Obesity-associated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) may cause liver dysfunction and failure. In a previously reported genome-wide association meta-analysis, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near PNPLA3, NCAN, GCKR, LYPLAL1 and PPP1R3B were associated with NAFLD and with distinctive serum lipid profiles. The present study examined the relevance of these variants to NAFLD in extreme obesity.
In 1,092 bariatric patients, the candidate SNPs were genotyped and association analyses with liver histology and serum lipids were performed.
We replicated the association of hepatosteatosis with PNPLA3 rs738409[G] and with NCAN rs2228603[T]. We also replicated the association of rs2228603[T] with hepatic inflammation and fibrosis. Rs2228603[T] was associated with lower serum LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides. After stratification by the presence or absence of NAFLD, these associations were present predominantly in the subgroup with NAFLD.
NCAN rs2228603[T] is a risk factor for liver inflammation and fibrosis, suggesting that this locus is responsible for progression from steatosis to steatohepatitis. In this bariatric cohort, rs2228603[T] was associated with low serum lipids only in patients with NAFLD. This supports a NAFLD model in which the liver may sequester triglycerides as a result of either increased triglyceride uptake and/or decreased lipolysis.
Obesity; dyslipidemia; steatohepatitis; cirrhosis; steatosis
The QT interval, an electrocardiographic measure reflecting myocardial repolarization, is a heritable trait. QT prolongation is a risk factor for ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death (SCD) and could indicate the presence of the potentially lethal Mendelian Long QT Syndrome (LQTS). Using a genome-wide association and replication study in up to 100,000 individuals we identified 35 common variant QT interval loci, that collectively explain ∼8-10% of QT variation and highlight the importance of calcium regulation in myocardial repolarization. Rare variant analysis of 6 novel QT loci in 298 unrelated LQTS probands identified coding variants not found in controls but of uncertain causality and therefore requiring validation. Several newly identified loci encode for proteins that physically interact with other recognized repolarization proteins. Our integration of common variant association, expression and orthogonal protein-protein interaction screens provides new insights into cardiac electrophysiology and identifies novel candidate genes for ventricular arrhythmias, LQTS,and SCD.
genome-wide association study; QT interval; Long QT Syndrome; sudden cardiac death; myocardial repolarization; arrhythmias
Using data from the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, we evaluated the influence of adulthood weight history on mortality risk. The National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study is an observational cohort study of US men and women who were aged 50–71 years at entry in 1995–1996. This analysis focused on 109,947 subjects who had never smoked and were younger than age 70 years. We estimated hazard ratios of total and cause-specific mortality for recalled body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)2) at ages 18, 35, and 50 years; weight change across 3 adult age intervals; and the effect of first attaining an elevated BMI at 4 successive ages. During 12.5 years' follow-up through 2009, 12,017 deaths occurred. BMI at all ages was positively related to mortality. Weight gain was positively related to mortality, with stronger associations for gain between ages 18 and 35 years and ages 35 and 50 years than between ages 50 and 69 years. Mortality risks were higher in persons who attained or exceeded a BMI of 25.0 at a younger age than in persons who reached that threshold later in adulthood, and risks were lowest in persons who maintained a BMI below 25.0. Heavier initial BMI and weight gain in early to middle adulthood strongly predicted mortality risk in persons aged 50–69 years.
body mass index; body weight; mortality; obesity; weight gain; weight loss
Knowledge of adipose composition in relation to mortality may help delineate inconsistent relationships between obesity and mortality in old age. We evaluated relationships between abdominal visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) density, mortality, biomarkers, and characteristics.
VAT and SAT density were determined from computed tomography scans in persons aged 65 and older, Health ABC (n = 2,735) and AGES-Reykjavik (n = 5,131), and 24 nonhuman primates (NHPs). Associations between adipose density and mortality (4–13 years follow-up) were assessed with Cox proportional hazards models. In NHPs, adipose density was related to serum markers and tissue characteristics.
Higher density adipose tissue was associated with mortality in both studies with adjustment for risk factors including adipose area, total fat, and body mass index. In women, hazard ratio and 95% CI for the densest quintile (Q5) versus least dense (Q1) for VAT density were 1.95 (1.36–2.80; Health ABC) and 1.88 (1.31–2.69; AGES-Reykjavik) and for SAT density, 1.76 (1.35–2.28; Health ABC) and 1.56 (1.15–2.11; AGES-Reykjavik). In men, VAT density was associated with mortality in Health ABC, 1.52 (1.12–2.08), whereas SAT density was associated with mortality in both Health ABC, 1.58 (1.21–2.07), and AGES-Reykjavik, 1.43 (1.07–1.91). Higher density adipose tissue was associated with smaller adipocytes in NHPs. There were no consistent associations with inflammation in any group. Higher density adipose tissue was associated with lower serum leptin in Health ABC and NHPs, lower leptin mRNA expression in NHPs, and higher serum adiponectin in Health ABC and NHPs.
VAT and SAT density provide a unique marker of mortality risk that does not appear to be inflammation related.
Obesity; Aging; Leptin; Adiponectin.
Objective: to examine the relationships between impairments in hearing and vision and mortality from all-causes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) among older people.
Design: population-based cohort study.
Participants: the study population included 4,926 Icelandic individuals, aged ≥67 years, 43.4% male, who completed vision and hearing examinations between 2002 and 2006 in the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study (AGES-RS) and were followed prospectively for mortality through 2009.
Methods: participants were classified as having ‘moderate or greater’ degree of impairment for vision only (VI), hearing only (HI), and both vision and hearing (dual sensory impairment, DSI). Cox proportional hazard regression, with age as the time scale, was used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) associated with impairment and mortality due to all-causes and specifically CVD after a median follow-up of 5.3 years.
Results: the prevalence of HI, VI and DSI were 25.4, 9.2 and 7.0%, respectively. After adjusting for age, significantly (P < 0.01) increased mortality from all causes, and CVD was observed for HI and DSI, especially among men. After further adjustment for established mortality risk factors, people with HI remained at higher risk for CVD mortality [HR: 1.70 (1.27–2.27)], whereas people with DSI remained at higher risk of all-cause mortality [HR: 1.43 (1.11–1.85)] and CVD mortality [HR: 1.78 (1.18–2.69)]. Mortality rates were significantly higher in men with HI and DSI and were elevated, although not significantly, among women with HI.
Conclusions: older men with HI or DSI had a greater risk of dying from any cause and particularly cardiovascular causes within a median 5-year follow-up. Women with hearing impairment had a non-significantly elevated risk. Vision impairment alone was not associated with increased mortality.
AGES-Reykjavik study; hearing; vision; dual sensory impairment; all-cause mortality; cardiovascular disease mortality; older people
Forced vital capacity (FVC), a spirometric measure of pulmonary function, reflects lung volume and is used to diagnose and monitor lung diseases. We performed genome-wide association study meta-analysis of FVC in 52,253 individuals from 26 studies and followed up the top associations in 32,917 additional individuals of European ancestry. We found six new regions associated at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) with FVC in or near EFEMP1, BMP6, MIR-129-2/HSD17B12, PRDM11, WWOX, and KCNJ2. Two (GSTCD and PTCH1) loci previously associated with spirometric measures were related to FVC. Newly implicated regions were followed-up in samples of African American, Korean, Chinese, and Hispanic individuals. We detected transcripts for all six newly implicated genes in human lung tissue. The new loci may inform mechanisms involved in lung development and pathogenesis of restrictive lung disease.
It has been well-established, both by population genetics theory and direct observation in many organisms, that increased genetic diversity provides a survival advantage. However, given the limitations of both sample size and genome-wide metrics, this hypothesis has not been comprehensively tested in human populations. Moreover, the presence of numerous segregating small effect alleles that influence traits that directly impact health directly raises the question as to whether global measures of genomic variation are themselves associated with human health and disease.
We performed a meta-analysis of 17 cohorts followed prospectively, with a combined sample size of 46,716 individuals, including a total of 15,234 deaths. We find a significant association between increased heterozygosity and survival (P = 0.03). We estimate that within a single population, every standard deviation of heterozygosity an individual has over the mean decreases that person’s risk of death by 1.57%.
This effect was consistent between European and African ancestry cohorts, men and women, and major causes of death (cancer and cardiovascular disease), demonstrating the broad positive impact of genomic diversity on human survival.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12863-014-0159-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Heterozygosity; Human; Survival; GWAS
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in African Americans. However, there is a paucity of studies assessing genetic determinants of CHD in African Americans. We examined the association of published variants in CHD loci with incident CHD, attempted to fine map these loci, and characterize novel variants influencing CHD risk in African Americans.
Methods and Results
Up to 8,201 African Americans (including 546 first CHD events) were genotyped using the MetaboChip array in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study and Women's Health Initiative (WHI). We tested associations using Cox proportional hazard models in sex- and study-stratified analyses and combined results using meta-analysis. Among 44 validated CHD loci available in the array, we replicated and fine-mapped the SORT1 locus, and showed same direction of effects as reported in studies of individuals of European ancestry for SNPs in 22 additional published loci. We also identified a SNP achieving array wide significance (MYC: rs2070583, allele frequency 0.02, P = 8.1×10−8), but the association did not replicate in an additional 8,059 African Americans (577 events) from the WHI, HealthABC and GeneSTAR studies, and in a meta-analysis of 5 cohort studies of European ancestry (24,024 individuals including 1,570 cases of MI and 2,406 cases of CHD) from the CHARGE Consortium.
Our findings suggest that some CHD loci previously identified in individuals of European ancestry may be relevant to incident CHD in African Americans.
To determine whether older adults with diabetes are at increased risk of an injurious fall requiring hospitalization.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The longitudinal Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study included 3,075 adults aged 70–79 years at baseline. Hospitalizations that included ICD-9-Clinical Modification codes for a fall and an injury were identified. The effect of diabetes with and without insulin use on the rate of first fall-related injury hospitalization was assessed using proportional hazards models.
At baseline, 719 participants had diabetes, and 117 of them were using insulin. Of the 293 participants who were hospitalized for a fall-related injury, 71 had diabetes, and 16 were using insulin. Diabetes was associated with a higher rate of injurious fall requiring hospitalization (hazard ratio [HR] 1.48 [95% CI 1.12–1.95]) in models adjusted for age, race, sex, BMI, and education. In those participants using insulin, compared with participants without diabetes, the HR was 3.00 (1.78–5.07). Additional adjustment for potential intermediaries, such as fainting in the past year, standing balance score, cystatin C level, and number of prescription medications, accounted for some of the increased risk associated with diabetes (1.41 [1.05–1.88]) and insulin-treated diabetes (2.24 [1.24–4.03]). Among participants with diabetes, a history of falling, poor standing balance score, and A1C level ≥8% were risk factors for an injurious fall requiring hospitalization.
Older adults with diabetes, in particular those using insulin, are at greater risk of an injurious fall requiring hospitalization than those without diabetes. Among those with diabetes, poor glycemic control may increase the risk of an injurious fall.
To examine whether lifetime DSM-IV diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD), including age at onset and number of episodes, is associated with brain atrophy in older persons without dementia.
Within the population-based AGES-Reykjavik Study 4,354 persons (mean age 76±5 years, 58% women) without dementia had a 1.5Tesla brain MRI. Automated brain segmentation total and regional brain volumes were calculated. History of MDD, including age at onset and number of episodes, and MDD in the past 2 weeks was diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria using the MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview.
Of the total sample, 4.5% reported a lifetime history of MDD; 1.5% had a current diagnosis of MDD (including 75% with a prior history of depression) and 3.0% had a past but no current diagnosis (remission). After adjusting for multiple covariates, compared to participants never depressed, those with current MDD (irrespective of past) had more global brain atrophy (B=−1.25%; 95%CI −2.05 to −0.44%), including more gray and white matter atrophy in most lobes as well as more atrophy of the hippocampus and thalamus. Participants with current, first onset, MDD also had more brain atrophy (B=−1.62%; 95%CI −3.30 to 0.05%), while those remitted did not (B=0.06%; 95%CI −0.54 to 0.66%).
In older persons without dementia, current MDD, irrespective of prior history, but not remitted MDD, was associated with widespread gray and white matter brain atrophy. Prospective studies should examine whether MDD is a consequence of or contributes to brain volume loss and development of dementia.
Statins effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels in large studies and the observed interindividual response variability may be partially explained by genetic variation. Here we perform a pharmacogenetic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in studies addressing the LDL cholesterol response to statins, including up to 18,596 statin-treated subjects. We validate the most promising signals in a further 22,318 statin recipients and identify two loci, SORT1/CELSR2/PSRC1 and SLCO1B1, not previously identified in GWAS. Moreover, we confirm the previously described associations with APOE and LPA. Our findings advance the understanding of the pharmacogenetic architecture of statin response.
Statins are effectively used to prevent and manage cardiovascular disease, but patient response to these drugs is highly variable. Here, the authors identify two new genes associated with the response of LDL cholesterol to statins and advance our understanding of the genetic basis of drug response.
Fractures of the proximal femur are the most devastating outcome of osteoporosis. It is generally understood that age-related changes in hip structure confer increased risk, but there have been few explicit comparisons of such changes in healthy subjects to those with hip fracture. In this study, we used quantitative computed tomography and tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to identify three-dimensional internal structural patterns of the proximal femur associated with age and with incident hip fracture. A population-based cohort of 349 women representing a broad age range (21–97 years) were included in this study, along with a cohort of 222 older women (mean age 79±7 years) with (n=74) and without (n=148) incident hip fracture. Images were spatially normalized to a standardized space, and age- and fracture-specific morphometric features were identified based on statistical maps of shape features described as local changes of bone volume. Morphometric features were visualized as maps of local contractions and expansions, and significance was displayed as Student’s t-test statistical maps. Significant age-related changes included local expansions of regions low in volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) and local contractions of regions high in vBMD. Some significant fracture-related features resembled an accentuated aging process, including local expansion of the superior aspect of the trabecular bone compartment in the femoral neck, with contraction of the adjoining cortical bone. However, other features were observed only in the comparison of hip fracture subjects with age-matched controls including focal contractions of the cortical bone at the superior aspect of the femoral neck, the lateral cortical bone just inferior to the greater trochanter, and the anterior intertrochanteric region. Results of this study support the idea that the spatial distribution of morphometric features is relevant to age-related changes in bone and independently to fracture risk. In women, the identification by TBM of fracture-specific morphometric alterations of the proximal femur, in conjunction with vBMD and clinical risk factors, may improve hip fracture prediction.
Osteoporosis; proximal femur; statistical parametric mapping; tensor-based morphometry (TBM); age; fracture
To assess the association between frailty and risk for heart failure (HF) in older adults.
Frailty is common in the elderly and is associated with adverse health outcomes. Impact of frailty on HF risk is not known.
We assessed the association between frailty, using the Health ABC Short Physical Performance Battery (HABC battery) and the Gill index, and incident HF in 2825 participants aged 70-79 years.
Mean age of participants was 74±3years; 48% were men and 59% were white. During a median follow up of 11.4 (7.1-11.7) years, 466 participants developed HF. Compared to non-frail participants, moderate (hazard ratio HR 1.36, 95%CI 1.08-1.71) and severe frailty (HR 1.88, 95%CI 1.02-3.47) by Gill index was associated with a higher risk for HF. HABC battery score was linearly associated with HF risk after adjusting for the Health ABC HF Model (HR 1.24, 95%CI 1.13, 1.36 per SD decrease in score), and remained significant when controlled for death as a competing risk (HR 1.30; 95%CI 1.00-1.55). Results were comparable across age, sex, and race, and in sub-groups based on diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular disease at baseline. Addition of HABC battery scores to the Health ABC HF Risk Model improved discrimination (change in C-index, 0.014; 95%CI 0.018-0.010) and appropriately reclassified 13.4% (NRI 0.073, 95%CI 0.021-0.125; P=0.006) of participants (8.3% who developed HF and 5.1% who did not).
Frailty is independently associated with risk of HF in older adults.
Frailty; Heart Failure; Elderly
To examine the long-term association between mid-life physical activity (PA) and lower extremity function (LEF) in late-life.
A longitudinal study with an average of 25 years of follow up.
A large community-based population of 4753 men and women (mean age 76±6 yrs) residing in Reykjavik, Iceland.
On the basis of weekly hours of regular PA reported at the mid-life examination, participants were classified as “Active” and “Inactive”. Measures of LEF in late-life included gait speed from 6m walk (meter per second, m/s), Timed Up and Go (TUG, second), and Knee Extension (KE) strength (kg) tests. Linear regression analysis was used to examine the association.
Participants who were active in mid-life had significantly better LEF (faster gait speed,, β = 0.05, p ≤ 0.001; faster TUG time, β = −0.53, p ≤ 0.001; stronger KE strength, β = 1.3, p ≤ 0.001) in late-life compared with those who were not active in mid-life, after adjusting for socio-demographic and cardiovascular risk factors. After adjustment for cognitive function in late life (speed of processing, memory, and executive function), participants who were active in mid-life still had significantly faster gait speed (β = 0.04, p ≤ 0.001), faster TUG time (β = −0.34, p ≤ 0.001), and greater KE strength (β = 0.87, p ≤ 0.001) in old age compared with those who were not active in mid-life.
Regular PA reported in mid-life is associated with better performance of LEF in later life, even after controlling for late life cognitive function.
mid-life physical activity; mobility; aging; cognitive function; lower extremity function
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed 74 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) blood levels. This study is, to our knowledge, the first genome-wide interaction study (GWIS) to identify SNP×SNP interactions associated with HDL levels. We performed a GWIS in the Rotterdam Study (RS) cohort I (RS-I) using the GLIDE tool which leverages the massively parallel computing power of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) to perform linear regression on all genome-wide pairs of SNPs. By performing a meta-analysis together with Rotterdam Study cohorts II and III (RS-II and RS-III), we were able to filter 181 interaction terms with a p-value<1 · 10−8 that replicated in the two independent cohorts. We were not able to replicate any of these interaction term in the AGES, ARIC, CHS, ERF, FHS and NFBC-66 cohorts (Ntotal = 30,011) when adjusting for multiple testing. Our GWIS resulted in the consistent finding of a possible interaction between rs774801 in ARMC8 (ENSG00000114098) and rs12442098 in SPATA8 (ENSG00000185594) being associated with HDL levels. However, p-values do not reach the preset Bonferroni correction of the p-values. Our study suggest that even for highly genetically determined traits such as HDL the sample sizes needed to detect SNP×SNP interactions are large and the 2-step filtering approaches do not yield a solution. Here we present our analysis plan and our reservations concerning GWIS.
BACKGROUND & AIMS
A genome-wide association study associated 5 genetic variants with hepatic steatosis (identified by computerized tomography) in individuals of European ancestry. We investigated whether these variants were associated with measures of hepatic steatosis (HS) in non-Hispanic white (NHW), non-Hispanic black, and Mexican American (MA) participants in the US population-based National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, phase 2.
We analyzed data from 4804 adults (1825 NHW, 1442 non-Hispanic black, and 1537 MA; 51.7% women; mean age at examination, 42.5 y); the weighted prevalence of HS was 37.3%. We investigated whether ultrasound-measured HS, with and without increased levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), or level of ALT alone, was associated with rs738409 (patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 [PNPLA3]), rs2228603 (neurocan [NCAN]), rs12137855 (lysophospholipase-like 1), rs780094 (glucokinase regulatory protein [GCKR]), and rs4240624 (protein phosphatase 1, regulatory subunit 3b [PPP1R3B]) using regression modeling in an additive genetic model, controlling for age, age-squared, sex, and alcohol consumption.
The G allele of rs738409 (PNPLA3) and the T allele of rs780094 (GCKR) were associated with HS with a high level of ALT (odds ratio [OR], 1.36; P = .01; and OR, 1.30; P = .03, respectively). The A allele of rs4240624 (PPP1R3B) and the T allele of rs2228603 (NCAN) were associated with HS (OR, 1.28; P = .03; and OR, 1.40; P = .04, respectively). Variants of PNPLA3 and NCAN were associated with ALT level among all 3 ancestries. Some single-nucleotide polymorphisms were associated with particular races or ethnicities: variants in PNPLA3, NCAN, GCKR, and PPP1R3B were associated with NHW and variants in PNPLA3 were associated with MA. No variants were associated with NHB.
We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III to validate the association between rs738409 (PNPLA3), rs780094 (GCKR), and rs4240624 (PPP1R3B) with HS, with or without increased levels of ALT, among 3 different ancestries. Some, but not all, associations between variants in NCAN, lysophospholipase-like 1, GCKR, and PPP1R3B with HS (with and without increased ALT level) were significant within subpopulations.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Replication; Candidate Gene Study; Genome-wide Association Study; SNP
Coronary artery calcium (CAC) and physical performance have been shown to be associated with mortality, but it is not clear whether one of them modifies the association. We investigated the association between the extent of CAC and physical performance among older individuals and explored these individual and combined effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and non-CVD mortality.
We studied 4074 participants of the AGES-Reykjavik Study who were free from coronary heart disease, had a CAC score calculated from computed tomography scans and had data on mobility limitations and gait speed at baseline in 2002-2006 at a mean age of 76 years. Register-based mortality was available until 2009.
Odds for mobility limitation and slow gait increased according to the extent of CAC. Altogether 645 persons died during the follow-up. High CAC, mobility limitation and slow gait were independent predictors of CVD and non-CVD mortality. The joint effect of CAC and gait speed on non-CVD mortality was synergistic, i.e. compared to those with low CAC and normal gait, the joint effect of high CAC and slow gait exceeded the additive effect of these individual exposures on non-CVD mortality. For CVD mortality, the effect was additive i.e. the joint effect of high CAC and slow gait did not exceed the sum of the individual exposures.
The extent of CAC and decreased physical performance were independent predictors of mortality and the joint presence of these risk factors increased the risk of non-CVD mortality above and beyond the individual effects.
atherosclerosis; coronary artery calcification; cardiovascular disease risk factors; aging; mortality; epidemiology
The risk of hip fracture rises rapidly with age, and is notably higher in women. After falls and prior fragility fractures, the main clinically recognized risk factor for hip fracture is reduced bone density. To better understand the extent to which femoral neck density and structure change with age in each sex, we have carried out a longitudinal study in subjects not treated with agents known to influence bone mineral density to investigate changes in regional cortical thickness, as well as cortical and trabecular bone mineral density at the mid-femoral neck. Segmental QCT analysis was used to assess bone measurements in two anatomic sub-regions, the supero-lateral (superior) and infero-medial (inferior). A total of 400 older individuals (100 men and 300 women, aged 66–90 years) who were participants in the AGES-Reykjavik study, were studied. Participants had two QCT scans of the hip over a median follow-up of 5.1 yr. (mean baseline age 74 yr.). Changes in bone values during follow-up were estimated from mixed effects regression models. At baseline women had lower bone values in the superior region than men. At follow-up all bone values were lower in women, except cortical vBMD inferiorly. The relative losses in all bone values estimated in the superior region were substantially (about threefold) and significantly greater compared to those estimated in the inferior region in both sexes. Women lost cortical thickness and cortical vBMD more rapidly than men in both regions; and this was only weakly reflected in total femoral neck DXA-like results. The higher rate of bone loss in women at critical locations may contribute materially to the greater femoral neck fracture incidence among women than men.
Cortical thickness; proximal end of femur; aging; longitudinal; QCT
White blood cells (WBCs) mediate immune systems and consist of various subtypes with distinct roles. Elucidation of the mechanism that regulates the counts of the WBC subtypes would provide useful insights into both the etiology of the immune system and disease pathogenesis. In this study, we report results of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and a replication study for the counts of the 5 main WBC subtypes (neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, basophils, and eosinophils) using 14,792 Japanese subjects enrolled in the BioBank Japan Project. We identified 12 significantly associated loci that satisfied the genome-wide significance threshold of P<5.0×10−8, of which 9 loci were novel (the CDK6 locus for the neutrophil count; the ITGA4, MLZE, STXBP6 loci, and the MHC region for the monocyte count; the SLC45A3-NUCKS1, GATA2, NAALAD2, ERG loci for the basophil count). We further evaluated associations in the identified loci using 15,600 subjects from Caucasian populations. These WBC subtype-related loci demonstrated a variety of patterns of pleiotropic associations within the WBC subtypes, or with total WBC count, platelet count, or red blood cell-related traits (n = 30,454), which suggests unique and common functional roles of these loci in the processes of hematopoiesis. This study should contribute to the understanding of the genetic backgrounds of the WBC subtypes and hematological traits.
White blood cells (WBCs) are blood cells that mediate immune systems and defend the body against foreign microorganisms. It is well known that WBCs consist of various subtypes of cells with distinct roles, although the genetic background of each of the WBC subtypes has yet to be examined. In this study, we report genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for the 5 main WBC subtypes (neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, basophils, and eosinophils) using 14,792 Japanese subjects. We identified 12 significantly associated genetic loci, and 9 of them were novel. Evaluation of the associations of these identified loci in cohorts of Caucasian populations demonstrated both ethnically common and divergent genetic backgrounds of the WBC subtypes. These loci also indicated a variety of patterns of pleiotropic associations within the hematological traits, including the other WBC subtypes, total WBC count, platelet count, or red blood cell-related traits, which suggests unique and common functional roles of these loci in the processes of hematopoiesis.
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a prominent hallmark of Alzheimer's disease
(AD). Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage may be a major cause of abnormal reactive oxidative
species production in AD or increased neuronal susceptibility to oxidative injury during
aging. The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of mtDNA sequence variation
on clinically significant cognitive impairment and dementia risk in the population-based
Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study. We first investigated the role of
common mtDNA haplogroups and individual variants on dementia risk and 8-year change on the
Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MS) and Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST)
among 1,631 participants of European genetic ancestry. Participants were free of dementia
at baseline and incidence was determined in 273 cases from hospital and medication records
over 10–12 follow-up years. Participants from haplogroup T had a statistically
significant increased risk of developing dementia (OR = 1.86, 95% CI
= 1.23, 2.82, p = 0.0008) and haplogroup J participants
experienced a statistically significant 8-year decline in 3MS (β =
−0.14, 95% CI = −0.27, −0.03, p
= 0.0006), both compared with common haplogroup H. The m.15244A>G,
p.G166G, CytB variant was associated with a significant decline in DSST
score (β = −0.58, 95% CI −0.89, −0.28,
p = 0.00019) and the m.14178T>C, p.I166V,
ND6 variant was associated with a significant decline in 3MS score
(β = −0.87, 95% CI −1.31, −3.86,
p = 0.00012). Finally, we sequenced the complete ∼16.5
kb mtDNA from 135 Health ABC participants and identified several highly conserved and
potentially functional nonsynonymous variants unique to 22 dementia cases and aggregate
sequence variation across the hypervariable 2-3 regions that influences 3MS and DSST
Cognitive function; dementia; DNA sequencing; mitochondria; mtDNA; oxidative phosphorylation
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is an obesity-related condition affecting over 50% of individuals in some populations and is expected to become the number one cause of liver disease worldwide by 2020. Common, robustly associated genetic variants in/near five genes were identified for hepatic steatosis, a quantifiable component of NAFLD, in European-ancestry individuals. Here we tested whether these variants were associated with hepatic steatosis in African and/or Hispanic Americans and fine-mapped the observed association signals. We measured hepatic steatosis using computed tomography in five African-American (n=3124) and one Hispanic-American (n=849) cohorts. All analyses controlled for variation in age, age2, gender, alcoholic drinks, and population substructure. Heritability of hepatic steatosis was estimated in three cohorts. Variants in/near PNPLA3, NCAN, LYPLAL1, GCKR, and PPP1R3B were tested for association with hepatic steatosis using a regression framework in each cohort and meta-analyzed. Fine-mapping across African-American cohorts was conducted using meta-analysis. African- and Hispanic-American cohorts were 33.9/37.5% male, with average age of 58.6/42.6 years and body mass index of 31.8/28.9kg/m2, respectively. Hepatic steatosis was 0.20–0.34 heritable in African-and Hispanic-American families (p<0.02 in each cohort). Variants in or near PNPLA3, NCAN, GCKR, PPP1R3B in African Americans and PNPLA3 and PPP1R3B in Hispanic Americans were significantly associated with hepatic steatosis; however, allele frequency and effect size varied across ancestries. Fine-mapping in African Americans highlighted missense variants at PNPLA3 and GCKR and redefined the association region at LYPLAL1.
We show for the first time that multiple genetic variants are associated with hepatic steatosis across ancestries and explain a substantial proportion of the genetic predisposition in African and Hispanic Americans. Missense variants in PNPLA3 and GCKR are likely functional across multiple ancestries.
liver steatosis; single nucleotide polymorphisms; obesity; meta-analysis; genetic variance
Unrecognized myocardial infarction (MI) is prognostically important but electrocardiography (ECG), the main epidemiology tool for detection, is insensitive to MI.
Determine prevalence and mortality risk for unrecognized MI (UMI) detected by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) or ECG.
ICELAND MI is a cohort substudy of the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study (enrollment January 2004–January 2007) using ECG or CMR to detect UMI.
Community dwelling participants in Iceland over age 67.
936 participants (ages 67–93 years) including 670 who were randomly selected and 266 with diabetes.
Main Outcome Measures
MI prevalence and mortality through September 1, 2011. Results reported with 95% confidence limits and net reclassification improvement (NRI).
Of 936 participants, 91 had recognized MI (RMI; 9.7% CI 8–12%), and 157 had UMI by CMR (17%; CI 14–19%) which was more prevalent than the 46 UMI by ECG (5%; CI 4–6%, p<0.001). Diabetic participants had more UMI by CMR than UMI by ECG (n=72; 21%; CI 17–26% vs. n=15; 4%; CI 2–7%, p<0.001). UMI by CMR was associated with atherosclerosis risk factors, coronary calcium, coronary revascularization, and peripheral vascular disease. Over a median of 6.4 years, 33% (CI 23–43%) of individuals with RMI died (30 of 91) and 28% (CI 21–35%) with UMI died (44 of 157), both higher rates than the 17% (CI 15–20%) with no MI that died (119 of 688). UMI by CMR improved risk stratification for mortality over RMI (NRI: 0.34; CI 0.16–0.53). Adjusting for age, sex, diabetes, and RMI, UMI by CMR remained associated with mortality (HR 1.45 CI 1.02–2.06, absolute risk increase (ARI) 8%) and significantly improved risk stratification for mortality, NRI 0.16 (CI 0.01–0.31)) but UMI by ECG did not (HR 0.88, CI 0.45–1.73 ARI −2%; NRI: −0.05; CI −0.17–0.05). Compared to those with RMI, participants with UMI by CMR used cardiac medications such as statins less often (36%; CI, 28–43% or 56/157 vs.73%; CI 63–82% or 66/91; p<0.001).
In a community-based cohort, the prevalence of UMI by CMR was higher than the prevalence of recognized MI or UMI by ECG, and was associated with increased mortality risk.
To determine whether anemia is associated with incident dementia in older adults.
We studied 2,552 older adults (mean age 76.1 years; 38.9% black; 51.8% female) participating in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study and free of dementia at baseline. We defined anemia using WHO criteria (hemoglobin concentration <13 g/dL for men and <12 g/dL for women). Dementia diagnosis was determined by dementia medication use, hospital records, or a change in Modified Mini-Mental State (3MS) score of more than 1.5 SD from mean. Discrete time Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to examine the hazard for developing dementia associated with anemia.
Of 2,552 participants, 392 (15.4%) older adults had anemia at baseline. Over 11 years of follow-up, 455 (17.8%) participants developed dementia. In the unadjusted model, those with baseline anemia had an increased risk of dementia (23% vs 17%, hazard ratio = 1.64; 95% confidence interval 1.30, 2.07) compared to those without anemia. The association remained significant after adjusting for demographics, APOE ε4, baseline 3MS score, comorbidities, and renal function. Additional adjustment for other anemia measures (mean corpuscular volume, red cell distribution width), erythropoietin, and C-reactive protein did not appreciably change the results. There was no interaction by sex and race on risk of developing dementia.
Among older adults, anemia is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. Findings suggest that further study of anemia as a risk factor for dementia and a target for intervention for cognitive health is warranted.
We studied the effect of birth size on glucose and insulin metabolism among old non-diabetic individuals. We also explored the combined effect of birth size and midlife body mass index (BMI) on type 2 diabetes in old age. Our study comprised 1,682 Icelanders whose birth records included anthropometrical data. The same individuals had participated in the prospective population-based Reykjavik Study, where BMI was assessed at a mean age of 47 years, and in the AGES-Reykjavik Study during 2002 to 2006, where fasting glucose, insulin and HbA1c were measured and homeostasis model assessment for the degree of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) calculated at a mean age of 75.5 years. Type 2 diabetes was determined as having a history of diabetes, using glucose-modifying medication or fasting glucose of >7.0 mmol/l. Of the participants, 249 had prevalent type 2 diabetes in old age. Lower birth weight and body length were associated with higher fasting glucose, insulin, HOMA-IR and HbA1c among old non-diabetic individuals. Higher birth weight and ponderal index at birth decreased the risk for type 2 diabetes in old age, odds ratio (OR), 0.61 [95 % confidence interval (CI), 0.48–0.79] and 0.96 (95 % CI, 0.92–1.00), respectively. Compared with those with high birth weight and low BMI in midlife, the odds of diabetes was almost five-fold for individuals with low birth weight and high BMI (OR, 4.93; 95 % CI, 2.14–11.37). Excessive weight gain in adulthood might be particularly detrimental to the health of old individuals with low birth weight.
Aging; Birth size; Type 2 diabetes; Dysglycaemia; Birth weight; AGES-Reykjavik Study