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author:("kohnen, Mika")
1.  Novel Loci Associated with Usual Sleep Duration: The CHARGE Consortium Genome-Wide Association Study 
Gottlieb, Daniel J. | Hek, Karin | Chen, Ting-hsu | Watson, Nathaniel F. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Byrne, Enda M. | Cornelis, Marilyn | Warby, Simon C. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Cherkas, Lynn | Evans, Daniel S. | Grabe, Hans J. | Lahti, Jari | Li, Man | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lumley, Thomas | Marciante, Kristin D. | Pérusse, Louis | Psaty, Bruce M. | Robbins, John | Tranah, Gregory J. | Vink, Jacqueline M. | Wilk, Jemma B. | Stafford, Jeanette M. | Bellis, Claire | Biffar, Reiner | Bouchard, Claude | Cade, Brian | Curhan, Gary C. | Eriksson, Johan G. | Ewert, Ralf | Ferrucci, Luigi | Fülöp, Tibor | Gehrman, Philip R. | Goodloe, Robert | Harris, Tamara B. | Heath, Andrew C. | Hernandez, Dena | Hofman, Albert | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Hunter, David J. | Jensen, Majken K. | Johnson, Andrew D. | Kähönen, Mika | Kao, Linda | Kraft, Peter | Larkin, Emma K. | Lauderdale, Diane S. | Luik, Annemarie I. | Medici, Marco | Montgomery, Grant W. | Palotie, Aarno | Patel, Sanjay R. | Pistis, Giorgio | Porcu, Eleonora | Quaye, Lydia | Raitakari, Olli | Redline, Susan | Rimm, Eric B. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Smith, Albert V. | Spector, Tim D. | Teumer, Alexander | Uitterlinden, André G. | Vohl, Marie-Claude | Widen, Elisabeth | Willemsen, Gonneke | Young, Terry | Zhang, Xiaoling | Liu, Yongmei | Blangero, John | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Hu, Frank | Mangino, Massimo | Martin, Nicholas G. | O’Connor, George T. | Stone, Katie L. | Tanaka, Toshiko | Viikari, Jorma | Gharib, Sina A. | Punjabi, Naresh M. | Räikkönen, Katri | Völzke, Henry | Mignot, Emmanuel | Tiemeier, Henning
Molecular psychiatry  2014;20(10):1232-1239.
Usual sleep duration is a heritable trait correlated with psychiatric morbidity, cardiometabolic disease and mortality, although little is known about the genetic variants influencing this trait. A genome-wide association study of usual sleep duration was conducted using 18 population-based cohorts totaling 47,180 individuals of European ancestry. Genome-wide significant association was identified at two loci. The strongest is located on chromosome 2, in an intergenic region 35–80 kb upstream from the thyroid-specific transcription factor PAX8 (lowest p=1.1 ×10−9). This finding was replicated in an African-American sample of 4771 individuals (lowest p=9.3 × 10−4). The strongest combined association was at rs1823125 (p=1.5 × 10−10, minor allele frequency 0.26 in the discovery sample, 0.12 in the replication sample), with each copy of the minor allele associated with a sleep duration 3.1 minutes longer per night. The alleles associated with longer sleep duration were associated in previous genome-wide association studies with a more favorable metabolic profile and a lower risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these associations may help elucidate biological mechanisms influencing sleep duration and its association with psychiatric, metabolic and cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.1038/mp.2014.133
PMCID: PMC4430294  PMID: 25469926
Sleep; Genome-wide association study
2.  Meta-analysis of gene–environment-wide association scans accounting for education level identifies additional loci for refractive error 
Fan, Qiao | Verhoeven, Virginie J. M. | Wojciechowski, Robert | Barathi, Veluchamy A. | Hysi, Pirro G. | Guggenheim, Jeremy A. | Höhn, René | Vitart, Veronique | Khawaja, Anthony P. | Yamashiro, Kenji | Hosseini, S Mohsen | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lu, Yi | Haller, Toomas | Xie, Jing | Delcourt, Cécile | Pirastu, Mario | Wedenoja, Juho | Gharahkhani, Puya | Venturini, Cristina | Miyake, Masahiro | Hewitt, Alex W. | Guo, Xiaobo | Mazur, Johanna | Huffman, Jenifer E. | Williams, Katie M. | Polasek, Ozren | Campbell, Harry | Rudan, Igor | Vatavuk, Zoran | Wilson, James F. | Joshi, Peter K. | McMahon, George | St Pourcain, Beate | Evans, David M. | Simpson, Claire L. | Schwantes-An, Tae-Hwi | Igo, Robert P. | Mirshahi, Alireza | Cougnard-Gregoire, Audrey | Bellenguez, Céline | Blettner, Maria | Raitakari, Olli | Kähönen, Mika | Seppala, Ilkka | Zeller, Tanja | Meitinger, Thomas | Ried, Janina S. | Gieger, Christian | Portas, Laura | van Leeuwen, Elisabeth M. | Amin, Najaf | Uitterlinden, André G. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Hofman, Albert | Vingerling, Johannes R. | Wang, Ya Xing | Wang, Xu | Tai-Hui Boh, Eileen | Ikram, M. Kamran | Sabanayagam, Charumathi | Gupta, Preeti | Tan, Vincent | Zhou, Lei | Ho, Candice E. H. | Lim, Wan'e | Beuerman, Roger W. | Siantar, Rosalynn | Tai, E-Shyong | Vithana, Eranga | Mihailov, Evelin | Khor, Chiea-Chuen | Hayward, Caroline | Luben, Robert N. | Foster, Paul J. | Klein, Barbara E. K. | Klein, Ronald | Wong, Hoi-Suen | Mitchell, Paul | Metspalu, Andres | Aung, Tin | Young, Terri L. | He, Mingguang | Pärssinen, Olavi | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Jin Wang, Jie | Williams, Cathy | Jonas, Jost B. | Teo, Yik-Ying | Mackey, David A. | Oexle, Konrad | Yoshimura, Nagahisa | Paterson, Andrew D. | Pfeiffer, Norbert | Wong, Tien-Yin | Baird, Paul N. | Stambolian, Dwight | Wilson, Joan E. Bailey | Cheng, Ching-Yu | Hammond, Christopher J. | Klaver, Caroline C. W. | Saw, Seang-Mei | Rahi, Jugnoo S. | Korobelnik, Jean-François | Kemp, John P. | Timpson, Nicholas J. | Smith, George Davey | Craig, Jamie E. | Burdon, Kathryn P. | Fogarty, Rhys D. | Iyengar, Sudha K. | Chew, Emily | Janmahasatian, Sarayut | Martin, Nicholas G. | MacGregor, Stuart | Xu, Liang | Schache, Maria | Nangia, Vinay | Panda-Jonas, Songhomitra | Wright, Alan F. | Fondran, Jeremy R. | Lass, Jonathan H. | Feng, Sheng | Zhao, Jing Hua | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Wareham, Nick J. | Rantanen, Taina | Kaprio, Jaakko | Pang, Chi Pui | Chen, Li Jia | Tam, Pancy O. | Jhanji, Vishal | Young, Alvin L. | Döring, Angela | Raffel, Leslie J. | Cotch, Mary-Frances | Li, Xiaohui | Yip, Shea Ping | Yap, Maurice K.H. | Biino, Ginevra | Vaccargiu, Simona | Fossarello, Maurizio | Fleck, Brian | Yazar, Seyhan | Tideman, Jan Willem L. | Tedja, Milly | Deangelis, Margaret M. | Morrison, Margaux | Farrer, Lindsay | Zhou, Xiangtian | Chen, Wei | Mizuki, Nobuhisa | Meguro, Akira | Mäkelä, Kari Matti
Nature Communications  2016;7:11008.
Myopia is the most common human eye disorder and it results from complex genetic and environmental causes. The rapidly increasing prevalence of myopia poses a major public health challenge. Here, the CREAM consortium performs a joint meta-analysis to test single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) main effects and SNP × education interaction effects on refractive error in 40,036 adults from 25 studies of European ancestry and 10,315 adults from 9 studies of Asian ancestry. In European ancestry individuals, we identify six novel loci (FAM150B-ACP1, LINC00340, FBN1, DIS3L-MAP2K1, ARID2-SNAT1 and SLC14A2) associated with refractive error. In Asian populations, three genome-wide significant loci AREG, GABRR1 and PDE10A also exhibit strong interactions with education (P<8.5 × 10−5), whereas the interactions are less evident in Europeans. The discovery of these loci represents an important advance in understanding how gene and environment interactions contribute to the heterogeneity of myopia.
This report by the Consortium for Refractive Error and Myopia uses gene-environment-wide interaction study (GEWIS) to identify genetic loci that affect environmental influence in myopia development, and identifies ethnic specific genetic loci that attribute to eye refractive errors.
doi:10.1038/ncomms11008
PMCID: PMC4820539  PMID: 27020472
3.  Associations of functional alanine-glyoxylate aminotransferase 2 gene variants with atrial fibrillation and ischemic stroke 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:23207.
Asymmetric and symmetric dimethylarginines (ADMA and SDMA) impair nitric oxide bioavailability and have been implicated in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation (AF). Alanine–glyoxylate aminotransferase 2 (AGXT2) is the only enzyme capable of metabolizing both of the dimethylarginines. We hypothesized that two functional AGXT2 missense variants (rs37369, V140I; rs16899974, V498L) are associated with AF and its cardioembolic complications. Association analyses were conducted using 1,834 individulas with AF and 7,159 unaffected individuals from two coronary angiography cohorts and a cohort comprising patients undergoing clinical exercise testing. In coronary angiography patients without structural heart disease, the minor A allele of rs16899974 was associated with any AF (OR = 2.07, 95% CI 1.59-2.68), and with paroxysmal AF (OR = 1.98, 95% CI 1.44–2.74) and chronic AF (OR = 2.03, 95% CI 1.35–3.06) separately. We could not replicate the association with AF in the other two cohorts. However, the A allele of rs16899974 was nominally associated with ischemic stroke risk in the meta-analysis of WTCCC2 ischemic stroke cohorts (3,548 cases, 5,972 controls) and with earlier onset of first-ever ischemic stroke (360 cases) in the cohort of clinical exercise test patients. In conclusion, AGXT2 variations may be involved in the pathogenesis of AF and its age-related thromboembolic complications.
doi:10.1038/srep23207
PMCID: PMC4794714  PMID: 26984639
4.  Metabolomic Profiling of Statin Use and Genetic Inhibition of HMG-CoA Reductase 
Background
Statins are first-line therapy for cardiovascular disease prevention, but their systemic effects across lipoprotein subclasses, fatty acids, and circulating metabolites remain incompletely characterized.
Objectives
This study sought to determine the molecular effects of statin therapy on multiple metabolic pathways.
Methods
Metabolic profiles based on serum nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics were quantified at 2 time points in 4 population-based cohorts from the United Kingdom and Finland (N = 5,590; 2.5 to 23.0 years of follow-up). Concentration changes in 80 lipid and metabolite measures during follow-up were compared between 716 individuals who started statin therapy and 4,874 persistent nonusers. To further understand the pharmacological effects of statins, we used Mendelian randomization to assess associations of a genetic variant known to mimic inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase (the intended drug target) with the same lipids and metabolites for 27,914 individuals from 8 population-based cohorts.
Results
Starting statin therapy was associated with numerous lipoprotein and fatty acid changes, including substantial lowering of remnant cholesterol (80% relative to low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C]), but only modest lowering of triglycerides (25% relative to LDL-C). Among fatty acids, omega-6 levels decreased the most (68% relative to LDL-C); other fatty acids were only modestly affected. No robust changes were observed for circulating amino acids, ketones, or glycolysis-related metabolites. The intricate metabolic changes associated with statin use closely matched the association pattern with rs12916 in the HMGCR gene (R2 = 0.94, slope 1.00 ± 0.03).
Conclusions
Statin use leads to extensive lipid changes beyond LDL-C and appears efficacious for lowering remnant cholesterol. Metabolomic profiling, however, suggested minimal effects on amino acids. The results exemplify how detailed metabolic characterization of genetic proxies for drug targets can inform indications, pleiotropic effects, and pharmacological mechanisms.
doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2015.12.060
PMCID: PMC4783625  PMID: 26965542
cholesterol lowering; drug development; lipoproteins; Mendelian randomization; metabolomics; CVD, cardiovascular disease; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; HMGCR, HMG-CoA reductase; IDL, intermediate-density lipoprotein; LDL-C, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance; VLDL, very-low-density lipoprotein
5.  Metabolite Profiling and Cardiovascular Event Risk: A Prospective Study of Three Population-Based Cohorts 
Circulation  2015;131(9):774-785.
Background
High-throughput profiling of circulating metabolites may improve cardiovascular risk prediction over established risk factors.
Methods and Results
We applied quantitative NMR metabolomics to identify biomarkers for incident cardiovascular disease during long-term follow-up. Biomarker discovery was conducted in the FINRISK study (n=7256; 800 events). Replication and incremental risk prediction was assessed in the SABRE study (n=2622; 573 events) and British Women’s Health and Heart Study (n=3563; 368 events). In targeted analyses of 68 lipids and metabolites, 33 measures were associated with incident cardiovascular events at P<0.0007 after adjusting for age, sex, blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and medication. When further adjusting for routine lipids, four metabolites were associated with future cardiovascular events in meta-analyses: higher serum phenylalanine (hazard ratio per standard deviation: 1.18 [95%CI 1.12–1.24]; P=4×10−10) and monounsaturated fatty acid levels (1.17 [1.11–1.24]; P=1×10−8) were associated with increased cardiovascular risk, while higher omega-6 fatty acids (0.89 [0.84–0.94]; P=6×10−5) and docosahexaenoic acid levels (0.90 [0.86–0.95]; P=5×10−5) were associated with lower risk. A risk score incorporating these four biomarkers was derived in FINRISK. Risk prediction estimates were more accurate in the two validation cohorts (relative integrated discrimination improvement 8.8% and 4.3%), albeit discrimination was not enhanced. Risk classification was particularly improved for persons in the 5–10% risk range (net reclassification 27.1% and 15.5%). Biomarker associations were further corroborated with mass spectrometry in FINRISK (n=671) and the Framingham Offspring Study (n=2289).
Conclusions
Metabolite profiling in large prospective cohorts identified phenylalanine, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids as biomarkers for cardiovascular risk. This study substantiates the value of high-throughput metabolomics for biomarker discovery and improved risk assessment.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.013116
PMCID: PMC4351161  PMID: 25573147
biomarkers; metabolomics; risk prediction; amino acids; fatty acids
6.  Genome-Wide Meta-Analysis of Cotinine Levels in Cigarette Smokers Identifies Locus at 4q13.2 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:20092.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of complex behavioural phenotypes such as cigarette smoking typically employ self-report phenotypes. However, precise biomarker phenotypes may afford greater statistical power and identify novel variants. Here we report the results of a GWAS meta-analysis of levels of cotinine, the primary metabolite of nicotine, in 4,548 daily smokers of European ancestry. We identified a locus close to UGT2B10 at 4q13.2 (minimum p = 5.89 × 10−10 for rs114612145), which was consequently replicated. This variant is in high linkage disequilibrium with a known functional variant in the UGT2B10 gene which is associated with reduced nicotine and cotinine glucuronidation activity, but intriguingly is not associated with nicotine intake. Additionally, we observed association between multiple variants within the 15q25.1 region and cotinine levels, all located within the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster or adjacent genes, consistent with previous much larger GWAS using self-report measures of smoking quantity. These results clearly illustrate the increase in power afforded by using precise biomarker measures in GWAS. Perhaps more importantly however, they also highlight that biomarkers do not always mark the phenotype of interest. The use of metabolite data as a proxy for environmental exposures should be carefully considered in the context of individual differences in metabolic pathways.
doi:10.1038/srep20092
PMCID: PMC4735517  PMID: 26833182
7.  Genome-wide meta-analysis uncovers novel loci influencing circulating leptin levels 
Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O. | Carli, Jayne F. Martin | Skowronski, Alicja A. | Sun, Qi | Kriebel, Jennifer | Feitosa, Mary F | Hedman, Åsa K. | Drong, Alexander W. | Hayes, James E. | Zhao, Jinghua | Pers, Tune H. | Schick, Ursula | Grarup, Niels | Kutalik, Zoltán | Trompet, Stella | Mangino, Massimo | Kristiansson, Kati | Beekman, Marian | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Eriksson, Joel | Henneman, Peter | Lahti, Jari | Tanaka, Toshiko | Luan, Jian'an | Greco M, Fabiola Del | Pasko, Dorota | Renström, Frida | Willems, Sara M. | Mahajan, Anubha | Rose, Lynda M. | Guo, Xiuqing | Liu, Yongmei | Kleber, Marcus E. | Pérusse, Louis | Gaunt, Tom | Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S. | Ju Sung, Yun | Ramos, Yolande F. | Amin, Najaf | Amuzu, Antoinette | Barroso, Inês | Bellis, Claire | Blangero, John | Buckley, Brendan M. | Böhringer, Stefan | I Chen, Yii-Der | de Craen, Anton J. N. | Crosslin, David R. | Dale, Caroline E. | Dastani, Zari | Day, Felix R. | Deelen, Joris | Delgado, Graciela E. | Demirkan, Ayse | Finucane, Francis M. | Ford, Ian | Garcia, Melissa E. | Gieger, Christian | Gustafsson, Stefan | Hallmans, Göran | Hankinson, Susan E. | Havulinna, Aki S | Herder, Christian | Hernandez, Dena | Hicks, Andrew A. | Hunter, David J. | Illig, Thomas | Ingelsson, Erik | Ioan-Facsinay, Andreea | Jansson, John-Olov | Jenny, Nancy S. | Jørgensen, Marit E. | Jørgensen, Torben | Karlsson, Magnus | Koenig, Wolfgang | Kraft, Peter | Kwekkeboom, Joanneke | Laatikainen, Tiina | Ladwig, Karl-Heinz | LeDuc, Charles A. | Lowe, Gordon | Lu, Yingchang | Marques-Vidal, Pedro | Meisinger, Christa | Menni, Cristina | Morris, Andrew P. | Myers, Richard H. | Männistö, Satu | Nalls, Mike A. | Paternoster, Lavinia | Peters, Annette | Pradhan, Aruna D. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Rasmussen-Torvik, Laura J. | Rathmann, Wolfgang | Rice, Treva K. | Brent Richards, J | Ridker, Paul M. | Sattar, Naveed | Savage, David B. | Söderberg, Stefan | Timpson, Nicholas J. | Vandenput, Liesbeth | van Heemst, Diana | Uh, Hae-Won | Vohl, Marie-Claude | Walker, Mark | Wichmann, Heinz-Erich | Widén, Elisabeth | Wood, Andrew R. | Yao, Jie | Zeller, Tanja | Zhang, Yiying | Meulenbelt, Ingrid | Kloppenburg, Margreet | Astrup, Arne | Sørensen, Thorkild I. A. | Sarzynski, Mark A. | Rao, D. C. | Jousilahti, Pekka | Vartiainen, Erkki | Hofman, Albert | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Uitterlinden, André G. | Kajantie, Eero | Osmond, Clive | Palotie, Aarno | Eriksson, Johan G. | Heliövaara, Markku | Knekt, Paul B. | Koskinen, Seppo | Jula, Antti | Perola, Markus | Huupponen, Risto K. | Viikari, Jorma S. | Kähönen, Mika | Lehtimäki, Terho | Raitakari, Olli T. | Mellström, Dan | Lorentzon, Mattias | Casas, Juan P. | Bandinelli, Stefanie | März, Winfried | Isaacs, Aaron | van Dijk, Ko W. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Harris, Tamara B. | Bouchard, Claude | Allison, Matthew A. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Ohlsson, Claes | Lind, Lars | Scott, Robert A. | Langenberg, Claudia | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Frayling, Timothy M. | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Waterworth, Dawn M. | Bergmann, Sven | Waeber, Gérard | Vollenweider, Peter | Vestergaard, Henrik | Hansen, Torben | Pedersen, Oluf | Hu, Frank B. | Eline Slagboom, P | Grallert, Harald | Spector, Tim D. | Jukema, J.W. | Klein, Robert J. | Schadt, Erik E | Franks, Paul W. | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Leibel, Rudolph L. | Loos, Ruth J. F.
Nature Communications  2016;7:10494.
Leptin is an adipocyte-secreted hormone, the circulating levels of which correlate closely with overall adiposity. Although rare mutations in the leptin (LEP) gene are well known to cause leptin deficiency and severe obesity, no common loci regulating circulating leptin levels have been uncovered. Therefore, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of circulating leptin levels from 32,161 individuals and followed up loci reaching P<10−6 in 19,979 additional individuals. We identify five loci robustly associated (P<5 × 10−8) with leptin levels in/near LEP, SLC32A1, GCKR, CCNL1 and FTO. Although the association of the FTO obesity locus with leptin levels is abolished by adjustment for BMI, associations of the four other loci are independent of adiposity. The GCKR locus was found associated with multiple metabolic traits in previous GWAS and the CCNL1 locus with birth weight. Knockdown experiments in mouse adipose tissue explants show convincing evidence for adipogenin, a regulator of adipocyte differentiation, as the novel causal gene in the SLC32A1 locus influencing leptin levels. Our findings provide novel insights into the regulation of leptin production by adipose tissue and open new avenues for examining the influence of variation in leptin levels on adiposity and metabolic health.
This meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies four genetic loci associated with circulating leptin levels independent of adiposity. Examination in mouse adipose tissue explants provides functional support for the leptin-associated loci.
doi:10.1038/ncomms10494
PMCID: PMC4740377  PMID: 26833098
8.  New loci for body fat percentage reveal link between adiposity and cardiometabolic disease risk 
Lu, Yingchang | Day, Felix R. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Na, Jianbo | Bataille, Veronique | Cousminer, Diana L. | Dastani, Zari | Drong, Alexander W. | Esko, Tõnu | Evans, David M. | Falchi, Mario | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ferreira, Teresa | Hedman, Åsa K. | Haring, Robin | Hysi, Pirro G. | Iles, Mark M. | Justice, Anne E. | Kanoni, Stavroula | Lagou, Vasiliki | Li, Rui | Li, Xin | Locke, Adam | Lu, Chen | Mägi, Reedik | Perry, John R. B. | Pers, Tune H. | Qi, Qibin | Sanna, Marianna | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Scott, William R. | Shungin, Dmitry | Teumer, Alexander | Vinkhuyzen, Anna A. E. | Walker, Ryan W. | Westra, Harm-Jan | Zhang, Mingfeng | Zhang, Weihua | Zhao, Jing Hua | Zhu, Zhihong | Afzal, Uzma | Ahluwalia, Tarunveer Singh | Bakker, Stephan J. L. | Bellis, Claire | Bonnefond, Amélie | Borodulin, Katja | Buchman, Aron S. | Cederholm, Tommy | Choh, Audrey C. | Choi, Hyung Jin | Curran, Joanne E. | de Groot, Lisette C. P. G. M. | De Jager, Philip L. | Dhonukshe-Rutten, Rosalie A. M. | Enneman, Anke W. | Eury, Elodie | Evans, Daniel S. | Forsen, Tom | Friedrich, Nele | Fumeron, Frédéric | Garcia, Melissa E. | Gärtner, Simone | Han, Bok-Ghee | Havulinna, Aki S. | Hayward, Caroline | Hernandez, Dena | Hillege, Hans | Ittermann, Till | Kent, Jack W. | Kolcic, Ivana | Laatikainen, Tiina | Lahti, Jari | Leach, Irene Mateo | Lee, Christine G. | Lee, Jong-Young | Liu, Tian | Liu, Youfang | Lobbens, Stéphane | Loh, Marie | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Medina-Gomez, Carolina | Michaëlsson, Karl | Nalls, Mike A. | Nielson, Carrie M. | Oozageer, Laticia | Pascoe, Laura | Paternoster, Lavinia | Polašek, Ozren | Ripatti, Samuli | Sarzynski, Mark A. | Shin, Chan Soo | Narančić, Nina Smolej | Spira, Dominik | Srikanth, Priya | Steinhagen-Thiessen, Elisabeth | Sung, Yun Ju | Swart, Karin M. A. | Taittonen, Leena | Tanaka, Toshiko | Tikkanen, Emmi | van der Velde, Nathalie | van Schoor, Natasja M. | Verweij, Niek | Wright, Alan F. | Yu, Lei | Zmuda, Joseph M. | Eklund, Niina | Forrester, Terrence | Grarup, Niels | Jackson, Anne U. | Kristiansson, Kati | Kuulasmaa, Teemu | Kuusisto, Johanna | Lichtner, Peter | Luan, Jian'an | Mahajan, Anubha | Männistö, Satu | Palmer, Cameron D. | Ried, Janina S. | Scott, Robert A. | Stancáková, Alena | Wagner, Peter J. | Demirkan, Ayse | Döring, Angela | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Kiel, Douglas P. | Kühnel, Brigitte | Mangino, Massimo | Mcknight, Barbara | Menni, Cristina | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Oostra, Ben A. | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Song, Kijoung | Vandenput, Liesbeth | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Vollenweider, Peter | White, Charles C. | Boehnke, Michael | Boettcher, Yvonne | Cooper, Richard S. | Forouhi, Nita G. | Gieger, Christian | Grallert, Harald | Hingorani, Aroon | Jørgensen, Torben | Jousilahti, Pekka | Kivimaki, Mika | Kumari, Meena | Laakso, Markku | Langenberg, Claudia | Linneberg, Allan | Luke, Amy | Mckenzie, Colin A. | Palotie, Aarno | Pedersen, Oluf | Peters, Annette | Strauch, Konstantin | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Bennett, David A. | Bertram, Lars | Blangero, John | Blüher, Matthias | Bouchard, Claude | Campbell, Harry | Cho, Nam H. | Cummings, Steven R. | Czerwinski, Stefan A. | Demuth, Ilja | Eckardt, Rahel | Eriksson, Johan G. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Franco, Oscar H. | Froguel, Philippe | Gansevoort, Ron T. | Hansen, Torben | Harris, Tamara B. | Hastie, Nicholas | Heliövaara, Markku | Hofman, Albert | Jordan, Joanne M. | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kajantie, Eero | Knekt, Paul B. | Koskinen, Seppo | Kovacs, Peter | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lind, Lars | Liu, Yongmei | Orwoll, Eric S. | Osmond, Clive | Perola, Markus | Pérusse, Louis | Raitakari, Olli T. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Rao, D. C. | Rice, Treva K. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Salomaa, Veikko | Sørensen, Thorkild I. A. | Stumvoll, Michael | Tönjes, Anke | Towne, Bradford | Tranah, Gregory J. | Tremblay, Angelo | Uitterlinden, André G. | van der Harst, Pim | Vartiainen, Erkki | Viikari, Jorma S. | Vitart, Veronique | Vohl, Marie-Claude | Völzke, Henry | Walker, Mark | Wallaschofski, Henri | Wild, Sarah | Wilson, James F. | Yengo, Loïc | Bishop, D. Timothy | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Chambers, John C. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Dehghan, Abbas | Deloukas, Panos | Fatemifar, Ghazaleh | Fox, Caroline | Furey, Terrence S. | Franke, Lude | Han, Jiali | Hunter, David J. | Karjalainen, Juha | Karpe, Fredrik | Kaplan, Robert C. | Kooner, Jaspal S. | McCarthy, Mark I. | Murabito, Joanne M. | Morris, Andrew P. | Bishop, Julia A. N. | North, Kari E. | Ohlsson, Claes | Ong, Ken K. | Prokopenko, Inga | Richards, J. Brent | Schadt, Eric E. | Spector, Tim D. | Widén, Elisabeth | Willer, Cristen J. | Yang, Jian | Ingelsson, Erik | Mohlke, Karen L. | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Pospisilik, John Andrew | Zillikens, M. Carola | Lindgren, Cecilia | Kilpeläinen, Tuomas Oskari | Loos, Ruth J. F.
Nature Communications  2016;7:10495.
To increase our understanding of the genetic basis of adiposity and its links to cardiometabolic disease risk, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of body fat percentage (BF%) in up to 100,716 individuals. Twelve loci reached genome-wide significance (P<5 × 10−8), of which eight were previously associated with increased overall adiposity (BMI, BF%) and four (in or near COBLL1/GRB14, IGF2BP1, PLA2G6, CRTC1) were novel associations with BF%. Seven loci showed a larger effect on BF% than on BMI, suggestive of a primary association with adiposity, while five loci showed larger effects on BMI than on BF%, suggesting association with both fat and lean mass. In particular, the loci more strongly associated with BF% showed distinct cross-phenotype association signatures with a range of cardiometabolic traits revealing new insights in the link between adiposity and disease risk.
A genome-wide association meta-analysis study here shows novel genetic loci to be associated to body fat percentage, and describes cross-phenotype association that further demonstrate a close relationship between adiposity and cardiovascular disease risk.
doi:10.1038/ncomms10495
PMCID: PMC4740398  PMID: 26833246
9.  Trans-ancestry genome-wide association study identifies 12 genetic loci influencing blood pressure and implicates a role for DNA methylation 
Kato, Norihiro | Loh, Marie | Takeuchi, Fumihiko | Verweij, Niek | Wang, Xu | Zhang, Weihua | Kelly, Tanika N | Saleheen, Danish | Lehne, Benjamin | Leach, Irene Mateo | Drong, Alexander W | Abbott, James | Wahl, Simone | Tan, Sian-Tsung | Scott, William R | Campanella, Gianluca | Chadeau-Hyam, Marc | Afzal, Uzma | Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S | Bonder, Marc Jan | Chen, Peng | Dehghan, Abbas | Edwards, Todd L | Esko, Tõnu | Go, Min Jin | Harris, Sarah E | Hartiala, Jaana | Kasela, Silva | Kasturiratne, Anuradhani | Khor, Chiea-Chuen | Kleber, Marcus E | Li, Huaixing | Yu Mok, Zuan | Nakatochi, Masahiro | Sapari, Nur Sabrina | Saxena, Richa | Stewart, Alexandre F R | Stolk, Lisette | Tabara, Yasuharu | Teh, Ai Ling | Wu, Ying | Wu, Jer-Yuarn | Zhang, Yi | Aits, Imke | Da Silva Couto Alves, Alexessander | Das, Shikta | Dorajoo, Rajkumar | Hopewell, Jemma C | Kim, Yun Kyoung | Koivula, Robert W | Luan, Jian’an | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Nguyen, Quang N | Pereira, Mark A | Postmus, Iris | Raitakari, Olli T | Bryan, Molly Scannell | Scott, Robert A | Sorice, Rossella | Tragante, Vinicius | Traglia, Michela | White, Jon | Yamamoto, Ken | Zhang, Yonghong | Adair, Linda S | Ahmed, Alauddin | Akiyama, Koichi | Asif, Rasheed | Aung, Tin | Barroso, Inês | Bjonnes, Andrew | Braun, Timothy R | Cai, Hui | Chang, Li-Ching | Chen, Chien-Hsiun | Cheng, Ching-Yu | Chong, Yap-Seng | Collins, Rory | Courtney, Regina | Davies, Gail | Delgado, Graciela | Do, Loi D | Doevendans, Pieter A | Gansevoort, Ron T | Gao, Yu-Tang | Grammer, Tanja B | Grarup, Niels | Grewal, Jagvir | Gu, Dongfeng | Wander, Gurpreet S | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hazen, Stanley L | He, Jing | Heng, Chew-Kiat | Hixson, James E | Hofman, Albert | Hsu, Chris | Huang, Wei | Husemoen, Lise L N | Hwang, Joo-Yeon | Ichihara, Sahoko | Igase, Michiya | Isono, Masato | Justesen, Johanne M | Katsuya, Tomohiro | Kibriya, Muhammad G | Kim, Young Jin | Kishimoto, Miyako | Koh, Woon-Puay | Kohara, Katsuhiko | Kumari, Meena | Kwek, Kenneth | Lee, Nanette R | Lee, Jeannette | Liao, Jiemin | Lieb, Wolfgang | Liewald, David C M | Matsubara, Tatsuaki | Matsushita, Yumi | Meitinger, Thomas | Mihailov, Evelin | Milani, Lili | Mills, Rebecca | Mononen, Nina | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nabika, Toru | Nakashima, Eitaro | Ng, Hong Kiat | Nikus, Kjell | Nutile, Teresa | Ohkubo, Takayoshi | Ohnaka, Keizo | Parish, Sarah | Paternoster, Lavinia | Peng, Hao | Peters, Annette | Pham, Son T | Pinidiyapathirage, Mohitha J | Rahman, Mahfuzar | Rakugi, Hiromi | Rolandsson, Olov | Ann Rozario, Michelle | Ruggiero, Daniela | Sala, Cinzia F | Sarju, Ralhan | Shimokawa, Kazuro | Snieder, Harold | Sparsø, Thomas | Spiering, Wilko | Starr, John M | Stott, David J | Stram, Daniel O | Sugiyama, Takao | Szymczak, Silke | Tang, W H Wilson | Tong, Lin | Trompet, Stella | Turjanmaa, Väinö | Ueshima, Hirotsugu | Uitterlinden, André G | Umemura, Satoshi | Vaarasmaki, Marja | van Dam, Rob M | van Gilst, Wiek H | van Veldhuisen, Dirk J | Viikari, Jorma S | Waldenberger, Melanie | Wang, Yiqin | Wang, Aili | Wilson, Rory | Wong, Tien-Yin | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Yamaguchi, Shuhei | Ye, Xingwang | Young, Robin D | Young, Terri L | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zhou, Xueya | Asselbergs, Folkert W | Ciullo, Marina | Clarke, Robert | Deloukas, Panos | Franke, Andre | Franks, Paul W | Franks, Steve | Friedlander, Yechiel | Gross, Myron D | Guo, Zhirong | Hansen, Torben | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jørgensen, Torben | Jukema, J Wouter | kähönen, Mika | Kajio, Hiroshi | Kivimaki, Mika | Lee, Jong-Young | Lehtimäki, Terho | Linneberg, Allan | Miki, Tetsuro | Pedersen, Oluf | Samani, Nilesh J | Sørensen, Thorkild I A | Takayanagi, Ryoichi | Toniolo, Daniela | Ahsan, Habibul | Allayee, Hooman | Chen, Yuan-Tsong | Danesh, John | Deary, Ian J | Franco, Oscar H | Franke, Lude | Heijman, Bastiaan T | Holbrook, Joanna D | Isaacs, Aaron | Kim, Bong-Jo | Lin, Xu | Liu, Jianjun | März, Winfried | Metspalu, Andres | Mohlke, Karen L | Sanghera, Dharambir K | Shu, Xiao-Ou | van Meurs, Joyce B J | Vithana, Eranga | Wickremasinghe, Ananda R | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H W | Yokota, Mitsuhiro | Zheng, Wei | Zhu, Dingliang | Vineis, Paolo | Kyrtopoulos, Soterios A | Kleinjans, Jos C S | McCarthy, Mark I | Soong, Richie | Gieger, Christian | Scott, James | Teo, Yik-Ying | He, Jiang | Elliott, Paul | Tai, E Shyong | van der Harst, Pim | Kooner, Jaspal S | Chambers, John C
Nature genetics  2015;47(11):1282-1293.
We carried out a trans-ancestry genome-wide association and replication study of blood pressure phenotypes among up to 320,251 individuals of East Asian, European and South Asian ancestry. We find genetic variants at 12 new loci to be associated with blood pressure (P = 3.9 × 10−11 to 5.0 × 10−21). The sentinel blood pressure SNPs are enriched for association with DNA methylation at multiple nearby CpG sites, suggesting that, at some of the loci identified, DNA methylation may lie on the regulatory pathway linking sequence variation to blood pressure. The sentinel SNPs at the 12 new loci point to genes involved in vascular smooth muscle (IGFBP3, KCNK3, PDE3A and PRDM6) and renal (ARHGAP24, OSR1, SLC22A7 and TBX2) function. The new and known genetic variants predict increased left ventricular mass, circulating levels of NT-proBNP, and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality (P = 0.04 to 8.6 × 10−6). Our results provide new evidence for the role of DNA methylation in blood pressure regulation.
doi:10.1038/ng.3405
PMCID: PMC4719169  PMID: 26390057
10.  The Combined Effect of Common Genetic Risk Variants on Circulating Lipoproteins Is Evident in Childhood: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(1):e0146081.
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides (TG) are modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Several genetic loci for predisposition to abnormal LDL-C, HDL-C and TG have been identified. However, it remains unclear whether these loci are consistently associated with serum lipid levels at each age or with unique developmental trajectories. Therefore, we assessed the association between genome wide association studies (GWAS) derived polygenic genetic risk scores and LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglyceride trajectories from childhood to adulthood using data available from the 27-year European ‘Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns’ Study. For 2,442 participants, three weighted genetic risk scores (wGRSs) for HDL-C (38 SNPs), LDL-C (14 SNPs) and triglycerides (24 SNPs) were computed and tested for association with serum lipoprotein levels measured up to 8 times between 1980 and 2011. The categorical analyses revealed no clear divergence of blood lipid trajectories over time between wGRSs categories, with participants in the lower wGRS quartiles tending to have average lipoprotein concentrations 30 to 45% lower than those in the upper-quartile wGRS beginning at age 3 years and continuing through to age 49 years (where the upper-quartile wGRS have 4–7 more risk alleles than the lower wGRS group). Continuous analyses, however, revealed a significant but moderate time-dependent genetic interaction for HDL-C levels, with the association between HDL-C and the continuous HDL-C risk score weakening slightly with age. Conversely, in males, the association between the continuous TG genetic risk score and triglycerides levels tended to be lower in childhood and become more pronounced after the age of 25 years. Although the influence of genetic factors on age-specific lipoprotein values and developmental trajectories is complex, our data show that wGRSs are highly predictive of HDL-C, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels at all ages.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0146081
PMCID: PMC4701181  PMID: 26731281
11.  Sixteen new lung function signals identified through 1000 Genomes Project reference panel imputation 
Artigas, María Soler | Wain, Louise V. | Miller, Suzanne | Kheirallah, Abdul Kader | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Ntalla, Ioanna | Shrine, Nick | Obeidat, Ma'en | Trochet, Holly | McArdle, Wendy L. | Alves, Alexessander Couto | Hui, Jennie | Zhao, Jing Hua | Joshi, Peter K. | Teumer, Alexander | Albrecht, Eva | Imboden, Medea | Rawal, Rajesh | Lopez, Lorna M. | Marten, Jonathan | Enroth, Stefan | Surakka, Ida | Polasek, Ozren | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Granell, Raquel | Hysi, Pirro G. | Flexeder, Claudia | Mahajan, Anubha | Beilby, John | Bossé, Yohan | Brandsma, Corry-Anke | Campbell, Harry | Gieger, Christian | Gläser, Sven | González, Juan R. | Grallert, Harald | Hammond, Chris J. | Harris, Sarah E. | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Heliövaara, Markku | Henderson, John | Hocking, Lynne | Horikoshi, Momoko | Hutri-Kähönen, Nina | Ingelsson, Erik | Johansson, Åsa | Kemp, John P. | Kolcic, Ivana | Kumar, Ashish | Lind, Lars | Melén, Erik | Musk, Arthur W. | Navarro, Pau | Nickle, David C. | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Raitakari, Olli T. | Ried, Janina S. | Ripatti, Samuli | Schulz, Holger | Scott, Robert A. | Sin, Don D. | Starr, John M. | Viñuela, Ana | Völzke, Henry | Wild, Sarah H. | Wright, Alan F. | Zemunik, Tatijana | Jarvis, Deborah L. | Spector, Tim D. | Evans, David M. | Lehtimäki, Terho | Vitart, Veronique | Kähönen, Mika | Gyllensten, Ulf | Rudan, Igor | Deary, Ian J. | Karrasch, Stefan | Probst-Hensch, Nicole M. | Heinrich, Joachim | Stubbe, Beate | Wilson, James F. | Wareham, Nicholas J. | James, Alan L. | Morris, Andrew P. | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Hayward, Caroline | Sayers, Ian | Strachan, David P. | Hall, Ian P. | Tobin, Martin D.
Nature Communications  2015;6:8658.
Lung function measures are used in the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In 38,199 European ancestry individuals, we studied genome-wide association of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC) and FEV1/FVC with 1000 Genomes Project (phase 1)-imputed genotypes and followed up top associations in 54,550 Europeans. We identify 14 novel loci (P<5 × 10−8) in or near ENSA, RNU5F-1, KCNS3, AK097794, ASTN2, LHX3, CCDC91, TBX3, TRIP11, RIN3, TEKT5, LTBP4, MN1 and AP1S2, and two novel signals at known loci NPNT and GPR126, providing a basis for new understanding of the genetic determinants of these traits and pulmonary diseases in which they are altered.
Genetic and environmental factors impact on lung function, important in the diagnosis of pulmonary diseases. Here the authors use imputation of genotypes to the 1000 Genomes Project reference panel to identify novel, low frequency variants associated with lung function.
doi:10.1038/ncomms9658
PMCID: PMC4686825  PMID: 26635082
12.  Genetic Determinants of Circulating Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Levels and Their Association With Glycemic Traits 
Diabetes  2014;63(12):4343-4359.
The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1β is implicated in the development of insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction, whereas higher circulating levels of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), an endogenous inhibitor of IL-1β, has been suggested to improve glycemia and β-cell function in patients with type 2 diabetes. To elucidate the protective role of IL-1RA, this study aimed to identify genetic determinants of circulating IL-1RA concentration and to investigate their associations with immunological and metabolic variables related to cardiometabolic risk. In the analysis of seven discovery and four replication cohort studies, two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were independently associated with circulating IL-1RA concentration (rs4251961 at the IL1RN locus [n = 13,955, P = 2.76 × 10−21] and rs6759676, closest gene locus IL1F10 [n = 13,994, P = 1.73 × 10−17]). The proportion of the variance in IL-1RA explained by both SNPs combined was 2.0%. IL-1RA–raising alleles of both SNPs were associated with lower circulating C-reactive protein concentration. The IL-1RA–raising allele of rs6759676 was also associated with lower fasting insulin levels and lower HOMA insulin resistance. In conclusion, we show that circulating IL-1RA levels are predicted by two independent SNPs at the IL1RN and IL1F10 loci and that genetically raised IL-1RA may be protective against the development of insulin resistance.
doi:10.2337/db14-0731
PMCID: PMC4237993  PMID: 24969107
13.  Subtle increases in heart size persist into adulthood in growth restricted babies: the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study 
Open Heart  2015;2(1):e000265.
Background and objectives
Impaired fetal growth is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adulthood. We sought to determine whether adults born with intrauterine growth restriction have primary maladaptive changes in cardiac structure.
Methods
Study participants were adults (34–49 years) who attended the 31-year follow-up of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (longitudinal cohort). Transthoracic echocardiograms and demographic and cardiovascular risk surveys were completed for 157 adults born small for gestational age (SGA, birth weight <10th population centile) and 627 born average for gestational age (average for gestational age (AGA), birth weight 50th–90th population centile).
Results
Those born growth restricted had subtly enlarged hearts with indexed left ventricular (LV) end-systolic and end-diastolic diameters slightly greater in the SGA individuals than the AGA group (LVESD 18.7 mm/m2 SGA vs 18.1 mm/m2 AGA, p<0.01; LVEDD 27.5 mm/m2 SGA vs 26.6 mm/m2 AGA, p<0.01); LV base-to-apex length (47.4 mm/m2 SGA vs 46.0 mm/m2 AGA, p<0.01); LV basal diameter (26.4 mm/m2 SGA vs 25.7 mm/m2 AGA, p<0.01); and right ventricular base-to-apex length (40.1 mm/m2 SGA vs 39.2 mm/m2 AGA, p=0.02). LV stroke volume was greater in those born AGA (74.5 mL SGA vs 78.8 mL AGA, p<0.01), with no significant difference in cardiac output (5 L/min SGA vs 5.2 L/min AGA, p=0.06), heart rate, diastolic indices or sphericity index.
Conclusions
Adults born SGA have some statistically significant but subtle changes in cardiac structure and function, which are less marked than have been described in childhood, and are unlikely to play a pathogenic role in their elevated cardiovascular risk.
doi:10.1136/openhrt-2015-000265
PMCID: PMC4555072  PMID: 26339495
CARDIAC FUNCTION
14.  Genome-wide association study of sexual maturation in males and females highlights a role for body mass and menarche loci in male puberty 
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(16):4452-4464.
Little is known about genes regulating male puberty. Further, while many identified pubertal timing variants associate with age at menarche, a late manifestation of puberty, and body mass, little is known about these variants' relationship to pubertal initiation or tempo. To address these questions, we performed genome-wide association meta-analysis in over 11 000 European samples with data on early pubertal traits, male genital and female breast development, measured by the Tanner scale. We report the first genome-wide significant locus for male sexual development upstream of myocardin-like 2 (MKL2) (P = 8.9 × 10−9), a menarche locus tagging a developmental pathway linking earlier puberty with reduced pubertal growth (P = 4.6 × 10−5) and short adult stature (p = 7.5 × 10−6) in both males and females. Furthermore, our results indicate that a proportion of menarche loci are important for pubertal initiation in both sexes. Consistent with epidemiological correlations between increased prepubertal body mass and earlier pubertal timing in girls, body mass index (BMI)-increasing alleles correlated with earlier breast development. In boys, some BMI-increasing alleles associated with earlier, and others with delayed, sexual development; these genetic results mimic the controversy in epidemiological studies, some of which show opposing correlations between prepubertal BMI and male puberty. Our results contribute to our understanding of the pubertal initiation program in both sexes and indicate that although mechanisms regulating pubertal onset in males and females may largely be shared, the relationship between body mass and pubertal timing in boys may be complex and requires further genetic studies.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddu150
PMCID: PMC4168307  PMID: 24770850
15.  Genetic determinants of heel bone properties: genome-wide association meta-analysis and replication in the GEFOS/GENOMOS consortium 
Moayyeri, Alireza | Hsu, Yi-Hsiang | Karasik, David | Estrada, Karol | Xiao, Su-Mei | Nielson, Carrie | Srikanth, Priya | Giroux, Sylvie | Wilson, Scott G. | Zheng, Hou-Feng | Smith, Albert V. | Pye, Stephen R. | Leo, Paul J. | Teumer, Alexander | Hwang, Joo-Yeon | Ohlsson, Claes | McGuigan, Fiona | Minster, Ryan L. | Hayward, Caroline | Olmos, José M. | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Lewis, Joshua R. | Swart, Karin M.A. | Masi, Laura | Oldmeadow, Chris | Holliday, Elizabeth G. | Cheng, Sulin | van Schoor, Natasja M. | Harvey, Nicholas C. | Kruk, Marcin | del Greco M, Fabiola | Igl, Wilmar | Trummer, Olivia | Grigoriou, Efi | Luben, Robert | Liu, Ching-Ti | Zhou, Yanhua | Oei, Ling | Medina-Gomez, Carolina | Zmuda, Joseph | Tranah, Greg | Brown, Suzanne J. | Williams, Frances M. | Soranzo, Nicole | Jakobsdottir, Johanna | Siggeirsdottir, Kristin | Holliday, Kate L. | Hannemann, Anke | Go, Min Jin | Garcia, Melissa | Polasek, Ozren | Laaksonen, Marika | Zhu, Kun | Enneman, Anke W. | McEvoy, Mark | Peel, Roseanne | Sham, Pak Chung | Jaworski, Maciej | Johansson, Åsa | Hicks, Andrew A. | Pludowski, Pawel | Scott, Rodney | Dhonukshe-Rutten, Rosalie A.M. | van der Velde, Nathalie | Kähönen, Mika | Viikari, Jorma S. | Sievänen, Harri | Raitakari, Olli T. | González-Macías, Jesús | Hernández, Jose L. | Mellström, Dan | Ljunggren, Östen | Cho, Yoon Shin | Völker, Uwe | Nauck, Matthias | Homuth, Georg | Völzke, Henry | Haring, Robin | Brown, Matthew A. | McCloskey, Eugene | Nicholson, Geoffrey C. | Eastell, Richard | Eisman, John A. | Jones, Graeme | Reid, Ian R. | Dennison, Elaine M. | Wark, John | Boonen, Steven | Vanderschueren, Dirk | Wu, Frederick C.W. | Aspelund, Thor | Richards, J. Brent | Bauer, Doug | Hofman, Albert | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Dedoussis, George | Obermayer-Pietsch, Barbara | Gyllensten, Ulf | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Lorenc, Roman S. | Cooper, Cyrus | Kung, Annie Wai Chee | Lips, Paul | Alen, Markku | Attia, John | Brandi, Maria Luisa | de Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. | Lehtimäki, Terho | Riancho, José A. | Campbell, Harry | Liu, Yongmei | Harris, Tamara B. | Akesson, Kristina | Karlsson, Magnus | Lee, Jong-Young | Wallaschofski, Henri | Duncan, Emma L. | O'Neill, Terence W. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Spector, Timothy D. | Rousseau, François | Orwoll, Eric | Cummings, Steven R. | Wareham, Nick J. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Prince, Richard L. | Kiel, Douglas P. | Reeve, Jonathan | Kaptoge, Stephen K.
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(11):3054-3068.
Quantitative ultrasound of the heel captures heel bone properties that independently predict fracture risk and, with bone mineral density (BMD) assessed by X-ray (DXA), may be convenient alternatives for evaluating osteoporosis and fracture risk. We performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association (GWA) studies to assess the genetic determinants of heel broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA; n = 14 260), velocity of sound (VOS; n = 15 514) and BMD (n = 4566) in 13 discovery cohorts. Independent replication involved seven cohorts with GWA data (in silico n = 11 452) and new genotyping in 15 cohorts (de novo n = 24 902). In combined random effects, meta-analysis of the discovery and replication cohorts, nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) had genome-wide significant (P < 5 × 10−8) associations with heel bone properties. Alongside SNPs within or near previously identified osteoporosis susceptibility genes including ESR1 (6q25.1: rs4869739, rs3020331, rs2982552), SPTBN1 (2p16.2: rs11898505), RSPO3 (6q22.33: rs7741021), WNT16 (7q31.31: rs2908007), DKK1 (10q21.1: rs7902708) and GPATCH1 (19q13.11: rs10416265), we identified a new locus on chromosome 11q14.2 (rs597319 close to TMEM135, a gene recently linked to osteoblastogenesis and longevity) significantly associated with both BUA and VOS (P < 8.23 × 10−14). In meta-analyses involving 25 cohorts with up to 14 985 fracture cases, six of 10 SNPs associated with heel bone properties at P < 5 × 10−6 also had the expected direction of association with any fracture (P < 0.05), including three SNPs with P < 0.005: 6q22.33 (rs7741021), 7q31.31 (rs2908007) and 10q21.1 (rs7902708). In conclusion, this GWA study reveals the effect of several genes common to central DXA-derived BMD and heel ultrasound/DXA measures and points to a new genetic locus with potential implications for better understanding of osteoporosis pathophysiology.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt675
PMCID: PMC4038791  PMID: 24430505
16.  Gene × dietary pattern interactions in obesity: analysis of up to 68 317 adults of European ancestry 
Human Molecular Genetics  2015;24(16):4728-4738.
Obesity is highly heritable. Genetic variants showing robust associations with obesity traits have been identified through genome-wide association studies. We investigated whether a composite score representing healthy diet modifies associations of these variants with obesity traits. Totally, 32 body mass index (BMI)- and 14 waist–hip ratio (WHR)-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped, and genetic risk scores (GRS) were calculated in 18 cohorts of European ancestry (n = 68 317). Diet score was calculated based on self-reported intakes of whole grains, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds (favorable) and red/processed meats, sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages and fried potatoes (unfavorable). Multivariable adjusted, linear regression within each cohort followed by inverse variance-weighted, fixed-effects meta-analysis was used to characterize: (a) associations of each GRS with BMI and BMI-adjusted WHR and (b) diet score modification of genetic associations with BMI and BMI-adjusted WHR. Nominally significant interactions (P = 0.006–0.04) were observed between the diet score and WHR-GRS (but not BMI-GRS), two WHR loci (GRB14 rs10195252; LYPLAL1 rs4846567) and two BMI loci (LRRN6C rs10968576; MTIF3 rs4771122), for the respective BMI-adjusted WHR or BMI outcomes. Although the magnitudes of these select interactions were small, our data indicated that associations between genetic predisposition and obesity traits were stronger with a healthier diet. Our findings generate interesting hypotheses; however, experimental and functional studies are needed to determine their clinical relevance.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddv186
PMCID: PMC4512626  PMID: 25994509
17.  Genetic association study of QT interval highlights role for calcium signaling pathways in myocardial repolarization 
Arking, Dan E. | Pulit, Sara L. | Crotti, Lia | van der Harst, Pim | Munroe, Patricia B. | Koopmann, Tamara T. | Sotoodehnia, Nona | Rossin, Elizabeth J. | Morley, Michael | Wang, Xinchen | Johnson, Andrew D. | Lundby, Alicia | Gudbjartsson, Daníel F. | Noseworthy, Peter A. | Eijgelsheim, Mark | Bradford, Yuki | Tarasov, Kirill V. | Dörr, Marcus | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Lahtinen, Annukka M. | Nolte, Ilja M. | Smith, Albert Vernon | Bis, Joshua C. | Isaacs, Aaron | Newhouse, Stephen J. | Evans, Daniel S. | Post, Wendy S. | Waggott, Daryl | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Hicks, Andrew A. | Eisele, Lewin | Ellinghaus, David | Hayward, Caroline | Navarro, Pau | Ulivi, Sheila | Tanaka, Toshiko | Tester, David J. | Chatel, Stéphanie | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kumari, Meena | Morris, Richard W. | Naluai, Åsa T. | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Kluttig, Alexander | Strohmer, Bernhard | Panayiotou, Andrie G. | Torres, Maria | Knoflach, Michael | Hubacek, Jaroslav A. | Slowikowski, Kamil | Raychaudhuri, Soumya | Kumar, Runjun D. | Harris, Tamara B. | Launer, Lenore J. | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Alonso, Alvaro | Bader, Joel S. | Ehret, Georg | Huang, Hailiang | Kao, W.H. Linda | Strait, James B. | Macfarlane, Peter W. | Brown, Morris | Caulfield, Mark J. | Samani, Nilesh J. | Kronenberg, Florian | Willeit, Johann | Smith, J. Gustav | Greiser, Karin H. | zu Schwabedissen, Henriette Meyer | Werdan, Karl | Carella, Massimo | Zelante, Leopoldo | Heckbert, Susan R. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Kolcic, Ivana | Polašek, Ozren | Wright, Alan F. | Griffin, Maura | Daly, Mark J. | Arnar, David O. | Hólm, Hilma | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Denny, Joshua C. | Roden, Dan M. | Zuvich, Rebecca L. | Emilsson, Valur | Plump, Andrew S. | Larson, Martin G. | O'Donnell, Christopher J. | Yin, Xiaoyan | Bobbo, Marco | D'Adamo, Adamo P. | Iorio, Annamaria | Sinagra, Gianfranco | Carracedo, Angel | Cummings, Steven R. | Nalls, Michael A. | Jula, Antti | Kontula, Kimmo K. | Marjamaa, Annukka | Oikarinen, Lasse | Perola, Markus | Porthan, Kimmo | Erbel, Raimund | Hoffmann, Per | Jöckel, Karl-Heinz | Kälsch, Hagen | Nöthen, Markus M. | consortium, HRGEN | den Hoed, Marcel | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Thelle, Dag S. | Gieger, Christian | Meitinger, Thomas | Perz, Siegfried | Peters, Annette | Prucha, Hanna | Sinner, Moritz F. | Waldenberger, Melanie | de Boer, Rudolf A. | Franke, Lude | van der Vleuten, Pieter A. | Beckmann, Britt Maria | Martens, Eimo | Bardai, Abdennasser | Hofman, Nynke | Wilde, Arthur A.M. | Behr, Elijah R. | Dalageorgou, Chrysoula | Giudicessi, John R. | Medeiros-Domingo, Argelia | Barc, Julien | Kyndt, Florence | Probst, Vincent | Ghidoni, Alice | Insolia, Roberto | Hamilton, Robert M. | Scherer, Stephen W. | Brandimarto, Jeffrey | Margulies, Kenneth | Moravec, Christine E. | Fabiola Del, Greco M. | Fuchsberger, Christian | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Lee, Wai K. | Watt, Graham C.M. | Campbell, Harry | Wild, Sarah H. | El Mokhtari, Nour E. | Frey, Norbert | Asselbergs, Folkert W. | Leach, Irene Mateo | Navis, Gerjan | van den Berg, Maarten P. | van Veldhuisen, Dirk J. | Kellis, Manolis | Krijthe, Bouwe P. | Franco, Oscar H. | Hofman, Albert | Kors, Jan A. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Witteman, Jacqueline C.M. | Kedenko, Lyudmyla | Lamina, Claudia | Oostra, Ben A. | Abecasis, Gonçalo R. | Lakatta, Edward G. | Mulas, Antonella | Orrú, Marco | Schlessinger, David | Uda, Manuela | Markus, Marcello R.P. | Völker, Uwe | Snieder, Harold | Spector, Timothy D. | Ärnlöv, Johan | Lind, Lars | Sundström, Johan | Syvänen, Ann-Christine | Kivimaki, Mika | Kähönen, Mika | Mononen, Nina | Raitakari, Olli T. | Viikari, Jorma S. | Adamkova, Vera | Kiechl, Stefan | Brion, Maria | Nicolaides, Andrew N. | Paulweber, Bernhard | Haerting, Johannes | Dominiczak, Anna F. | Nyberg, Fredrik | Whincup, Peter H. | Hingorani, Aroon | Schott, Jean-Jacques | Bezzina, Connie R. | Ingelsson, Erik | Ferrucci, Luigi | Gasparini, Paolo | Wilson, James F. | Rudan, Igor | Franke, Andre | Mühleisen, Thomas W. | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Lehtimäki, Terho J. | Paterson, Andrew D. | Parsa, Afshin | Liu, Yongmei | van Duijn, Cornelia | Siscovick, David S. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Jamshidi, Yalda | Salomaa, Veikko | Felix, Stephan B. | Sanna, Serena | Ritchie, Marylyn D. | Stricker, Bruno H. | Stefansson, Kari | Boyer, Laurie A. | Cappola, Thomas P. | Olsen, Jesper V. | Lage, Kasper | Schwartz, Peter J. | Kääb, Stefan | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Ackerman, Michael J. | Pfeufer, Arne | de Bakker, Paul I.W. | Newton-Cheh, Christopher
Nature genetics  2014;46(8):826-836.
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.
doi:10.1038/ng.3014
PMCID: PMC4124521  PMID: 24952745
genome-wide association study; QT interval; Long QT Syndrome; sudden cardiac death; myocardial repolarization; arrhythmias
18.  Genome-wide association analysis identifies six new loci associated with forced vital capacity 
Loth, Daan W. | Artigas, María Soler | Gharib, Sina A. | Wain, Louise V. | Franceschini, Nora | Koch, Beate | Pottinger, Tess | Smith, Albert Vernon | Duan, Qing | Oldmeadow, Chris | Lee, Mi Kyeong | Strachan, David P. | James, Alan L. | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Vitart, Veronique | Ramasamy, Adaikalavan | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Kaprio, Jaakko | Wang, Xin-Qun | Trochet, Holly | Kähönen, Mika | Flexeder, Claudia | Albrecht, Eva | Lopez, Lorna M. | de Jong, Kim | Thyagarajan, Bharat | Alves, Alexessander Couto | Enroth, Stefan | Omenaas, Ernst | Joshi, Peter K. | Fall, Tove | Viňuela, Ana | Launer, Lenore J. | Loehr, Laura R. | Fornage, Myriam | Li, Guo | Wilk, Jemma B. | Tang, Wenbo | Manichaikul, Ani | Lahousse, Lies | Harris, Tamara B. | North, Kari E. | Rudnicka, Alicja R. | Hui, Jennie | Gu, Xiangjun | Lumley, Thomas | Wright, Alan F. | Hastie, Nicholas D. | Campbell, Susan | Kumar, Rajesh | Pin, Isabelle | Scott, Robert A. | Pietiläinen, Kirsi H. | Surakka, Ida | Liu, Yongmei | Holliday, Elizabeth G. | Schulz, Holger | Heinrich, Joachim | Davies, Gail | Vonk, Judith M. | Wojczynski, Mary | Pouta, Anneli | Johansson, Åsa | Wild, Sarah H. | Ingelsson, Erik | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Völzke, Henry | Hysi, Pirro G. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Morrison, Alanna C. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Gao, Wei | Postma, Dirkje S. | White, Wendy B. | Rich, Stephen S. | Hofman, Albert | Aspelund, Thor | Couper, David | Smith, Lewis J. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Lohman, Kurt | Burchard, Esteban G. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Garcia, Melissa | Joubert, Bonnie R. | McArdle, Wendy L. | Musk, A. Bill | Hansel, Nadia | Heckbert, Susan R. | Zgaga, Lina | van Meurs, Joyce B.J. | Navarro, Pau | Rudan, Igor | Oh, Yeon-Mok | Redline, Susan | Jarvis, Deborah | Zhao, Jing Hua | Rantanen, Taina | O’Connor, George T. | Ripatti, Samuli | Scott, Rodney J. | Karrasch, Stefan | Grallert, Harald | Gaddis, Nathan C. | Starr, John M. | Wijmenga, Cisca | Minster, Ryan L. | Lederer, David J. | Pekkanen, Juha | Gyllensten, Ulf | Campbell, Harry | Morris, Andrew P. | Gläser, Sven | Hammond, Christopher J. | Burkart, Kristin M. | Beilby, John | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Hancock, Dana B. | Williams, O. Dale | Polasek, Ozren | Zemunik, Tatijana | Kolcic, Ivana | Petrini, Marcy F. | Wjst, Matthias | Kim, Woo Jin | Porteous, David J. | Scotland, Generation | Smith, Blair H. | Viljanen, Anne | Heliövaara, Markku | Attia, John R. | Sayers, Ian | Hampel, Regina | Gieger, Christian | Deary, Ian J. | Boezen, H. Marike | Newman, Anne | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Wilson, James F. | Lind, Lars | Stricker, Bruno H. | Teumer, Alexander | Spector, Timothy D. | Melén, Erik | Peters, Marjolein J. | Lange, Leslie A. | Barr, R. Graham | Bracke, Ken R. | Verhamme, Fien M. | Sung, Joohon | Hiemstra, Pieter S. | Cassano, Patricia A. | Sood, Akshay | Hayward, Caroline | Dupuis, Josée | Hall, Ian P. | Brusselle, Guy G. | Tobin, Martin D. | London, Stephanie J.
Nature genetics  2014;46(7):669-677.
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.
doi:10.1038/ng.3011
PMCID: PMC4140093  PMID: 24929828
19.  Metabolic Signatures of Adiposity in Young Adults: Mendelian Randomization Analysis and Effects of Weight Change 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(12):e1001765.
In this study, Wurtz and colleagues investigated to what extent elevated body mass index (BMI) within the normal weight range has causal influences on the detailed systemic metabolite profile in early adulthood using Mendelian randomization analysis.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Increased adiposity is linked with higher risk for cardiometabolic diseases. We aimed to determine to what extent elevated body mass index (BMI) within the normal weight range has causal effects on the detailed systemic metabolite profile in early adulthood.
Methods and Findings
We used Mendelian randomization to estimate causal effects of BMI on 82 metabolic measures in 12,664 adolescents and young adults from four population-based cohorts in Finland (mean age 26 y, range 16–39 y; 51% women; mean ± standard deviation BMI 24±4 kg/m2). Circulating metabolites were quantified by high-throughput nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics and biochemical assays. In cross-sectional analyses, elevated BMI was adversely associated with cardiometabolic risk markers throughout the systemic metabolite profile, including lipoprotein subclasses, fatty acid composition, amino acids, inflammatory markers, and various hormones (p<0.0005 for 68 measures). Metabolite associations with BMI were generally stronger for men than for women (median 136%, interquartile range 125%–183%). A gene score for predisposition to elevated BMI, composed of 32 established genetic correlates, was used as the instrument to assess causality. Causal effects of elevated BMI closely matched observational estimates (correspondence 87%±3%; R2 = 0.89), suggesting causative influences of adiposity on the levels of numerous metabolites (p<0.0005 for 24 measures), including lipoprotein lipid subclasses and particle size, branched-chain and aromatic amino acids, and inflammation-related glycoprotein acetyls. Causal analyses of certain metabolites and potential sex differences warrant stronger statistical power. Metabolite changes associated with change in BMI during 6 y of follow-up were examined for 1,488 individuals. Change in BMI was accompanied by widespread metabolite changes, which had an association pattern similar to that of the cross-sectional observations, yet with greater metabolic effects (correspondence 160%±2%; R2 = 0.92).
Conclusions
Mendelian randomization indicates causal adverse effects of increased adiposity with multiple cardiometabolic risk markers across the metabolite profile in adolescents and young adults within the non-obese weight range. Consistent with the causal influences of adiposity, weight changes were paralleled by extensive metabolic changes, suggesting a broadly modifiable systemic metabolite profile in early adulthood.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Adiposity—having excessive body fat—is a growing global threat to public health. Body mass index (BMI, calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared) is a coarse indicator of excess body weight, but the measure is useful in large population studies. Compared to people with a lean body weight (a BMI of 18.5–24.9 kg/m2), individuals with higher BMI have an elevated risk of developing life-shortening cardiometabolic diseases—cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart and/or the blood vessels (for example, heart failure and stroke) and metabolic diseases that affect the cellular chemical reactions that sustain life (for example, diabetes). People become unhealthily fat by consuming food and drink that contains more energy (calories) than they need for their daily activities. So adiposity can be prevented and reversed by eating less and exercising more.
Why Was This Study Done?
Epidemiological studies, which record the patterns of risk factors and disease in populations, suggest that the illness and death associated with excess body weight is partly attributable to abnormalities in how individuals with high adiposity metabolize carbohydrates and fats, leading to higher blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Further, adiposity is also associated with many other deviations in the metabolic profile than these commonly measured risk factors. However, epidemiological studies cannot prove that adiposity causes specific changes in a person's systemic (overall) metabolic profile because individuals with high BMI may share other characteristics (confounding factors) that are the actual causes of both adiposity and metabolic abnormalities. Moreover, having a change in some aspect of metabolism could also lead to adiposity, rather than vice versa (reverse causation). Importantly, if there is a causal effect of adiposity on cardiometabolic risk factor levels, it might be possible to prevent the progression towards cardiometabolic diseases by weight loss. Here, the researchers use “Mendelian randomization” to examine whether increased BMI within the normal and overweight range is causally influencing the metabolic risk factors from many biological pathways during early adulthood. Because gene variants are inherited randomly, they are not prone to confounding and are free from reverse causation. Several gene variants are known to lead to modestly increased BMI. Thus, an investigation of the associations between these gene variants and risk factors across the systemic metabolite profile in a population of healthy individuals can indicate whether higher BMI is causally related to known and novel metabolic risk factors and higher cardiometabolic disease risk.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers measured the BMI of 12,664 adolescents and young adults (average BMI 24.7 kg/m2) living in Finland and the blood levels of 82 metabolites in these young individuals at a single time point. Statistical analysis of these data indicated that elevated BMI was adversely associated with numerous cardiometabolic risk factors. For example, elevated BMI was associated with raised levels of low-density lipoprotein, “bad” cholesterol that increases cardiovascular disease risk. Next, the researchers used a gene score for predisposition to increased BMI, composed of 32 gene variants correlated with increased BMI, as an “instrumental variable” to assess whether adiposity causes metabolite abnormalities. The effects on the systemic metabolite profile of a 1-kg/m2 increment in BMI due to genetic predisposition closely matched the effects of an observed 1-kg/m2 increment in adulthood BMI on the metabolic profile. That is, higher levels of adiposity had causal effects on the levels of numerous blood-based metabolic risk factors, including higher levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride-carrying lipoproteins, protein markers of chronic inflammation and adverse liver function, impaired insulin sensitivity, and elevated concentrations of several amino acids that have recently been linked with the risk for developing diabetes. Elevated BMI also causally led to lower levels of certain high-density lipoprotein lipids in the blood, a marker for the risk of future cardiovascular disease. Finally, an examination of the metabolic changes associated with changes in BMI in 1,488 young adults after a period of six years showed that those metabolic measures that were most strongly associated with BMI at a single time point likewise displayed the highest responsiveness to weight change over time.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that increased adiposity has causal adverse effects on multiple cardiometabolic risk markers in non-obese young adults beyond the effects on cholesterol and blood sugar. Like all Mendelian randomization studies, the reliability of the causal association reported here depends on several assumptions made by the researchers. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that increased adiposity has causal adverse effects on multiple cardiometabolic risk markers in non-obese young adults. Importantly, the results of both the causal effect analyses and the longitudinal study suggest that there is no threshold below which a BMI increase does not adversely affect the metabolic profile, and that a systemic metabolic profile linked with high cardiometabolic disease risk that becomes established during early adulthood can be reversed. Overall, these findings therefore highlight the importance of weight reduction as a key target for metabolic risk factor control among young adults.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001765.
The Computational Medicine Research Team of the University of Oulu has a webpage that provides further information on metabolite profiling by high-throughput NMR metabolomics
The World Health Organization provides information on obesity (in several languages)
The Global Burden of Disease Study website provides the latest details about global obesity trends
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes (including some personal stories)
The American Heart Association provides information on all aspects of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and on keeping healthy; its website includes personal stories about heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on all aspects of overweight and obesity and information about heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information on heart disease, vascular disease, and obesity (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has a page on Mendelian randomization (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001765
PMCID: PMC4260795  PMID: 25490400
20.  Genetic variation in the hTAS2R38 taste receptor and food consumption among Finnish adults 
Genes & Nutrition  2014;9(6):433.
Genetic variation in bitter taste receptors, such as hTAS2R38, may affect food preferences and intake. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between bitter taste receptor haplotypes and the consumption of vegetables, fruits, berries and sweet foods among an adult Finnish population. A cross-sectional design utilizing data from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns cohort from 2007, which consisted of 1,903 men and women who were 30–45 years of age from five different regions in Finland, was employed. DNA was extracted from blood samples, and hTAS2R38 polymorphisms were determined based on three SNPs (rs713598, rs1726866 and rs10246939). Food consumption was assessed with a validated food frequency questionnaire. The prevalence of the bitter taste-sensitive (PAV/PAV) haplotype was 11.3 % and that of the insensitive (AVI/AVI) haplotype was 39.5 % among this Finnish population. PAV homozygotic women consumed fewer vegetables than did the AVI homozygotic women, 269 g/day (SD 131) versus 301 g/day (SD 187), respectively, p = 0.03 (multivariate ANOVA). Furthermore, the intake of sweet foods was higher among the PAV homozygotes of both genders. Fruit and berry consumption did not differ significantly between the haplotypes in either gender. Individuals perceive foods differently, and this may influence their patterns of food consumption. This study showed that the hTAS2R38 taste receptor gene variation was associated with vegetable and sweet food consumption among adults in a Finnish population.
doi:10.1007/s12263-014-0433-3
PMCID: PMC4235829  PMID: 25303850
TAS2R38; Bitter taste; Vegetables; Adults
21.  Mendelian Randomization Studies Do Not Support a Causal Role for Reduced Circulating Adiponectin Levels in Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes 
Yaghootkar, Hanieh | Lamina, Claudia | Scott, Robert A. | Dastani, Zari | Hivert, Marie-France | Warren, Liling L. | Stancáková, Alena | Buxbaum, Sarah G. | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Henneman, Peter | Wu, Ying | Cheung, Chloe Y.Y. | Pankow, James S. | Jackson, Anne U. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Zhao, Jing Hua | Ballantyne, Christie M. | Xie, Weijia | Bergman, Richard N. | Boehnke, Michael | el Bouazzaoui, Fatiha | Collins, Francis S. | Dunn, Sandra H. | Dupuis, Josee | Forouhi, Nita G. | Gillson, Christopher | Hattersley, Andrew T. | Hong, Jaeyoung | Kähönen, Mika | Kuusisto, Johanna | Kedenko, Lyudmyla | Kronenberg, Florian | Doria, Alessandro | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Ferrannini, Ele | Hansen, Torben | Hao, Ke | Häring, Hans | Knowles, Joshua W. | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Nolan, John J. | Paananen, Jussi | Pedersen, Oluf | Quertermous, Thomas | Smith, Ulf | Lehtimäki, Terho | Liu, Ching-Ti | Loos, Ruth J.F. | McCarthy, Mark I. | Morris, Andrew D. | Vasan, Ramachandran S. | Spector, Tim D. | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | van Dijk, Ko Willems | Viikari, Jorma S. | Zhu, Na | Langenberg, Claudia | Ingelsson, Erik | Semple, Robert K. | Sinaiko, Alan R. | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Walker, Mark | Lam, Karen S.L. | Paulweber, Bernhard | Mohlke, Karen L. | van Duijn, Cornelia | Raitakari, Olli T. | Bidulescu, Aurelian | Wareham, Nick J. | Laakso, Markku | Waterworth, Dawn M. | Lawlor, Debbie A. | Meigs, James B. | Richards, J. Brent | Frayling, Timothy M.
Diabetes  2013;62(10):3589-3598.
Adiponectin is strongly inversely associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, but its causal role remains controversial. We used a Mendelian randomization approach to test the hypothesis that adiponectin causally influences insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. We used genetic variants at the ADIPOQ gene as instruments to calculate a regression slope between adiponectin levels and metabolic traits (up to 31,000 individuals) and a combination of instrumental variables and summary statistics–based genetic risk scores to test the associations with gold-standard measures of insulin sensitivity (2,969 individuals) and type 2 diabetes (15,960 case subjects and 64,731 control subjects). In conventional regression analyses, a 1-SD decrease in adiponectin levels was correlated with a 0.31-SD (95% CI 0.26–0.35) increase in fasting insulin, a 0.34-SD (0.30–0.38) decrease in insulin sensitivity, and a type 2 diabetes odds ratio (OR) of 1.75 (1.47–2.13). The instrumental variable analysis revealed no evidence of a causal association between genetically lower circulating adiponectin and higher fasting insulin (0.02 SD; 95% CI −0.07 to 0.11; N = 29,771), nominal evidence of a causal relationship with lower insulin sensitivity (−0.20 SD; 95% CI −0.38 to −0.02; N = 1,860), and no evidence of a relationship with type 2 diabetes (OR 0.94; 95% CI 0.75–1.19; N = 2,777 case subjects and 13,011 control subjects). Using the ADIPOQ summary statistics genetic risk scores, we found no evidence of an association between adiponectin-lowering alleles and insulin sensitivity (effect per weighted adiponectin-lowering allele: −0.03 SD; 95% CI −0.07 to 0.01; N = 2,969) or type 2 diabetes (OR per weighted adiponectin-lowering allele: 0.99; 95% CI 0.95–1.04; 15,960 case subjects vs. 64,731 control subjects). These results do not provide any consistent evidence that interventions aimed at increasing adiponectin levels will improve insulin sensitivity or risk of type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/db13-0128
PMCID: PMC3781444  PMID: 23835345
22.  Daily Liquorice Consumption for Two Weeks Increases Augmentation Index and Central Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105607.
Background
Liquorice ingestion often elevates blood pressure, but the detailed haemodynamic alterations are unknown. We studied haemodynamic changes induced by liquorice consumption in 20 subjects versus 30 controls with average blood pressures of 120/68 and 116/64 mmHg, respectively.
Methods
Haemodynamic variables were measured in supine position before and after two weeks of liquorice consumption (daily glycyrrhizin dose 290–370 mg) with tonometric recording of radial blood pressure, pulse wave analysis, and whole-body impedance cardiography. Thirty age-matched healthy subjects maintaining their normal diet were studied as controls.
Results
Two weeks of liquorice ingestion elevated peripheral and central systolic and diastolic blood pressure (by 7/4 and 8/4 mmHg, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 2-11/1-8 and 3-13/1-8, respectively, P<0.05), and increased extracellular volume by 0.5 litres (P<0.05 versus controls). Also augmentation index adjusted to heart rate 75/min (from 7% to 11%, 95% CI for change 0.3-7.5, P<0.05) and aortic pulse pressure (by 4 mmHg, 95% CI 1-7, P<0.05) were elevated indicating increased wave reflection from the periphery. In contrast, peripheral (−3/−0.3 mmHg) and central blood pressure (−2/−0.5 mmHg), aortic pulse pressure (−1 mmHg), and augmentation index adjusted to heart rate 75/min (from 9% to 7%) decreased numerically but not statistically significantly without changes in extracellular volume in the control group. Heart rate, systemic vascular resistance, cardiac output, and pulse wave velocity did not differ between the groups.
Conclusions
Two weeks of daily liquorice consumption increased extracellular volume, amplified pressure wave reflection from the periphery, and elevated central systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Trial Registration
EU Clinical Trials Register EudraCT 2006-002065-39
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01742702
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105607
PMCID: PMC4143270  PMID: 25153328
23.  Does Bone Resorption Stimulate Periosteal Expansion? A Cross‐Sectional Analysis of β‐C‐telopeptides of Type I Collagen (CTX), Genetic Markers of the RANKL Pathway, and Periosteal Circumference as Measured by pQCT 
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research  2014;29(4):1015-1024.
ABSTRACT
We hypothesized that bone resorption acts to increase bone strength through stimulation of periosteal expansion. Hence, we examined whether bone resorption, as reflected by serum β‐C‐telopeptides of type I collagen (CTX), is positively associated with periosteal circumference (PC), in contrast to inverse associations with parameters related to bone remodeling such as cortical bone mineral density (BMDC). CTX and mid‐tibial peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) scans were available in 1130 adolescents (mean age 15.5 years) from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, time of sampling, tanner stage, lean mass, fat mass, and height. CTX was positively related to PC (β = 0.19 [0.13, 0.24]) (coefficient = SD change per SD increase in CTX, 95% confidence interval)] but inversely associated with BMDC (β = –0.46 [–0.52,–0.40]) and cortical thickness [β = –0.11 (–0.18, –0.03)]. CTX was positively related to bone strength as reflected by the strength‐strain index (SSI) (β = 0.09 [0.03, 0.14]). To examine the causal nature of this relationship, we then analyzed whether single‐nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within key osteoclast regulatory genes, known to reduce areal/cortical BMD, conversely increase PC. Fifteen such genetic variants within or proximal to genes encoding receptor activator of NF‐κB (RANK), RANK ligand (RANKL), and osteoprotegerin (OPG) were identified by literature search. Six of the 15 alleles that were inversely related to BMD were positively related to CTX (p < 0.05 cut‐off) (n = 2379). Subsequently, we performed a meta‐analysis of associations between these SNPs and PC in ALSPAC (n = 3382), Gothenburg Osteoporosis and Obesity Determinants (GOOD) (n = 938), and the Young Finns Study (YFS) (n = 1558). Five of the 15 alleles that were inversely related to BMD were positively related to PC (p < 0.05 cut‐off). We conclude that despite having lower BMD, individuals with a genetic predisposition to higher bone resorption have greater bone size, suggesting that higher bone resorption is permissive for greater periosteal expansion. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
doi:10.1002/jbmr.2093
PMCID: PMC4138988  PMID: 24014423
CTX; BONE RESORPTION; PERIOSTEAL EXPANSION; pQCT
24.  Combined Effects of Child and Adult Elevated Blood pressure on Subclinical Atherosclerosis: The International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohort Consortium 
Circulation  2013;128(3):10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.001614.
Background
Elevated blood pressure (BP) levels in childhood have been associated with subsequent atherosclerosis. However, it is uncertain whether this risk is attenuated in individuals who acquire normal BP by adulthood. The present study examined the effect of child and adult BP levels on carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT) in adulthood.
Methods and Results
The cohort consisted of 4,210 participants from four prospective studies (mean follow-up 23 years). Childhood elevated BP was defined according to the tables from the National High Blood Pressure Education Program. In adulthood BP was classified as elevated for individuals with systolic BP ≥120mmHg, diastolic BP ≥80mmHg or with self-reported use of antihypertensive medications. cIMT was measured in the left common carotid artery. High IMT was defined as an IMT ≥age-, sex-, race-, and cohort-specific 90th percentile. Individuals with persistently elevated BP and individuals with normal childhood BP, but elevated adult BP had increased risk of high cIMT (RR[95%CI]) 1.82[1.47-2.38] and 1.57[1.22-2.02], respectively) when compared to individuals with normal child and adult BP. In contrast, individuals with elevated BP as children but not as adults did not have significantly increased risk (1.24[0.92-1.67]). In addition, these individuals had lower risk of increased cIMT (0.66[0.50-0.88]) when compared to those with persistently elevated BP. The results were consistent when controlling for age, sex, adiposity and when different BP definitions were applied.
Conclusions
Individuals with persistently elevated BP from childhood to adulthood had increased risk of carotid atherosclerosis. This risk was reduced if elevated BP during childhood resolved by adulthood.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.001614
PMCID: PMC3875837  PMID: 23780579
risk factors; atherosclerosis; blood pressure; hypertension; epidemiology
25.  Exploring Causality between TV Viewing and Weight Change in Young and Middle-Aged Adults. The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101860.
Background
Television viewing time (TV time) is associated with increased weight and obesity, but it is unclear whether this relation is causal.
Methods and Results
We evaluated changes in TV time, waist circumference (waist) and body mass index (BMI) in participants of the population-based Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study (761 women, 626 men aged 33–50 years in 2011). Waist and BMI were measured, and TV time was self-reported in 2001, 2007, and 2011. Changes in waist and BMI between 2001 and 2011 were studied a) for the whole group, b) in groups with constantly low (≤1 h/d), moderate (1–3 h/d), or high (≥3 h/d) TV time, and c) in groups with ≥1 hour in-/decrease in daily TV time between 2001 and 2011. BMIs in 1986 were also evaluated. We explored the causal relationship of TV time with waist and BMI by classical temporality criterion and recently introduced causal-discovery algorithms (pairwise causality measures). Both methods supported the hypothesis that TV time is causative to weight gain, and no evidence was found for reverse or bidirectional causality. Constantly low TV time was associated with less pronounced increase in waist and BMI, and waist and BMI increase was lower with decreased TV time (P<0.05). The increase in waist and BMI was at least 2-fold in the high TV time group compared to the low TV time group (P<0.05). Adjustment for age, sex, BMI/waist in 2001, physical activity, energy intake, or smoking did not change the results.
Conclusions
In young and middle-aged adults, constantly high TV time is temporally antecedent to BMI and waist increase.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101860
PMCID: PMC4100757  PMID: 25028965

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