While black-white and regional disparities in U.S. stroke mortality rates are well documented, the contribution of disparities in stroke incidence is unknown. We provide national estimates of stroke incidence by race and region, contrasting these to publicly available stroke mortality data.
This analysis included 27,744 men and women without prevalent stroke (40.4% black), aged ≥45 years from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) national cohort study, enrolled 2003–2007. Incident stroke was defined as first occurrence of stroke over 4.4 years of follow-up. Age-sex–adjusted stroke mortality rates were calculated using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiological Research (WONDER) System.
There were 460 incident strokes over 113,469 person-years of follow-up. Relative to the rest of the United States, incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of stroke in the southeastern stroke belt and stroke buckle were 1.06 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.87–1.29) and 1.19 (95% CI, 0.96–1.47), respectively. The age-sex–adjusted black/white IRRblack was 1.51 (95% CI, 1.26–1.81), but for ages 45–54 years the IRRblack was 4.02 (95% CI, 1.23–13.11) while for ages 85+ it was 0.86 (95% CI, 0.33–2.20). Generally, the IRRsblack were less than the mortality rate ratios (MRRs) across age groups; however, only in ages 55–64 years and 65–74 years did the 95% CIs of IRRsblack not include the MRRblack. The MRRs for regions were within 95% CIs for IRRs.
National patterns of black-white and regional differences in stroke incidence are similar to those for stroke mortality; however, the magnitude of differences in incidence appear smaller.
We sought to determine whether novel markers not involving ionizing radiation could predict CAC progression in a low-risk population.
Increase in coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores over time (CAC progression) improves prediction of coronary heart disease (CHD) events. Due to radiation exposure, CAC measurement represents an undesirable method for repeated risk assessment, particularly in low predicted risk individuals (Framingham Risk Score [FRS] <10%).
From 6814 MESA participants, 2620 individuals were classified as low risk for CHD events (FRS <10%), and had follow-up CAC measurement. In addition to traditional risk factors [(RFs) - base model], various combinations of novel-marker models were selected based on data-driven, clinical, or backward stepwise selection techniques.
Mean follow-up was 2.5 years. CAC progression occurred in 574 participants (22% overall; 214 of 1830 with baseline CAC =0, and 360 of 790 with baseline CAC >0). Addition of various combinations of novel markers to the base model (c-statistic =0.711), showed improvements in discrimination of approximately only 0.005 each (c-statistics 0.7158, 0.7160 and 0.7164) for the best-fit models. All 3 best-fit novel-marker models calibrated well but were similar to the base model in predicting individual risk probabilities for CAC progression. The highest prevalence of CAC progression occurred in the highest compared to the lowest probability quartile groups (39.2–40.3% versus 6.4–7.1%).
In individuals at low predicted risk by FRS, traditional RFs predicted CAC progression in the short term with good discrimination and calibration. Prediction improved minimally when various novel markers were added to the model.
coronary calcium; Framingham risk score; risk factors; progression
Sedentary behavior is associated with adiposity and cardiometabolic risk.
To determine the associations between sedentary behavior and measures of adiposity-associated inflammation.
Between 2002 and 2005, a total of 1543 Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis participants completed detailed health history questionnaires, underwent physical measurements and had blood assayed for adiponectin, leptin, tumor necrosis factor – alpha (TNF - α) and resistin. Analyses included linear regression completed in 2010. The mean age was 64.3 years and nearly 50% were female. Forty-one percent were non-Hispanic white, 24% Hispanic-American, 20% African-American, and 14% Chinese-American.
In linear regression analyses and with adjustment for age, gender, ethnicity, education, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, hormone therapy and waist circumference, sedentary behavior was associated with higher natural log (“ln”) of leptin and ln TNF - α but a lower ln adiponectin-to-leptin ratio (β = 0.07, β = 0.03 and –0.07, p < 0.05 for all). Compared to the first tertile, and after the same adjustment, the second and third tertiles of sedentary behavior were associated with higher levels of ln leptin (β = 0.11and β = 0.12, respectively; p < 0.05 for both) but lower levels of the adiponectin-to-leptin ratio (β = –0.09 and –0.11, respectively; p < 0.05 for both).
Sedentary behavior is associated with unfavorable levels of adiposity-associated inflammation.
Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) generates proinflammatory and proatherogenic compounds in the arterial vascular wall and is a potential therapeutic target in coronary heart disease (CHD). We searched for genetic loci related to Lp-PLA2 mass or activity by a genome-wide association study as part of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium.
Methods and results
In meta-analyses of findings from five population-based studies, comprising 13 664 subjects, variants at two loci (PLA2G7, CETP) were associated with Lp-PLA2 mass. The strongest signal was at rs1805017 in PLA2G7 [P = 2.4 × 10−23, log Lp-PLA2 difference per allele (beta): 0.043]. Variants at six loci were associated with Lp-PLA2 activity (PLA2G7, APOC1, CELSR2, LDL, ZNF259, SCARB1), among which the strongest signals were at rs4420638, near the APOE–APOC1–APOC4–APOC2 cluster [P = 4.9 × 10−30; log Lp-PLA2 difference per allele (beta): −0.054]. There were no significant gene–environment interactions between these eight polymorphisms associated with Lp-PLA2 mass or activity and age, sex, body mass index, or smoking status. Four of the polymorphisms (in APOC1, CELSR2, SCARB1, ZNF259), but not PLA2G7, were significantly associated with CHD in a second study.
Levels of Lp-PLA2 mass and activity were associated with PLA2G7, the gene coding for this protein. Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 activity was also strongly associated with genetic variants related to low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
Genome-wide association; Inflammation; Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2
Meta-analyses of European populations has successfully identified genetic variants in over 100 loci associated with lipid levels, but our knowledge in other ethnicities remains limited. To address this, we performed dense genotyping of ∼2,000 candidate genes in 7,657 African Americans, 1,315 Hispanics and 841 East Asians, using the IBC array, a custom ∼50,000 SNP genotyping array. Meta-analyses confirmed 16 lipid loci previously established in European populations at genome-wide significance level, and found multiple independent association signals within these lipid loci. Initial discovery and in silico follow-up in 7,000 additional African American samples, confirmed two novel loci: rs5030359 within ICAM1 is associated with total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (p = 8.8×10−7 and p = 1.5×10−6 respectively) and a nonsense mutation rs3211938 within CD36 is associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels (p = 13.5×10−12). The rs3211938-G allele, which is nearly absent in European and Asian populations, has been previously found to be associated with CD36 deficiency and shows a signature of selection in Africans and African Americans. Finally, we have evaluated the effect of SNPs established in European populations on lipid levels in multi-ethnic populations and show that most known lipid association signals span across ethnicities. However, differences between populations, especially differences in allele frequency, can be leveraged to identify novel signals, as shown by the discovery of ICAM1 and CD36 in the current report.
Background: Whether lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) levels are associated with kidney function decline has not been well studied. Methods: We investigated associations of Lp-PLA2 antigen and activity with kidney function decline and rapid decline over 5.7 years in the Cardiovascular Health Study (n = 4,359). We estimated kidney function by cystatin C (eGFRcys) in repeated measures, and defined rapid decline as ≥3 ml/min/1.73 m2 per year. We stratified by baseline preserved GFR (≥60 ml/min/1.73 m2). Results: Mean age was 72 ± 5 years. Average eGFRcys decline was −1.79 ml/min/1.73 m2 (SD = 2.60) per year. Among persons with preserved GFR, compared to the lowest quartile of Lp-PLA2 antigen, eGFRcys decline was faster among persons in the second, β −0.31 (95% CI −0.52, −0.10), third −0.19 (–0.41, 0.02) and fourth quartiles −0.26 (–0.48, −0.04) after full adjustment. Persons in the highest quartile of Lp-PLA2 antigen had increased odds of rapid decline 1.34 (1.03, 1.75), compared to the lowest. There was no significant association between levels of Lp-PLA2 activity and eGFRcys decline or rapid decline. Associations were not statistically significant among persons with low eGFR (<60 ml/min/1.73 m2) at baseline. Conclusion: Higher levels of Lp-PLA2 antigen but not activity were significantly associated with faster rates of kidney function decline. These findings may suggest a novel vascular pathway for kidney disease progression.
Chronic kidney disease; Elderly; Estimated GFR; Kidney decline; Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2
Background and Purpose
Black/white disparities in stroke incidence are well-documented, but few studies have assessed the contributions to the disparity. Here we assess the contribution of “traditional” risk factors.
25,714 black and white men and women, aged 45+ and stroke-free at baseline were followed for an average of 4.4 years to detect stroke. Mediation analysis employing proportional hazards analysis assessed the contribution of “traditional” risk factors to racial disparities.
At age 45, incident stroke risk was 2.90 (95% CI: 1.72 – 4.89) times more likely in blacks than whites, and 1.66 (95% CI: 1.34 – 2.07) times at age 65. Adjustment for risk factors attenuated these excesses by 40% and 45%, respectively, resulting in relative risks of 2.14 (95% CI: 1.25 – 3.67) and 1.35 (95% CI: 1.08 – 1.71). Approximately one-half of this mediation is attributable to systolic blood pressure. Further adjustment for socioeconomic factors resulted in total mediation of 47% and 53% to relative risks of 2.01 (95% CI: 1.16 – 3.47) and 1.30 (1.03 – 1.65) respectively.
Between ages 45 to 65 years, approximately half of the racial disparity in stroke risk is attributable to traditional risk factors (primarily systolic blood pressure) and socioeconomic factors, suggesting a critical need to understand the disparity in the development of these traditional risk factors. Because half of the excess stroke risk in blacks is not attributable to traditional risk factors and socioeconomic factors, differential racial susceptibility to risk factors, residual confounding or non-traditional risk factors may also play a role.
stroke; risk factors; hypertension; diabetes; mediation analysis
Albuminuria and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) are each associated with increased risk for cognitive impairment, but their joint association is unknown.
Prospective cohort study.
Setting and Participants
A US national sample of 19,399 adults without cognitive impairment at baseline participating in the REGARDS )REasons for Geographic And Racial Disparities in Stroke) study.
Albuminuria was assessed by the urine albumin-creatinine ratio (UACR) and GFR was estimated using the CKD-EPI (CKD Epidemiology Collaboration) equation.
Incident cognitive impairment was defined as a score of 4 or less on the Six-item Screener at the last follow-up visit.
Over a mean follow-up of 3.8 ± 1.5 years, UACR 30 – 299 and ≥300 mg/g were independently associated with 31% and 57% higher risk for cognitive impairment, respectively, relative to individuals with UACR <10 mg/g. This finding was strongest among those with high eGFR and attenuated at lower levels (P=0.04 for trend). Relative an eGFR ≥60 ml/min/1.73m2, eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73m2 was not independently associated with cognitive impairment. However, after stratifying by UACR, eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73m2 was associated with 30% higher risk for cognitive impairment among participants with UACR <10 mg/g but not higher UACR levels (P=0.04 for trend).
single measure of albuminuria and eGFR, screening test of cognition
When eGFR was preserved, albuminuria independently associated with incident cognitive impairment. When albuminuria was <10 mg/g, low eGFR independently associated with cognitive impairment. Albuminuria and low eGFR are complementary but not additive risk factors for incident cognitive impairment.
albuminuria; chronic kidney disease; cognitive impairment
Background and Purpose
Previously in the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort, we found 18% of the stroke/TIA-free study population reported ≥ 1 stroke symptom (SS) at baseline. We sought to evaluate the additional impact of these stroke symptoms (SS) on risk for subsequent stroke.
REGARDS recruited 30,239 U.S. blacks and whites, aged 45+ in 2003–7, who are being followed every 6 months for events. All stroke events are physician-verified; those with prior diagnosed stroke or TIA are excluded from this analysis. At baseline, participants were asked six questions regarding stroke symptoms. Measured stroke risk factors were components of the Framingham Stroke Risk Score (FSRS).
After excluding those with prior stroke or missing data, there were 24,412 participants in this analysis, with a median follow-up of 4.4 years. Participants were 39% black, 55% female, and had median age of 64 years. There were 381 physician-verified stroke events. The FSRS explained 72.0% of stroke risk; individual components explained between 0.2% (LVH) and 5.7% (age + race) of stroke risk. After adjustment for FSRS factors, SS were significantly related to stroke risk: for each SS reported, the risk of stroke increased by 21% per symptom.
Among participants without self-reported stroke or TIA, prior SS are highly predictive of future stroke events. Compared to FSRS factors, the impact of SS on the prediction of future stroke was almost as large as the impact of smoking and hypertension, and larger than the impact of diabetes and heart disease.
Acute Stroke; Aphasia; Ischemia; Risk Factors; TIA; Transient Ischemic Attack
There are few available data on the epidemiology of prehypertension
To determine racial, clinical, and demographic differences in the prevalence of prehypertension and its cross-sectional association with vascular risk factors.
Cross-sectional analysis of 5553 prehypertensives, 20351 hypertensive’s, and 4246 non hypertensive participants (age ≥45), from a population-based national cohort study (REGARDS total population 30239, of whom 30150 had adequate blood pressure measurements) enrolled from January 2003-October 2007 with over-sampling from the southeastern Stroke Belt, and black individuals. Baseline data were collected using a combination of telephone interview and in-home evaluation. Prehypertension was defined according to JNC 7 guidelines.
The prevalence of pre-hypertension was associated with age and black race (62.9% in blacks compared to 54.1% in whites). A higher prevalence of pre-hypertension was observed in obese individuals, self-reported heart disease; and, those with elevated hsCRP, diabetes, and microalbuminuria compared to those without these factors. Heavy alcohol consumption in white participants was associated with increased odds of pre-hypertension (OR = 1.32) but was even greater in black participants (OR=2.27).
The prevalence of prehypertension increased by age and African-American race. In addition, a higher prevalence of pre-hypertension was observed with elevated hsCRP, diabetes, microalbuminuria, and those with heavy alcohol consumption compared to those without these factors.
prehypertension; risk factors; cardiovascular disease
Adiponectin has anti-inflammatory properties, and its production is suppressed by inflammatory factors. Although elevated levels of adiponectin and inflammatory markers each predict mortality in older adults, the implications of their interdependent actions have not been examined.
We investigated the joint associations of levels and interval changes in adiponectin, C-reactive protein (CRP), and interleukin 6 (IL-6) with risk of death in 840 older adults participating in a population-based study. Adiponectin, CRP, and IL-6 were measured in samples collected 8.9 (8.2–9.8) years apart, and all-cause mortality was subsequently ascertained (n = 176).
Interval changes and end levels of adiponectin, CRP, and IL-6 showed mostly positive, independent associations with mortality, without evidence of multiplicative interaction. Joint models, however, showed an U-shaped relationship between end level of adiponectin and outcome (hazard ratio [HR] [95% CI] = 0.72 [0.52–0.99] per standard deviation [SD] for levels <20.0 mg/L; HR = 1.91 [1.61–3.44] per SD for levels ≥20.0 mg/L). Participants with the greatest longitudinal increases (upper quartile) in both adiponectin and inflammatory markers had a higher risk of death (HR = 2.85 [1.78–4.58]) than those with large increases in adiponectin alone (HR = 1.87 [1.20–2.92]) (p = .043), but not inflammatory markers alone (HR = 2.48 [1.67–3.67]) (p = .55), as compared with smaller changes for both.
Higher levels or interval change in adiponectin and inflammatory markers predict increased mortality in older persons independent of each other, although for adiponectin, the association appears inverse below 20 mg/L. These findings suggest that inflammatory and noninflammatory mechanisms governing aging-related decline operate in parallel and provide a potential explanation for paradoxical adiponectin–outcome associations reported previously.
Adiponectin; C-reactive protein; Interleukin 6; Aging; Mortality
Background and Purpose
We compared the associations of self-reported atrial fibrillation (SR-AF) and electrocardiogram-detected AF (ECG-AF) with incident stroke in the REGARDS study.
27,109 participants aged ≥45 years without prior stroke were included in this analysis. Stroke cases were identified and adjudicated during an average of 4.4 years of follow-up. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to calculate hazard ratios of SR-AF, ECG-AF, and AF detected by either method with incident stroke. We also examined the predictive ability of the Framingham Stroke Risk Score (FSRS) where the component AF was defined by different methods.
After adjustment for components of the FSRS, SR-AF, ECG-AF, and AF by either method were predictive of incident stroke [HR (95% CI): 1.41 (1.05,1.88), 1.90 (1.10,3.27), 1.53 and (1.16,2.01), respectively]. When self-report, ECG or either method, separately, were considered as the method of AF ascertainment in the FSRS, the Hazard ratios per 1% increase in the FSRS were identical across AF ascertainment methods [1.04 (1.03,1.04); 1.04 (1.04,1.05); 1.04 (1.03,1.04) respectively].
SR-AF is a strong predictor of stroke that can be used interchangeably or in combination with ECG-AF in stroke risk prediction models.
Atrial fibrillation; self-report; Electrocardiogram
To examine regional and Black-White differences in mean age at self-reported menopause among community-dwelling women in the US.
Cross-sectional survey conducted in the context of the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke and Myocardial Infarction study.
We studied 22,484 menopausal women. After controlling for covariates, Southern women reported menopause 10.8 months earlier than Northeastern women, 8.4 months earlier than Midwestern women, and 6.0 months earlier than Western women (p<0.05 for all). No difference was observed in menopausal age between Black and White women after controlling for covariates (p=0.69).
Women in the South report earlier menopause than those in other regions, but the cause remains unclear. Our study's large sample size and adjustment for multiple confounders lends weight to our finding of no racial difference in age at menopause. More study is needed of the implications of these findings with regard to vascular health.
menopause; race; region
Longitudinal cohort studies normally identify and adjudicate incident events detected during follow-up by retrieving medical records. There are several reasons why the adjudication process may not be successfully completed for a suspected event including the inability to retrieve medical records from hospitals and an insufficient time between the suspected event and data analysis. These “incomplete adjudications” are normally assumed not to be events, an approach which may be associated with loss of precision and introduction of bias. In this article, the authors evaluate the use of multiple imputation methods designed to include incomplete adjudications in analysis. Using data from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study, 2008−2009, they demonstrate that this approach may increase precision and reduce bias in estimates of the relations between risk factors and incident events.
cohort studies; imputation; longitudinal studies; missing data
There are racial and geographic disparities in stroke mortality, with higher rates among African Americans (AAs) and those living in the southeastern US (‘stroke belt’). Racial and geographic differences in dyslipidemia prevalence, awareness, treatment and control may, in part, account for the observed disparities in stroke mortality.
Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) is a national observational study of community-dwelling black and white participants aged 45 and older, with oversampling from the stroke belt. As of January 15, 2007, 26,122 participants were enrolled and a fasting lipid panel was available of 21,068. Awareness, treatment and control of dyslipidemia were estimated overall and compared across race-sex-region strata.
There were 55% of the participants with dyslipidemia and no racial differences in prevalence. Adjusting for demographic and established stroke risk factors, AAs had a lower prevalence (OR 0.74; 95% CI: 0.66, 0.77) and were less likely to be aware (0.69; 0.61, 0.78), treated (0.77; 0.67, 0.89) and controlled (0.67; 0.58, 0.77) than whites. There was lower control outside of the stroke belt (0.87; 0.76, 0.99).
Racial, but not geographic, differences in dyslipidemia management may play a role in the excess stroke burden in the Southeast.
Cholesterol; Risk factors; Risk factor management; Racial differences; Stroke prevention
Inflammation biomarkers, including higher high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels, higher white blood cell (WBC) counts, and lower serum albumin levels, are associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality. Many studies have examined these biomarkers individually, but less is known about their joint association with mortality. hsCRP, WBC count, and serum albumin were measured at baseline in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke Study cohort members, who were enrolled in 2003–2007. Over 4.5 years, there were 1,062 deaths in 17,845 participants. High-risk categories were defined as hsCRP or WBC levels above the 75th percentile (5.1 mg/L and 6.9 × 109 cells/L, respectively) and albumin levels below the 25th percentile (4.00 g/dL). The authors derived 4 groups that corresponded to 0 (n = 8,341), 1 (n = 6,277), 2 (n = 2,635), or 3 (n = 592) biomarkers in the high-risk category. After adjustment for age, sex, waist circumference, race, region, smoking, alcohol use, income, educational level, physical activity frequency, and medical history and compared with those with no biomarkers in the high-risk category, the hazard ratios for all-cause mortality for 1, 2, and 3 biomarkers in the high-risk category were 1.56 (95% confidence interval: 1.33, 1.82), 2.19 (95% confidence interval: 1.84, 2.62), and 2.96 (95% confidence interval: 2.30, 3.80), respectively (Ptrend < 0.0001). Adding the 3 inflammation biomarkers to a fully adjusted model improved risk discrimination by 23.7% (95% confidence interval: 9.3, 39.9). Measurement of more than 1 biomarker is more useful in risk prediction than single biomarkers.
biological markers; cohort studies; C-reactive protein; inflammation; leukocytes; mortality; prospective studies
Several studies have reported that taller individuals are at greater risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). We hypothesized that longer leg length would be positively associated with incident VTE, and would explain the height association. LITE ascertained VTE in a prospective population-based sample of 21,860 individuals aged 45 and older. Leg length was measured as standing height minus sitting height. Cox regression models were adjusted for age, race, sex, waist circumference, diabetes, and factor VIII. To evaluate whether leg length was associated with VTE risk independent of height we standardized leg length and height per 1 standard deviation (SD), and then included them simultaneously in Cox regression models. A total of 641 incident VTE cases accrued over a median follow-up of 16 yrs. Participants in the highest quintile of leg length were at 59% (95% CI: 22%-108%) greater risk of VTE, relative to the lowest quintile. For height, risk was 45% (12%-88%) greater for those in the highest quintile, compared to the lowest. When leg length and height were modeled simultaneously leg length remained associated with VTE risk (HR per 1 SD: 1.21 (1.04-1.40) while height was unrelated (HR per 1 SD: 1.00 (0.86-1.16). To conclude, participants with longer legs were at greater risk of incident VTE, and leg length explained the relation of height to VTE. It remains to be established whether this finding is due to greater venous surface area, a larger number of venous valves, or greater hydrostatic pressure among individuals with longer legs.
height; leg length; venous thromboembolism; Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC); Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS)
The growing burden and morbidity of chronic kidney disease (CKD) warrant effective strategies for identifying those at increased risk. We examined the association of cystatin C and albuminuria with development of CKD stage 3.
Prospective observational study.
Setting and Participants
5,422 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73m2.
Participants were categorized into four mutually exclusive groups: presence or absence of microalbuminuria (albumin-creatinine ratio >17 and > 25 µg/mg in men and women, respectively) in those with or without cystatin C ≥ 1.0 mg/L.
Outcomes and Measurements
Incident CKD stage 3 was defined as eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73m2 at the 3rd or 4th visit and an annual decline of > 1 ml/min/1.73 m2. Poisson regression was used to evaluate incident rate ratios in unadjusted and adjusted analyses that include baseline eGFR.
Mean age was 61 years, 49% were men, 38% white, 11% had diabetes, 13.7% had cystatin C ≥ 1mg/L, 8.4% had microalbuminuria, and 2.7 % had cystatin C ≥ 1 mg/L with microalbuminuria. 554 (10%) participants developed CKD stage 3 over a median follow-up of 4.7 years and the adjusted incidence rate ratios (95% CI) were 1.57 (1.19–2.07), 1.37 (1.13–1.66), and 2.12 (1.61–2.80) in those with microalbuminuria, cystatin C ≥ 1 mg/L, and both, respectively, compared to those with neither.
Relatively short follow up and absence of measured GFR.
Cystatin C and microalbuminuria are independent risk factors for incident CKD stage 3 and could be useful as screening tools to identify those at increased risk.
White matter hyperintensities (WMH) detectable by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)are part of the spectrum of vascular injury associated with aging of the brain and are thought to reflect ischemic damage to the small deep cerebral vessels. WMH are associated with an increased risk of cognitive and motor dysfunction, dementia, depression, and stroke. Despite a significant heritability, few genetic loci influencing WMH burden have been identified.
We performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for WMH burden in 9,361 stroke-free individuals of European descent from 7 community-based cohorts. Significant findings were tested for replication in 3,024 individuals from 2 additional cohorts.
We identified 6 novel risk-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)in one locus on chromosome 17q25 encompassing 6 known genes including WBP2, TRIM65, TRIM47, MRPL38, FBF1, and ACOX1. The most significant association was for rs3744028 (Pdiscovery= 4.0×10−9; Preplication =1.3×10−7; Pcombined =4.0×10−15). Other SNPs in this region also reaching genome-wide significance are rs9894383 (P=5.3×10−9), rs11869977 (P=5.7×10−9), rs936393 (P=6.8×10−9), rs3744017 (P=7.3×10−9), and rs1055129 (P=4.1×10−8). Variant alleles at these loci conferred a small increase in WMH burden (4–8% of the overall mean WMH burden in the sample).
This large GWAS of WMH burden in community-based cohorts of individuals of European descent identifies a novel locus on chromosome 17. Further characterization of this locus may provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of cerebral WMH.
High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels are closely associated with abdominal obesity, metabolic syndrome, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The JUPITER trial has encouraged using hsCRP ≥2 mg/L to guide statin therapy; however the association of hsCRP to atherosclerosis, independent of obesity, remains unknown.
Methods and Results
We studied 6,760 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Participants were stratified into 4 groups: non-obese/low hsCRP, non-obese/high hsCRP, obese/low hsCRP, and obese/high hsCRP. Using multivariable logistic and robust linear regression, we described the association with subclinical atherosclerosis, using coronary artery calcium (CAC) and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT). Mean BMI was 28.3 ± 5.5 kg/m2, and median hsCRP was 1.9 mg/L (0.84 – 4.26). High hsCRP, in the absence of obesity, was not associated with CAC and was mildly associated with cIMT. Obesity was strongly associated with CAC and cIMT independent of hsCRP. When obesity and high hsCRP were both present, there was no evidence of multiplicative interaction. Similar associations were seen among 2,083 JUPITER-eligible individuals.
High hsCRP, as defined by JUPITER, was not associated with CAC and was mildly associated with cIMT in the absence of obesity. In contrast, obesity was associated with both measures of subclinical atherosclerosis independent of hsCRP status.
obesity; hsCRP; high sensitivity C-reactive protein; subclinical atherosclerosis; coronary artery calcium; carotid intima-media thickness
It is hypothesized that inflammation may mediate the relationship between obesity and endometrial cancer risk. We examined the associations of three inflammation markers, C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, with risk of endometrial cancer.
A case-cohort study was nested within the Women’s Health Initiative, a cohort of postmenopausal women. Baseline plasma samples of 151 incident endometrial cancer cases and 301 subcohort subjects not using hormones were assayed.
CRP, but not IL-6 or TNF-α, was positively associated with endometrial cancer risk after adjusting for age and BMI [hazard ratio comparing extreme quartiles (HRq4-q1) = 2.29; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.13–4.65; ptrend = 0.012). After additional adjustment for estradiol and insulin, this association was attenuated (HRq4-q1 = 1.70;95% CI= 0.78–3.68; ptrend = 0.127). Obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) was associated with endometrial cancer risk in an age-adjusted model. The obesity effect was reduced by 48%, 67%, and 77% when either estradiol, CRP, or insulin, respectively, was included in the model, and it became null when all three factors were adjusted for simultaneously.
The association between inflammation, as indicated by a relatively high level of CRP, and endometrial cancer risk may partially be explained by hyperinsulinemia and elevated estradiol. Nevertheless, all three factors contribute to and mediate the link between obesity and endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women not using hormones.
The association between obesity and endometrial cancer risk in postmenopausal women may be attributed to inflammation, insulin resistance, and elevated estrogen.
To estimate the prevalence of ideal cardiovascular health and its relation to incident cardiovascular disease (CVD).
An American Heart Association committee recently set a goal to improve the cardiovascular heath of Americans by 20% by 2020. The committee developed definitions of “ideal,” “intermediate,” or “poor” cardiovascular health for adults and children based on seven CVD risk factors or health behaviors.
We used data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study cohort, aged 45–64 years, to estimate the prevalence of ideal cardiovascular health in 1987–89 and the corresponding incidence rates of CVD. Incident CVD comprised stroke, heart failure, myocardial infarction, or fatal coronary disease.
Among 12,744 participants initially free of CVD, only 0.1% had ideal cardiovascular health, 17.4% had intermediate cardiovascular health, and 82.5% had poor cardiovascular health. CVD incidence rates through 2007 showed a graded relation with the ideal, intermediate, and poor categories and with the number of ideal health metrics present: rates were one tenth as high in those with six ideal health metrics (3.9 per 1,000 person-years) compared with zero ideal health metrics (37.1 per 1,000 person-years).
In this community-based sample, few adults in 1987–9 had ideal cardiovascular health by the new AHA definition. Those who had the best levels of cardiovascular health nevertheless sustained relatively few events. Clearly, to achieve the AHA goal of improving cardiovascular health by 20% by 2020, we will need to redouble nationwide primordial prevention efforts at the population and individual levels.
epidemiology; risk factors; cardiovascular disease; stroke; coronary disease
Two recent case-control studies in Italy reported that long-term exposure to particulate air pollution or living near major traffic roads was associated with an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). No prospective evidence exists about long-term traffic-related air pollution and incident venous thromboembolism (VTE).
To examine the association between long-term traffic exposure and incident VTE in a population-based prospective cohort study.
We studied 13,143 middle-aged men and women in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study without history of DVT or pulmonary embolus (PE) at baseline examination (1987-1989). Geographical Information System (GIS)-mapped traffic density and distance to major roads in the four study communities served as measures of traffic exposure. We examined the association between traffic exposure and incident VTE using proportional hazards regression models.
405 subjects developed VTE through 2005. Traffic density was not significantly associated with VTE. Relative to those in the lowest quartile of traffic density, the adjusted hazard ratios across increasing quartiles were 1.18 (95%CI 0.88-1.57), 0.99 (95%CI 0.74-1.34) and 1.14 (95%CI 0.86-1.51) (p for trend across quartiles = 0.64). For residents living within 150 meters of major roads compared to subjects living further away, the adjusted hazard ratio was 1.16 (95%CI 0.95-1.42, p=0.14).
This first prospective study in the general population does not support an association between air pollution exposure or traffic proximity and risk of DVT. More data may be needed to clarify whether traffic or air pollution influences the risk of VTE.
traffic exposure; VTE; air pollution; cohort
To test whether estrogen receptor polymorphisms modify the effects of postmenopausal hormone therapy on biomarkers and on risk of coronary heart disease events, stroke, or venous thrombo-embolism.
Methods and Results
The design was a nested case-control study in the Women’s Health Initiative trials of postmenopausal hormone therapy. The study included all cases in the first 4 years: coronary heart disease, 359; stroke, 248; venous thrombo-embolism, 217). Six estrogen receptor-αand one estrogen receptor-β polymorphisms were genotyped; 8 biomarkers known to be affected by hormone therapy were measured at baseline and one year after randomization. The polymorphisms were not associated with risk of vascular events, and did not modify the increased risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, or venous thrombo-embolism due to hormone therapy. However, a reduced response of plasmin-antiplasmin (PAP) to hormone therapy was noted for ESR1 IVS1-354 (interaction P<0.0001, corrected for multiple comparisons P=0.014) and ESR1 IVS1-1415 (interaction P<0.0001, corrected P= 0.014).
Estrogen receptor polymorphisms reduce the effect of postmenopausal hormone therapy on PAP, a marker of coagulation and fibrinolysis. However screening for ER polymorphisms to identify women at less risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes is not likely to be useful for making HT treatment decisions.
coronary heart disease; stroke; venous thromboembolism; estrogen; estrogen receptor; genetics; single nucleotide polymorphisms
A cluster of metabolic abnormalities termed metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction and oxidative internal milieu. We examined whether the association of MetS with subclinical atherosclerosis is explained by biomarkers of endothelial damage and oxidative stress.
MESA is a population based study of 45-84 year old individuals of four US ethnicities without clinical cardiovascular disease. A random sample of 997 MESA participants had data on the following biomarkers: von Willebrand Factor, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM1), CD40 ligand, soluble thrombomodulin, E-selectin, and oxidized LDL (oxLDL). We examined whether the associations of MetS with B-mode ultrasound-defined common and internal carotid intimal medial thickness (IMT) and coronary artery calcium (CAC) measured using computerized tomography were explained by the biomarkers using multiple regression methods.
MetS was associated with higher levels of each of the biomarkers (p<0.001, CD40L suggestive association p=0.004), with greater IMT (p<0.001), and with greater extent of CAC in those in whom CAC was detectable (p=0.01). The association of MetS with measures of subclinical atherosclerosis remained unchanged after adjustment for the biomarkers. After adjusting for MetS, oxLDL was suggestively associated with greater prevalence of detectable CAC (p=0.005) and thicker internal carotid IMT (p=0.002), while sICAM-1was significantly associated with greater prevalence of detectable CAC (p=0.001).
The association of MetS with subclinical atherosclerosis was independent of its association with biomarkers of endothelial damage and oxidative stress, suggesting that metabolic abnormalities and oxidative endothelial damage may lead to atherosclerotic disease through distinct mechanisms.
Metabolic syndrome; biomarkers; coronary artery atherosclerosis; carotid arteries