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1.  A Systematic Review Concerning the Relation between the Sympathetic Nervous System and Heart Failure with Preserved Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117332.
Heart failure with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (HFPEF) affects about half of all patients diagnosed with heart failure. The pathophysiological aspect of this complex disease state has been extensively explored, yet it is still not fully understood. Since the sympathetic nervous system is related to the development of systolic HF, we hypothesized that an increased sympathetic nerve activation (SNA) is also related to the development of HFPEF. This review summarizes the available literature regarding the relation between HFPEF and SNA.
Methods and Results
Electronic databases and reference lists through April 2014 were searched resulting in 7722 unique articles. Three authors independently evaluated citation titles and abstracts, resulting in 77 articles reporting about the role of the sympathetic nervous system and HFPEF. Of these 77 articles, 15 were included for critical appraisal: 6 animal and 9 human studies. Based on the critical appraisal, we selected 9 articles (3 animal, 6 human) for further analysis. In all the animal studies, isoproterenol was administered to mimic an increased sympathetic activity. In human studies, different modalities for assessment of sympathetic activity were used. The studies selected for further evaluation reported a clear relation between HFPEF and SNA.
Current literature confirms a relation between increased SNA and HFPEF. However, current literature is not able to distinguish whether enhanced SNA results in HFPEF, or HFPEF results in enhanced SNA. The most likely setting is a vicious circle in which HFPEF and SNA sustain each other.
PMCID: PMC4319815  PMID: 25658630
3.  Measurement of ECG abnormalities and cardiovascular risk classification: a cohort study of primary care patients in the Netherlands 
GPs need accurate tools for cardiovascular (CV) risk assessment. Abnormalities in resting electrocardiograms (ECGs) relate to increased CV risk.
To determine whether measurement of ECG abnormalities on top of established risk estimation (SCORE) improves CV risk classification in a primary care population.
Design and setting
A cohort study of patients enlisted with academic general practices in the Netherlands (the Utrecht Health Project [UHP]).
Incident CV events were extracted from the GP records. MEANS algorithm was used to assess ECG abnormalities. Cox proportional hazards modelling was applied to relate ECG abnormalities to CV events. For a prediction model only with SCORE variables, and a model with SCORE+ECG abnormalities, the discriminative value (area under the receiver operator curve [AUC]) and the net reclassification improvement (NRI) were estimated.
A total of 2370 participants aged 38–74 years were included, all eligible for CV risk assessment. During a mean follow-up of 7.8 years, 172 CV events occurred. In 19% of the participants at least one ECG abnormality was found (Lausanne criteria). Presence of atrial fibrillation/flutter (AF) and myocardial infarction (MI) were significantly related to CV events. The AUC of the SCORE risk factors was 0.75 (95% CI = 0.71 to 0.79). Addition of MI or AF resulted in an AUC of 0.76 (95% CI = 0.72 to 0.79) and 0.75 (95% CI = 0.72 to 0.79), respectively. The NRI with the addition of ECG abnormalities was small (MI 1.0%; 95% CI = −3.2% to 6.9%; AF 0.5%; 95% CI = −3.5% to 3.3%).
Performing a resting ECG in a primary care population does not seem to improve risk classification when SCORE information — age, sex, smoking, systolic blood pressure, and total cholesterol/HDL ratio — is already available.
PMCID: PMC4276002  PMID: 25548311
cardiovascular risk assessment; ECG; primary care, SCORE chart
4.  Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-2 P12A polymorphism and risk of acute myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke: A case-cohort study and meta-analyses 
The alanine allele of P12A polymorphism in PPARG gene in a few studies has been associated with a reduced or increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Yet, the risk relation has not been confi rmed, and data on ischemic stroke (IS) is scarce. We therefore investigated the role of this polymorphism on occurrence of AMI, coronary heart disease (CHD) and IS.
Methods and fi ndings
We performed a case-cohort study in 15,236 initially healthy Dutch women and applied a Cox proportional hazards model to study the relation of the P12A polymorphism and AMI (n = 71), CHD (n = 211), and IS (n = 49) under different inheritance models. In addition, meta-analyses of published studies were performed. Under the dominant inheritance model, carriers of the alanine allele compared with those with the more common genotype were not at increased or decreased risk of CHD (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.82; 95% confi dence interval [CI], 0.58 to 1.17) and of IS (HR = 1.03; 95% CI, 0.14 to 7.74). In addition no relations were found under the recessive and additive models. Our meta-analyses corroborated these fi ndings by showing no signifi cant association. For AMI we found a borderline signifi cant association under dominant (HR = 0.49; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.94), and additive (HR = 0.51; 95% CI, 0.26 to 1.00) models which could be due to chance, because of small cases in this subgroup. The meta-analysis did not show any association between the polymorphism and risk of AMI under the different genetic models.
Our study in healthy Dutch women in combination with the meta-analyses of previous reports does not provide support for a role of P12A polymorphism in PPARG gene in MI and CHD risk. Also our study shows that the polymorphism has no association with IS risk.
PMCID: PMC2496990  PMID: 18561518
genetics; myocardial infarction; polymorphism; PPARG gene; risk factors; population-based
5.  Arterial Blood Pressure and Long-Term Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution: An Analysis in the European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE) 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2014;122(9):896-905.
Background: Long-term exposure to air pollution has been hypothesized to elevate arterial blood pressure (BP). The existing evidence is scarce and country specific.
Objectives: We investigated the cross-sectional association of long-term traffic-related air pollution with BP and prevalent hypertension in European populations.
Methods: We analyzed 15 population-based cohorts, participating in the European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE). We modeled residential exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides with land use regression using a uniform protocol. We assessed traffic exposure with traffic indicator variables. We analyzed systolic and diastolic BP in participants medicated and nonmedicated with BP-lowering medication (BPLM) separately, adjusting for personal and area-level risk factors and environmental noise. Prevalent hypertension was defined as ≥ 140 mmHg systolic BP, or ≥ 90 mmHg diastolic BP, or intake of BPLM. We combined cohort-specific results using random-effects meta-analysis.
Results: In the main meta-analysis of 113,926 participants, traffic load on major roads within 100 m of the residence was associated with increased systolic and diastolic BP in nonmedicated participants [0.35 mmHg (95% CI: 0.02, 0.68) and 0.22 mmHg (95% CI: 0.04, 0.40) per 4,000,000 vehicles × m/day, respectively]. The estimated odds ratio (OR) for prevalent hypertension was 1.05 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.11) per 4,000,000 vehicles × m/day. Modeled air pollutants and BP were not clearly associated.
Conclusions: In this first comprehensive meta-analysis of European population-based cohorts, we observed a weak positive association of high residential traffic exposure with BP in nonmedicated participants, and an elevated OR for prevalent hypertension. The relationship of modeled air pollutants with BP was inconsistent.
Citation: Fuks KB, Weinmayr G, Foraster M, Dratva J, Hampel R, Houthuijs D, Oftedal B, Oudin A, Panasevich S, Penell J, Sommar JN, Sørensen M, Tittanen P, Wolf K, Xun WW, Aguilera I, Basagaña X, Beelen R, Bots ML, Brunekreef B, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Caracciolo B, Cirach M, de Faire U, de Nazelle A, Eeftens M, Elosua R, Erbel R, Forsberg B, Fratiglioni L, Gaspoz JM, Hilding A, Jula A, Korek M, Krämer U, Künzli N, Lanki T, Leander K, Magnusson PK, Marrugat J, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Östenson CG, Pedersen NL, Pershagen G, Phuleria HC, Probst-Hensch NM, Raaschou-Nielsen O, Schaffner E, Schikowski T, Schindler C, Schwarze PE, Søgaard AJ, Sugiri D, Swart WJ, Tsai MY, Turunen AW, Vineis P, Peters A, Hoffmann B. 2014. Arterial blood pressure and long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution: an analysis in the European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE). Environ Health Perspect 122:896–905;
PMCID: PMC4154218  PMID: 24835507
6.  Resistance to Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents in Patients Treated with Online Hemodiafiltration and Ultrapure Low-Flux Hemodialysis: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial (CONTRAST) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94434.
Resistance to erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESA) is common in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis (HD) treatment. ESA responsiveness might be improved by enhanced clearance of uremic toxins of middle molecular weight, as can be obtained by hemodiafiltration (HDF). In this analysis of the randomized controlled CONvective TRAnsport STudy (CONTRAST; NCT00205556), the effect of online HDF on ESA resistance and iron parameters was studied. This was a pre-specified secondary endpoint of the main trial. A 12 months' analysis of 714 patients randomized to either treatment with online post-dilution HDF or continuation of low-flux HD was performed. Both groups were treated with ultrapure dialysis fluids. ESA resistance, measured every three months, was expressed as the ESA index (weight adjusted weekly ESA dose in daily defined doses [DDD]/hematocrit). The mean ESA index during 12 months was not different between patients treated with HDF or HD (mean difference HDF versus HD over time 0.029 DDD/kg/Hct/week [−0.024 to 0.081]; P = 0.29). Mean transferrin saturation ratio and ferritin levels during the study tended to be lower in patients treated with HDF (−2.52% [−4.72 to −0.31]; P = 0.02 and −49 ng/mL [−103 to 4]; P = 0.06 respectively), although there was a trend for those patients to receive slightly more iron supplementation (7.1 mg/week [−0.4 to 14.5]; P = 0.06).
In conclusion, compared to low-flux HD with ultrapure dialysis fluid, treatment with online HDF did not result in a decrease in ESA resistance.
Trial Registration NCT00205556
PMCID: PMC3990567  PMID: 24743493
7.  Carotid intima-media thickness progression to predict cardiovascular events in the general population (the PROG-IMT collaborative project): a meta-analysis of individual participant data 
Lancet  2012;379(9831):2053-2062.
Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) is related to the risk of cardiovascular events in the general population. An association between changes in cIMT and cardiovascular risk is frequently assumed but has rarely been reported. Our aim was to test this association.
We identified general population studies that assessed cIMT at least twice and followed up participants for myocardial infarction, stroke, or death. The study teams collaborated in an individual participant data meta-analysis. Excluding individuals with previous myocardial infarction or stroke, we assessed the association between cIMT progression and the risk of cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, vascular death, or a combination of these) for each study with Cox regression. The log hazard ratios (HRs) per SD difference were pooled by random effects meta-analysis.
Of 21 eligible studies, 16 with 36 984 participants were included. During a mean follow-up of 7·0 years, 1519 myocardial infarctions, 1339 strokes, and 2028 combined endpoints (myocardial infarction, stroke, vascular death) occurred. Yearly cIMT progression was derived from two ultrasound visits 2–7 years (median 4 years) apart. For mean common carotid artery intima-media thickness progression, the overall HR of the combined endpoint was 0·97 (95% CI 0·94–1·00) when adjusted for age, sex, and mean common carotid artery intima-media thickness, and 0·98 (0·95–1·01) when also adjusted for vascular risk factors. Although we detected no associations with cIMT progression in sensitivity analyses, the mean cIMT of the two ultrasound scans was positively and robustly associated with cardiovascular risk (HR for the combined endpoint 1·16, 95% CI 1·10–1·22, adjusted for age, sex, mean common carotid artery intima-media thickness progression, and vascular risk factors). In three studies including 3439 participants who had four ultrasound scans, cIMT progression did not correlate between occassions (reproducibility correlations between r=−0·06 and r=−0·02).
The association between cIMT progression assessed from two ultrasound scans and cardiovascular risk in the general population remains unproven. No conclusion can be derived for the use of cIMT progression as a surrogate in clinical trials.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
PMCID: PMC3918517  PMID: 22541275
8.  Left Ventricular Mass in Dialysis Patients, Determinants and Relation with Outcome. Results from the COnvective TRansport STudy (CONTRAST) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e84587.
Background and Objectives
Left ventricular mass (LVM) is known to be related to overall and cardiovascular mortality in end stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients. The aims of the present study are 1) to determine whether LVM is associated with mortality and various cardiovascular events and 2) to identify determinants of LVM including biomarkers of inflammation and fibrosis.
Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements
Analysis was performed with data of 327 ESKD patients, a subset from the CONvective TRAnsport STudy (CONTRAST). Echocardiography was performed at baseline. Cox regression analysis was used to assess the relation of LVM tertiles with clinical events. Multivariable linear regression models were used to identify factors associated with LVM.
Median age was 65 (IQR: 54–73) years, 203 (61%) were male and median LVM was 227 (IQR: 183–279) grams. The risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.73, 95% CI: 1.11–2.99), cardiovascular death (HR = 3.66, 95% CI: 1.35–10.05) and sudden death (HR = 13.06; 95% CI: 6.60–107) was increased in the highest tertile (>260grams) of LVM. In the multivariable analysis positive relations with LVM were found for male gender (B = 38.8±10.3), residual renal function (B = 17.9±8.0), phosphate binder therapy (B = 16.9±8.5), and an inverse relation for a previous kidney transplantation (B = −41.1±7.6) and albumin (B = −2.9±1.1). Interleukin-6 (Il-6), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), hepcidin-25 and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) were not related to LVM.
We confirm the relation between a high LVM and outcome and expand the evidence for increased risk of sudden death. No relationship was found between LVM and markers of inflammation and fibrosis.
Trial Registration ISRCTN38365125
PMCID: PMC3914777  PMID: 24505249
9.  Long-term Exposure to Black Carbon and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness: The Normative Aging Study 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2013;121(9):1061-1067.
Background: Evidence suggests that air pollution is associated with atherosclerosis and that traffic-related particles are a particularly important contributor to the association.
Objectives: We investigated the association between long-term exposure to black carbon, a correlate of traffic particles, and intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery (CIMT) in elderly men residing in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, area.
Methods: We estimated 1-year average exposures to black carbon at the home addresses of Normative Aging Study participants before their first CIMT measurement. The association between estimated black carbon levels and CIMT was estimated using mixed effects models to account for repeated outcome measures. In secondary analyses, we examined whether living close to a major road or average daily traffic within 100 m of residence was associated with CIMT.
Results: There were 380 participants (97% self-reported white race) with an initial visit between 2004 and 2008. Two or three follow-up CIMT measurements 1.5 years apart were available for 340 (89%) and 260 (68%) men, respectively. At first examination, the average ± SD age was 76 ± 6.4 years and the mean ± SD CIMT was 0.99 ± 0.18 mm. A one-interquartile range increase in 1-year average black carbon (0.26 µg/m3) was associated with a 1.1% higher CIMT (95% CI: 0.4, 1.7%) based on a fully adjusted model.
Conclusions: Annual mean black carbon concentration based on spatially resolved exposure estimates was associated with CIMT in a population of elderly men. These findings support an association between long-term air pollution exposure and atherosclerosis.
Citation: Wilker EH, Mittleman MA, Coull BA, Gryparis A, Bots ML, Schwartz J, Sparrow D. 2013. Long-term exposure to black carbon and carotid intima-media thickness: the Normative Aging Study. Environ Health Perspect 121:1061–1067; [Online 2 July 2013]
PMCID: PMC3764069  PMID: 23820848
10.  Should We Still Focus That Much on Cardiovascular Mortality in End Stage Renal Disease Patients? The CONvective TRAnsport STudy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61155.
We studied the distribution of causes of death in the CONTRAST cohort and compared the proportion of cardiovascular deaths with other populations to answer the question whether cardiovascular mortality is still the principal cause of death in end stage renal disease. In addition, we compared patients who died from the three most common death causes. Finally, we aimed to study factors related to dialysis withdrawal.
We used data from CONTRAST, a randomized controlled trial in 714 chronic hemodialysis patients comparing the effects of online hemodiafiltration versus low-flux hemodialysis. Causes of death were adjudicated. The distribution of causes of death was compared to that of the Dutch dialysis registry and of the Dutch general population.
In CONTRAST, 231 patients died on treatment. 32% died from cardiovascular disease, 22% due to infection and 23% because of dialysis withdrawal. These proportions were similar to those in the Dutch dialysis registry and the proportional cardiovascular mortality was similar to that of the Dutch general population. cardiovascular death was more common in patients <60 years. Patients who withdrew were older, had more co-morbidity and a lower mental quality of life at baseline. Patients who withdrew had much co-morbidity. 46% died within 5 days after the last dialysis session.
Although the absolute risk of death is much higher, the proportion of cardiovascular deaths in a prevalent end stage renal disease population is similar to that of the general population. In older hemodialysis patients cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular death risk are equally important. Particularly the registration of dialysis withdrawal deserves attention. These findings may be partly limited to the Dutch population.
PMCID: PMC3631204  PMID: 23620729
11.  Individual progression of carotid intima media thickness as a surrogate for vascular risk (PROG-IMT): Rationale and design of a meta-analysis project 
American heart journal  2010;159(5):730-736.e2.
Carotid intima media thickness (IMT) progression is increasingly used as a surrogate for vascular risk. This use is supported by data from a few clinical trials investigating statins, but established criteria of surrogacy are only partially fulfilled. To provide a valid basis for the use of IMT progression as a study end point, we are performing a 3-step meta-analysis project based on individual participant data.
Objectives of the 3 successive stages are to investigate (1) whether IMT progression prospectively predicts myocardial infarction, stroke, or death in population-based samples; (2) whether it does so in prevalent disease cohorts; and (3) whether interventions affecting IMT progression predict a therapeutic effect on clinical end points.
Recruitment strategies, inclusion criteria, and estimates of the expected numbers of eligible studies are presented along with a detailed analysis plan.
PMCID: PMC3600980  PMID: 20435179
12.  Identification of effective screening strategies for cardiovascular disease prevention in a developing country: using cardiovascular risk-estimation and risk-reduction tools for policy recommendations 
Recent increases in cardiovascular risk-factor prevalences have led to new national policy recommendations of universal screening for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in Malaysia. This study assessed whether the current national policy recommendation of universal screening was optimal, by comparing the effectiveness and impact of various cardiovascular screening strategies.
Data from a national population based survey of 24 270 participants aged 30 to 74 was used. Five screening strategies were modelled for the overall population and by gender; universal and targeted screening (four age cut-off points). Screening strategies were assessed based on the ability to detect high cardiovascular risk populations (effectiveness), incremental effectiveness, impact on cardiovascular event prevention and cost of screening.
26.7% (95% confidence limits 25.7, 27.7) were at high cardiovascular risk, men 34.7% (33.6, 35.8) and women 18.9% (17.8, 20). Universal screening identified all those at high-risk and resulted in one high-risk individual detected for every 3.7 people screened, with an estimated cost of USD60. However, universal screening resulted in screening an additional 7169 persons, with an incremental cost of USD115,033 for detection of one additional high-risk individual in comparison to targeted screening of those aged ≥35 years. The cost, incremental cost and impact of detection of high-risk individuals were more for women than men for all screening strategies. The impact of screening women aged ≥45 years was similar to universal screening in men.
Targeted gender- and age-specific screening strategies would ensure more optimal utilisation of scarce resources compared to the current policy recommendations of universal screening.
PMCID: PMC3599418  PMID: 23442728
Cardiovascular risk; Cardiovascular disease; Policy; Screening
13.  Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Studies: Study Design and Data Analysis 
Journal of Stroke  2013;15(1):38-48.
Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) measurements have been widely used as primary endpoint in studies into the effects of new interventions as alternative for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. There are no accepted standards on the use of CIMT measurements in intervention studies and choices in the design and analysis of a CIMT study are generally based on experience and expert opinion. In the present review, we provide an overview of the current evidence on several aspects in the design and analysis of a CIMT study on the early effects of new interventions.
Summary of Issues
A balanced evaluation of the carotid segments, carotid walls, and image view to be used as CIMT study endpoint; the reading method (manual or semi-automated and continuously or in batch) to be employed, the required sample size, and the frequency of ultrasound examinations is provided. We also discuss the preferred methods to analyse longitudinal CIMT data and address the possible impact of, and methods to deal with missing and biologically implausible CIMT values.
Linear mixed effects models are the preferred way to analyse CIMT data and do appropriately handle missing and biologically implausible CIMT values. Furthermore, we recommend to use extensive CIMT designs that measure CIMT at regular points during the multiple carotid sites as such approach is likely to increase the success rates of CIMT intervention studies designed to evaluate the effects of new interventions on atherosclerotic burden.
PMCID: PMC3779675  PMID: 24324938
Carotid intima-media thickness; Trials; Study design; Data analysis; Atherosclerosis
14.  Neighbourhood socioeconomic inequalities in incidence of acute myocardial infarction: a cohort study quantifying age- and gender-specific differences in relative and absolute terms 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:617.
Socioeconomic status has a profound effect on the risk of having a first acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Information on socioeconomic inequalities in AMI incidence across age- gender-groups is lacking. Our objective was to examine socioeconomic inequalities in the incidence of AMI considering both relative and absolute measures of risk differences, with a particular focus on age and gender.
We identified all patients with a first AMI from 1997 to 2007 through linked hospital discharge and death records covering the Dutch population. Relative risks (RR) of AMI incidence were estimated by mean equivalent household income at neighbourhood-level for strata of age and gender using Poisson regression models. Socioeconomic inequalities were also shown within the stratified age-gender groups by calculating the total number of events attributable to socioeconomic disadvantage.
Between 1997 and 2007, 317,564 people had a first AMI. When comparing the most deprived socioeconomic quintile with the most affluent quintile, the overall RR for AMI was 1.34 (95 % confidence interval (CI): 1.32 – 1.36) in men and 1.44 (95 % CI: 1.42 – 1.47) in women. The socioeconomic gradient decreased with age. Relative socioeconomic inequalities were most apparent in men under 35 years and in women under 65 years. The largest number of events attributable to socioeconomic inequalities was found in men aged 45–74 years and in women aged 65–84 years. The total proportion of AMIs that was attributable to socioeconomic inequalities in the Dutch population of 1997 to 2007 was 14 % in men and 18 % in women.
Neighbourhood socioeconomic inequalities were observed in AMI incidence in the Netherlands, but the magnitude across age-gender groups depended on whether inequality was expressed in relative or absolute terms. Relative socioeconomic inequalities were high in young persons and women, where the absolute burden of AMI was low. Absolute socioeconomic inequalities in AMI were highest in the age-gender groups of middle-aged men and elderly women, where the number of cases was largest.
PMCID: PMC3490806  PMID: 22870916
Coronary heart disease; Acute myocardial infarction; Incidence; Socioeconomic status; Relative; Absolute; The Netherlands
15.  An Asian Validation of the TIMI Risk Score for ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40249.
Risk stratification in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is important, such that the most resource intensive strategy is used to achieve the greatest clinical benefit. This is essential in developing countries with wide variation in health care facilities, scarce resources and increasing burden of cardiovascular diseases. This study sought to validate the Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) risk score for STEMI in a multi-ethnic developing country.
Data from a national, prospective, observational registry of acute coronary syndromes was used. The TIMI risk score was evaluated in 4701 patients who presented with STEMI. Model discrimination and calibration was tested in the overall population and in subgroups of patients that were at higher risk of mortality; i.e., diabetics and those with renal impairment.
Compared to the TIMI population, this study population was younger, had more chronic conditions, more severe index events and received treatment later. The TIMI risk score was strongly associated with 30-day mortality. Discrimination was good for the overall study population (c statistic 0.785) and in the high risk subgroups; diabetics (c statistic 0.764) and renal impairment (c statistic 0.761). Calibration was good for the overall study population and diabetics, with χ2 goodness of fit test p value of 0.936 and 0.983 respectively, but poor for those with renal impairment, χ2 goodness of fit test p value of 0.006.
The TIMI risk score is valid and can be used for risk stratification of STEMI patients for better targeted treatment.
PMCID: PMC3398026  PMID: 22815733
16.  Hepcidin-25 in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients Is Related to Residual Kidney Function and Not to Treatment with Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e39783.
Hepcidin-25, the bioactive form of hepcidin, is a key regulator of iron homeostasis as it induces internalization and degradation of ferroportin, a cellular iron exporter on enterocytes, macrophages and hepatocytes. Hepcidin levels are increased in chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients, but as of yet, limited information on factors associated with hepcidin-25 in these patients is available. In the current cross-sectional study, potential patient-, laboratory- and treatment-related determinants of serum hepcidin-20 and -25, were assessed in a large cohort of stable, prevalent HD patients. Baseline data from 405 patients (62% male; age 63.7±13.9 [mean SD]) enrolled in the CONvective TRAnsport STudy (CONTRAST; NCT00205556) were studied. Predialysis hepcidin concentrations were measured centrally with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Patient-, laboratory- and treatment related characteristics were entered in a backward multivariable linear regression model. Hepcidin-25 levels were independently and positively associated with ferritin (p<0.001), hsCRP (p<0.001) and the presence of diabetes (p = 0.02) and inversely with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (p = 0.01), absolute reticulocyte count (p = 0.02) and soluble transferrin receptor (p<0.001). Men had lower hepcidin-25 levels as compared to women (p = 0.03). Hepcidin-25 was not associated with the maintenance dose of erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESA) or iron therapy. In conclusion, in the currently studied cohort of chronic HD patients, hepcidin-25 was a marker for iron stores and erythropoiesis and was associated with inflammation. Furthermore, hepcidin-25 levels were influenced by residual kidney function. Hepcidin-25 did not reflect ESA or iron dose in chronic stable HD patients on maintenance therapy. These results suggest that hepcidin is involved in the pathophysiological pathway of renal anemia and iron availability in these patients, but challenges its function as a clinical parameter for ESA resistance.
PMCID: PMC3396629  PMID: 22808058
17.  The relation between socioeconomic status and short-term mortality after acute myocardial infarction persists in the elderly: results from a nationwide study 
European Journal of Epidemiology  2012;27(8):605-613.
We assessed whether the previously observed relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and short-term mortality (pre-hospital mortality and 28-day case-fatality) after a first acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in persons <75 years, are also observed in the elderly (i.e. ≥75 years), and whether these relationships vary by sex. A nationwide register based cohort study was conducted. Between January 1st 1998 and December 31st 2007, 76,351 first AMI patients were identified, of whom 60,498 (79.2 %) were hospitalized. Logistic regression analyses were performed to measure SES differences in pre-hospital mortality after a first AMI and 28-day case-fatality after a first AMI hospitalization. All analyses were stratified by sex and age group (<55, 55–64, 65–74, 75–84, ≥85), and adjusted for age, ethnic origin, marital status, and degree of urbanization. There was an inverse relation between SES and pre-hospital mortality in both sexes. There was also an inverse relation between SES and 28-day case-fatality after hospitalization, but only in men. Compared to elderly men with the highest SES, elderly men with the lowest SES had a higher pre-hospital mortality in both 75–84 year-olds (OR = 1.26; 95 % CI 1.09–1.47) and ≥85 year-olds (OR = 1.26; 1.00–1.58), and a higher 28-day case-fatality in both 75–84 year-olds (OR = 1.26; 1.06–1.50) and ≥85 year-olds (OR = 1.36; 0.99–1.85). Compared to elderly women with the highest SES, elderly women with the lowest SES had a higher pre-hospital mortality in ≥85 year-olds (OR = 1.20; 0.99–1.46). To conclude, in men there are SES inequalities in both pre-hospital mortality and case-fatality after a first AMI, in women these SES inequalities are only shown in pre-hospital mortality. The inequalities persist in the elderly (≥75 years of age). Clinicians and policymakers need to be more vigilant on the population with a low SES background, including the elderly.
PMCID: PMC3444695  PMID: 22669358
Myocardial infarction; Short-term mortality; Socioeconomic status; Income; Elderly
18.  Fibroblast growth factor 23 is associated with proteinuria and smoking in chronic kidney disease: An analysis of the MASTERPLAN cohort 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:20.
Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) has emerged as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality throughout all stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD), independent from established risk factors and markers of mineral homeostasis. The relation of FGF23 with other renal and non-renal cardiovascular risk factors is not well established.
Using stored samples, plasma FGF23 was determined in 604 patients with moderate to severe kidney disease that participated in the MASTERPLAN study (ISRCTN73187232). The association of FGF23 with demographic and clinical parameters was evaluated using multivariable regression models.
Mean age in the study population was 60 years and eGFR was 37 (± 14) ml/min/1.73 m2. Median proteinuria was 0.3 g/24 hours [IQR 0.1-0.9]. FGF23 level was 116 RU/ml [67-203] median and IQR. Using multivariable analysis the natural logarithm of FGF23 was positively associated with history of cardiovascular disease (B = 0.224 RU/ml; p = 0.002), presence of diabetes (B = 0.159 RU/ml; p = 0.035), smoking (B = 0.313 RU/ml; p < 0.001), phosphate level (B = 0.297 per mmol/l; p = 0.0024), lnPTH (B = 0.244 per pmol/l; p < 0.001) and proteinuria (B = 0.064 per gram/24 hrs; p = 0.002) and negatively associated with eGFR (B = -0.022 per ml/min/1.73 m2; p < 0.001).
Our study demonstrates that in patients with CKD, FGF23 is related to proteinuria and smoking. We confirm the relation between FGF23 and other cardiovascular risk factors.
PMCID: PMC3366907  PMID: 22530966
Cardiovascular disease; CKD; FGF23; Phosphate; Proteinuria; Smoking
19.  Cardiovascular risk factor treatment targets and renal complications in high risk vascular patients: a cohort study 
To determine if recommended treatment targets, as specified in clinical practice guidelines for the management of cardiovascular disease, reduces the risk of renal complications in high risk patient populations.
This was a cohort study. Participants in Utrecht, The Netherlands either at risk of, or had cardiovascular disease were recruited. Cardiovascular treatment targets were achievement of control in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total and low-density cholesterol, and treatment of albuminuria. Outcome measures were time to development of end stage renal failure or symptomatic renal atherosclerotic disease requiring intervention.
The cohort consisted of 7,208 participants; 1,759 diabetics and 4,859 with clinically manifest vascular disease. The median age was 57 years and 67% were male. Overall, 29% of the cohort achieved the treatment target for systolic blood pressure, 39% for diastolic blood pressure, 28% for total cholesterol, 31% for LDL cholesterol and 78% for albuminuria. The incidence rate for end stage renal failure and renal atherosclerotic disease reduced linearly with each additional treatment target achieved (p value less than 0.001). Achievement of any two treatment targets reduced the risk of renal complications, hazard ratio 0.46 (95% CI 0.26-0.82). For patients with clinically manifest vascular disease and diabetes, the hazard ratios were 0.56 (95% CI 0.28 - 1.12) and 0.28 (95%CI 0.10 - 0.79) respectively.
Clinical guidelines for cardiovascular disease management do reduce risk of renal complications in high risk patients. Benefits are seen with attainment of any two treatment targets.
PMCID: PMC3141761  PMID: 21729268
20.  Differences in quality of life of hemodialysis patients between dialysis centers 
Quality of Life Research  2011;21(2):299-307.
Hemodialysis patients undergo frequent and long visits to the clinic to receive adequate dialysis treatment, medical guidance, and support. This may affect health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Although HRQOL is a very important management aspect in hemodialysis patients, there is a paucity of information on the differences in HRQOL between centers. We set out to assess the differences in HRQOL of hemodialysis patients between dialysis centers and explore which modifiable center characteristics could explain possible differences.
This cross-sectional study evaluated 570 hemodialysis patients from 24 Dutch dialysis centers. HRQOL was measured with the Kidney Disease Quality Of Life-Short Form (KDQOL-SF).
After adjustment for differences in case-mix, three HRQOL domains differed between dialysis centers: the physical composite score (PCS, P = 0.01), quality of social interaction (P = 0.04), and dialysis staff encouragement (P = 0.001). These center differences had a range of 11–21 points on a scale of 0–100, depending on the domain. Two center characteristics showed a clinical relevant relation with patients’ HRQOL: dieticians’ fulltime-equivalent and the type of dialysis center.
This study showed that clinical relevant differences exist between dialysis centers in multiple HRQOL domains. This is especially remarkable as hemodialysis is a highly standardized therapy.
PMCID: PMC3276757  PMID: 21633878
Quality of life; Center differences; Hemodialysis; Dialysis staff encouragement
21.  Association of genetic variation with systolic and diastolic blood pressure among African Americans: the Candidate Gene Association Resource study 
Fox, Ervin R. | Young, J. Hunter | Li, Yali | Dreisbach, Albert W. | Keating, Brendan J. | Musani, Solomon K. | Liu, Kiang | Morrison, Alanna C. | Ganesh, Santhi | Kutlar, Abdullah | Ramachandran, Vasan S. | Polak, Josef F. | Fabsitz, Richard R. | Dries, Daniel L. | Farlow, Deborah N. | Redline, Susan | Adeyemo, Adebowale | Hirschorn, Joel N. | Sun, Yan V. | Wyatt, Sharon B. | Penman, Alan D. | Palmas, Walter | Rotter, Jerome I. | Townsend, Raymond R. | Doumatey, Ayo P. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Mosley, Thomas H. | Lyon, Helen N. | Kang, Sun J. | Rotimi, Charles N. | Cooper, Richard S. | Franceschini, Nora | Curb, J. David | Martin, Lisa W. | Eaton, Charles B. | Kardia, Sharon L.R. | Taylor, Herman A. | Caulfield, Mark J. | Ehret, Georg B. | Johnson, Toby | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Zhu, Xiaofeng | Levy, Daniel | Munroe, Patricia B. | Rice, Kenneth M. | Bochud, Murielle | Johnson, Andrew D. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Smith, Albert V. | Tobin, Martin D. | Verwoert, Germaine C. | Hwang, Shih-Jen | Pihur, Vasyl | Vollenweider, Peter | O'Reilly, Paul F. | Amin, Najaf | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Teumer, Alexander | Glazer, Nicole L. | Launer, Lenore | Zhao, Jing Hua | Aulchenko, Yurii | Heath, Simon | Sõber, Siim | Parsa, Afshin | Luan, Jian'an | Arora, Pankaj | Dehghan, Abbas | Zhang, Feng | Lucas, Gavin | Hicks, Andrew A. | Jackson, Anne U. | Peden, John F. | Tanaka, Toshiko | Wild, Sarah H. | Rudan, Igor | Igl, Wilmar | Milaneschi, Yuri | Parker, Alex N. | Fava, Cristiano | Chambers, John C. | Kumari, Meena | JinGo, Min | van der Harst, Pim | Kao, Wen Hong Linda | Sjögren, Marketa | Vinay, D.G. | Alexander, Myriam | Tabara, Yasuharu | Shaw-Hawkins, Sue | Whincup, Peter H. | Liu, Yongmei | Shi, Gang | Kuusisto, Johanna | Seielstad, Mark | Sim, Xueling | Nguyen, Khanh-Dung Hoang | Lehtimäki, Terho | Matullo, Giuseppe | Wu, Ying | Gaunt, Tom R. | Charlotte Onland-Moret, N. | Cooper, Matthew N. | Platou, Carl G.P. | Org, Elin | Hardy, Rebecca | Dahgam, Santosh | Palmen, Jutta | Vitart, Veronique | Braund, Peter S. | Kuznetsova, Tatiana | Uiterwaal, Cuno S.P.M. | Campbell, Harry | Ludwig, Barbara | Tomaszewski, Maciej | Tzoulaki, Ioanna | Palmer, Nicholette D. | Aspelund, Thor | Garcia, Melissa | Chang, Yen-Pei C. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Steinle, Nanette I. | Grobbee, Diederick E. | Arking, Dan E. | Hernandez, Dena | Najjar, Samer | McArdle, Wendy L. | Hadley, David | Brown, Morris J. | Connell, John M. | Hingorani, Aroon D. | Day, Ian N.M. | Lawlor, Debbie A. | Beilby, John P. | Lawrence, Robert W. | Clarke, Robert | Collins, Rory | Hopewell, Jemma C. | Ongen, Halit | Bis, Joshua C. | Kähönen, Mika | Viikari, Jorma | Adair, Linda S. | Lee, Nanette R. | Chen, Ming-Huei | Olden, Matthias | Pattaro, Cristian | Hoffman Bolton, Judith A. | Köttgen, Anna | Bergmann, Sven | Mooser, Vincent | Chaturvedi, Nish | Frayling, Timothy M. | Islam, Muhammad | Jafar, Tazeen H. | Erdmann, Jeanette | Kulkarni, Smita R. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Grässler, Jürgen | Groop, Leif | Voight, Benjamin F. | Kettunen, Johannes | Howard, Philip | Taylor, Andrew | Guarrera, Simonetta | Ricceri, Fulvio | Emilsson, Valur | Plump, Andrew | Barroso, Inês | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Weder, Alan B. | Hunt, Steven C. | Bergman, Richard N. | Collins, Francis S. | Bonnycastle, Lori L. | Scott, Laura J. | Stringham, Heather M. | Peltonen, Leena | Perola, Markus | Vartiainen, Erkki | Brand, Stefan-Martin | Staessen, Jan A. | Wang, Thomas J. | Burton, Paul R. | SolerArtigas, Maria | Dong, Yanbin | Snieder, Harold | Wang, Xiaoling | Zhu, Haidong | Lohman, Kurt K. | Rudock, Megan E. | Heckbert, Susan R. | Smith, Nicholas L. | Wiggins, Kerri L. | Shriner, Daniel | Veldre, Gudrun | Viigimaa, Margus | Kinra, Sanjay | Prabhakaran, Dorairajan | Tripathy, Vikal | Langefeld, Carl D. | Rosengren, Annika | Thelle, Dag S. | MariaCorsi, Anna | Singleton, Andrew | Forrester, Terrence | Hilton, Gina | McKenzie, Colin A. | Salako, Tunde | Iwai, Naoharu | Kita, Yoshikuni | Ogihara, Toshio | Ohkubo, Takayoshi | Okamura, Tomonori | Ueshima, Hirotsugu | Umemura, Satoshi | Eyheramendy, Susana | Meitinger, Thomas | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Cho, Yoon Shin | Kim, Hyung-Lae | Lee, Jong-Young | Scott, James | Sehmi, Joban S. | Zhang, Weihua | Hedblad, Bo | Nilsson, Peter | Smith, George Davey | Wong, Andrew | Narisu, Narisu | Stančáková, Alena | Raffel, Leslie J. | Yao, Jie | Kathiresan, Sekar | O'Donnell, Chris | Schwartz, Steven M. | Arfan Ikram, M. | Longstreth, Will T. | Seshadri, Sudha | Shrine, Nick R.G. | Wain, Louise V. | Morken, Mario A. | Swift, Amy J. | Laitinen, Jaana | Prokopenko, Inga | Zitting, Paavo | Cooper, Jackie A. | Humphries, Steve E. | Danesh, John | Rasheed, Asif | Goel, Anuj | Hamsten, Anders | Watkins, Hugh | Bakker, Stephan J.L. | van Gilst, Wiek H. | Janipalli, Charles S. | Radha Mani, K. | Yajnik, Chittaranjan S. | Hofman, Albert | Mattace-Raso, Francesco U.S. | Oostra, Ben A. | Demirkan, Ayse | Isaacs, Aaron | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Lakatta, Edward G. | Orru, Marco | Scuteri, Angelo | Ala-Korpela, Mika | Kangas, Antti J. | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Soininen, Pasi | Tukiainen, Taru | Würz, Peter | Twee-Hee Ong, Rick | Dörr, Marcus | Kroemer, Heyo K. | Völker, Uwe | Völzke, Henry | Galan, Pilar | Hercberg, Serge | Lathrop, Mark | Zelenika, Diana | Deloukas, Panos | Mangino, Massimo | Spector, Tim D. | Zhai, Guangju | Meschia, James F. | Nalls, Michael A. | Sharma, Pankaj | Terzic, Janos | Kranthi Kumar, M.J. | Denniff, Matthew | Zukowska-Szczechowska, Ewa | Wagenknecht, Lynne E. | Fowkes, Gerald R. | Charchar, Fadi J. | Schwarz, Peter E.H. | Hayward, Caroline | Guo, Xiuqing | Bots, Michiel L. | Brand, Eva | Samani, Nilesh J. | Polasek, Ozren | Talmud, Philippa J. | Nyberg, Fredrik | Kuh, Diana | Laan, Maris | Hveem, Kristian | Palmer, Lyle J. | van der Schouw, Yvonne T. | Casas, Juan P. | Mohlke, Karen L. | Vineis, Paolo | Raitakari, Olli | Wong, Tien Y. | Shyong Tai, E. | Laakso, Markku | Rao, Dabeeru C. | Harris, Tamara B. | Morris, Richard W. | Dominiczak, Anna F. | Kivimaki, Mika | Marmot, Michael G. | Miki, Tetsuro | Saleheen, Danish | Chandak, Giriraj R. | Coresh, Josef | Navis, Gerjan | Salomaa, Veikko | Han, Bok-Ghee | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Melander, Olle | Ridker, Paul M. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Gyllensten, Ulf B. | Wright, Alan F. | Wilson, James F. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Farrall, Martin | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Elosua, Roberto | Soranzo, Nicole | Sijbrands, Eric J.G. | Altshuler, David | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Gieger, Christian | Meneton, Pierre | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Rettig, Rainer | Uda, Manuela | Strachan, David P. | Witteman, Jacqueline C.M. | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Boehnke, Michael | Larson, Martin G. | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Psaty, Bruce M. | Abecasis, Gonçalo R. | Elliott, Paul | van Duijn , Cornelia M. | Newton-Cheh, Christopher
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;20(11):2273-2284.
The prevalence of hypertension in African Americans (AAs) is higher than in other US groups; yet, few have performed genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in AA. Among people of European descent, GWASs have identified genetic variants at 13 loci that are associated with blood pressure. It is unknown if these variants confer susceptibility in people of African ancestry. Here, we examined genome-wide and candidate gene associations with systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) using the Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) consortium consisting of 8591 AAs. Genotypes included genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data utilizing the Affymetrix 6.0 array with imputation to 2.5 million HapMap SNPs and candidate gene SNP data utilizing a 50K cardiovascular gene-centric array (ITMAT-Broad-CARe [IBC] array). For Affymetrix data, the strongest signal for DBP was rs10474346 (P= 3.6 × 10−8) located near GPR98 and ARRDC3. For SBP, the strongest signal was rs2258119 in C21orf91 (P= 4.7 × 10−8). The top IBC association for SBP was rs2012318 (P= 6.4 × 10−6) near SLC25A42 and for DBP was rs2523586 (P= 1.3 × 10−6) near HLA-B. None of the top variants replicated in additional AA (n = 11 882) or European-American (n = 69 899) cohorts. We replicated previously reported European-American blood pressure SNPs in our AA samples (SH2B3, P= 0.009; TBX3-TBX5, P= 0.03; and CSK-ULK3, P= 0.0004). These genetic loci represent the best evidence of genetic influences on SBP and DBP in AAs to date. More broadly, this work supports that notion that blood pressure among AAs is a trait with genetic underpinnings but also with significant complexity.
PMCID: PMC3090190  PMID: 21378095
22.  The dynamics of mortality in follow-up time after an acute myocardial infarction, lower extremity arterial disease and ischemic stroke 
Most studies providing data on survival in patients with atherosclerosis only address a single disease site: heart, brain or legs. Therefore, our objective was to determine risk of death after first hospital admission for atherosclerotic disease located at different sites.
A nationwide cohort of patients hospitalized for the first time for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), peripheral arterial disease of the lower extremities (PAD) or ischemic stroke was identified through linkage of national registers. The mortality rate in AMI patients was compared to mortality rate in ischemic stroke and PAD patients by estimating relative risks (with 95%CI). Cox's proportional hazard models were used to estimate sex differences in risk of death.
Case fatality was high for ischemic stroke patients (men:21.0%, women:23.8%) and AMI patients (men:12.7%, women:20.9%) though low for PAD patients (men:2.4%, women:3.5%). The five-year risk of death was similar for male AMI compared to PAD patients (men: RR1.04; 95%CI 0.98-1.11). The risk of death for ischemic stroke patients remained the highest though the differences with AMI and PAD patients attenuated.
The dynamics of mortality over follow-up time clearly differ between atherosclerotic diseases, located at different vascular beds. The risk of death increases considerably over follow-up time for PAD patients, and 5 years after first hospital admission the differences in risks of death between AMI- and PAD patients and between AMI- and ischemic stroke patients have largely attenuated. Clinicians should be aware of these dynamics of mortality over follow-up time to provide optimal secondary prevention treatment.
PMCID: PMC3003625  PMID: 21106115
23.  Eight blood pressure loci identified by genome-wide association study of 34,433 people of European ancestry 
Newton-Cheh, Christopher | Johnson, Toby | Gateva, Vesela | Tobin, Martin D | Bochud, Murielle | Coin, Lachlan | Najjar, Samer S | Zhao, Jing Hua | Heath, Simon C | Eyheramendy, Susana | Papadakis, Konstantinos | Voight, Benjamin F | Scott, Laura J | Zhang, Feng | Farrall, Martin | Tanaka, Toshiko | Wallace, Chris | Chambers, John C | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Nilsson, Peter | van der Harst, Pim | Polidoro, Silvia | Grobbee, Diederick E | Onland-Moret, N Charlotte | Bots, Michiel L | Wain, Louise V | Elliott, Katherine S | Teumer, Alexander | Luan, Jian’an | Lucas, Gavin | Kuusisto, Johanna | Burton, Paul R | Hadley, David | McArdle, Wendy L | Brown, Morris | Dominiczak, Anna | Newhouse, Stephen J | Samani, Nilesh J | Webster, John | Zeggini, Eleftheria | Beckmann, Jacques S | Bergmann, Sven | Lim, Noha | Song, Kijoung | Vollenweider, Peter | Waeber, Gerard | Waterworth, Dawn M | Yuan, Xin | Groop, Leif | Orho-Melander, Marju | Allione, Alessandra | Di Gregorio, Alessandra | Guarrera, Simonetta | Panico, Salvatore | Ricceri, Fulvio | Romanazzi, Valeria | Sacerdote, Carlotta | Vineis, Paolo | Barroso, Inês | Sandhu, Manjinder S | Luben, Robert N | Crawford, Gabriel J. | Jousilahti, Pekka | Perola, Markus | Boehnke, Michael | Bonnycastle, Lori L | Collins, Francis S | Jackson, Anne U | Mohlke, Karen L | Stringham, Heather M | Valle, Timo T | Willer, Cristen J | Bergman, Richard N | Morken, Mario A | Döring, Angela | Gieger, Christian | Illig, Thomas | Meitinger, Thomas | Org, Elin | Pfeufer, Arne | Wichmann, H Erich | Kathiresan, Sekar | Marrugat, Jaume | O’Donnell, Christopher J | Schwartz, Stephen M | Siscovick, David S | Subirana, Isaac | Freimer, Nelson B | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | McCarthy, Mark I | O’Reilly, Paul F | Peltonen, Leena | Pouta, Anneli | de Jong, Paul E | Snieder, Harold | van Gilst, Wiek H | Clarke, Robert | Goel, Anuj | Hamsten, Anders | Peden, John F | Seedorf, Udo | Syvänen, Ann-Christine | Tognoni, Giovanni | Lakatta, Edward G | Sanna, Serena | Scheet, Paul | Schlessinger, David | Scuteri, Angelo | Dörr, Marcus | Ernst, Florian | Felix, Stephan B | Homuth, Georg | Lorbeer, Roberto | Reffelmann, Thorsten | Rettig, Rainer | Völker, Uwe | Galan, Pilar | Gut, Ivo G | Hercberg, Serge | Lathrop, G Mark | Zeleneka, Diana | Deloukas, Panos | Soranzo, Nicole | Williams, Frances M | Zhai, Guangju | Salomaa, Veikko | Laakso, Markku | Elosua, Roberto | Forouhi, Nita G | Völzke, Henry | Uiterwaal, Cuno S | van der Schouw, Yvonne T | Numans, Mattijs E | Matullo, Giuseppe | Navis, Gerjan | Berglund, Göran | Bingham, Sheila A | Kooner, Jaspal S | Paterson, Andrew D | Connell, John M | Bandinelli, Stefania | Ferrucci, Luigi | Watkins, Hugh | Spector, Tim D | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Altshuler, David | Strachan, David P | Laan, Maris | Meneton, Pierre | Wareham, Nicholas J | Uda, Manuela | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Mooser, Vincent | Melander, Olle | Loos, Ruth JF | Elliott, Paul | Abecasis, Goncalo R | Caulfield, Mark | Munroe, Patricia B
Nature genetics  2009;41(6):666-676.
Elevated blood pressure is a common, heritable cause of cardiovascular disease worldwide. To date, identification of common genetic variants influencing blood pressure has proven challenging. We tested 2.5m genotyped and imputed SNPs for association with systolic and diastolic blood pressure in 34,433 subjects of European ancestry from the Global BPgen consortium and followed up findings with direct genotyping (N≤71,225 European ancestry, N=12,889 Indian Asian ancestry) and in silico comparison (CHARGE consortium, N=29,136). We identified association between systolic or diastolic blood pressure and common variants in 8 regions near the CYP17A1 (P=7×10−24), CYP1A2 (P=1×10−23), FGF5 (P=1×10−21), SH2B3 (P=3×10−18), MTHFR (P=2×10−13), c10orf107 (P=1×10−9), ZNF652 (P=5×10−9) and PLCD3 (P=1×10−8) genes. All variants associated with continuous blood pressure were associated with dichotomous hypertension. These associations between common variants and blood pressure and hypertension offer mechanistic insights into the regulation of blood pressure and may point to novel targets for interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC2891673  PMID: 19430483
24.  Rationale, design and population baseline characteristics of the PERFORM Vascular Project: an ancillary study of the Prevention of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular Events of ischemic origin with teRutroban in patients with a history oF ischemic strOke or tRansient ischeMic attack (PERFORM) trial 
Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy  2010;24(2):175-180.
PERFORM is exploring the efficacy of terutroban versus aspirin for secondary prevention in patients with a history of ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). The PERFORM Vascular Project will evaluate the effect of terutroban on progression of atherosclerosis, as assessed by change in carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in a subgroup of patients.
Methods and results
The Vascular Project includes structural (CIMT, carotid plaques) and functional (carotid stiffness) vascular studies in all patients showing at least one carotid plaque at entry. Expected mean follow-up is 36 months. Primary endpoint is rate of change of CIMT. Secondary endpoints include emergent plaques and assessment of carotid stiffness. 1,100 patients are required for 90% statistical power to detect treatment-related CIMT difference of 0.025 mm. The first patient was randomized in April 2006.
The PERFORM Vascular Project will investigate terutroban’s effect on vascular structure and function in patients with a history of ischemic stroke or TIAs.
PMCID: PMC2887499  PMID: 20490906
Antiatherosclerotic activity; Antiplatelet agent; Atherosclerosis; Carotid intima-media thickness; Ischemic stroke; Carotid plaque; Clinical trial
25.  Cardiovascular risk factor assessment after pre-eclampsia in primary care 
BMC Family Practice  2009;10:77.
Pre-eclampsia is associated with an increased risk of development of cardiovascular disease later in life. It is not known how general practitioners in the Netherlands care for these women after delivery with respect to cardiovascular risk factor management.
Review of medical records of 1196 women in four primary health care centres, who were registered from January 2000 until July 2007 with an International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC) code indicating pregnancy. Records were searched for indicators of pre-eclampsia. Of those who experienced pre-eclampsia and of a random sample of 150 women who did not, the following information on cardiovascular risk factor management after pregnancy was extracted from the records: frequency and timing of blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose measurements - and vascular diagnoses. Additionally the sensitivity and specificity of ICPC coding for pre-eclampsia were determined.
35 women experienced pre-eclampsia. Blood pressure was more often checked after pregnancy in these women than in controls (57.1% vs. 12.0%, p < 0.001). In 50% of the cases blood pressure was measured within 3 months after delivery with no further follow-up visit. A check for glucose and cholesterol levels was rare, and equally frequent in PE and control women. 20% of the previously normotensive women in the PE group had hypertension at one or more occasions after three months post partum versus none in the control group. The ICPC coding for pre-eclampsia showed a sensitivity of 51.4% and a specificity of 100.0%.
Despite the evidence of increased risk of future cardiovascular disease in women with a history of pre-eclampsia, follow-up of these women is insufficient and undeveloped in primary care in the Netherlands.
PMCID: PMC2796641  PMID: 19995418

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