Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may influence bone health. The objective of this work was to examine associations between plasma phosphatidylcholine (PC) PUFA concentrations and hip measures: (1) femoral neck bone mineral density (FN-BMD) (n = 765); (2) 4-year change in FN-BMD (n = 556); and (3) hip fracture risk (n = 765) over 17-year follow-up among older adults in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. BMD measures were regressed on quintile of plasma PC PUFAs (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA], linoleic acid [LA], and arachidonic acid [AA]), adjusted for covariates. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for hip fracture were estimated by quintile of plasma PC PUFAs, adjusted for covariates. Higher concentrations of PC DHA were associated with loss of FN-BMD over 4 years in women (p-trend = 0.04), but was protective in men in the uppermost quintile compared to men grouped in the lower four quintiles, in post hoc analysis (p = 0.01). PC LA concentrations were inversely associated with baseline FN-BMD in women (p-trend = 0.02), and increased hip fracture risk in women and men (p-trend = 0.05), but body mass index (BMI) adjustment attenuated these associations (p-trend = 0.12 and p-trend = 0.14, respectively). A trend toward a protective association was observed between PC AA and baseline FN-BMD in men (p-trend = 0.06). Women and men with the highest PC AA concentrations had 51% lower hip fracture risk than those with the lowest (HR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.24–1.00). Opposing effects of PC DHA on FN-BMD loss observed in women and men need further clarification. Bone loss associated with PC LA may be confounded by BMI. High PC AA concentrations may be associated with reduced hip fracture risk.
DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID; LINOLEIC ACID; ARACHIDONIC ACID; BMD; FRACTURE
Background and purpose
Our objective was to investigate the associations between polymorphisms in representative genes of the renin angiotensin system with measures of cerebral blood flow regulation in older adults.
Participants in this analysis were white subjects (n=335) in the MOBILIZE Boston study, an observational study of community-dwelling elders who underwent transcranial Doppler while sitting and standing and during hypercapnea and hypocapnea. Autoregulation phenotype was the change in cerebrovascular resistance from sit to stand. Vasoreactivity (VR) phenotype was the slope of the change in cerebrovascular conductance vs change in end-tidal CO2. Total of 33 tagged single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were selected in the angiotensinogen gene (AGT), the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene and the angiotensin receptor gene (AGTR). Regression analyses adjusted for age, gender, body mass index, mean arterial blood pressure, stroke and use of antihypertensives were conducted for each SNP and outcome. Bonferroni corrections were used to adjust p-values for multiple testing.
In the AGT gene, only the rs699 SNP was associated with VR after Bonferroni correction (p=0.00028). Homozygous carriers of the CC genotype of this SNP had lower VR compared to the CT or TT genotypes. There were no significant associations with autoregulation measures. None of the SNP’s in the other genes was associated with our phenotypes.
This analysis suggests that the AGT gene may be involved in vasoreactivity independent of blood pressure. Larger studies are needed to confirm the role of this gene in cerebrovascular health and aging.
Angiotensin; cerebral blood flow; vasoreactivity
Limited data exist regarding the use of a genetic risk score for predicting risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in US based samples.
Methods and Results
Using findings from recent GWAS, we constructed genetic risk scores (GRS) comprised of 13 genetic variants associated with myocardial infarction (MI) or other manifestations of CHD and 102 genetic variants associated with CHD or its major risk factors. We also updated the 13 SNP GRS with 16 SNPs recently discovered by GWAS. We estimated the association, discrimination and risk reclassification of each GRS for incident cardiovascular events and for prevalent coronary artery calcium (CAC).
In analyses adjusted for age, sex, CVD risk factors and parental history of CVD, the 13 SNP GRS was significantly associated with incident hard CHD (HR 1.07, 95% CI 1.00-1.15, p=0.04), CVD (hazard ratio [HR] per-allele 1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.09; p=0.03), and high CAC (defined as >75th age and sex-specific percentile; odds ratio [OR] per-allele 1.18, 95% CI 1.11-1.26, p=3.4 × 10-7). The GRS did not improve discrimination for incident CHD or CVD but led to modest improvements in risk reclassification. However, significant improvements in discrimination and risk reclassification were observed for the prediction of high CAC. The addition of 16 newly discovered SNPs to the 13 SNP GRS did not significantly modify these results.
A GRS comprised of 13 SNPs associated with coronary disease is an independent predictor of cardiovascular events and of high CAC, modestly improves risk reclassification for incident CHD and significant improves discrimination for high CAC. The addition of recently discovered SNPs did not significantly improve the performance of this GRS.
Genetics; single nucleotide polymorphisms; cardiovascular disease; coronary heart disease; risk prediction; reclassification
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on chromosome 6p21 is a key contributor to the genetic basis of systemic lupus erythemathosus (SLE). Although SLE affects African Americans disproportionately compared to European Americans, there has been no comprehensive analysis of the MHC region in relationship to SLE in African Americans. We conducted a screening of the MHC region for 1,536 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the deletion of the C4A gene in a SLE case-control study (380 cases, 765 age-matched controls) nested within the prospective Black Women’s Health Study. We also genotyped 1,509 ancestral informative markers throughout the genome to estimate European ancestry in order to control for population stratification due to population admixture. The most strongly associated SNP with SLE was the rs9271366 (odds ratio, OR = 1.70, p = 5.6×10−5) near the HLA-DRB1 gene. Conditional haplotype analysis revealed three other SNPs, rs204890 (OR = 1.86, p = 1.2×10−4), rs2071349 (OR = 1.53, p = 1.0×10−3), and rs2844580 (OR = 1.43, p = 1.3×10−3) to be associated with SLE independent of the rs9271366 SNP. In univariate analysis, the OR for the C4A deletion was 1.38, p = 0.075, but after simultaneous adjustment for the other four SNPs the odds ratio was 1.01, p = 0.98. A genotype score combining the four newly identified SNPs showed an additive risk according to the number of high-risk alleles (OR = 1.67 per high-risk allele, p< 0.0001). Our strongest signal, the rs9271366 SNP, was also associated with higher risk of SLE in a previous Chinese genome-wide association study (GWAS). In addition, two SNPs found in a GWAS of European ancestry women were confirmed in our study, indicating that African Americans share some genetic risk factors for SLE with European and Chinese subjects. In summary, we found four independent signals in the MHC region associated with risk of SLE in African American women.
systemic lupus erythemathosus; African Americans; major histocompatibility complex; single nucleotide polymorphisms
HIV-infected women are at increased risk for cervical cancer; thus, adherence with Papanicolaou (Pap) testing is of particular importance. The objective of this study was to identify risk factors for inadequate Pap testing in a diverse cohort of HIV-infected women at a large urban safety net HIV clinic.
This retrospective cohort study assessed HIV-infected women aged 18–60 years in care between October 1, 2003, and March 31, 2008, for risk factors for inadequate Pap testing. Unadjusted odds ratios (OR) with confidence intervals (CI) and multivariate analyses with generalized estimating equations for correlated data were calculated.
Of 549 women, 293 (53.4%) had a Pap test during each follow-up period. Women who were older, white or Hispanic race/ethnicity, U.S. born, unemployed, drug users, and those with advanced HIV had increased odds of no Pap testing in unadjusted analyses. In multivariate analyses, U.S.-born women who were white or unemployed or had a baseline CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 had increased odds of no Pap testing (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3-3.1; OR 2.3, CI 1.0-5.0; OR 1.7, CI 1.0-2.9, respectively). For non-U.S.-born women, age ≥50 years (OR 3.9, CI 1.7-9.0), non-English-speaking status (OR 1.6, CI 1.0-2.4), and drug use (OR 5.8, CI 2.5-13.9) were associated with no Pap testing.
U.S.-born status and low CD4 count were associated with increased odds of inadequate Pap testing. Further study is needed to identify interventions to improve Pap testing adherence in this high-risk group.
Association studies of risk factors and complex diseases require careful assessment of potential confounding factors. Two-stage regression analysis, sometimes referred to as residual- or adjusted-outcome analysis, has been increasingly used in association studies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and quantitative traits. In this analysis, first, a residual-outcome is calculated from a regression of the outcome variable on covariates and then the relationship between the adjusted-outcome and the SNP is evaluated by a simple linear regression of the adjusted-outcome on the SNP. In this paper, we examine the performance of this 2-stage analysis as compared with multiple linear regression (MLR) analysis. Our findings show that when a SNP and a covariate are correlated, the 2-stage approach results in biased genotypic effect and loss of power. Bias is always toward the null and increases with the squared-correlation between the SNP and the covariate (ρSC2). For example, for ρSC2=0.0, 0.1 and 0.5, 2-stage analysis results in, respectively, 0%, 10% and 50% attenuation in the SNP effect. As expected, MLR was always unbiased. Since individual SNPs often show little or no correlation with covariates, a 2-stage analysis is expected to perform as well as MLR in many genetic studies; however, it produces considerably different results from MLR and may lead to incorrect conclusions when independent variables are highly correlated. While a useful alternative to MLR under ρSC2=0.0, the 2-stage approach has serious limitations. Its use as a simple substitute for MLR should be avoided.
confounding; conditional analysis; covariate; 2-stage regression; adjusted-outcome; adjusted-genotype
Several bone marrow-derived cell populations may possess angiogenic activity, including cells termed endothelial progenitor cells. Decreased numbers of circulating angiogenic cell populations have been associated with increased cardiovascular risk. However, few data exist from large, unselected samples, and the genetic determinants of these traits are unclear.
Methods and Results
We examined the clinical and genetic correlates of early outgrowth colony forming units (CFUs) in 1,799 participants of the Framingham Heart Study (mean age, 66 years; 54% women). Among individuals without cardiovascular disease (n=1612), CFU number was inversely related to advanced age (P=0.004), female sex (P=0.04), and triglycerides (P=0.008), and positively related to hormone replacement (P=0.008) and statin therapy (P=0.027) in stepwise multivariable analyses. Overall, CFU number was inversely related to the Framingham risk score (p=0.01) but not with prevalent cardiovascular disease. In genome-wide association analyses in the entire sample, polymorphisms were associated with CFUs at the MOSC1 locus (P=3.3×10−7) and at the SLC22A3-LPAL2-LPA locus (P=4.9×10−7), a previously replicated susceptibility locus for myocardial infarction. Furthermore, alleles at the SLC22A3-LPAL2-LPA locus that were associated with decreased CFUs were also related to increased risk of myocardial infarction (P=1.1×10−4).
In a community-based sample, early outgrowth CFUs are inversely associated with select cardiovascular risk factors. Furthermore, genetic variants at the SLC22A3-LPAL2-LPA locus are associated with both decreased CFUs and an increased risk of myocardial infarction. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that decreased circulating angiogenic cell populations promote susceptibility to myocardial infarction.
Genetics; epidemiology; coronary disease; cardiovascular disease; cells
To evaluate the association of genetic variation with late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) in African Americans, including genes implicated in recent genome-wide association studies of whites.
We analyzed a genome-wide set of 2.5 million imputed markers to evaluate the genetic basis of AD in an African American population.
Five hundred thirteen well-characterized African American AD cases and 496 cognitively normal African American control subjects.
Data were collected from multiple sites as part of the Multi-Institutional Research on Alzheimer Genetic Epidemiology (MIRAGE) Study and the Henry Ford Health System as part of the Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors for Alzheimer Disease Among African Americans (GenerAAtions) Study.
Several significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were observed in the region of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE). After adjusting for the confounding effects of APOE genotype, one of these SNPs, rs6859 in PVRL2, remained significantly associated with AD (P=.0087). Association was also observed with SNPs in CLU, PICALM, BIN1, EPHA1, MS4A, ABCA7, and CD33, although the effect direction for some SNPs and the most significant SNPs differed from findings in data sets consisting of whites. Finally, using the African American genome-wide association study data set as a discovery sample, we obtained suggestive evidence of association with SNPs for several novel candidate genes.
Some genes contribute to AD pathogenesis in both white and African American cohorts, although it is unclear whether the causal variants are the same. A larger African American sample will be needed to confirm novel gene associations, which may be population specific.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) has been studied for its potential role in osteoporosis risk. It is hypothesized that genetic variation at APOE locus, known as E2, E3, and E4, may modulate bone mineral density (BMD) through its effects on lipoproteins and vitamin K transport. The purpose of this study was to determine the association of the APOE-E4 gene polymorphism with bone-related phenotypes.
We conducted a meta-analysis that combined newly-analyzed individual data from two community-based cohorts, the Framingham Offspring Study (N=1,495) and the Vitamin K Clinical Trial (N=377), with fifteen other eligible published reports. Bone phenotypes included BMD measurements of the hip (total hip and trochanteric and femoral neck sites) and lumbar spine (from the L2 to L4 vertebrae) and prevalence or incidence of vertebral, hip and other fractures.
In sex-pooled analyses, APOE4 carriers had a 0.018 g/cm2 lower weighted mean trochanteric BMD than non carriers (p=0.0002) with no evidence for between-study heterogeneity. A significant association was also detected with lumbar spine BMD (p=0.006); however, inter-study heterogeneity was observed. Associations with lumbar spine and trochanteric BMD were observed predominantly in women and became less significant in meta-regression (p=0.055 and 0.01, respectively). There were no consistent associations of APOE4 genotype with BMD at other skeletal sites or with fracture risk.
Based on these findings, there is insufficient evidence to support a strong and consistent association of the APOE genotype with BMD and fracture incidence.
Apolipoprotein E; BMD; Fracture; meta-analysis; polymorphism
genome-wide association study; genetic epidemiology; genetics; subclinical atherosclerosis; carotid intima media thickness; cardiovascular disease; cohort study; meta-analysis; risk
Genetic discoveries are validated through the meta-analysis of genome-wide association scans in large international consortia. Because environmental variables may interact with genetic factors, investigation of differing genetic effects for distinct levels of an environmental exposure in these large consortia may yield additional susceptibility loci undetected by main effects analysis. We describe a method of joint meta-analysis of SNP and SNP by Environment (SNP×E) regression coefficients for use in gene-environment interaction studies.
In testing SNP×E interactions, one approach uses a two degree of freedom test to identify genetic variants that influence the trait of interest. This approach detects both main and interaction effects between the trait and the SNP. We propose a method to jointly meta-analyze the SNP and SNP×E coefficients using multivariate generalized least squares. This approach provides confidence intervals of the two estimates, a joint significance test for SNP and SNP×E terms, and a test of homogeneity across samples.
We present a simulation study comparing this method to four other methods of meta-analysis and demonstrate that the joint meta-analysis performs better than the others when both main and interaction effects are present. Additionally, we implemented our methods in a meta-analysis of the association between SNPs from the type 2 diabetes-associated gene PPARG and log-transformed fasting insulin levels and interaction by body mass index in a combined sample of 19,466 individuals from 5 cohorts.
2 degree of freedom meta-analysis; joint meta-analysis; PPARG; Gene-environment interaction meta-analysis
In vitro and animal model studies suggest that transthyretin (TTR) inhibits the production of the amyloid β protein, a major contributor to Alzheimer disease (AD) pathogenesis. We evaluated the association of 16 TTR single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with AD risk in 158 African American and 469 Caucasian discordant sibships from the MIRAGE Study. There was no evidence for association of TTR with AD in either population sample. To examine the possibility that TTR SNPs affect specific components of the AD process, we tested association of these SNPs with four measures of neurodegeneration and cerebrovascular disease defined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a subset of 48 African American and 265 Caucasian sibships. Five of seven common SNPs and several haplotypes were significantly associated with hippocampal atrophy in the Caucasian sample. Two of these SNPs also showed marginal evidence for association in the African American sample. Results for the other MRI traits were unremarkable. This study highlights the potential value of neuroimaging endophenotypes as a tool for finding genes influencing AD pathogenesis.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully identified loci associated with quantitative traits, such as blood lipids. Deep resequencing studies are being utilized to catalogue the allelic spectrum at GWAS loci. The goal of these studies is to identify causative variants and missing heritability, including heritability due to low frequency and rare alleles with large phenotypic impact. Whereas rare variant efforts have primarily focused on nonsynonymous coding variants, we hypothesized that noncoding variants in these loci are also functionally important. Using the HDL-C gene LIPG as an example, we explored the effect of regulatory variants identified through resequencing of subjects at HDL-C extremes on gene expression, protein levels, and phenotype. Resequencing a portion of the LIPG promoter and 5′ UTR in human subjects with extreme HDL-C, we identified several rare variants in individuals from both extremes. Luciferase reporter assays were used to measure the effect of these rare variants on LIPG expression. Variants conferring opposing effects on gene expression were enriched in opposite extremes of the phenotypic distribution. Minor alleles of a common regulatory haplotype and noncoding GWAS SNPs were associated with reduced plasma levels of the LIPG gene product endothelial lipase (EL), consistent with its role in HDL-C catabolism. Additionally, we found that a common nonfunctional coding variant associated with HDL-C (rs2000813) is in linkage disequilibrium with a 5′ UTR variant (rs34474737) that decreases LIPG promoter activity. We attribute the gene regulatory role of rs34474737 to the observed association of the coding variant with plasma EL levels and HDL-C. Taken together, the findings show that both rare and common noncoding regulatory variants are important contributors to the allelic spectrum in complex trait loci.
Genetic association studies have identified genomic regions that affect quantifiable traits such as lipid levels. When a gene and a trait are found to be associated with one another, the gene is often further studied to determine its role in affecting the trait. One approach is to sequence the gene in individuals at the extremes of the trait's distribution with the hope of finding rare mutations that directly contribute to the trait. Until now studies using this approach have focused on genetic variation in the protein coding sequence of these genes and have been largely successful in identifying functionally important mutations. However, other studies have found an abundance of noncoding variation in the genome that may also contribute to the heritability of these traits. Here we seek to determine the contribution of such noncoding mutations to high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels in humans using the HDL-C candidate gene LIPG as an example. Through a sequencing study in individuals with high and low HDL-C levels, we demonstrate that both rare and common noncoding mutations are influential contributors to the allelic spectrum of such traits and should be further characterized after initial association with the trait.
The effect of protein on bone is controversial, and calcium intake may modify protein's effect on bone. We evaluated associations of energy-adjusted tertiles of protein intake (ie, total, animal, plant, animal/plant ratio) with incident hip fracture and whether total calcium intake modified these associations in the Framingham Offspring Study. A total of 1752 men and 1972 women completed a baseline food frequency questionnaire (1991–1995 or 1995–1998) and were followed for hip fracture until 2005. Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression adjusting for confounders. Baseline mean age was 55 years (SD 9.9 years, range 26 to 86 years). Forty-four hip fractures occurred over 12 years of follow-up. Owing to significant interaction between protein (total, animal, animal/plant ratio) and calcium intake (p interaction range = .03 to .04), stratified results are presented. Among those with calcium intakes less than 800 mg/day, the highest tertile (T3) of animal protein intake had 2.8 times the risk of hip fracture [HR = 2.84, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20–6.74, p = .02] versus the lowest tertile (T1, p trend = .02). In the 800 mg/day or more group, T3 of animal protein had an 85% reduced hip fracture risk (HR = 0.15, 95% CI 0.02–0.92, p = .04) versus T1 (p trend = .04). Total protein intake and the animal/plant ratio were not significantly associated with hip fracture (p range = .12 to .65). Our results from middle-aged men and women show that higher animal protein intake coupled with calcium intake of 800 mg/day or more may protect against hip fracture, whereas the effect appears reversed for those with lower calcium intake. Calcium intake modifies the association of protein intake and the risk of hip fracture in this cohort and may explain the lack of concordance seen in previous studies. © 2010 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
NUTRITION; PROTEIN INTAKE; HIP FRACTURE; CALCIUM; COHORT STUDY
Leucocyte telomere length (LTL) chronicles the cumulative burden of oxidative stress and inflammation over a life course. Activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation. Therefore, LTL may be related to circulating biomarkers of the RAAS.
We evaluated the cross-sectional relations of LTL (dependent variable) to circulating renin and aldosterone concentrations and the renin-aldosterone ratio (all logarithmically-transformed; independent variables) in 1203 Framingham Study participants (mean age 59 years, 51% women). We used multivariable linear regression and adjusted for age, blood pressure, hypertension treatment, smoking, diabetes, body mass index, hormone replacement therapy, serum creatinine and the urine sodium-creatinine ratio.
Overall, multivariable-adjusted LTL was inversely related to renin (beta coefficient per unit increase [β]=-0.038; p= 0.036), directly related to aldosterone (β=0.099; p= 0.002), and inversely related to the renin-aldosterone ratio (β=-0.049; p= 0.003). Relations of LTL to biomarkers were stronger in those with hypertension, although a formal test of interaction was not statistically significant (p=0.20). Individuals with hypertension displayed significant associations of LTL with renin (β=-0.060; p= 0.005), aldosterone (β=0.134; p= 0.002) and renin-aldosterone ratio (β=-0.072; p<0.001). Participants with hypertension who were in the top tertile of the renin-aldosterone ratio had LTL that was 182 base pairs shorter relative to those in the lowest tertile.
In our community-based sample, LTL was shorter in individuals with a higher renin-aldosterone ratio, especially so in participants with hypertension. Additional investigations are warranted to confirm our observations.
Telomere; Renin; Aldosterone; Hypertension; Epidemiology; Association; Salt; Oxidative stress
Genome-wide association studies offer an unbiased approach to identify new candidate genes for osteoporosis. We examined the Affymetrix 500K + 50K SNP GeneChip marker sets for associations with multiple osteoporosis-related traits at various skeletal sites, including bone mineral density (BMD, hip and spine), heel ultrasound, and hip geometric indices in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. We evaluated 433,510 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 2073 women (mean age 65 years), members of two-generational families. Variance components analysis was performed to estimate phenotypic, genetic, and environmental correlations (ρP, ρG, and ρE) among bone traits. Linear mixed-effects models were used to test associations between SNPs and multivariable-adjusted trait values. We evaluated the proportion of SNPs associated with pairs of the traits at a nominal significance threshold α = 0.01. We found substantial correlation between the proportion of associated SNPs and the ρP and ρG (r = 0.91 and 0.84, respectively) but much lower with ρE (r = 0.38). Thus, for example, hip and spine BMD had 6.8% associated SNPs in common, corresponding to ρP = 0.55 and ρG = 0.66 between them. Fewer SNPs were associated with both BMD and any of the hip geometric traits (eg, femoral neck and shaft width, section moduli, neck shaft angle, and neck length); ρG between BMD and geometric traits ranged from −0.24 to +0.40. In conclusion, we examined relationships between osteoporosis-related traits based on genome-wide associations. Most of the similarity between the quantitative bone phenotypes may be attributed to pleiotropic effects of genes. This knowledge may prove helpful in defining the best phenotypes to be used in genetic studies of osteoporosis. © 2010 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
bone mineral density; quantitative ultrasound; femoral geometry; genome-wide association; single-nucleotide polymorphisms; genetic correlations; pleiotropy
Although genetic factors contribute to the onset of heart failure (HF), no large-scale genome-wide investigation of HF risk has been published to date. We investigated the association of 2,478,304 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with incident HF by meta-analyzing data from 4 community-based prospective cohorts: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Framingham Heart Study, and the Rotterdam Study.
Methods and Results
Eligible participants for these analyses were of European or African ancestry and free of clinical HF at baseline. Each study independently conducted genome-wide scans and imputed data to the ~2.5 million SNPs in HapMap. Within each study, Cox proportional hazards regression models provided age- and sex-adjusted estimates of the association between each variant and time to incident HF. Fixed-effect meta-analyses combined results for each SNP from the 4 cohorts to produce an overall association estimate and p-value. A genome-wide significance p-value threshold was set a priori at 5.0×10−7. During a mean follow-up of 11.5 years, 2,526 incident HF events (12%) occurred in 20,926 European-ancestry participants. The meta-analysis identified a genome-wide significant locus at chromosomal position 15q22 (1.4×10−8), which was 58.8 kb from USP3. Among 2,895 African-ancestry participants, 466 incident HF events (16%) occurred during a mean follow-up of 13.7 years. One genome-wide significant locus was identified at 12q14 (6.7×10−8), which was 6.3 kb from LRIG3.
We identified 2 loci that were associated with incident HF and exceeded genome-wide significance. The findings merit replication in other community-based settings of incident HF.
epidemiology; genetics; heart failure; genome-wide variation; incidence
Prognosis and survival are significant concerns for individuals with heart failure (HF). In order to better understand the pathophysiology of HF prognosis, the association between 2,366,858 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and all-cause mortality was evaluated among individuals with incident HF from four community-based prospective cohorts: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Framingham Heart Study, and the Rotterdam Study.
Methods and Results
Participants were 2,526 individuals of European ancestry and 466 individuals of African ancestry who suffered an incident HF event during follow-up in the respective cohorts. Within each study, the association between genetic variants and time to mortality among individuals with HF was assessed by Cox proportional hazards models that included adjustment for sex and age at the time of the HF event. Prospective fixed-effect meta-analyses were conducted for the four study populations of European ancestry (N=1,645 deaths) and for the two populations of African ancestry (N=281 deaths). Genome-wide significance was set at P=5.0×10-7. Meta-analytic findings among individuals of European ancestry revealed one genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 3p22 in an intron of CKLF-like MARVEL transmembrane domain containing 7 (CMTM7, p = 3.2×10-7). Eight additional loci in individuals of European ancestry and four loci in individuals of African ancestry were identified by high-signal SNPs (p < 1.0×10-5), but did not meet genome-wide significance.
This study identified a novel locus associated with all-cause mortality among individuals of European ancestry with HF. This finding warrants additional investigation, including replication, in other studies of HF.
heart failure; all-cause mortality; genetics; genome-wide variation
To determine the association of long-term exposure to atherosclerosis risk factors with valvular calcification.
Traditional atherosclerosis risk factors have been associated with aortic and mitral valve calcium in cross-sectional studies but long-term prospective data is lacking.
Prospective community-based cohort study with 27-year follow-up (median follow-up 26.9 years; range 23.1–29.6 years). Participants from the Framingham Offspring Study (n=1323, enrolled between 1971–1975, mean age at enrollment 34±9 years, 52% women) underwent cardiac multi-detector computed tomography testing between 2002–2005. Associations between the long-term average of each cardiovascular risk factor and valve calcium were estimated using logistic regression.
Aortic valve calcium was present in 39% of participants and mitral valve calcium in 20%. In multivariable models, the odds ratio for aortic valve calcium associated with every standard deviation (SD) increment in long-term mean total cholesterol was 1.74 (P<0.0001), with every SD increment in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, 0.77 (P=0.002), and with every 9 cigarettes smoked per day, 1.23 (P=0.002). Associations of similar magnitude were seen for mitral valve calcium. The mean of three serum C-reactive protein measurements was associated with mitral valve calcium (OR 1.29 per-SD increment in CRP levels, P=0.002). A higher Framingham risk score in early adulthood (≤40 years age) was associated with increased prevalence and severity of aortic valve calcium measured three decades later.
Exposure to multiple atherosclerotic risk factors starting in early to mid-adulthood is associated with aortic and mitral valve calcium. Studies evaluating early risk factor modification to reduce the burden of valve disease are warranted.
calcification; aortic valve; mitral valve; atherosclerosis; stenosis
The rs3803662 SNP in the TOX3/LOC643714 region was identified as a breast cancer susceptibility genetic variant in recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of women of European ancestry and has been replicated in other populations of European ancestry. The position of the causal variant tagged by the rs3803662 marker is still unknown. In fact, because the rs3803662 polymorphism is located between the TOX3 and the LOC643714 loci, it is unclear which gene is the one causally related to the risk of breast cancer. Because LD blocks are smaller in populations of African ancestry, fine-mapping in African ancestry samples may be an effective approach to narrowing the position of the causal variant(s) in the TOX3/LOC643714 locus.
We evaluated a total of 60 tagging SNPs throughout the TOX3/LOC643714 region in a nested case-control study of breast cancer within the Black Women’s Health Study which included 906 cases and 1,111 controls.
No significant association was found for the rs3803662 SNP. However, four other SNPs (rs3104746, rs3112562, rs3104793, and rs8046994), all of them located in the LOC643714 gene, were associated with risk of breast cancer. The strongest association was observed for rs3104746: each copy of the A-rs3104746 allele was associated with a 23% higher risk of breast cancer, OR (95% CI) = 1.23 (1.05–1.44), P = 0.009.
Our results confirm the association observed in GWAS of European ancestry populations.
The results narrow the locus to a smaller LD block in the LOC643714 gene.
Breast cancer; TOX3/LOC643714; fine-mapping; African-Americans
Tracking falls among elders is challenging. In this reliability study, which took place between October 2007 and February 2008, the authors compared participants’ daily recordings of falls on calendars with a telephone survey of recall of falls over the previous 3 months within the population-based MOBILIZE Boston Study cohort, a cohort of 765 elders. From the cohort, 218 participants were randomly selected. Falls were tracked prospectively on daily calendars (mailed back monthly). Telephone recalls of falls over the previous 3 months were conducted in January and February 2008. Agreement, sensitivity, and specificity were calculated to compare the occurrence of falls as determined by 3-month recall with falls recorded by daily calendar (gold standard) during the same 3-month period. Results showed good agreement between recall and calendars: 27 persons reported a fall by both methods. However, while the 3-month recall correctly classified persons who did not fall (164 persons by both methods), it missed 25% of participants who fell (of 36 participants with a calendar-reported fall, 9 did not report a fall by telephone recall). Kappa was 0.74 (95% confidence interval: 0.68, 0.80), sensitivity was 75%, and specificity was 96%. Retrospective 3-month recall of falls resulted in underreporting of falls by as much as 25% compared with daily calendars. Calendars should be considered the preferred method of ascertaining falls in longitudinal studies.
accidental falls; aged; cohort studies; data collection; epidemiologic methods; frail elderly; mental recall; reproducibility of results
Extensive efforts have been aimed at understanding the genetic underpinnings of complex diseases that affect humans. Numerous genome-wide association studies have assessed the association of genes with human disease; including the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), which genotyped 550,000 SNPs in 9,000 participants. The success of such efforts requires high rates of consent by participants, which is dependent on ethical oversight, communications, and trust between research participants and investigators. To study this we calculated percentages of participants who consented to collection of DNA and to various uses of their genetic information in two FHS cohorts between 2002 and 2009. The data included rates of consent for providing a DNA sample, creating an immortalized cell line, conducting research on various genetic conditions including those that might be considered sensitive, and for notifying participants of clinically significant genetic findings were above 95%. Only with regard to granting permission to share DNA or genetic findings with for-profit companies was the consent rate below 95%. We concluded that the FHS has maintained high rates of retention and consent for genetic research that has provided the scientific freedom to establish collaborations and address a broad range of research questions. We speculate that our high rates of consent have been achieved by establishing frequent and open communications with participants that highlight extensive oversight procedures. Our approach to maintaining high consent rates via ethical oversight of genetic research and communication with study participants is summarized in this report and should be of help to other studies engaged in similar types of research.
epidemiology; genetics; genome-wide association; medical ethics; population study
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) using high-density array of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) offer an unbiased strategy to identify new candidate genes for osteoporosis.
We used a subset of autosomal SNPs from the Affymetrix 500K+50K SNP GeneChip marker set to examine genetic linkage with multiple highly heritable osteoporosis-related traits, including BMD of the hip and spine, heel ultrasound (attenuation and speed of sound), and geometric indices of the hip, in two generations from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Variance component linkage analysis was performed using normalized residuals (adjusted for age, height, BMI, and estrogen status in women).
Multipoint linkage analyses produced LOD scores ≥ 3.0 for BMD on chromosomes (chr.) 9 and 11, and for ultrasound speed of sound on chr. 5. Hip geometric traits were linked with higher LOD scores, such as with Shaft Width on chr. 4 (LOD = 3.9) and chr. 16 (LOD = 3.8), and with Shaft section modulus on chr. 22 (LOD = 4.0). LOD score ≥ 5.0 was obtained for femoral Neck Width on chr. 7.
In conclusion, with a SNP-based linkage approach, we identified several novel potential QTLs and confirmed previously identified chromosomal regions linked to bone mass and geometry. Subsequent focus on the spectrum of genetic polymorphisms in these refined regions may contribute to finding variants predisposing to osteoporosis.
quantitative trait loci; BMD; bone geometry; osteoporosis; SNP array
New technology introduced over time results in changes in densitometers during longitudinal studies of bone mineral density (BMD). This requires that a cross-calibration process be completed to translate measurements from the old densitometer to the new one. Previously described cross-calibration methods for research settings have collected single measures on each densitometer and used linear regression to estimate cross-calibration corrections. Thus, these methods may produce corrections that have limited precision and underestimate the variability in converted BMD values. Furthermore, most prior studies have included small samples recruited from specialized populations. Increasing the sample size, obtaining multiple measures on each machine, and utilizing linear mixed models to account for between- and within-subject variability may improve cross-calibration estimates. The purpose of this study was to conduct an in vivo cross-calibration of a Lunar DPX-L with a Lunar Prodigy densitometer using a sample of 249 healthy volunteers who were scanned twice on each densitometer, without repositioning, at both the femur and spine. Scans were analyzed using both automated and manual placement of regions of interest. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests and Bland-Altman plots were used to examine possible differences between repeat scans within and across densitometers. We used linear mixed models to determine the cross-calibration equations for the femoral neck, trochanter, total hip and lumbar spine (L2-L4) regions. Results using automated and manual placement of the regions of interest did not differ significantly The DPX–L exhibited larger median absolute differences in repeat scans for femoral neck [0.016 vs. 0.012, p=0.1] and trochanter [0.011 vs. 0.009, p=0.06] BMD values compared to the Prodigy. The Bland-Altman plots revealed no statistically significant linear relation between the difference in paired measures between machines and mean BMD. In our large sample of healthy volunteers we did detect systematic differences between the DPX-L and Prodigy densitometers. Our proposed cross-calibration method, which includes acquiring multiple measures and using linear mixed models, provides researchers with a more realistic estimate of the variance of cross-calibrated BMD measures, potentially reducing the chance of making a type I error in longitudinal studies of changes in BMD.
cross-calibration; densitometer; bone mineral density; DXA; mixed models; Framingham Osteoporosis Study
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is relatively short in individuals who have evidence of cardiovascular disease.
To examine the link between LTL and the predisposition to atherosclerosis, as determined by carotid artery intimal medial thickness (IMT) in participants of the Framingham Offspring Study.
LTL was assayed by the mean length of the terminal restriction fragments and carotid artery IMT by B-mode ultrasonography in 1062 individuals (496 men, 566 women) aged 33–86 years,
In the whole sample, there was a significant association of age-and sex-adjusted LTL with internal carotid artery IMT (ICA-IMT)(r= −0.07, p= 0.02). In sex-stratified analysis, this association remained significant for men (r= −0.11, p= 0.02) but not for women (r= −0.04, p= 0.36). After further adjustment for cigarette smoking and BMI, a borderline significant association persisted in men (p= 0.06). In secondary analysis, the age-adjusted LTL was significantly (and negatively) associated with ICA-IMT (r= −0.28, p 0.0006) in obese (BMI > 30kg/m2) men but not in non-obese (BMI ≤ 30 kg/m2) men. In addition, age-adjusted LTL was significantly shorter in men (6.89 ± 0.02 kb) than women (7.02 ± 0.02 kb) (p< 0.0001) and in current cigarette smokers (6.87±0.05 kb) than never smokers (6.99±0.03 kb) (p = 0.02). Although there was no significant association of LTL with common carotid artery-IMT or with carotid artery stenosis, there was a significant inverse association of LTL with common carotid artery IMT in obese men.
In obese men, shortened LTL is a powerful marker of increased carotid IMT. Given the public health impact of atherosclerosis and in particular the current epidemic of obesity, the associations noted in obese men warrant further confirmation.
Telomeres; atherosclerosis; leukocytes; obesity; sex; smoking