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1.  Fetuin-A, Type 2 Diabetes, and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Older Adults 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(5):1222-1228.
Fetuin-A, a hepatic secretory protein that simultaneously inhibits arterial calcification and insulin action, is associated with type 2 diabetes, but its association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) is uncertain. Preliminary studies suggest that the association of fetuin-A with CVD might differ among individuals with or without type 2 diabetes.
This was a prospective study of 3,810 community-living individuals older than 65 years (511 with type 2 diabetes) and free of CVD in 1992 when fetuin-A levels were measured. Participants were followed-up for incident CVD through June 2008.
Mean age was 75 years, and 61% were women; 1,456 participants had an incident CVD event (248 among individuals with type 2 diabetes). The association of fetuin-A with CVD was modified by type 2 diabetes (P interaction = 0.02). Higher fetuin-A was associated with lower CVD risk among persons without type 2 diabetes [hazard ratio per SD 0.1 g/L higher fetuin-A, 0.93 (95% CI, 0.88–0.99)], whereas a trend in the opposite direction was observed among individuals with type 2 diabetes, although it was not statistically significant [1.07 (0.93–1.22)]. Among individuals without type 2 diabetes, similar effect modification was observed by obesity and insulin resistance. Consistently, higher fetuin-A was associated with lower CVD risk only in the subgroups without obesity or with HOMA-IR below the median [0.91 (0.85–0.97) and 0.87 (0.79–0.95), respectively].
The association of fetuin-A with risk of CVD differs among elderly individuals with and without insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3631840  PMID: 23250801
2.  Fatty acid-binding protein 4 and incident heart failure: the Cardiovascular Health Study 
European Journal of Heart Failure  2012;15(4):394-399.
To examine the association of plasma fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4) with incident heart failure.
Methods and results
In a prospective study of 4179 participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study, we measured plasma FABP4 on blood specimens collected between 1992 and 1993. Incident heart failure was adjudicated by an endpoint committee and we used a Cox proportional hazards model to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) of heart failure. The average age at baseline was 75 years. During a median follow-up of 10.7 years, 1182 cases of incident heart failure occurred. We observed a positive association between FABP4 and heart failure in the minimally adjusted models [HR 1.32, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25–1.38 per 1 SD higher FABP4] that was attenuated upon adjustment for potential confounders, mostly kidney function and body mass index (corresponding HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.01–1.17). In a subsample of heart failure cases with available data on LV systolic function, FABP4 was not associated with heart failure with or without preserved LV systolic function. Exclusion of people with unintentional weight loss and self-reported fair/poor health status did not alter the conclusion.
An elevated plasma concentration of FABP4 was associated with a modestly higher risk of heart failure in older adults in the USA after adjustment for confounding factors.
PMCID: PMC3707430  PMID: 23223158
Epidemiology; Adiposity; Heart failure; Fatty acid-binding protein 4
3.  Adiposity and incident heart failure in older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2011;20(9):1936-1941.
While several studies have reported a positive association between overall adiposity and heart failure (HF) risk, limited and inconsistent data are available on the relation between central adiposity and incident heart failure in older adults. We sought to examine the association between waist circumference and incident heart failure and assess whether sex modifies the relation between waist circumference and heart failure. Prospective study using data on 4861 participants of the Cardiovascular Health Study (1989 to 2007). Heart failure was adjudicated by a committee using information from medical records and medications. We used Cox proportional hazard models to compute hazard ratio. The mean age was 73.0 y for men and 72.3 y for women; 42.5% were men and 15.3% were African-Americans. Waist circumference was positively associated with an increased risk of HF: each standard deviation of waist circumference was associated with a 14% increased risk of HF (95% CI: 3% to 26%) in a multivariable model. There was not a statistically significant sex-by-waist circumference interaction (p=0.081). Body mass index was positively associated with incident HF [HR: 1.22 (95% CI: 1.15–1.29) per standard deviation increase of body mass index], however, this association was attenuated and became non-statistically significant upon additional adjustment for waist circumference [HR: 1.09 (95% CI: 0.99–1.21)]. In conclusion, a higher waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of heart failure independent of body mass index in community-living older men and women.
PMCID: PMC3429627  PMID: 22016094
Epidemiology; heart failure; adiposity; risk factors
4.  Plasma Fatty Acid–Binding Protein 4, Nonesterified Fatty Acids, and Incident Diabetes in Older Adults 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(8):1701-1707.
To examine the relation of fatty acid–binding protein (FABP)4 and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) to diabetes in older adults.
We ascertained incident diabetes among 3,740 Cardiovascular Health Study participants (1992–2007) based on the use of hypoglycemic medications, fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dL, or nonfasting glucose ≥200 mg/dL. FABP4 and NEFA were measured on specimens collected between 1992 and 1993.
Mean age of the 3,740 subjects studied was 74.8 years. For each SD increase in log FABP4, hazard ratios (HRs) for diabetes were 1.35 (95% CI 1.10–1.65) for women and 1.45 (1.13–1.85) for men controlling for age, race, education, physical activity, cystatin C, alcohol intake, smoking, self-reported health status, and estrogen use for women (P for sex-FABP4 interaction 0.10). BMI modified the FABP4-diabetes relation (P = 0.009 overall; 0.02 for women and 0.135 for men), in that statistically significant higher risk of diabetes was mainly seen in men with BMI <25 kg/m2 (HR per SD: 1.78 [95% CI 1.13–2.81]). There was a modest and nonsignificant association of NEFA with diabetes (Ptrend = 0.21). However, when restricted to the first 5 years of follow-up, multivariable-adjusted HRs for diabetes were 1.0 (ref.), 1.68 (95% CI 1.12–2.53), and 1.63 (1.07–2.50) across consecutive tertiles of NEFA (Ptrend = 0.03).
Plasma FABP4 was positively associated with incident diabetes in older adults, and such association was statistically significant in lean men only. A significant positive association between plasma NEFA and incident diabetes was observed during the first 5 years of follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3402261  PMID: 22584136
5.  Plasma Free Fatty Acids and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation (From the Cardiovascular Health Study) 
The American Journal of Cardiology  2012;110(2):212-216.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a highly prevalent cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice, affecting approximately 2.3 million people in the USA and 4.5 million people in the European Union. It is unclear whether plasma free fatty acids (FFA) influence the risk of AF among older adults. The aim of this study was to prospectively examine the association between plasma FFA and incident AF in a prospective cohort of 4,175 men and women aged ≥65 years from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Plasma concentrations of FFA were measured in duplicate during the 1992-93 examination. Incident AF was ascertained based on study EKG and hospitalization records during follow up. We used Cox regression to estimate relative risks of AF. The average age at baseline was 74.6 ± 5.1 years. During a mean follow up of 10.0 years, 1,041 new cases of AF occurred. Crude incidence rates of AF were 23.7, 23.3, 23.9, and 29.7 cases/1,000 person-years across consecutive quartiles of plasma FFA. There was a positive association between plasma FFA and the risk of AF. Multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) for incident AF were 1.00 (ref), 1.02 (0.85-1.21), 1.05 (0.88-1.26), and 1.29 (1.08-1.55) from lowest to the highest quartile of FFA, respectively. In a secondary analysis restricted to the first five years of follow up, this association persisted. In conclusion, our data show an elevated risk of AF with higher plasma FFA among community dwelling older adults.
PMCID: PMC3383877  PMID: 22503582
Free Fatty Acids; Atrial Fibrillation; Risk Factors; Epidemiology
6.  Trajectories of Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate Predict Mortality in Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study 
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) has been proposed as an antiaging hormone, but its importance is unclear. Assessment of an individual’s ability to maintain a DHEAS set point, through examination of multiple DHEAS levels over time, may provide insight into biologic aging.
Using Cox proportional hazard models, we examined the relationship between DHEAS trajectory patterns and all-cause death in 950 individuals aged ≥65 years who were enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study and had DHEAS levels measured at three to six time points.
Overall, there was a slight decline in DHEAS levels over time (−0.013 μg/mL/y). Three trajectory components were examined: slope, variability, and baseline DHEAS. When examined individually, a steep decline or extreme variability in DHEAS levels was associated with higher mortality (p < .001 for each), whereas baseline DHEAS level was not. In adjusted models including all three components, steep decline (hazard ratio [HR] 1.75, confidence interval [CI] 1.32–2.33) and extreme variability (HR 1.89, CI 1.47–2.43) remained significant predictors of mortality, whereas baseline DHEAS level remained unpredictive of mortality (HR 0.97 per standard deviation, CI 0.88–1.07). The effect of trajectory pattern was more pronounced in men than in women. Individuals with both a steep decline and extreme variability in DHEAS levels had a significantly higher death rate than those with neither pattern (141 vs 48 deaths per 1,000 person-years, p < .001).
Our data show significant heterogeneity in the individual trajectories of DHEAS levels and suggest that these trajectories provide important biologic information about the rate of aging, whereas the DHEAS level itself does not.
PMCID: PMC2773814  PMID: 19713299
DHEA; DHEAS; Mortality; Aging; Elderly

Results 1-6 (6)