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1.  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
2.  DNA methylation signatures of chronic low-grade inflammation are associated with complex diseases 
Ligthart, Symen | Marzi, Carola | Aslibekyan, Stella | Mendelson, Michael M. | Conneely, Karen N. | Tanaka, Toshiko | Colicino, Elena | Waite, Lindsay L. | Joehanes, Roby | Guan, Weihua | Brody, Jennifer A. | Elks, Cathy | Marioni, Riccardo | Jhun, Min A. | Agha, Golareh | Bressler, Jan | Ward-Caviness, Cavin K. | Chen, Brian H. | Huan, Tianxiao | Bakulski, Kelly | Salfati, Elias L. | Fiorito, Giovanni | Wahl, Simone | Schramm, Katharina | Sha, Jin | Hernandez, Dena G. | Just, Allan C. | Smith, Jennifer A. | Sotoodehnia, Nona | Pilling, Luke C. | Pankow, James S. | Tsao, Phil S. | Liu, Chunyu | Zhao, Wei | Guarrera, Simonetta | Michopoulos, Vasiliki J. | Smith, Alicia K. | Peters, Marjolein J. | Melzer, David | Vokonas, Pantel | Fornage, Myriam | Prokisch, Holger | Bis, Joshua C. | Chu, Audrey Y. | Herder, Christian | Grallert, Harald | Yao, Chen | Shah, Sonia | McRae, Allan F. | Lin, Honghuang | Horvath, Steve | Fallin, Daniele | Hofman, Albert | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Wiggins, Kerri L. | Feinberg, Andrew P. | Starr, John M. | Visscher, Peter M. | Murabito, Joanne M. | Kardia, Sharon L. R. | Absher, Devin M. | Binder, Elisabeth B. | Singleton, Andrew B. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Peters, Annette | Waldenberger, Melanie | Matullo, Giuseppe | Schwartz, Joel D. | Demerath, Ellen W. | Uitterlinden, André G. | van Meurs, Joyce B. J. | Franco, Oscar H. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Levy, Daniel | Turner, Stephen T. | Deary, Ian J. | Ressler, Kerry J. | Dupuis, Josée | Ferrucci, Luigi | Ong, Ken K. | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Koenig, Wolfgang | Arnett, Donna K. | Baccarelli, Andrea A. | Benjamin, Emelia J. | Dehghan, Abbas
Genome Biology  2016;17:255.
Background
Chronic low-grade inflammation reflects a subclinical immune response implicated in the pathogenesis of complex diseases. Identifying genetic loci where DNA methylation is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation may reveal novel pathways or therapeutic targets for inflammation.
Results
We performed a meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) of serum C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a sensitive marker of low-grade inflammation, in a large European population (n = 8863) and trans-ethnic replication in African Americans (n = 4111). We found differential methylation at 218 CpG sites to be associated with CRP (P < 1.15 × 10–7) in the discovery panel of European ancestry and replicated (P < 2.29 × 10–4) 58 CpG sites (45 unique loci) among African Americans. To further characterize the molecular and clinical relevance of the findings, we examined the association with gene expression, genetic sequence variants, and clinical outcomes. DNA methylation at nine (16%) CpG sites was associated with whole blood gene expression in cis (P < 8.47 × 10–5), ten (17%) CpG sites were associated with a nearby genetic variant (P < 2.50 × 10–3), and 51 (88%) were also associated with at least one related cardiometabolic entity (P < 9.58 × 10–5). An additive weighted score of replicated CpG sites accounted for up to 6% inter-individual variation (R2) of age-adjusted and sex-adjusted CRP, independent of known CRP-related genetic variants.
Conclusion
We have completed an EWAS of chronic low-grade inflammation and identified many novel genetic loci underlying inflammation that may serve as targets for the development of novel therapeutic interventions for inflammation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-016-1119-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13059-016-1119-5
PMCID: PMC5151130  PMID: 27955697
Inflammation; DNA methylation; Epigenome-wide association study; C-reactive protein; Body mass index; Diabetes; Coronary heart disease
3.  Hepatic Steatosis is Associated with Lower Levels of Physical Activity Measured via Accelerometry 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2015;23(6):1259-1266.
Objective
Prior studies on the association of physical activity (PA) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are limited by reliance on subjective measures of PA. We examined the association between objectively measured PA and hepatic steatosis defined by computed tomography (CT).
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 1060 Framingham Heart Study participants who participated in the Multi-Detector CT 2 substudy and who underwent assessment of PA via accelerometry. Hepatic steatosis was estimated by liver attenuation, as measured by CT. We explored the relationship between liver attenuation and PA using multivariable regression models.
Results
In multivariable-adjusted models, we observed an inverse association between PA and liver attenuation. Each 30 min/day increase in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) was associated with a reduced odds of hepatic steatosis (OR=0.62, p<0.001). This association was attenuated and no longer statistically significant after adjustment for BMI (OR=0.77, p=0.05) or VAT (OR=0.83, p=0.18). Participants who met the national PA recommendations of engaging in ≥150 minutes/week of MVPA, had the lowest odds of hepatic steatosis, even after adjusting for BMI (OR=0.63, p=0.007) or VAT (OR=0.67, p=0.03).
Conclusions
There is an inverse association between PA and hepatic steatosis. Participants who met the national PA guidelines had the lowest prevalence of hepatic steatosis.
doi:10.1002/oby.21058
PMCID: PMC4446168  PMID: 25959049
4.  Temporal Trends in Self-reported Functional Limitations and Physical Disability Among Community-dwelling Elders: The Framingham Heart Study 
American journal of public health  2008;98(7):1256-1262.
Objective
To determine change in the prevalence of functional limitations and physical disability in community-dwelling elders across three decades.
Methods
We studied original participants of the Framingham Study, aged 79 to 88 years, at exam 15 (1977–1979, 177 women, 103 men), exam 20 (1988–1990, 159 women, 98 men) and exam 25 (1997 to 1999, 174 women, 119 men). Self-reported 1) functional limitation defined using the Nagi scale and 2) physical disability defined using the Rosow-Breslau and Katz scales.
Results
Functional limitations declined across examinations from 74.6% to 60.5% to 37.9% (p< 0.001) in women and 54.2%, 37.8%, and 27.8% (p<0.001) in men. Physical disability declined from 74.5% to 48.5% to 34.6% (p< 0.001) in women and 42.3% to 33.3% to 22.8% (p=0.009) in men. Women had a greater decline in disability than men (p=0.03). In women, improvements in functional limitations (p=0.05) were greater from exam 20 to 25 whereas for physical disability (p=0.02) improvements were greater from exam 15 to 20. Improvements in function were constant across the three examinations in men.
Conclusions
Among community-dwelling elders the prevalence of functional limitations and physical disability declined significantly from the 1970s to the 1990s.
doi:10.2105/AJPH.2007.128132
PMCID: PMC2424084  PMID: 18511716
functional limitations; physical disability; trends; elders
5.  Gene Expression markers of Age-Related Inflammation in Two Human Cohorts 
Experimental gerontology  2015;70:37-45.
Introduction
Chronically elevated circulating inflammatory markers are common in older persons but mechanisms are unclear. Many blood transcripts (>800 genes) are associated with interleukin-6 protein levels (IL6) independent of age. We aimed to identify gene transcripts statistically mediating, as drivers or responders, the increasing levels of IL6 protein in blood at older ages.
Methods
Blood derived in-vivo RNA from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS, n=2422, ages 40–92 yrs) and InCHIANTI study (n=694, ages 30–104 yrs), with Affymetrix and Illumina expression arrays respectively (>17,000 genes tested), were tested for statistical mediation of the age-IL6 association using resampling techniques, adjusted for confounders and multiple testing.
Results
In FHS, IL6 expression was not associated with IL6 protein levels in blood. 102 genes (0.6% of 17,324 expressed) statistically mediated the age-IL6 association of which 25 replicated in InCHIANTI (including 5 of the 10 largest effect genes). The largest effect gene (SLC4A10, coding for NCBE, a sodium bicarbonate transporter) mediated 19% (adjusted CI 8.9 to 34.1%) and replicated by PCR in InCHIANTI (n=194, 35.6% mediated, p=0.01). Other replicated mediators included PRF1 (perforin, a cytolytic protein in cytotoxic T lymphocytes and NK cells) and IL1B (Interleukin 1 beta): few other cytokines were significant mediators.
Conclusions
This transcriptome-wide study on human blood identified a small distinct set of genes that statistically mediate the age-IL6 association. Findings are robust across two cohorts and different expression technologies. Raised IL6 levels may not derive from circulating white cells in age related inflammation.
doi:10.1016/j.exger.2015.05.012
PMCID: PMC4600657  PMID: 26087330
Aging; Inflammation; Transcriptome; Blood; Human; Epidemiology
6.  GWAS analysis of handgrip and lower body strength in older adults in the CHARGE consortium 
Aging Cell  2016;15(5):792-800.
Summary
Decline in muscle strength with aging is an important predictor of health trajectory in the elderly. Several factors, including genetics, are proposed contributors to variability in muscle strength. To identify genetic contributors to muscle strength, a meta‐analysis of genomewide association studies of handgrip was conducted. Grip strength was measured using a handheld dynamometer in 27 581 individuals of European descent over 65 years of age from 14 cohort studies. Genomewide association analysis was conducted on ~2.7 million imputed and genotyped variants (SNPs). Replication of the most significant findings was conducted using data from 6393 individuals from three cohorts. GWAS of lower body strength was also characterized in a subset of cohorts. Two genomewide significant (P‐value< 5 × 10−8) and 39 suggestive (P‐value< 5 × 10−5) associations were observed from meta‐analysis of the discovery cohorts. After meta‐analysis with replication cohorts, genomewide significant association was observed for rs752045 on chromosome 8 (β = 0.47, SE = 0.08, P‐value = 5.20 × 10−10). This SNP is mapped to an intergenic region and is located within an accessible chromatin region (DNase hypersensitivity site) in skeletal muscle myotubes differentiated from the human skeletal muscle myoblasts cell line. This locus alters a binding motif of the CCAAT/enhancer‐binding protein‐β (CEBPB) that is implicated in muscle repair mechanisms. GWAS of lower body strength did not yield significant results. A common genetic variant in a chromosomal region that regulates myotube differentiation and muscle repair may contribute to variability in grip strength in the elderly. Further studies are needed to uncover the mechanisms that link this genetic variant with muscle strength.
doi:10.1111/acel.12468
PMCID: PMC5013019  PMID: 27325353
aging; genomewide association; meta‐analysis; muscle strength; older adults; SNP
7.  GWAS analysis of handgrip and lower body strength in older adults in the CHARGE consortium 
Aging Cell  2016;15(5):792-800.
Summary
Decline in muscle strength with aging is an important predictor of health trajectory in the elderly. Several factors, including genetics, are proposed contributors to variability in muscle strength. To identify genetic contributors to muscle strength, a meta‐analysis of genomewide association studies of handgrip was conducted. Grip strength was measured using a handheld dynamometer in 27 581 individuals of European descent over 65 years of age from 14 cohort studies. Genomewide association analysis was conducted on ~2.7 million imputed and genotyped variants (SNPs). Replication of the most significant findings was conducted using data from 6393 individuals from three cohorts. GWAS of lower body strength was also characterized in a subset of cohorts. Two genomewide significant (P‐value< 5 × 10−8) and 39 suggestive (P‐value< 5 × 10−5) associations were observed from meta‐analysis of the discovery cohorts. After meta‐analysis with replication cohorts, genomewide significant association was observed for rs752045 on chromosome 8 (β = 0.47, SE = 0.08, P‐value = 5.20 × 10−10). This SNP is mapped to an intergenic region and is located within an accessible chromatin region (DNase hypersensitivity site) in skeletal muscle myotubes differentiated from the human skeletal muscle myoblasts cell line. This locus alters a binding motif of the CCAAT/enhancer‐binding protein‐β (CEBPB) that is implicated in muscle repair mechanisms. GWAS of lower body strength did not yield significant results. A common genetic variant in a chromosomal region that regulates myotube differentiation and muscle repair may contribute to variability in grip strength in the elderly. Further studies are needed to uncover the mechanisms that link this genetic variant with muscle strength.
doi:10.1111/acel.12468
PMCID: PMC5013019  PMID: 27325353
aging; genomewide association; meta‐analysis; muscle strength; older adults; SNP
8.  Whole Blood Gene Expression and Interleukin-6 Levels 
Genomics  2014;104(6 0 0):490-495.
Background
Circulating interleukin-6 levels increase with advancing age and are a risk factor for various diseases and mortality. The characterization of gene expression profiles associated with interleukin-6 levels might suggest important molecular events underlying its regulation.
Methods and Results
We studied the association of transcriptional profiles with interleukin-6 levels in 2422 participants from Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort using Affymetrix Human Exon 1.0 ST Array. We identified 4139 genes that were significantly associated with interleukin-6 levels (FDR<0.05) after adjusting for age, sex and blood cell components. We then replicated 807 genes in the InCHIANTI study with 694 participants. Many of the top genes are involved in inflammation-related pathways or erythrocyte function, including JAK/Stat signaling pathway and interleukin-10 signaling pathway.
Conclusion
We identified and replicated 807 genes that were associated with circulating interleukin-6 levels. Future characterization of interleukin-6 regulation networks may facilitate the identification of additional potential targets for treating inflammation-related diseases.
doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2014.10.003
PMCID: PMC4262595  PMID: 25311648
Inflammation; gene expression; interleukin-6; epidemiology
9.  DNA methylation-based measures of biological age: meta-analysis predicting time to death 
Aging (Albany NY)  2016;8(9):1844-1859.
Estimates of biological age based on DNA methylation patterns, often referred to as “epigenetic age”, “DNAm age”, have been shown to be robust biomarkers of age in humans. We previously demonstrated that independent of chronological age, epigenetic age assessed in blood predicted all-cause mortality in four human cohorts. Here, we expanded our original observation to 13 different cohorts for a total sample size of 13,089 individuals, including three racial/ethnic groups. In addition, we examined whether incorporating information on blood cell composition into the epigenetic age metrics improves their predictive power for mortality. All considered measures of epigenetic age acceleration were predictive of mortality (p≤8.2×10−9), independent of chronological age, even after adjusting for additional risk factors (p<5.4×10−4), and within the racial/ethnic groups that we examined (non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, African Americans). Epigenetic age estimates that incorporated information on blood cell composition led to the smallest p-values for time to death (p=7.5×10−43). Overall, this study a) strengthens the evidence that epigenetic age predicts all-cause mortality above and beyond chronological age and traditional risk factors, and b) demonstrates that epigenetic age estimates that incorporate information on blood cell counts lead to highly significant associations with all-cause mortality.
doi:10.18632/aging.101020
PMCID: PMC5076441  PMID: 27690265
all-cause mortality; lifespan; epigenetics; epigenetic clock; DNA methylation; mortality
10.  Genome-Wide Association Study and Linkage Analysis of the Healthy Aging Index 
Background.
The Healthy Aging Index (HAI) is a tool for measuring the extent of health and disease across multiple systems.
Methods.
We conducted a genome-wide association study and a genome-wide linkage analysis to map quantitative trait loci associated with the HAI and a modified HAI weighted for mortality risk in 3,140 individuals selected for familial longevity from the Long Life Family Study. The genome-wide association study used the Long Life Family Study as the discovery cohort and individuals from the Cardiovascular Health Study and the Framingham Heart Study as replication cohorts.
Results.
There were no genome-wide significant findings from the genome-wide association study; however, several single-nucleotide polymorphisms near ZNF704 on chromosome 8q21.13 were suggestively associated with the HAI in the Long Life Family Study (p < 10− 6) and nominally replicated in the Cardiovascular Health Study and Framingham Heart Study. Linkage results revealed significant evidence (log-odds score = 3.36) for a quantitative trait locus for mortality-optimized HAI in women on chromosome 9p24–p23. However, results of fine-mapping studies did not implicate any specific candidate genes within this region of interest.
Conclusions.
ZNF704 may be a potential candidate gene for studies of the genetic underpinnings of longevity.
doi:10.1093/gerona/glv006
PMCID: PMC4506316  PMID: 25758594
Genetics; Epidemiology; Successful aging; Longevity
11.  Moderate‐to‐Vigorous Physical Activity With Accelerometry is Associated With Visceral Adipose Tissue in Adults 
Background
We examined the relation between objectively measured physical activity with accelerometry and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in a community‐based sample.
Methods and Results
We evaluated 1249 participants of the Framingham Third Generation and Omni II cohorts (mean age 51.7 years, 47% women) who underwent assessment of moderate‐to‐vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with accelerometry over 5 to 7 days, and multi‐detector computed tomography for measurement of SAT and VAT volume; fat attenuation was estimated by SAT and VAT hounsfield units (HU). In women, higher levels of MVPA were associated with decreased SAT (P<0.0001) and VAT volume (P<0.0001). The average decrement in VAT per 30 minute/day increase in MVPA was −453 cm3 (95% CI −574, −331). The association was attenuated but persisted upon adjustment for BMI (−122 cm3, P=0.002). Higher levels of MVPA were associated with higher SAT HU (all P≤0.01), a marker of fat quality, even after adjustment for SAT volume. Similar findings were observed in men but the magnitude of the association was less. Sedentary time was not associated with SAT or VAT volume or quality in men or women.
Conclusions
MVPA was associated with less VAT and SAT and better fat quality.
doi:10.1161/JAHA.114.001379
PMCID: PMC4392428  PMID: 25736442
accelerometry; physical activity; visceral adipose tissue
12.  Association of a 62 Variant Type 2 Diabetes Genetic Risk Score with Markers of Subclinical Atherosclerosis: A Transethnic, Multicenter Study 
Background
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) share risk factors and subclinical atherosclerosis (SCA) predicts events in those with and without diabetes. T2D genetic risk may predict both T2D and SCA. We hypothesized that greater T2D genetic risk is associated with higher extent of SCA.
Methods and Results
In a cross-sectional analysis including up to 9,210 European Americans, 3,773 African Americans, 1,446 Hispanic Americans and 773 Chinese Americans without known CVD and enrolled in the FHS, CARDIA, MESA and GENOA studies, we tested a 62 T2D-loci genetic risk score (GRS62) for association with measures of SCA, including coronary artery (CACS) or abdominal aortic calcium score, common (CCA-IMT) and internal carotid artery intima-media thickness, and ankle-brachial index (ABI). We used ancestry-stratified linear regression models, with random effects accounting for family relatedness when appropriate, applying a genetic-only (adjusted for sex) and a full SCA risk factors adjusted model (significance = p<0.01 = 0.05/5, number of traits analyzed). An inverse association with CACS in MESA Europeans (fully-adjusted p=0.004) and with CCA-IMT in FHS (p=0.009) was not confirmed in other study cohorts, either separately or in meta-analysis. Secondary analyses showed no consistent associations with β-cell and insulin resistance sub-GRS in FHS and CARDIA.
Conclusions
SCA does not have a major genetic component linked to a burden of 62 T2D loci identified by large genome-wide association studies. A shared T2D-SCA genetic basis, if any, might become apparent from better functional information about both T2D and CVD risk loci.
doi:10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.114.000740
PMCID: PMC4472563  PMID: 25805414
genetic association; risk assessment; subclinical atherosclerosis risk factor; type 2 diabetes mellitus; cardiovascular disease
13.  Adipose Tissue Depots and Their Cross‐Sectional Associations With Circulating Biomarkers of Metabolic Regulation 
Background
Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and fatty liver differ in their associations with cardiovascular risk compared with subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT). Several biomarkers have been linked to metabolic derangements and may contribute to the pathogenicity of fat depots. We examined the association between fat depots on multidetector computed tomography and metabolic regulatory biomarkers.
Methods and Results
Participants from the Framingham Heart Study (n=1583, 47% women) underwent assessment of SAT, VAT, and liver attenuation. We measured circulating biomarkers secreted by adipose tissue or liver (adiponectin, leptin, leptin receptor, fatty acid binding protein 4, fetuin‐A, and retinol binding protein 4). Using multivariable linear regression models, we examined relations of fat depots with biomarkers. Higher levels of fat depots were positively associated with leptin and fatty acid binding protein 4 but negatively associated with adiponectin (all P<0.001). Associations with leptin receptor, fetuin‐A, and retinol binding protein 4 varied according to fat depot type or sex. When comparing the associations of SAT and VAT with biomarkers, VAT was the stronger correlate of adiponectin (β=−0.28 [women]; β=−0.30 [men]; both P<0.001), whereas SAT was the stronger correlate of leptin (β=0.62 [women]; β=0.49 [men]; both P<0.001; P<0.001 for comparing VAT versus SAT). Although fetuin‐A and retinol binding protein 4 are secreted by the liver in addition to adipose tissue, associations of liver attenuation with these biomarkers was not stronger than that of SAT or VAT.
Conclusions
SAT, VAT, and liver attenuation are associated with metabolic regulatory biomarkers with differences in the associations by fat depot type and sex. These findings support the possibility of biological differences between fat depots.
doi:10.1161/JAHA.115.002936
PMCID: PMC4889173  PMID: 27146446
adipokines; adipose tissue; biomarkers; epidemiology; obesity; Obesity; Epidemiology
14.  Large-scale genomic analyses link reproductive ageing to hypothalamic signaling, breast cancer susceptibility and BRCA1-mediated DNA repair 
Day, Felix R. | Ruth, Katherine S. | Thompson, Deborah J. | Lunetta, Kathryn L. | Pervjakova, Natalia | Chasman, Daniel I. | Stolk, Lisette | Finucane, Hilary K. | Sulem, Patrick | Bulik-Sullivan, Brendan | Esko, Tõnu | Johnson, Andrew D. | Elks, Cathy E. | Franceschini, Nora | He, Chunyan | Altmaier, Elisabeth | Brody, Jennifer A. | Franke, Lude L. | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Keller, Margaux F. | McArdle, Patrick F. | Nutile, Teresa | Porcu, Eleonora | Robino, Antonietta | Rose, Lynda M. | Schick, Ursula M. | Smith, Jennifer A. | Teumer, Alexander | Traglia, Michela | Vuckovic, Dragana | Yao, Jie | Zhao, Wei | Albrecht, Eva | Amin, Najaf | Corre, Tanguy | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Mangino, Massimo | Smith, Albert V. | Tanaka, Toshiko | Abecasis, Goncalo | Andrulis, Irene L. | Anton-Culver, Hoda | Antoniou, Antonis C. | Arndt, Volker | Arnold, Alice M. | Barbieri, Caterina | Beckmann, Matthias W. | Beeghly-Fadiel, Alicia | Benitez, Javier | Bernstein, Leslie | Bielinski, Suzette J. | Blomqvist, Carl | Boerwinkle, Eric | Bogdanova, Natalia V. | Bojesen, Stig E. | Bolla, Manjeet K. | Borresen-Dale, Anne-Lise | Boutin, Thibaud S | Brauch, Hiltrud | Brenner, Hermann | Brüning, Thomas | Burwinkel, Barbara | Campbell, Archie | Campbell, Harry | Chanock, Stephen J. | Chapman, J. Ross | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Chenevix-Trench, Georgia | Couch, Fergus J. | Coviello, Andrea D. | Cox, Angela | Czene, Kamila | Darabi, Hatef | De Vivo, Immaculata | Demerath, Ellen W. | Dennis, Joe | Devilee, Peter | Dörk, Thilo | dos-Santos-Silva, Isabel | Dunning, Alison M. | Eicher, John D. | Fasching, Peter A. | Faul, Jessica D. | Figueroa, Jonine | Flesch-Janys, Dieter | Gandin, Ilaria | Garcia, Melissa E. | García-Closas, Montserrat | Giles, Graham G. | Girotto, Giorgia G. | Goldberg, Mark S. | González-Neira, Anna | Goodarzi, Mark O. | Grove, Megan L. | Gudbjartsson, Daniel F. | Guénel, Pascal | Guo, Xiuqing | Haiman, Christopher A. | Hall, Per | Hamann, Ute | Henderson, Brian E. | Hocking, Lynne J. | Hofman, Albert | Homuth, Georg | Hooning, Maartje J. | Hopper, John L. | Hu, Frank B. | Huang, Jinyan | Humphreys, Keith | Hunter, David J. | Jakubowska, Anna | Jones, Samuel E. | Kabisch, Maria | Karasik, David | Knight, Julia A. | Kolcic, Ivana | Kooperberg, Charles | Kosma, Veli-Matti | Kriebel, Jennifer | Kristensen, Vessela | Lambrechts, Diether | Langenberg, Claudia | Li, Jingmei | Li, Xin | Lindström, Sara | Liu, Yongmei | Luan, Jian’an | Lubinski, Jan | Mägi, Reedik | Mannermaa, Arto | Manz, Judith | Margolin, Sara | Marten, Jonathan | Martin, Nicholas G. | Masciullo, Corrado | Meindl, Alfons | Michailidou, Kyriaki | Mihailov, Evelin | Milani, Lili | Milne, Roger L. | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nalls, Michael | Neale, Ben M. | Nevanlinna, Heli | Neven, Patrick | Newman, Anne B. | Nordestgaard, Børge G. | Olson, Janet E. | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Peterlongo, Paolo | Peters, Ulrike | Petersmann, Astrid | Peto, Julian | Pharoah, Paul D.P. | Pirastu, Nicola N. | Pirie, Ailith | Pistis, Giorgio | Polasek, Ozren | Porteous, David | Psaty, Bruce M. | Pylkäs, Katri | Radice, Paolo | Raffel, Leslie J. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Rudolph, Anja | Ruggiero, Daniela | Sala, Cinzia F. | Sanna, Serena | Sawyer, Elinor J. | Schlessinger, David | Schmidt, Marjanka K. | Schmidt, Frank | Schmutzler, Rita K. | Schoemaker, Minouk J. | Scott, Robert A. | Seynaeve, Caroline M. | Simard, Jacques | Sorice, Rossella | Southey, Melissa C. | Stöckl, Doris | Strauch, Konstantin | Swerdlow, Anthony | Taylor, Kent D. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Toland, Amanda E. | Tomlinson, Ian | Truong, Thérèse | Tryggvadottir, Laufey | Turner, Stephen T. | Vozzi, Diego | Wang, Qin | Wellons, Melissa | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilson, James F. | Winqvist, Robert | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce B.H.R. | Wright, Alan F. | Yannoukakos, Drakoulis | Zemunik, Tatijana | Zheng, Wei | Zygmunt, Marek | Bergmann, Sven | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Buring, Julie E. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Montgomery, Grant W. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Spector, Tim D. | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Alizadeh, Behrooz Z. | Ciullo, Marina | Crisponi, Laura | Easton, Douglas F. | Gasparini, Paolo P. | Gieger, Christian | Harris, Tamara B. | Hayward, Caroline | Kardia, Sharon L.R. | Kraft, Peter | McKnight, Barbara | Metspalu, Andres | Morrison, Alanna C. | Reiner, Alex P. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Toniolo, Daniela | Uitterlinden, André G. | Ulivi, Sheila | Völzke, Henry | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Weir, David R. | Yerges-Armstrong, Laura M. | Price, Alkes L. | Stefansson, Kari | Visser, Jenny A. | Ong, Ken K. | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Murabito, Joanne M. | Perry, John R.B. | Murray, Anna
Nature genetics  2015;47(11):1294-1303.
Menopause timing has a substantial impact on infertility and risk of disease, including breast cancer, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We report a dual strategy in ~70,000 women to identify common and low-frequency protein-coding variation associated with age at natural menopause (ANM). We identified 44 regions with common variants, including two harbouring additional rare missense alleles of large effect. We found enrichment of signals in/near genes involved in delayed puberty, highlighting the first molecular links between the onset and end of reproductive lifespan. Pathway analyses revealed a major association with DNA damage-response (DDR) genes, including the first common coding variant in BRCA1 associated with any complex trait. Mendelian randomisation analyses supported a causal effect of later ANM on breast cancer risk (~6% risk increase per-year, P=3×10−14), likely mediated by prolonged sex hormone exposure, rather than DDR mechanisms.
doi:10.1038/ng.3412
PMCID: PMC4661791  PMID: 26414677
15.  Midlife Hypertension Risk and Cognition in the Non-Demented Oldest Old: Framingham Heart Study 
Midlife cardiovascular risk, hypertension (HTN) in particular, has been related cross-sectionally to poorer neuropsychological (NP) performance in middle age and older adults. This study investigated whether a similar relationship persists between midlife HTN or systolic blood pressure (SBP) and NP performance approximately 30 years later. 378 Framingham stroke and dementia-free Original cohort participants, with HTN and SBP ascertained between 50–60 years of age (mean age 55 ± 1, 65% women), were administered a NP assessment at age ≥80 years. Tests included Logical Memory, Visual Reproduction, Paired Associate, Hooper Visual Organization Test, Trail Making A & B, Digit Span Forward and Backward, Controlled Word Association Test (COWAT), and Similarities. Multivariable linear regression, adjusted for age, time interval between risk factor and NP testing, gender, and premorbid intelligence, assessed association between midlife HTN/SBP and NP outcomes. Midlife HTN was not significantly associated with NP outcome measures. Midlife SBP was associated with poorer Digit Span Forward and COWAT performance (p < 0.05). No significant interaction of age on HTN/SBP to NP associations was found. There was a significant interaction between ApoE4 status and SBP in their effects on COWAT (pinteraction = 0.074); SBP was negatively associated with COWAT only in those with the ApoE4 allele (p = 0.025). While midlife HTN is not associated with late life cognitive impairment, midlife SBP is related to late life attention and verbal fluency impairments, particularly among ApoE4+ individuals. These results offer insight into processes that are operative in the absence of overt cognitive impairment and dementia.
doi:10.3233/JAD-141881
PMCID: PMC4827717  PMID: 26402768
Apolipoprotein E4; blood pressure; cognition; executive function; hypertension; memory; neuropsychological assessment
16.  Digital Connectedness in the Framingham Heart Study 
Background
New avenues of data collection such as eHealth and mobile technology have the potential to revolutionize the way large populations can be assessed and managed outside of standard research and clinical settings.
Methods and Results
A digital connectedness survey was administered within the Framingham Heart Study from 2014 to 2015. The exposure was usage of the Internet, email, cell phones, and smartphones in relation to demographic and cardiovascular disease risk factors; all results were adjusted for age and sex. Among 8096 living study participants, 6503 (80.3%) completed the digital survey. Among survey responders, 5678 (87.4%) reported regular Internet use. Participants reporting regular Internet use were younger (aged 59.1 versus 76.5 years, P<0.0001), were more likely to be employed (70.3% versus 23.7%, P=0.002), and had more favorable cardiovascular disease risk factors than those who did not use the Internet (all P≤0.05). Overall, 5946 (92.1%) responders reported using cell phones. Among cell phone users, 3907 (67.8%) had smartphones. Smartphone users were younger (aged 55.4 versus 68.5 years, P<0.0001), more likely to be employed (81.1% versus 43.9%, P<0.0001) and to have a college education, and less likely to have hypertension (27.9% versus 55.7%, P=0.0002) than those who did not use smartphones.
Conclusions
Digital connectedness varies substantially by age; connected persons tend to be younger and better educated and to have more favorable cardiovascular disease risk factor profiles. Less than two‐thirds of study participants who completed the survey had a smartphone. The generalizability of studies focused on digitally connected persons may have limitations.
doi:10.1161/JAHA.116.003193
PMCID: PMC4859293  PMID: 27076568
cardiovascular risk; eHealth; epidemiology; mHealth; smartphones; technology; Lifestyle; Risk Factors; Primary Prevention
17.  Human longevity is influenced by many genetic variants: evidence from 75,000 UK Biobank participants 
Aging (Albany NY)  2016;8(3):547-560.
Variation in human lifespan is 20 to 30% heritable in twins but few genetic variants have been identified. We undertook a Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) using age at death of parents of middle-aged UK Biobank participants of European decent (n=75,244 with father's and/or mother's data, excluding early deaths). Genetic risk scores for 19 phenotypes (n=777 proven variants) were also tested. In GWAS, a nicotine receptor locus (CHRNA3, previously associated with increased smoking and lung cancer) was associated with fathers' survival. Less common variants requiring further confirmation were also identified. Offspring of longer lived parents had more protective alleles for coronary artery disease, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, type-1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and Alzheimer's disease. In candidate analyses, variants in the TOMM40/APOE locus were associated with longevity, but FOXO variants were not. Associations between extreme longevity (mother >=98 years, fathers >=95 years, n=1,339) and disease alleles were similar, with an additional association with HDL cholesterol (p=5.7×10-3). These results support a multiple protective factors model influencing lifespan and longevity (top 1% survival) in humans, with prominent roles for cardiovascular-related pathways. Several of these genetically influenced risks, including blood pressure and tobacco exposure, are potentially modifiable.
doi:10.18632/aging.100930
PMCID: PMC4833145  PMID: 27015805
aging; longevity; GWAS; genetic; human
18.  Depressive symptoms are associated with visceral adiposity in a community-based sample of middle-aged women and men 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2013;21(8):1713-1719.
To examine the relation between measures of adiposity and depressive symptoms in a large well characterized community-based sample, we examined the relations of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) to depressive symptoms in 1581 women (mean age 52.2 years) and 1718 men (mean age 49.8 years) in the Framingham Heart Study. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. Regression models were created to examine the association between each fat depot (exposure) and depressive symptoms (outcome). Sex specific models were adjusted for age, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, diabetes, hypertension, total and HDL cholesterol, lipid lowering treatment, CVD, menopause, C-reactive protein, and physical activity. Mean CES-D scores were 6.8 and 5.6 in women and men. High levels of depressive symptoms were present in 22.5% of women and 12.3% of men. In women, one standard deviation increase in VAT was associated with a 1.3 point higher CES-D score after adjusting for age and BMI (p<0.01) and remained significant in the fully adjusted model (p=0.03). The odds ratio of depressive symptoms per 1 standard deviation increase in VAT in women was 1.33 (p=0.015); results were attenuated in fully adjusted models (OR 1.29, p=0.055). In men, the association between VAT and CES-D score and depressive symptoms was not significant. SAT was not associated with CES-D score or depressive symptoms. This study supports an association between VAT and depressive symptoms in women. Further work is needed to uncover the complex biologic mechanisms mediating the association.
doi:10.1002/oby.20130
PMCID: PMC3748158  PMID: 23666906
19.  Rare coding variants and X-linked loci associated with age at menarche 
Lunetta, Kathryn L. | Day, Felix R. | Sulem, Patrick | Ruth, Katherine S. | Tung, Joyce Y. | Hinds, David A. | Esko, Tõnu | Elks, Cathy E | Altmaier, Elisabeth | He, Chunyan | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Mihailov, Evelin | Porcu, Eleonora | Robino, Antonietta | Rose, Lynda M. | Schick, Ursula M. | Stolk, Lisette | Teumer, Alexander | Thompson, Deborah J. | Traglia, Michela | Wang, Carol A. | Yerges-Armstrong, Laura M. | Antoniou, Antonis C. | Barbieri, Caterina | Coviello, Andrea D. | Cucca, Francesco | Demerath, Ellen W. | Dunning, Alison M. | Gandin, Ilaria | Grove, Megan L. | Gudbjartsson, Daniel F. | Hocking, Lynne J. | Hofman, Albert | Huang, Jinyan | Jackson, Rebecca D. | Karasik, David | Kriebel, Jennifer | Lange, Ethan M. | Lange, Leslie A. | Langenberg, Claudia | Li, Xin | Luan, Jian’an | Mägi, Reedik | Morrison, Alanna C. | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Pirie, Ailith | Polasek, Ozren | Porteous, David | Reiner, Alex P. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Sala, Cinzia F. | Schlessinger, David | Scott, Robert A. | Stöckl, Doris | Visser, Jenny A. | Völker, Uwe | Vozzi, Diego | Wilson, James G. | Zygmunt, Marek | Boerwinkle, Eric | Buring, Julie E. | Crisponi, Laura | Easton, Douglas F. | Hayward, Caroline | Hu, Frank B. | Liu, Simin | Metspalu, Andres | Pennell, Craig E. | Ridker, Paul M. | Strauch, Konstantin | Streeten, Elizabeth A. | Toniolo, Daniela | Uitterlinden, André G. | Ulivi, Sheila | Völzke, Henry | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Wellons, Melissa | Franceschini, Nora | Chasman, Daniel I. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Murray, Anna | Stefansson, Kari | Murabito, Joanne M. | Ong, Ken K. | Perry, John R.B.
Nature communications  2015;6:7756.
More than one hundred loci have been identified for age at menarche by genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but collectively these explain only ~3% of the trait variance. Here, we test two overlooked sources of variation in 192,974 European ancestry women: low-frequency protein-coding variants and X-chromosome variants. Five missense/nonsense variants (in ALMS1/LAMB2/TNRC6A/TACR3/PRKAG1) are associated with age at menarche (minor allele frequencies 0.08%-4.6%; effect sizes 0.08-1.25 years/allele; P<5×10−8). Additionally, we identify common X-chromosome loci at IGSF1 (rs762080, P=9.4×10−13) and FAAH2 (rs5914101, P=4.9×10−10). Highlighted genes implicate cellular energy homeostasis, post-transcriptional gene silencing and fatty acid amide signalling. A frequently reported mutation in TACR3 for idiopathic hypogonatrophic hypogonadism (p.W275X) is associated with 1.25-years later menarche (P=2.8×10−11), illustrating the utility of population studies to estimate the penetrance of reportedly pathogenic mutations. Collectively these novel variants explain ~0.5% variance, indicating these overlooked sources of variation do not substantially explain the ‘missing heritability’ of this complex trait.
doi:10.1038/ncomms8756
PMCID: PMC4538850  PMID: 26239645
20.  Corrigendum: Rare coding variants and X-linked loci associated with age at menarche 
Lunetta, Kathryn L. | Day, Felix R. | Sulem, Patrick | Ruth, Katherine S. | Tung, Joyce Y. | Hinds, David A. | Esko, Tõnu | Elks, Cathy E. | Altmaier, Elisabeth | He, Chunyan | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Mihailov, Evelin | Porcu, Eleonora | Robino, Antonietta | Rose, Lynda M. | Schick, Ursula M. | Stolk, Lisette | Teumer, Alexander | Thompson, Deborah J. | Traglia, Michela | Wang, Carol A. | Yerges-Armstrong, Laura M. | Antoniou, Antonis C. | Barbieri, Caterina | Coviello, Andrea D. | Cucca, Francesco | Demerath, Ellen W. | Dunning, Alison M. | Gandin, Ilaria | Grove, Megan L. | Gudbjartsson, Daniel F. | Hocking, Lynne J. | Hofman, Albert | Huang, Jinyan | Jackson, Rebecca D. | Karasik, David | Kriebel, Jennifer | Lange, Ethan M. | Lange, Leslie A. | Langenberg, Claudia | Li, Xin | Luan, Jian'an | Mägi, Reedik | Morrison, Alanna C. | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Pirie, Ailith | Polasek, Ozren | Porteous, David | Reiner, Alex P. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Sala, Cinzia F. | Schlessinger, David | Scott, Robert A. | Stöckl, Doris | Visser, Jenny A. | Völker, Uwe | Vozzi, Diego | Wilson, James G. | Zygmunt, Marek | Boerwinkle, Eric | Buring, Julie E. | Crisponi, Laura | Easton, Douglas F. | Hayward, Caroline | Hu, Frank B. | Liu, Simin | Metspalu, Andres | Pennell, Craig E. | Ridker, Paul M. | Strauch, Konstantin | Streeten, Elizabeth A. | Toniolo, Daniela | Uitterlinden, André G. | Ulivi, Sheila | Völzke, Henry | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Wellons, Melissa | Franceschini, Nora | Chasman, Daniel I. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Murray, Anna | Stefansson, Kari | Murabito, Joanne M. | Ong, Ken K. | Perry, John R. B.
Nature Communications  2015;6:10257.
doi:10.1038/ncomms10257
PMCID: PMC4703878  PMID: 26674845
21.  GWAS of Longevity in CHARGE Consortium Confirms APOE and FOXO3 Candidacy 
Background.
The genetic contribution to longevity in humans has been estimated to range from 15% to 25%. Only two genes, APOE and FOXO3, have shown association with longevity in multiple independent studies.
Methods.
We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies including 6,036 longevity cases, age ≥90 years, and 3,757 controls that died between ages 55 and 80 years. We additionally attempted to replicate earlier identified single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations with longevity.
Results.
In our meta-analysis, we found suggestive evidence for the association of SNPs near CADM2 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.81; p value = 9.66 × 10−7) and GRIK2 (odds ratio = 1.24; p value = 5.09 × 10−8) with longevity. When attempting to replicate findings earlier identified in genome-wide association studies, only the APOE locus consistently replicated. In an additional look-up of the candidate gene FOXO3, we found that an earlier identified variant shows a highly significant association with longevity when including published data with our meta-analysis (odds ratio = 1.17; p value = 1.85×10−10).
Conclusions.
We did not identify new genome-wide significant associations with longevity and did not replicate earlier findings except for APOE and FOXO3. Our inability to find new associations with survival to ages ≥90 years because longevity represents multiple complex traits with heterogeneous genetic underpinnings, or alternatively, that longevity may be regulated by rare variants that are not captured by standard genome-wide genotyping and imputation of common variants.
doi:10.1093/gerona/glu166
PMCID: PMC4296168  PMID: 25199915
Longevity; GWAS; FOXO3; APOE.
22.  The Search for Longevity and Healthy Aging Genes: Insights From Epidemiological Studies and Samples of Long-Lived Individuals 
Genetic factors clearly contribute to exceptional longevity and healthy aging in humans, yet the identification of the underlying genes remains a challenge. Longevity is a complex phenotype with modest heritability. Age-related phenotypes with higher heritability may have greater success in gene discovery. Candidate gene and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for longevity have had only limited success to date. The Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium conducted a meta-analysis of GWAS data for longevity, defined as survival to age 90 years or older, that identified several interesting associations but none achieved genome-wide significance. A recent GWAS of longevity conducted in the Leiden Longevity Study identified the ApoE E4 isoform as deleterious to longevity that was confirmed in an independent GWAS of long-lived individuals of German descent. Notably, no other genetic loci for longevity have been identified in these GWAS. To examine the conserved genetic mechanisms between the mouse and humans for life span, we mapped the top Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology GWAS associations for longevity to the mouse chromosomal map and noted that eight of the ten top human associations were located within a previously reported mouse life-span quantitative trait loci. This work suggests that the mouse and human may share mechanisms leading to aging and that the mouse model may help speed the understanding of how genes identified in humans affect the biology of aging. We expect these ongoing collaborations and the translational work with basic scientists to accelerate the identification of genes that delay aging and promote a healthy life span.
doi:10.1093/gerona/gls089
PMCID: PMC3326242  PMID: 22499766
Longevity; Genetics; Epidemiological studies
23.  Parental Intermittent Claudication as a Risk Factor for Claudication in Adults 
The American Journal of Cardiology  2011;109(5):736-741.
Little is known about the familial aggregation of intermittent claudication (IC). Our objective was to examine whether parental IC increased adult offspring risk of IC independent of established cardiovascular risk factors. We evaluated Offspring cohort participants of the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) who were 30 years or older, cardiovascular disease (CVD) free, and had both parents enrolled in the FHS (n= 2970 unique participants, 53% women). Pooled proportional hazards regression was used to examine whether the 12 year risk for incident IC in offspring participants was associated with parental IC adjusting for age, sex, diabetes, smoking, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, anti-hypertensive and lipid treatment. Among 909 person-exams in the parental IC history group and 5397 person-exams in the no parental IC history group there were 101 incident IC events (29 with parental IC history, 72 without parental IC history) during follow-up. Age and sex adjusted 12-year cumulative incidence rates per 1000 person-years were 5.08 (95% CI: 2.74; 7.33) and 2.34 (95% CI: 1.46; 3.19) in participants with and without parental IC history. Parental history of IC significantly increased the risk of incident IC in offspring (multivariable adjusted hazard ratio of 1.81, 95% CI 1.14, 2.88). The hazard ratio was unchanged with adjustment for occurrence of CVD (1.83, 95% CI 1.15, 2.91). In conclusion, IC in parents increases risk for IC in adult offspring independent of established risk factors. These data suggest a genetic component of peripheral artery disease and support future research into genetic causes.
doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.10.032
PMCID: PMC3288128  PMID: 22154319
claudication; peripheral artery disease; risk factors; family history
24.  Shared genetic aetiology of puberty timing between sexes and with health-related outcomes 
Nature Communications  2015;6:8842.
Understanding of the genetic regulation of puberty timing has come largely from studies of rare disorders and population-based studies in women. Here, we report the largest genomic analysis for puberty timing in 55,871 men, based on recalled age at voice breaking. Analysis across all genomic variants reveals strong genetic correlation (0.74, P=2.7 × 10−70) between male and female puberty timing. However, some loci show sex-divergent effects, including directionally opposite effects between sexes at the SIM1/MCHR2 locus (Pheterogeneity=1.6 × 10−12). We find five novel loci for puberty timing (P<5 × 10−8), in addition to nine signals in men that were previously reported in women. Newly implicated genes include two retinoic acid-related receptors, RORB and RXRA, and two genes reportedly disrupted in rare disorders of puberty, LEPR and KAL1. Finally, we identify genetic correlations that indicate shared aetiologies in both sexes between puberty timing and body mass index, fasting insulin levels, lipid levels, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Past studies on genetics of puberty relied on rare disorders or age of menarche in women. Here, Day et al. examine puberty timing in men by the age of voice breaking, and find some loci with sexually dimorphic effects and genetic architectures shared with other health conditions.
doi:10.1038/ncomms9842
PMCID: PMC4667609  PMID: 26548314
25.  Association Between Chromosome 9p21 Variants and the Ankle-Brachial Index Identified by a Meta-Analysis of 21 Genome-Wide Association Studies 
Murabito, Joanne M. | White, Charles C. | Kavousi, Maryam | Sun, Yan V. | Feitosa, Mary F. | Nambi, Vijay | Lamina, Claudia | Schillert, Arne | Coassin, Stefan | Bis, Joshua C. | Broer, Linda | Crawford, Dana C. | Franceschini, Nora | Frikke-Schmidt, Ruth | Haun, Margot | Holewijn, Suzanne | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Hwang, Shih-Jen | Kiechl, Stefan | Kollerits, Barbara | Montasser, May E. | Nolte, Ilja M. | Rudock, Megan E. | Senft, Andrea | Teumer, Alexander | van der Harst, Pim | Vitart, Veronique | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wood, Andrew R. | Wassel, Christina L. | Absher, Devin M. | Allison, Matthew A. | Amin, Najaf | Arnold, Alice | Asselbergs, Folkert W. | Aulchenko, Yurii | Bandinelli, Stefania | Barbalic, Maja | Boban, Mladen | Brown-Gentry, Kristin | Couper, David J. | Criqui, Michael H. | Dehghan, Abbas | Heijer, Martin den | Dieplinger, Benjamin | Ding, Jingzhong | Dörr, Marcus | Espinola-Klein, Christine | Felix, Stephan B. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Folsom, Aaron R. | Fraedrich, Gustav | Gibson, Quince | Goodloe, Robert | Gunjaca, Grgo | Haltmayer, Meinhard | Heiss, Gerardo | Hofman, Albert | Kieback, Arne | Kiemeney, Lambertus A. | Kolcic, Ivana | Kullo, Iftikhar J. | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Lackner, Karl J. | Li, Xiaohui | Lieb, Wolfgang | Lohman, Kurt | Meisinger, Christa | Melzer, David | Mohler, Emile R | Mudnic, Ivana | Mueller, Thomas | Navis, Gerjan | Oberhollenzer, Friedrich | Olin, Jeffrey W. | O’Connell, Jeff | O’Donnell, Christopher J. | Palmas, Walter | Penninx, Brenda W. | Petersmann, Astrid | Polasek, Ozren | Psaty, Bruce M. | Rantner, Barbara | Rice, Ken | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rotter, Jerome I. | Seldenrijk, Adrie | Stadler, Marietta | Summerer, Monika | Tanaka, Toshiko | Tybjaerg-Hansen, Anne | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Gilst, Wiek H. | Vermeulen, Sita H. | Wild, Sarah H. | Wild, Philipp S. | Willeit, Johann | Zeller, Tanja | Zemunik, Tatijana | Zgaga, Lina | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Blankenberg, Stefan | Boerwinkle, Eric | Campbell, Harry | Cooke, John P. | de Graaf, Jacqueline | Herrington, David | Kardia, Sharon L. R. | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Murray, Anna | Münzel, Thomas | Newman, Anne | Oostra, Ben A. | Rudan, Igor | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Snieder, Harold | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Völker, Uwe | Wright, Alan F. | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Wilson, James F. | Witteman, Jacqueline C.M. | Liu, Yongmei | Hayward, Caroline | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Ziegler, Andreas | North, Kari E. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Kronenberg, Florian
Background
Genetic determinants of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) remain largely unknown. To identify genetic variants associated with the ankle-brachial index (ABI), a noninvasive measure of PAD, we conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association study data from 21 population-based cohorts.
Methods and Results
Continuous ABI and PAD (ABI≤0.9) phenotypes adjusted for age and sex were examined. Each study conducted genotyping and imputed data to the ~2.5 million SNPs in HapMap. Linear and logistic regression models were used to test each SNP for association with ABI and PAD using additive genetic models. Study-specific data were combined using fixed-effects inverse variance weighted meta-analyses. There were a total of 41,692 participants of European ancestry (~60% women, mean ABI 1.02 to 1.19), including 3,409 participants with PAD and with GWAS data available. In the discovery meta-analysis, rs10757269 on chromosome 9 near CDKN2B had the strongest association with ABI (β= −0.006, p=2.46x10−8). We sought replication of the 6 strongest SNP associations in 5 population-based studies and 3 clinical samples (n=16,717). The association for rs10757269 strengthened in the combined discovery and replication analysis (p=2.65x10−9). No other SNP associations for ABI or PAD achieved genome-wide significance. However, two previously reported candidate genes for PAD and one SNP associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) were associated with ABI : DAB21P (rs13290547, p=3.6x10−5); CYBA (rs3794624, p=6.3x10−5); and rs1122608 (LDLR, p=0.0026).
Conclusions
GWAS in more than 40,000 individuals identified one genome-wide significant association on chromosome 9p21 with ABI. Two candidate genes for PAD and 1 SNP for CAD are associated with ABI.
doi:10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.111.961292
PMCID: PMC3303225  PMID: 22199011
cohort study; genetic association; genome-wide association study; meta-analysis; peripheral vascular disease

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