to probability estimates of fatal coronary heart disease (CHD) and compared with predicted risks from other algorithms.
Of the 177,404 patients enrolled, 43,676 had data for all 11 variables. The COSEHC-11 score (mean ± standard deviation) of these 43,676 patients was 31.75 ± 11.66, implying a five-year fatal CHD risk of 1.4%. The COSEHC-11 score was highly predictive of the COSEHC-17 score (R2 = 0.93; P < 0.0001) and correlated well with the SCORE algorithm.
The COSEHC-11 risk score is statistically similar to the COSEHC-17 risk score and should be a viable tool for evaluating its ability to predict five-year cardiovascular mortality in the coming years.
cardiovascular risk; electronic medical records; metabolic syndrome
Gene annotation is a pivotal component in computational genomics, encompassing prediction of gene function, expression analysis, and sequence scrutiny. Hence, quantitative measures of the annotation landscape constitute a pertinent bioinformatics tool. GeneCards® is a gene-centric compendium of rich annotative information for over 50,000 human gene entries, building upon 68 data sources, including Gene Ontology (GO), pathways, interactions, phenotypes, publications and many more.
We present the GeneCards Inferred Functionality Score (GIFtS) which allows a quantitative assessment of a gene's annotation status, by exploiting the unique wealth and diversity of GeneCards information. The GIFtS tool, linked from the GeneCards home page, facilitates browsing the human genome by searching for the annotation level of a specified gene, retrieving a list of genes within a specified range of GIFtS value, obtaining random genes with a specific GIFtS value, and experimenting with the GIFtS weighting algorithm for a variety of annotation categories. The bimodal shape of the GIFtS distribution suggests a division of the human gene repertoire into two main groups: the high-GIFtS peak consists almost entirely of protein-coding genes; the low-GIFtS peak consists of genes from all of the categories. Cluster analysis of GIFtS annotation vectors provides the classification of gene groups by detailed positioning in the annotation arena. GIFtS also provide measures which enable the evaluation of the databases that serve as GeneCards sources. An inverse correlation is found (for GIFtS>25) between the number of genes annotated by each source, and the average GIFtS value of genes associated with that source. Three typical source prototypes are revealed by their GIFtS distribution: genome-wide sources, sources comprising mainly highly annotated genes, and sources comprising mainly poorly annotated genes. The degree of accumulated knowledge for a given gene measured by GIFtS was correlated (for GIFtS>30) with the number of publications for a gene, and with the seniority of this entry in the HGNC database.
GIFtS can be a valuable tool for computational procedures which analyze lists of large set of genes resulting from wet-lab or computational research. GIFtS may also assist the scientific community with identification of groups of uncharacterized genes for diverse applications, such as delineation of novel functions and charting unexplored areas of the human genome.
Progress has been made in identifying mutations that confer susceptibility to complex diseases, with the prospect that these genetic risks might be used in determining individual disease risk.
To use Crohn disease (CD) as a model of a common complex disorder, and to develop methods to estimate disease risks using both genetic and environmental risk factors.
The calculations used three independent risk factors: CARD15 genotype (conferring a gene dosage effect on risk), smoking (twofold increased risk for smokers), and residual familial risk (estimating the effect of unidentified genes, after accounting for the contribution of CARD15). Risks were estimated for high‐risk people who are siblings, parents and offspring of a patient with CD.
The CD risk to the sibling of a patient with CD who smokes and carries two CARD15 mutations is approximately 35%, which represents a substantial increase on the population risk of 0.1%. In contrast, the risk to a non‐smoking sibling of a patient with CD who carries no CARD15 mutations is 2%. Risks to parents and offspring were lower.
High absolute risks of CD disease can be obtained by incorporating information on smoking, family history and CARD15 mutations. Behaviour modification through smoking cessation may reduce CD risk in these people.
Crohn disease; genetics;
; risk estimation
National data on birthweight from birth certificates or medical records are not available in India. The third Indian National Family Health Survey included data on birthweight of children obtained from health cards and maternal recall. This study aims to describe the population that these data represent and compares the birthweight obtained from health cards with maternal recall data in terms of its socioeconomic patterning and as a risk factor for childhood growth failure.
The analytic sample consisted of children aged 0 to 59 months with birthweight data obtained from health cards (n = 3227) and maternal recall (n = 16787). The difference between the card sample and the maternal recall sample in the distribution across household wealth, parental education, caste, religion, gender, and urban residence was compared using multilevel models. We also assessed the ability of birthweight to predict growth failure in infancy and childhood in the two groups. The survey contains birthweight data from a majority of household wealth categories (>5% in every category for recall), both genders, all age groups, all caste groups, all religion groups, and urban and rural dwellers. However, children from the lowest quintile of household wealth were under-represented (4.73% in card and 8.62% in recall samples). Comparison of data across health cards and maternal recall revealed similar social patterning of low birthweight and ability of birthweight to predict growth failure later in life. Children were less likely to be born with low birthweight if they had mothers with over 12 years of education compared to 1–5 years of education with relative risk (RR) of 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.52, 1.2) in the card sample and 0.70 (95% CI: 0.59, 0.84) in the recall sample. A 100 gram difference in a child's birthweight was associated with a decreased likelihood of underweight in both the card (RR: 0.95; 95% CI: 0.94, 0.96) and recall (RR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.96, 0.97) samples.
Our results suggest that in the absence of other sources, the data on birthweight in the third Indian National Family Health Survey is valuable for epidemiologic research.
To improve equity in cardiovascular disease prevention by developing a cardiovascular risk score including social deprivation and family history.
The ASSIGN score was derived from cardiovascular outcomes in the Scottish Heart Health Extended Cohort (SHHEC). It was tested against the Framingham cardiovascular risk score in the same database.
Random‐sample, risk‐factor population surveys across Scotland 1984–87 and North Glasgow 1989, 1992 and 1995.
6540 men and 6757 women aged 30–74, initially free of cardiovascular disease, ranked for social deprivation by residence postcode using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) and followed for cardiovascular mortality and morbidity through 2005.
Classic risk factors, including cigarette dosage, plus deprivation and family history but not obesity, were significant factors in constructing ASSIGN scores for each sex. ASSIGN scores, lower on average, correlated closely with Framingham values for 10‐year cardiovascular risk. Discrimination of risk in the SHHEC population was significantly, but marginally, improved overall by ASSIGN. However, the social gradient in cardiovascular event rates was inadequately reflected by the Framingham score, leaving a large social disparity in future victims not identified as high risk. ASSIGN classified more people with social deprivation and positive family history as high risk, anticipated more of their events, and abolished this gradient.
Conventional cardiovascular scores fail to target social gradients in disease. By including unattributed risk from deprivation, ASSIGN shifts preventive treatment towards the socially deprived. Family history is valuable not least as an approach to ethnic susceptibility. ASSIGN merits further evaluation for clinical use.
cardiovascular disease; ethnicity; prevention; Scottish Heart Health Extended Cohort; SHHEC; socioeconomic status
Police force constitutes a special occupational group. They have been shown to be at high risk for the development of cardiovascular diseases. A multitude of factors may be responsible for this. There is very limited documentation of their health status and health surveillance activities are inadequate.
The present study was designed to measure the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and other cardiovascular risk factors among police officers.
Materials and Methods:
The design was cross-sectional and spanned 900 policemen (n = 900). A pre-tested questionnaire was used for collecting historical data. Anthropometric and biochemical measurements were carried out using standard techniques. MS was diagnosed using the National Cholesterol Education Program—Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS 16.0 software.
MS was observed in 16.8% of the study population. High blood pressure and hyper-triglyceridemia were the commonest abnormalities. The prevalence of other cardiovascular risk factors were high body mass index (65.6%), hypertension (37.7%), diabetes (7%), smoking (10%), and alcohol use (48%).
Our study identified police officers as a high-risk group for developing CVDs. The findings underscore the need for regular surveillance and lifestyle interventions in this important occupational group.
Diabetes; Hypertension; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Police
Global cardiovascular risk is a new approach which allows the physicians to quantitate the prognosis of the patients. It is therefore possible that a score, based on the major cardiovascular risk factors, is correlated with some degree of cardiovascular anatomic damage. Since this hypothesis has been demonstrated with the Framingham risk score, we decided to verify it using another score (Progetto Cuore risk score), which is probably more precise in a european low-risk population, such as the italian one.
We studied 84 italian caucasian subjects (50 males and 34 females) with elevated blood pressure and/or dyslipidemia plus other possible cardiovascular risk factors.
The subjects have never been treated for these reasons. The following evaluations were performed: history, clinical and laboratory determinations, echocardiogram, carotid echodoppler.
The recruited people were on the whole characterized by a low cardiovascular risk, as confirmed by the low scores of the Progetto Cuore. Simple linear regression analysis showed significant associations between some parameters of early cardiovascular damage (left ventricular mass, intima-media thickness, and an integrated measure of both the carotid wall thickness and the presence of a plaque, called Carotid score) and some predictors. The highest significance was found between the cardiovascular structural results and the Progetto Cuore score. In a multivariate regression analysis our model, which included factors potentially linked to the cardiovascular anatomic changes, demonstrated that the Carotid score was significantly associated with age, sex and pulse pressure; intima-media thickness with the same factors and, in addition, with the body mass index; left ventricular mass with sex, pulse pressure and body mass index.
Our paper confirms previous studies about the association between a comprehensive risk score and signs of early cardiovascular damage. A temporally limited exposure to cardiovascular risk factors, in particular to blood pressure, is already able to induce significant changes in both the heart structure and the vascular wall. Also in a european low-risk population the use of a cardiovascular risk score program, such as the Progetto Cuore in Italy, allows a quite precise estimation of the possible cardiovascular damage.
Background. Psoriasis is a common inflammatory and immune-mediated skin disease. There is growing controversy as to whether cardiovascular risk is elevated in psoriasis. A number of studies suggest a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors as well as cardiovascular diseases in psoriasis patients.
Objective. The objective of this study was to estimate cardiovascular risk score in psoriasis patients and the relation between cardiovascular risk and psoriasis features. Cardiovascular risk was assessed by CUORE project risk score built within the longitudinal study of the Italian CUORE project and suited to populations with a low rate of coronary heart disease. Results. A case-control study in 210 psoriasis outpatients and 111 controls with skin diseases other than psoriasis was performed. CUORE project risk score was higher in patients than controls (6.80 ± 6.34 versus 4.48 ± 4.38, P < 0.001). Compared to controls, psoriasis patients have higher risk of developing major cardiovascular events. Cardiovascular risk was not related to psoriasis characteristics. Conclusion. Increased focus on identifying cardiovascular risk factors and initiation of preventive lifestyle changes or therapeutic interventions in patients with psoriasis is warranted.
Background and Aim
The ability to identify children with Crohn’s disease who are at highest risk for rapid progression from uncomplicated to complicated phenotypes would be invaluable in guiding initial therapy. Aim: To determine whether immune responses and/or CARD15 variants are associated with complicated disease phenotypes and predict disease progression.
Sera were collected from 796 pediatric CD cases and tested for anti-Cbir1 (flagellin), anti-outer membrane protein C (anti-OmpC), anti-Saccharomyces-cerevisiae (ASCA) and perinuclear anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (pANCA) using ELISA. Genotyping (TaqmanMGB) was performed for 3 CARD15 variants (SNPs 8, 12, 13). Associations between immune responses (antibody sum (AS) and quartile sum score (QSS), CARD15, and clinical phenotype were evaluated.
32% of patients developed at least one disease complication within a median of 32 months and 18% underwent surgery. The frequency of internal penetrating (IP), stricturing (S) and surgery significantly increased (p trend < 0.0001 for all 3 outcomes) with increasing AS and QSS. 9% of seropositive groups had IP/S vs. 2.9% in the seronegative group (p=0.01). 12% of seropositive groups underwent surgery vs. 2% in the seronegative group (p=0.0001). The highest AS group (3) and QSS group (4) demonstrated the most rapid disease progression (p < 0.0001). Increased hazard ratio was observed for AS group 3 (7.8 [2.2–28.7] p < 0.002 and QSS group 4 (11.0 [1.5,83.0] p < 0.02).
The rate of complicated CD increases in children as the number and magnitude of immune reactivity increases. Disease progression is significantly faster in children expressing immune reactivity.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is especially common in men with major depressive disorder (MDD). This study examined the extent to which risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and vascular dysfunction were associated with ED severity in a series of MDD patients.
The sample included 46 middle-aged [M (SD) age = 53 (7)], sedentary men diagnosed with MDD. ED severity was assessed by the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX), item 3. Depression severity was measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). CVD risk factors were quantitated by the Framingham Cardiovascular Disease Risk Profile score. Vascular function was measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery.
The average ASEX score for this sample was 3.2 (SD = 1.2). Regression analysis revealed that ASEX scores were predicted by greater CVD risk factors (p = .008, β = .41) and lower FMD (p = .03, β = −.33). When FMD was included in the regression model, the relationship between CVD risk factors and ASEX scores was partially attenuated (p = .08, β = .28).
ED was associated with CVD risk and impaired vascular function, although it appears that CVD risk factors may affect ED through impairment of vascular functioning.
Erectile dysfunction; cardiovascular disease; endothelium; depression
OBJECTIVE: To investigate strength of associations between risk factors for cardiovascular disease and socioeconomic position during childhood and adulthood. DESIGN: Cross sectional analysis of status of cardiovascular risk factors and past and present social circumstances. SUBJECTS: 5645 male participants in the west of Scotland collaborative study, a workplace screening study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Strength of association between each risk factor for cardiovascular disease (diastolic blood pressure, serum cholesterol concentration, level of recreational physical exercise, cigarette smoking, body mass index, and FEV1 score (forced expiratory volume in one second as percentage of expected value) and social class during childhood (based on father's main occupation) and adulthood (based on own occupation at time of screening). RESULTS: All the measured risk factors were significantly associated with both father's and own social class (P < 0.05), apart from exercise and smoking (not significantly associated with father's social class) and body mass index (not significantly associated with own social class). For all risk factors except body mass index, the regression coefficient of own social class was larger than the regression coefficient of father's social class. The difference between the coefficients was significant for serum cholesterol concentration, cigarette smoking, body mass index, and FEV1 score (all P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Subjects' status for behavioural risk factors (exercise and smoking) was associated primarily with current socioeconomic circumstances, while status for physiological risk factors (serum cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index, and FEV1) was associated to varying extents with both past and present socioeconomic circumstances.
Schizophrenia (SZ) patients’ low scores on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) are often attributed to their frequent perseverative errors, a pattern typically interpreted as a failure to shift from previously rewarded behavior in response to negative feedback. In this study we tested the hypothesis that SZ patients, due to dysregulated error-processing mechanisms, are more fundamentally impaired in their on-line, trial-to-trial use of feedback to guide behavior.
Analysis of archival WCST data from 145 adults with schizophrenia and 80 healthy comparison subjects.
Schizophrenia patients’ impaired use of negative feedback was evident on the first four WCST cards, where they were significantly less accurate than comparison subjects. Performance on these early cards significantly predicted overall task success as indexed by categories completed and proportion of perseverative errors.
Patients’ poor performance on pre-shift WCST trials likely reflects a fundamental impairment in the ability to use feedback to guide behavior. Recent data from both humans and primates suggest that reward-based learning processes like those employed in the WCST are driven by phasic changes in midbrain dopamine activity. It might, therefore, be possible to interpret higher order executive dysfunction in schizophrenia as a manifestation of altered DA signaling.
schizophrenia; reinforcement learning; reward; dopamine; Wisconsin Card Sorting Test
A major cause of morbidity and mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is accelerated coronary atherosclerosis. New technology (computed tomographic angiography) can measure noncalcified coronary plaque (NCP), which is more prone to rupture. We report on a study of semiquantified NCP in SLE.
Patients with SLE (n = 147) with no history of cardiovascular disease underwent 64-slice coronary multidetector computed tomography (MDCT). The MDCT scans were evaluated quantitatively by a radiologist, using dedicated software.
The group of 147 patients with SLE was 86% female, 70% white, 29% African American, and 3% other ethnicity. The mean age was 51 years. In our univariate analysis, the major traditional cardiovascular risk factors associated with noncalcified plaque were age (p = 0.007), obesity (p = 0.03; measured as body mass index), homocysteine (p = 0.05), and hypertension (p = 0.04). Anticardiolipin (p = 0.026; but not lupus anticoagulant) and anti-dsDNA (p = 0.03) were associated with higher noncalcified plaque. Prednisone and hydroxychloroquine therapy had no effect, but methotrexate (MTX) use was associated with higher noncalcified plaque (p = 0.0001). In the best multivariate model, age, current MTX use, and history of anti-dsDNA remained significant.
Our results suggest that serologic SLE (anti-dsDNA) and traditional cardiovascular risk factors contribute to semiquantified noncalcified plaque in SLE. The association with MTX is not understood, but should be replicated in larger studies and in multiple centers.
SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS; CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE; RISK FACTORS; COMORBIDITY
Traditional genome-wide association studies are generally limited in their ability explain a large portion of genetic risk for most common diseases. We sought to use both traditional GWAS methods, as well as more recently developed polygenic genome-wide analysis techniques to identify subsets of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that may be involved in risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as estimate the heritability explained by common SNPs.
Using data from the Framingham SNP Health Association Resource (SHARe), three complimentary methods were applied to examine the genetic factors associated with the Framingham Risk Score, a widely accepted indicator of underlying cardiovascular disease risk. The first method adopted a traditional GWAS approach - independently testing each SNP for association with the Framingham Risk Score. The second two approaches involved polygenic methods with the intention of providing estimates of aggregate genetic risk and heritability.
While no SNPs were independently associated with the Framingham Risk Score based on the results of the traditional GWAS analysis, we were able to identify cardiovascular disease-related SNPs as reported by previous studies. A predictive polygenic analysis was only able to explain approximately 1% of the genetic variance when predicting the 10-year risk of general cardiovascular disease. However, 20% to 30% of the variation in the Framingham Risk Score was explained using a recently developed method that considers the joint effect of all SNPs simultaneously.
The results of this study imply that common SNPs explain a large amount of the variation in the Framingham Risk Score and suggest that future, better-powered genome-wide association studies, possibly informed by knowledge of gene-pathways, will uncover more risk variants that will help to elucidate the genetic architecture of cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death. It is important to identify patient and treatment factors that are related to successful cardiovascular risk reduction in general practice. This study investigates which patient and treatment factors are related to changes in cardiovascular risk estimation, expressed as the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) 10 year risk of cardiovascular mortality.
179 general practice patients with mild-moderately elevated cardiovascular risk followed a one-year programme which included structured lifestyle and medication treatment by practice nurses, with or without additional self-monitoring. From the patient and treatment data collected as part of the “Self-monitoring and Prevention of RIsk factors by Nurse practitioners in the region of Groningen” randomized controlled trial (SPRING-RCT), the contribution of patient and treatment factors to the change in SCORE was analysed with univariate and multivariate analyses.
In multivariate analyses with multiple patient and treatment factors, only SCORE at baseline, and addition of or dose change in lipid lowering or antihypertensive medications over the course of the study were significantly related to change in SCORE.
Our analyses support the targeting of treatment at individuals with a high SCORE at presentation. Lipid lowering medication was added or changed in only 12% of participants, but nevertheless was significantly related to ΔSCORE in this study population. Due to the effect of medication in this practice-based project, the possible additional effect of the home monitoring devices, especially for individuals with no indication for medication, may have been overshadowed.
Primary health care; Arteriosclerosis; Cardiovascular diseases; Prevention and control; Self-management; Risk factors
Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death and risk prediction formulae such as the Framingham Risk Score have been developed to easily identify patients at high risk that may require therapeutic interventions.
Using cardiovascular risk formulae at a population level to estimate and compare average cardiovascular risk among groups has been recently proposed as a way to facilitate surveillance of net cardiovascular risk and target public health interventions. Risk prediction formulas may help to compare interventions that cause effects of different magnitudes and directions in several cardiovascular risk factors, because these formulas assess the net change in risk using easily obtainable clinical variables. Because of conflicting data estimates of the incidence and prevalence of cardiovascular disease, risk prediction formulae may be a useful tool to estimate such risk at a population level.
Although risk prediction formulae were intended on guiding clinicians to individualized therapy, they also can be used to ascertain trends at a population-level, particularly in situations where changes in different cardiovascular risk factors over time have different magnitudes and directions. The efficacy of interventions that are proposed to reduce cardiovascular risk impacting more than one risk factor can be well assessed by these means.
Calculation of individual risk is the cornerstone of effective cardiovascular prevention. arriba is a software to estimate the individual risk to suffer a cardiovascular event in 10 years. Prognosis and the absolute effects of pharmacological and lifestyle interventions help the patient make a well-informed decision. The risk calculation algorithm currently used in arriba is based on the Framingham risk algorithm calibrated to the German setting. The objective of this study is to evaluate and adapt the algorithm for the target population in primary care in Germany.
arriba-pro will be conducted within the primary care scheme provided by a large health care insurer in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Patients who are counseled with arriba by their general practitioners (GPs) will be included in the arriba-pro cohort. Exposure data from the consultation with arriba such as demographic data and risk factors will be recorded automatically by the practice software and transferred to the study centre. Information on relevant prescription drugs (effect modifiers) and cardiovascular events (outcomes) will be derived from administrative sources.
The study is unique in simulating a therapy naïve cohort, matching exactly research and application setting, using a robust administrative data base, and, finally, including patients with known cardiovascular disease who have been excluded from previous studies.
The study is registered with Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien (DRKS00004633).
Depression is common in people with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and those with HIV, and is a risk factor for CVD-related mortality. However, little is known about whether HIV influences the relationship between depression and cardiovascular risk. 526 HIV-infected and 132 uninfected women from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study were included in an analysis of women who completed twice-yearly study visits over 9.5 years. CVD risk was calculated at baseline and approximately 9.5 years later using the Framingham Risk Score (FRS). Chronic depressive symptoms were defined as Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale scores of 16 or greater at ≥75% of study visits. Over the follow-up period, 22.8% of HIV-infected women and 15.9% of HIV-uninfected women had chronic depressive symptoms (p=0.08). Baseline FRS were similar between HIV infected and uninfected women (M=−5.70±SE=0.30 vs. M=−6.90± SE=0.60, p=0.07) as was follow-up FRS (M=0.82±SE=0.30 vs. M=−0.44± SE=0.73, p=0.11). Among HIV-infected and uninfected women, together, follow-up FRS were higher among women with chronic depressive symptoms as compared to those without (M=1.3± SE=0.6 vs. M=−0.3± SE=0.40, p<0.01), after adjusting for baseline FRS and other covariates. HIV status did not modify the relationship between chronic depressive symptoms and FRS. Chronic depressive symptoms accelerated CVD risk scores to a similar extent in both HIV infected and uninfected women. This implies that the diagnosis and treatment of depression may be an important consideration in CV risk reduction in the setting of HIV-infection. The determination of factors that mediate the depression/CVD relationship merits further study.
Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of mortality all around the world. Obesity is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). In this respect, we decided to examine the effect of the subgroups of weight on cardiovascular risk factors.
This cross-sectional study was done in 2006 using the data obtained by the Iranian Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) and based on classification of obesity by the World Health Organization (WHO). In this study, the samples were tested based on the Framingham risk score, Metabolic Measuring Score (MMS) and classification of obesity. Chi-square and ANOVA were used for statistical analysis.
12514 people with a mean age of 38 participated in this study. 6.8% of women and 14% of men had university degrees (higher than diploma). Obesity was seen in women more than men: 56.4% of women and 40% of men had a Body Mass Index of (BMI) ≥ 25 Kg/m2. 13% of the subjects had FBS > 110 and13.9% of them were using hypertensive drugs. In this study, we found that all risk factors, except HDL cholesterol in men, increased with an increase in weight. This finding is also confirmed by the Framingham flowfigure for men and women.
One of every two Americans, of any age and sex, has a Body Mass Index of (BMI) ≥ 25 Kg/m2. Obesity associated CVD and other serious diseases. Many studies have been done in different countries to find the relationship between obesity and CVD risk factors. For example, in the U.S.A and Canada they found that emteropiotic parameters, blood presser and lipids increased by age(of both sexes). Moreover, another study done in China, which is a country in Asia like Iran, shows that BMI has an indirect effect on HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride. This data is consistent with the results of the current study. However, In China they found that this relationship in men is stronger than women, but our study reveals the opposite.
Body Mass Index (BMI); Overweight; Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Framingham Risk Score; Metabolic Syndrome