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1.  Prospective Associations of Coronary Heart Disease Loci in African Americans Using the MetaboChip: The PAGE Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e113203.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in African Americans. However, there is a paucity of studies assessing genetic determinants of CHD in African Americans. We examined the association of published variants in CHD loci with incident CHD, attempted to fine map these loci, and characterize novel variants influencing CHD risk in African Americans.
Methods and Results
Up to 8,201 African Americans (including 546 first CHD events) were genotyped using the MetaboChip array in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study and Women's Health Initiative (WHI). We tested associations using Cox proportional hazard models in sex- and study-stratified analyses and combined results using meta-analysis. Among 44 validated CHD loci available in the array, we replicated and fine-mapped the SORT1 locus, and showed same direction of effects as reported in studies of individuals of European ancestry for SNPs in 22 additional published loci. We also identified a SNP achieving array wide significance (MYC: rs2070583, allele frequency 0.02, P = 8.1×10−8), but the association did not replicate in an additional 8,059 African Americans (577 events) from the WHI, HealthABC and GeneSTAR studies, and in a meta-analysis of 5 cohort studies of European ancestry (24,024 individuals including 1,570 cases of MI and 2,406 cases of CHD) from the CHARGE Consortium.
Our findings suggest that some CHD loci previously identified in individuals of European ancestry may be relevant to incident CHD in African Americans.
PMCID: PMC4277270  PMID: 25542012
2.  Pharmacogenetic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of LDL cholesterol response to statins 
Postmus, Iris | Trompet, Stella | Deshmukh, Harshal A. | Barnes, Michael R. | Li, Xiaohui | Warren, Helen R. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Zhou, Kaixin | Arsenault, Benoit J. | Donnelly, Louise A. | Wiggins, Kerri L. | Avery, Christy L. | Griffin, Paula | Feng, QiPing | Taylor, Kent D. | Li, Guo | Evans, Daniel S. | Smith, Albert V. | de Keyser, Catherine E. | Johnson, Andrew D. | de Craen, Anton J. M. | Stott, David J. | Buckley, Brendan M. | Ford, Ian | Westendorp, Rudi G. J. | Eline Slagboom, P. | Sattar, Naveed | Munroe, Patricia B. | Sever, Peter | Poulter, Neil | Stanton, Alice | Shields, Denis C. | O’Brien, Eoin | Shaw-Hawkins, Sue | Ida Chen, Y.-D. | Nickerson, Deborah A. | Smith, Joshua D. | Pierre Dubé, Marie | Matthijs Boekholdt, S. | Kees Hovingh, G. | Kastelein, John J. P. | McKeigue, Paul M. | Betteridge, John | Neil, Andrew | Durrington, Paul N. | Doney, Alex | Carr, Fiona | Morris, Andrew | McCarthy, Mark I. | Groop, Leif | Ahlqvist, Emma | Bis, Joshua C. | Rice, Kenneth | Smith, Nicholas L. | Lumley, Thomas | Whitsel, Eric A. | Stürmer, Til | Boerwinkle, Eric | Ngwa, Julius S. | O’Donnell, Christopher J. | Vasan, Ramachandran S. | Wei, Wei-Qi | Wilke, Russell A. | Liu, Ching-Ti | Sun, Fangui | Guo, Xiuqing | Heckbert, Susan R | Post, Wendy | Sotoodehnia, Nona | Arnold, Alice M. | Stafford, Jeanette M. | Ding, Jingzhong | Herrington, David M. | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Launer, Leonore J. | Harris, Tamara B. | Chu, Audrey Y. | Giulianini, Franco | MacFadyen, Jean G. | Barratt, Bryan J. | Nyberg, Fredrik | Stricker, Bruno H. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Hofman, Albert | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Emilsson, Valur | Franco, Oscar H. | Ridker, Paul M. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Liu, Yongmei | Denny, Joshua C. | Ballantyne, Christie M. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Adrienne Cupples, L. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Palmer, Colin N. A. | Tardif, Jean-Claude | Colhoun, Helen M. | Hitman, Graham | Krauss, Ronald M. | Wouter Jukema, J | Caulfield, Mark J.
Nature Communications  2014;5:5068.
Statins effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels in large studies and the observed interindividual response variability may be partially explained by genetic variation. Here we perform a pharmacogenetic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in studies addressing the LDL cholesterol response to statins, including up to 18,596 statin-treated subjects. We validate the most promising signals in a further 22,318 statin recipients and identify two loci, SORT1/CELSR2/PSRC1 and SLCO1B1, not previously identified in GWAS. Moreover, we confirm the previously described associations with APOE and LPA. Our findings advance the understanding of the pharmacogenetic architecture of statin response.
Statins are effectively used to prevent and manage cardiovascular disease, but patient response to these drugs is highly variable. Here, the authors identify two new genes associated with the response of LDL cholesterol to statins and advance our understanding of the genetic basis of drug response.
PMCID: PMC4220464  PMID: 25350695
3.  The Association of Health and Functional Status with Private and Public Religious Practice among Rural, Ethnically Diverse Older Adults with Diabetes 
This analysis describes the association of health and functional status with private and public religious practice among ethnically diverse (African American, Native American, white) rural older adults with diabetes.
Data were collected using a population-based, cross-sectional, stratified, random sample survey of 701 community-dwelling elders with diabetes in two rural North Carolina counties. Outcome measures were private religious practice, church attendance, religious support provided, and religious support received. Correlates included religiosity, health and functional status, and personal characteristics. Statistical significance was assessed using multiple linear regression and logistic regression models.
These rural elders had high levels of religious belief, and private and public religious practice. Religiosity was associated with private and public religious practice. Health and functional status were not associated with private religious practice, but they were associated with public religious practice, such that those with limited functional status participated less in public religious practice. Ethnicity was associated with private religious practice: African Americans had higher levels of private religious practice than Native Americans or whites, while Native Americans had higher levels than whites.
Variation in private religious practice among rural older adults is related to personal characteristics and religiosity, while public religious practice is related to physical health, functional status and religiosity. Declining health may affect the social integration of rural older adults by limiting their ability to participate in a dominant social institution.
PMCID: PMC3653177  PMID: 17565525
rural aging; minority aging; chronic disease; diabetes; religious participation; religiosity; social integration
4.  Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use and Diabetes Self-Management Among Rural Older Adults 
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a growing form of self-care and is related to other healthy behaviors. This study examines the relationship between CAM use and diabetes self-management. A survey of rural older African American, Native American, and White adults with diabetes was conducted. Data were collected on diabetes self-management domains and general and diabetes-specific CAM use. Some associations were observed, particularly for CAM use and following a healthy eating plan. CAM is part of the health maintenance strategy of rural older adults with diabetes. Further research should examine the health trajectory associated with CAM use in this population.
PMCID: PMC2743492  PMID: 19756166
complementary and alternative medicine; diabetes mellitus; self-management; African Americans; Native Americans
Ethnicity & disease  2007;17(3):471-476.
Diabetes mellitus disproportionately affects ethnic minorities and has serious economic, social, and personal implications. This study examines the effect of diabetes disease burden and social resources on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among older rural adults with diabetes. Data come from a population-based cross-sectional survey of 701 adults (age ≥65 years) with diabetes in North Carolina from three ethnic groups: African American, Native American, and White. HRQOL was assessed using the 12-item short-form health survey (SF-12). Mean scores were 35.1 ± 11.4 and 50.5 ± 10.8 for the physical and mental components of the SF-12, respectively. In bivariate analyses, scores were significantly lower for Native Americans than Whites for both components. In multivariate analyses, higher physical HRQOL was associated with male sex, greater mobility ability, fewer chronic conditions, exercising vs not exercising, fewer depressive symptoms, and not receiving process assistance. Higher mental HRQOL was associated with greater mobility ability, fewer chronic conditions, and a high school education or more. Diabetes appears to have a substantial effect on physical HRQOL. Physical disability associated with diabetes may have a greater impact in the rural environment than in other areas. Aspects of rural social milieu may help to keep mental HRQOL high, even in the face of severe chronic disease. Ethnic differences in HRQOL are largely accounted for by diabetes disease burden and, to a lesser extent, social resources. Strategies to reduce diabetes-related complications (long term) and assist mobility (short term) may reduce ethnic disparities in HRQOL. (Ethn Dis. 2007;17:471–476)
PMCID: PMC2621317  PMID: 17985500
African Americans; Diabetes; Quality of Life; Native Americans; Rural; Minority Health
6.  Ethnic and Sex Differences in Ownership of Preventive Health Equipment Among Rural Older Adults With Diabetes 
Diabetes self-management is important for achieving successful health outcomes. Different levels of self-management have been reported among various populations, though little is known about ownership of equipment that can enhance accomplishment of these tasks.
This study examined diabetes self-management equipment ownership among rural older adults.
Participants included African American, American Indian, and white men and women 65 years of age and older. Data included equipment ownership overall and by ethnicity and sex across diabetes self-management domains (glucose monitoring, foot care, medication adherence, exercise, and diet). Associations between equipment ownership and demographic and health characteristics were assessed using logistic regression.
Equipment ownership ranged from 85.0% for blood glucose meters to less than 11% for special socks, modified dishes, and various forms of home exercise equipment. Equipment ownership was associated with ethnicity, living arrangements, mobility, poverty status, and formal education.
Rural older adults with diabetes are at risk because they lack equipment to perform some self-management tasks. Providers should be sensitive to and assist patients in overcoming this barrier.
PMCID: PMC2612629  PMID: 17868240
7.  Predictors of Falls in a Multiethnic Population of Older Rural Adults With Diabetes 
Falls are a recognized danger for older adults with diabetes. Persons in rural communities with diabetes may face additional risks from falling due to environmental and activity differences.
Data were obtained in a cross-sectional survey of a stratified random sample of 691 community-dwelling adults (42.7% white, 31.4% African American, and 25.9% Native American) at least 65 years old with two or more Medicare claims for diabetes in 1998–2000, living in two rural counties in North Carolina. Falls data were self-reported for the previous year. Demographic data, foot-related symptoms, diabetes medications, and other health characteristics were reported.
Three hundred two persons (43.7%) reported falling at least once, including 171 (26.2%) who experienced two or more (frequent) falls. Frequent fallers were more likely to be male (odds ratio [OR] = 1.76; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.17, 2.66), report tingling or numbness in feet (OR = 1.75; 95% CI = 1.13, 2.70), have had a stroke (OR = 1.81; 95% CI = 1.19, 2.76), have longer duration of diabetes (OR = 1.21; 95% CI = 1.00, 1.47), have lower physical functioning (OR = 0.97; 95% CI = 0.96, 0.99) and mobility (OR = 0.89; 95% CI = 0.82, 0.96), and take a greater number of prescription medications (OR = 1.07; 95% CI = 1.01, 1.13).
For rural older adults with diabetes, falls history should be screened to identify those at risk. Further research should investigate unique environmental factors contributing to falls for rural elderly persons.
PMCID: PMC1592639  PMID: 16611707
8.  Ethnic Disparities in Glycemic Control Among Rural Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes 
Ethnicity & disease  2005;15(4):656-663.
Glycemic control is a predictor of diabetes-related morbidity and mortality. However, little is known about how well older adults in rural communities, with limited access to self-care resources and specialty care practitioners, control their diabetes. Even less is known about whether minority, older, rural adults are at increased risk for poor glycemic control. We analyzed data from a cross-sectional survey of randomly selected older (≥65 years) adults with type 2 diabetes in rural North Carolina. Participants (N=693) were men and women from three ethnic groups: African American, Native American, and White. Capillary blood samples were collected for HbA1C analysis. HbA1C levels (<7%, 7%–<8%, and ≥8%) were compared across ethnic and gender groups. Two multiple logistic regression models (model 1: personal characteristics; model 2: personal and health characteristics) were used to evaluate potential predictors of HbA1C ≥7%. Overall, 36.4% had HbA1C ≥7%. Native Americans and African-American men had the highest proportion at levels of poor glycemic control (≥7%), and African-American women and White men had the lowest. In bivariate analysis, ethnicity, living arrangements, use of medications for diabetes, having a diabetes-related healthcare visit in the past year, and duration of diabetes were significantly associated with glycemic control. In multivariate analysis (model 1), being Native American, having low income without Medicaid, and being married were associated with poor glycemic control. Adding health characteristics (model 2), longer diabetes duration and diabetes medication therapy were significant predictors. These data indicate that older ethnic minorities in rural communities are at increased risk for diabetes complications and need diabetes management strategies to improve glycemic control.
PMCID: PMC1780265  PMID: 16259490
African Americans; Elderly; Diabetes; Ethnicity; Glycosylated Hemoglobin; Health Disparities; Native Americans; Rural
9.  Physical Activity Among Rural Older Adults With Diabetes 
This analysis describes physical activity levels and factors associated with physical activity in an ethnically diverse (African American, Native American, white) sample of rural older adults with diabetes.
Data were collected using a population-based, cross-sectional stratified random sample survey of 701 community-dwelling elders with diabetes completed in 2 rural North Carolina counties. Outcome measures were as follows: first, physical activity in the past year, and second, days physically active in the prior week (0-7). Potential correlates included personal and health characteristics and were evaluated for statistical significance using logistic regression models.
About half (52.5%) of the participants stated that they had engaged in physical activity in the past year. Among those, 42.5% stated that they had no days with at least 30 minutes of continuous physical activity in the prior week, while 21.5% reported daily physical activity. Common activities were walking and housework. Correlates of physical activity in the past year and days active in the prior week included measures of physical health and mobility.
Physical activity in this ethnically diverse sample of rural elders with diabetes is limited. Effort must be invested to increase physical activity in these groups.
PMCID: PMC1613260  PMID: 16606429
10.  Diabetes Foot Self-care Practices in a Rural, Triethnic Population 
The Diabetes educator  2005;31(1):75-83.
The purposes of this study were to assess the level of foot self-care performed in a rural, multiethnic population of older adults and to identify factors associated with foot self-care.
The Evaluating Long-term Diabetes Self-management Among Elder Rural Adults study included a random sample of 701 African American, Native American, and white adults from 2 rural North Carolina counties. Participants completed in-home interviews, 5 foot self-care practices from the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities (SDSCA), functional status measures, and measures of education and support for foot care.
Foot care practices/behaviors reported at least 6 days/week ranged from 35.6% for inspecting shoes to 79.2% for not soaking feet. Four independent predictors of the SDSCA summary foot care index score were observed: having been shown how to care for feet (P < .0001), female gender (P = .03), having had a doctor check nerves in feet in past year (P = .02), and not receiving support caring for feet (P = .0425).
These findings indicate that educating patients about foot self-care may encourage routine foot care but that those dependent on either formal or informal support to perform foot care do so less frequently than those who perform it independently.
PMCID: PMC1613259  PMID: 15779248
11.  Primary and Specialty Medical Care Among Ethnically Diverse, Older Rural Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: The ELDER Diabetes Study 
Residents in rural communities in the United States, especially ethnic minority group members, have limited access to primary and specialty health care that is critical for diabetes management. This study examines primary and specialty medical care utilization among a rural, ethnically diverse, older adult population with diabetes.
Data were drawn from a cross-sectional face-to-face survey of randomly selected African American (n = 220), Native American (n = 181), and white (n = 297) Medicare beneficiaries ≥65 years old with diabetes in 2 rural counties in central North Carolina. Participants were asked about utilization of a primary care doctor and of specialists (nutritionist, diabetes specialist, eye doctor, bladder specialist, kidney specialist, heart specialist, foot specialist) in the past year.
Virtually all respondents (99.0%) reported having a primary care doctor and seeing that doctor in the past year. About 42% reported seeing a doctor for diabetes-related care. On average, participants reported seeing 2 specialists in the past year, and 54% reported seeing >1 specialist. Few reported seeing a diabetes specialist (5.7%), nutritionist (10.9%), or kidney specialist (17.5%). African Americans were more likely than others to report seeing a foot specialist (P<.01), while men were more likely than women to have seen a bladder specialist (P =.02), kidney specialist (P =.001), and heart specialist (P =.004), after adjusting for potential confounders. Predictors of the number of specialists seen include gender, education, poverty status, diabetes medication use, and self-rated health.
These data indicate low utilization of specialty diabetes care providers across ethnic groups and reflect the importance of primary care providers in diabetes care in rural areas.
PMCID: PMC1586168  PMID: 16092292
12.  Prevalence and Correlates of Depressive Symptoms Among Rural Older African Americans, Native Americans, and Whites With Diabetes 
Diabetes care  2005;28(4):823-829.
Depression is associated with morbidity, mortality, and decreased quality of life and is a well-established complication among people with diabetes. Little is known about the prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among older adults living in rural communities, particularly among ethnic minority groups, who are at increased risk of developing diabetes and complications.
Data were analyzed from the ELDER (Evaluating Long-term Diabetes Self-management Among Elder Rural Adults) diabetes study in which face-to-face interviews were conducted with 696 older (≥65 years of age) African-American, Native American, and white men and women in two rural counties in central North Carolina.
Using a criterion of ≥9 on a modified CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Study of Depression) scale, 15.8% of the sample had depressive symptoms. In bivariate analyses, depressive symptomatology was more common among women and individuals who were unmarried and had less than a high school education, fewer financial resources, more chronic conditions, more prescription medications, and lower physical functioning. In multivariate analyses, sex, education, living arrangement, BMI, number of prescription medications, number of chronic conditions, and physical functioning remained significant.
These results show that older rural adults with diabetes are at high risk for depressive symptoms, regardless of their ethnic group, and that certain demographic and health characteristics are important factors in this association. These findings add to the limited body of knowledge of comorbid depression in this population. Greater attention should be paid to diagnosing and treating this condition by those who provide care to these populations.
PMCID: PMC1592640  PMID: 15793180

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