Elevation in plasma activity of von Willebrand Factor (vWF) reflects endothelial dysfunction and predicts death in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Higher vWF activity is also associated with lower right ventricular (RV) ejection fraction in PAH. Little is known about the relationship between vWF and RV structure and function in adults without cardiovascular disease. In the current investigation, we included 1,976 participants with MRI assessment of RV structure and function and measurement of vWF activity from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Multivariable linear regression was used to estimate the associations between vWF activity and measures of RV structure and function after adjusting for demographics, anthropometrics, smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and the corresponding left ventricular (LV) parameter. The average vWF activity was 140.7 ± 57.2%. Elevated vWF activity was independently associated with lower RV mass, RV end-diastolic volume and RV stroke volume in models with and without adjustment for the corresponding LV parameter (all p < 0.05). There was no association observed between vWF activity and RV ejection fraction. In conclusion, higher vWF activity is associated with lower RV mass, RV end-diastolic volume and RV stroke volume. These associations are independent of common cardiovascular risk factors and LV morphologic changes.
Cardiovascular Imaging; Biomarkers; Pulmonary Hypertension; Right Ventricle
We examined serum lipids in association with carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women.
In 2003–4, among 1827 Women’s Interagency HIV Study participants, we measured CIMT and lipids (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-c], low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-c], total cholesterol [TC], non-HDL-c). A subset of 520 treated HIV-infected women had pre-1997 lipid measures. We used multivariable linear regression to examine associations between lipids and CIMT.
In HIV-uninfected women, higher TC, LDL-c and non-HDL-c were associated with increased CIMT. Among HIV-infected women, associations of lipids with CIMT were observed in treated but not untreated women. Among the HIV-infected women treated in 2003–4, CIMT was associated both with lipids measured a decade earlier in infection, and with late lipid measurements.
Among HIV-infected women, hyperlipidemia is most strongly associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in treated women. Among treated women, the association appeared strongest early in the disease course.
cardiovascular diseases; carotid arteries; HAART; HIV; lipids
Autopsy studies show that smoking contributes to airway wall hyperplasia and narrowing of the airway lumen. Studies of smoking and airway measures on computed tomography (CT) scan are limited to case-control studies of measures that combine airway lumen and wall thickness.
We hypothesized that cumulative cigarette smoking would be associated with increased airway wall thickness in a large, population-based cohort.
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis enrolled participants age 45-84 years from the general population. Smoking history was assessed via standardized questionnaire items; current smoking was confirmed in half the cohort with cotinine. Airway lumen and wall thickness were measured in two dimensions in posterior basal segmental bronchi on cardiac-gated CT scans. Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, genetic ancestry, education, height, weight, asthma history, particulate matter, scanner type, and scanner current.
Half of the 7,898 participants had smoked and 14% were current smokers. Pack-years of smoking were associated with thicker airway walls (mean increase 0.002 mm per ten pack-years [95% CI: 0.00002, 0.004] p=0.03). Current smoking was associated with narrower airway lumens (mean decrease −0.11 mm [95% CI: −0.2, −0.02] p=0.02). There was no evidence that either association was modified by genetic ancestry, and findings persisted among participants without clinical disease.
Long-term cigarette smoking was associated with subclinical increases in wall thickness of sub-segmental airways whereas current smoking was associated with narrower airway lumen diameters. Smoking may contribute to airway wall thickening prior to the development of overt chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
smoking; airway remodeling; Pi10; wall thickness; lumen; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Background & Aims
Interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), two important inflammatory cytokines, have been inconsistently associated with risk of colon neoplasia in epidemiological studies. However, research to date has not adequately assessed whether race-specific differences may exist in associations between biomarkers and genetic variants of these cytokines and colorectal adenoma – the precursor lesions of colorectal cancer. We sought to determine whether circulating levels of IL-6 and TNF-α, or genetic polymorphisms in IL-6and TNF-α were associated with colon adenoma and if so, whether that association differed by race.
We analyzed the associations of circulating levels and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of IL-6 and TNF-α with risk of colon adenomas in a colonoscopy -based case-control study of 401 incident adenoma cases and 1,050 controls. We used multivariate unconditional logistic regression models to estimate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for levels or genotypes (log additive models) of IL-6 and TNF-α.
Compared to the bottom tertile of IL-6, the adjusted ORs were: 1.06 (0.75–1.44), 1.01 (0.72–1.40), respectively for the 2nd and 3rd tertiles (ptrend = 0.10); the corresponding ORs for TNF-α were: 0.85 (0.63–1.15) and 1.01 (0.75–1.36), respectively (ptrend = 0.39). Race-stratified analyses did not reveal any significant association. There were also no statistically significant associations between IL-6 and TNF-α SNPs and colon adenoma.
Our results do not support pre-diagnostic levels of IL-6, TNF-α or their genetic variants as significant risk factors for the development of colon adenoma.
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA Air) was initiated in 2004 to investigate the relation between individual-level estimates of long-term air pollution exposure and the progression of subclinical atherosclerosis and the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). MESA Air builds on a multicenter, community-based US study of CVD, supplementing that study with additional participants, outcome measurements, and state-of-the-art air pollution exposure assessments of fine particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen, and black carbon. More than 7,000 participants aged 45–84 years are being followed for over 10 years for the identification and characterization of CVD events, including acute myocardial infarction and other coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and congestive heart failure; cardiac procedures; and mortality. Subcohorts undergo baseline and follow-up measurements of coronary artery calcium using computed tomography and carotid artery intima-medial wall thickness using ultrasonography. This cohort provides vast exposure heterogeneity in ranges currently experienced and permitted in most developed nations, and the air monitoring and modeling methods employed will provide individual estimates of exposure that incorporate residence-specific infiltration characteristics and participant-specific time-activity patterns. The overarching study aim is to understand and reduce uncertainty in health effect estimation regarding long-term exposure to air pollution and CVD.
air pollution; atherosclerosis; cardiovascular diseases; environmental exposure; epidemiologic methods; particulate matter
The study of HIV-infected “controllers” who are able to maintain low levels of plasma HIV RNA in the absence of antiretroviral therapy (ART) may provide insights for HIV cure and vaccine strategies. Despite maintaining very low levels of plasma viremia, controllers have elevated immune activation and accelerated atherosclerosis. However, the degree to which low-level replication contributes to these phenomena is not known. Sixteen asymptomatic controllers were prospectively treated with ART for 24 weeks. Controllers had a statistically significant decrease in ultrasensitive plasma and rectal HIV RNA levels with ART. Markers of T cell activation/dysfunction in blood and gut mucosa also decreased substantially with ART. Similar reductions were observed in the subset of “elite” controllers with pre-ART plasma HIV RNA levels below conventional assays (<40 copies/mL). These data confirm that HIV replication persists in controllers and contributes to a chronic inflammatory state. ART should be considered for these individuals (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01025427).
HIV-infected “controllers” are rare individuals who are HIV-seropositive but are able to maintain low levels of plasma HIV RNA in the absence of antiretroviral therapy (ART). There has been intense interest in characterizing these unique individuals because they have been considered as a potential model for a “functional cure” of HIV. Previously, our group has shown that controllers have elevated levels of T cell activation and accelerated atherosclerosis, suggesting that very low levels of viral replication may lead to disproportionately high levels of immune activation. However, the degree to which viral replication contributes to these outcomes is not known. We therefore conducted the first, prospective study of ART initiation in a cohort of asymptomatic HIV-infected controllers, in order to determine the virologic and immunologic effects of treating controllers with ART. Controllers had a significant decreases in ultrasensitive plasma HIV RNA, rectal HIV RNA, and markers of T cell activation/dysfunction in blood and gut mucosa with ART. Similar reductions were observed in the subset of “elite” controllers with extremely low pre-ART plasma HIV RNA levels (<40 copies/mL). These data suggest that HIV replication persists in controllers and contributes to a chronic inflammatory state.
Assessing whether hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is associated with increased inflammation is complex. The liver, integral to inflammatory biomarker synthesis, is compromised by HCV and alcohol abuse. Using single liver-synthesized biomarkers (e.g. C-reactive protein) to represent inflammation may not be appropriate in HIV/HCV co-infection. We hypothesized that 1) detectable HIV/HCV RNA was independently associated with increased inflammation; 2) a composite inflammation measure describes inflammation differently from single inflammatory biomarkers.
We compared inflammation by HIV/HCV group in a cohort of 361 HIV infected participants from the HIV-Longitudinal Interrelationships of Viruses and Ethanol study. Inflammatory biomarkers >75th percentile were considered elevated. Associations between HIV/HCV group and elevated biomarkers were analyzed as a composite measure (inflammatory burden) or individually. We defined inflammatory burden as number of concurrently elevated biomarkers. Biomarkers included interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), cystatin C, serum amyloid-A (SAA), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-10 (IL-10). Covariates: alcohol, liver fibrosis, comorbidities, CD4 count, antiretroviral therapy, substance use.
Detectable HIV and HCV RNA (OR = 2.49; 95% CI = 1.05–5.89) and detectable HCV RNA alone (2.95; 1.08–8.01) were independently associated with increased odds of having a greater inflammatory burden compared to undetectable viremia. Elevated IL-10 (7.79; 1.90–31.97) and TNF-α (7.70; 1.42–41.83) were independently associated with detectable HIV and HCV RNA. Elevated IL-10 was also associated with detectable HCV RNA alone (5.51; 1.17, 25.84).
Detectable HIV and HCV replication versus undetectable replication was associated with inflammatory burden and certain inflammatory biomarkers independently of alcohol consumption, liver fibrosis and other comorbidities.
HIV; HCV; Inflammation; Alcohol; Liver; Comorbidity
Adaptive immunity has been implicated in atherosclerosis in animal models and small clinical studies. Whether chronic immune activation is associated with atherosclerosis in otherwise healthy individuals remains underexplored. We hypothesized that activation of adaptive immune responses, as reflected by higher proportions of circulating CD4+ memory cells and lower proportions of naive cells, would be associated with subclinical atherosclerosis.
Methods and Findings
We examined cross-sectional relationships of circulating CD4+ naive and memory T cells with biomarkers of inflammation, serologies, and subclinical atherosclerosis in 912 participants of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Circulating CD4+ naive cells were higher in women than men and decreased with age (all p-values <0.0001). European-Americans had higher levels of naive cells and lower levels of memory cells compared with African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans (all p-values ≤0.0005). Lower naive/higher memory cells were associated with interleukin-6 levels. In multivariate models, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and H. Pylori titers were strongly associated with higher memory and lower naive cells (all p-values <0.05). Higher memory cells were associated with coronary artery calcification (CAC) level in the overall population [β-Coefficient (95% confidence interval (CI)) = 0.20 (0.03, 0.37)]. Memory and naive (inversely) cells were associated with common carotid artery intimal media thickness (CC IMT) in European-Americans [memory: β = 0.02 (0.006, 0.04); naive: β = −0.02 (−0.004, −0.03)].
These results demonstrate that the degree of chronic adaptive immune activation is associated with both CAC and CC IMT in otherwise healthy individuals, consistent with the known role of CD4+ T cells, and with innate immunity (inflammation), in atherosclerosis. These data are also consistent with the hypothesis that immunosenescence accelerates chronic diseases by putting a greater burden on the innate immune system, and suggest the importance of prospective studies and research into strategies to modulate adaptive immune activation in chronic disease states such as atherosclerosis.
Inflammation and hemostasis perturbation may be involved in vascular complications of HIV infection. We examined atherogenic biomarkers and subclinical atherosclerosis in HIV-infected adults before and after beginning highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
In the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), 127 HIV-infected women studied pre- and post-HAART were matched to HIV-uninfected controls. Six semi-annual measurements of soluble CD14, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, soluble interleukin (IL)-2 receptor, IL-6, IL-10, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, D-dimer, and fibrinogen were obtained. Carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) was measured by B-mode ultrasound.
Relative to HIV-uninfected controls, HAART-naïve HIV-infected women had elevated levels of soluble CD14 (1945 vs 1662 ng/mL, Wilcoxon signed rank P<0.0001), TNF-alpha (6.3 vs 3.4 pg/mL, P<0.0001), soluble IL-2 receptor (1587 vs 949 pg/mL, P<0.0001), IL-10 (3.3 vs 1.9 pg/mL, P<0.0001), MCP-1 (190 vs 163 pg/mL, P<0.0001) and D-dimer (0.43 vs 0.31 µg/mL, P<0.01). Elevated biomarker levels declined after HAART. While most biomarkers normalized to HIV-uninfected levels, in women on effective HAART, TNF-alpha levels remained elevated compared to HIV-uninfected women (+0.8 pg/mL, P=0.0002). Higher post-HAART levels of soluble IL-2 receptor (P=0.02), IL-6 (P=0.05), and D-dimer (P=0.03) were associated with increased CIMT.
Untreated HIV infection is associated with abnormal hemostasis (e.g., D-dimer), and pro-atherogenic (e.g., TNF-alpha) and anti-atherogenic (e.g., IL-10) inflammatory markers. HAART reduces most inflammatory mediators to HIV-uninfected levels. Increased inflammation and hemostasis are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in recently treated women. These findings have potential implications for long-term risk of cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected patients, even with effective therapy.
antiretroviral therapy; cardiovascular diseases; cytokines; hemostasis; HIV; inflammation
To examine the relation of fatty acid–binding protein (FABP)4 and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) to diabetes in older adults.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We ascertained incident diabetes among 3,740 Cardiovascular Health Study participants (1992–2007) based on the use of hypoglycemic medications, fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dL, or nonfasting glucose ≥200 mg/dL. FABP4 and NEFA were measured on specimens collected between 1992 and 1993.
Mean age of the 3,740 subjects studied was 74.8 years. For each SD increase in log FABP4, hazard ratios (HRs) for diabetes were 1.35 (95% CI 1.10–1.65) for women and 1.45 (1.13–1.85) for men controlling for age, race, education, physical activity, cystatin C, alcohol intake, smoking, self-reported health status, and estrogen use for women (P for sex-FABP4 interaction 0.10). BMI modified the FABP4-diabetes relation (P = 0.009 overall; 0.02 for women and 0.135 for men), in that statistically significant higher risk of diabetes was mainly seen in men with BMI <25 kg/m2 (HR per SD: 1.78 [95% CI 1.13–2.81]). There was a modest and nonsignificant association of NEFA with diabetes (Ptrend = 0.21). However, when restricted to the first 5 years of follow-up, multivariable-adjusted HRs for diabetes were 1.0 (ref.), 1.68 (95% CI 1.12–2.53), and 1.63 (1.07–2.50) across consecutive tertiles of NEFA (Ptrend = 0.03).
Plasma FABP4 was positively associated with incident diabetes in older adults, and such association was statistically significant in lean men only. A significant positive association between plasma NEFA and incident diabetes was observed during the first 5 years of follow-up.
HIV infection leads to activation of coagulation, which may increase the risk for atherosclerosis and venous thromboembolic disease. We hypothesized that HIV replication increases coagulation potentially through alterations in extrinsic pathway factors.
Methods and Results
Extrinsic pathway factors were measured among a subset of HIV participants from the Strategies for Management of Anti‐Retroviral Therapy (SMART) trial. Thrombin generation was estimated using validated computational modeling based on factor composition. We characterized the effect of antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment versus the untreated state (HIV replication) via 3 separate analyses: (1) a cross‐sectional comparison of those on and off ART (n=717); (2) a randomized comparison of deferring versus starting ART (n=217); and (3) a randomized comparison of stopping versus continuing ART (n=500). Compared with viral suppression, HIV replication consistently showed short‐term increases in some procoagulants (eg, 15% to 23% higher FVIII; P<0.001) and decreases in key anticoagulants (eg, 5% to 9% lower antithrombin [AT] and 6% to 10% lower protein C; P<0.01). The net effect of HIV replication was to increase coagulation potential (eg, 24% to 48% greater thrombin generation from computational models; P<0.01 for all). The pattern of changes from HIV replication was reversed with ART treatment and consistent across all 3 independent comparisons.
HIV replication leads to complex changes in extrinsic pathway factors, with the net effect of increasing coagulation potential to a degree that may be clinically relevant. The key influence of changes in FVIII and AT suggests that HIV‐related coagulation abnormalities may involve changes in hepatocyte function in the context of systemic inflammation.
Clinical Trial Registration
URL: ClinicalTrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00027352.
antiretroviral therapy; coagulation; HIV infection; HIV replication; inflammation; thrombin generation
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a highly prevalent cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice, affecting approximately 2.3 million people in the USA and 4.5 million people in the European Union. It is unclear whether plasma free fatty acids (FFA) influence the risk of AF among older adults. The aim of this study was to prospectively examine the association between plasma FFA and incident AF in a prospective cohort of 4,175 men and women aged ≥65 years from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Plasma concentrations of FFA were measured in duplicate during the 1992-93 examination. Incident AF was ascertained based on study EKG and hospitalization records during follow up. We used Cox regression to estimate relative risks of AF. The average age at baseline was 74.6 ± 5.1 years. During a mean follow up of 10.0 years, 1,041 new cases of AF occurred. Crude incidence rates of AF were 23.7, 23.3, 23.9, and 29.7 cases/1,000 person-years across consecutive quartiles of plasma FFA. There was a positive association between plasma FFA and the risk of AF. Multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) for incident AF were 1.00 (ref), 1.02 (0.85-1.21), 1.05 (0.88-1.26), and 1.29 (1.08-1.55) from lowest to the highest quartile of FFA, respectively. In a secondary analysis restricted to the first five years of follow up, this association persisted. In conclusion, our data show an elevated risk of AF with higher plasma FFA among community dwelling older adults.
Free Fatty Acids; Atrial Fibrillation; Risk Factors; Epidemiology
We investigated the association between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and prevalence of elevated biomarkers of inflammation, altered coagulation, and monocyte activation in a cohort of HIV-infected and uninfected veterans who had a comparable burden of comorbid conditions.
Background. Biomarkers of inflammation, altered coagulation, and monocyte activation are associated with mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general population and among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected people. We compared biomarkers for inflammation, altered coagulation, and monocyte activation between HIV-infected and uninfected people in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS).
Methods. Biomarkers of inflammation (interleukin-6 [IL-6]), altered coagulation (d-dimer), and monocyte activation (soluble CD14 [sCD14]) were measured in blood samples from 1525 HIV-infected and 843 uninfected VACS participants. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between HIV infection and prevalence of elevated (>75th percentile) biomarkers, adjusting for confounding comorbidities.
Results. HIV-infected veterans had less prevalent CVD, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hazardous drinking, and renal disease, but more dyslipidemia, hepatitis C, and current smoking than uninfected veterans. Compared to uninfected veterans, HIV-infected veterans with HIV-1 RNA ≥500 copies/mL or CD4 count <200 cells/µL had a significantly higher prevalence of elevated IL-6 (odds ratio [OR], 1.54; 95% confidence interval [CI],1.14–2.09; OR, 2.25; 95% CI, 1.60–3.16, respectively) and d-dimer (OR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.44–2.71, OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.22–2.32, respectively) after adjusting for comorbidities. HIV-infected veterans with a CD4 cell count <200 cells/µL had significantly higher prevalence of elevated sCD14 compared to uninfected veterans (OR, 2.60; 95% CI, 1.64–4.14). These associations still persisted after restricting the analysis to veterans without known confounding comorbid conditions.
Conclusions. These data suggest that ongoing HIV replication and immune depletion significantly contribute to increased prevalence of elevated biomarkers of inflammation, altered coagulation, and monocyte activation. This contribution is independent of and in addition to the substantial contribution from comorbid conditions.
Although T‐helper type 1 (Th1) cells are considered important in atherosclerosis, the relationships between Th1 and Th2 cells and atherosclerosis have not been examined in population‐based studies.
Methods and Results
We measured Th cells as a percentage of lymphocytes by flow cytometry using CD4 staining (%CD4) in 917 participants of the Multi‐Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. We also measured interferon gamma–positive and interleukin‐4‐positive CD4+ cells, representing Th1 and Th2 subpopulations (%Th1 and %Th2), respectively. We found that %CD4 was 1.5% lower per 10 years of age (P<0.0001). Whites had higher %CD4 and lower %Th1 and %Th2 values than other race/ethnic groups. Body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure were associated with %CD4, but no traditional cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors were associated with %Th1 or %Th2. In multivariable models, the major independent variable associated with %Th1 was cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibody titer, with minor contributions from age, sex, seasonality, and interleukin‐6. In models with coronary artery calcification level as the outcome, significant independent variables included age, sex, smoking status, and %Th1 (β=0.25; P≤0.01). Both %Th1 and %Th2 were associated with common carotid intimal media thickness (β=0.02 and −0.02, respectively; both P<0.05), as were age, sex, race/ethnicity, blood pressure, and BMI.
Th1 bias is associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in a multiethnic population. The main Th1 correlate was CMV infectious burden. These findings are consistent with a role of Th1 cells in atherosclerosis and suggest the importance of prospective studies of T‐helper cell biasing in CVD.
atherosclerosis; epidemiology; immunology; inflammation; T‐helper cell
Elevated plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels were associated with higher incidence of type II diabetes. Elucidating the determinants of PAI-1 in various ethnicities may help to understand the susceptibility to developing diabetes. The aim of our study was to compare PAI-1 levels between Americans and the Japanese in the post-war generation and to elucidate the determinants of the PAI-1 levels.
We conducted a cross-sectional study on a total of 198 men aged 40–49 in the U.S. (Body-mass index (BMI): 27.0 ± 3.3 kg/m2) and Japan (BMI: 23.3 ± 3.1 kg/m2). Examination included physique measurement (BMI and waist girth), blood analysis (lipid profiles, glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein, and PAI-1), and life-style assessment by self-administered questionnaires.
PAI-1 levels were significantly lower in American than in Japanese men, even after adjustment for age, waist girth, cigarette smoking, habitual alcohol drinking, and other factors. In the Americans, waist girth, insulin, and cigarette smoking were significantly associated with PAI-1 levels, while waist girth and triglycerides were significantly associated with PAI-1 levels in the Japanese.
PAI-1 levels were significantly lower in American than in Japanese men and the determinants of PAI-1 levels differ for American and Japanese men aged 40–49.
PAI-1; US; Japan; epidemiology; post-war generation
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease with increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and depression. Although depression may contribute to CVD risk in population-based studies, its influence on cardiovascular morbidity in SLE has not been evaluated. We evaluated the association between depression and vascular disease in SLE.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from 2002–2005 in 161 women with SLE and without CVD. The primary outcome measure was a composite vascular disease marker consisting of the presence of coronary artery calcium and/or carotid artery plaque.
In total, 101 women met criteria for vascular disease. In unadjusted analyses, several traditional cardiovascular risk factors, inflammatory markers, adiposity, SLE disease-related factors, and depression were associated with vascular disease. In the final multivariable model, the psychological variable depression was associated with nearly 4-fold higher odds for vascular disease (OR 3.85, 95% CI 1.37, 10.87) when adjusted for other risk factors of age, lower education level, hypertensive status, waist-hip ratio, and C-reactive protein.
In SLE, depression is independently associated with vascular disease, along with physical factors.
SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS; CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE; DEPRESSION CALCIFICATION; CAROTID PLAQUE; PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS
Beta-amyloid (Aβ), a vasoactive protein, and elevated blood pressure (BP) levels are associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and possibly vascular dementia (VaD). We investigated the joint association of mid-life BP and Aβ peptide levels with the risk for late-life AD and VaD. Subjects were 667 Japanese-American men (including 73 with a brain autopsy), from the prospective Honolulu Heart Program/Honolulu Asia Aging Study (1965 – 2000). Mid-life BP was measured starting in 1971 participants mean age 58 years, Aβ was measured in specimens collected1980/82, and assessment of dementia and autopsy collection started in 1991/93. The outcome measures were prevalent (present in 1991/3) and incident AD (n= 53, including 38 with no contributing cardiovascular disease), and VaD (n=24). Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), β-amyloid neuritic plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles were evaluated in post-mortem tissue. The risk for AD significantly increased with lower levels of plasma Aβ (Aβ1-40 hazard ratio (HR) 2.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4 – 3.1; Aβ1-42 HR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1 – 2.3). Evidence of interaction between diastolic BP and plasma Aβ (1-40 pinteraction <0.05; 1-42 pinteraction <0.07) levels, indicated the Aβ-related risk for AD was higher when BP was higher. Low plasma Aβ was associated with the presence of CAA (ptrend<0.05), but not the other neuropathologies. Aβ plasma levels start decreasing at least 15 years before AD is diagnosed, and the association of Aβ to AD is modulated by mid-life diastolic BP. Elevated BP may compromise vascular integrity leading to CAA and impaired Aβ clearance from the brain.
Amyloid; blood pressure; brain; aging; dementia
The purpose of the study was to examine and compare the incidence and progression of coronary artery calcium (CAC) among persons with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and diabetes mellitus (DM), compared to those with neither condition.
MetS and DM are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis as evidenced by coronary artery calcium (CAC).
The Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis included 6,814 African-American, Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic adults aged 45–84 free of cardiovascular disease at baseline. 5,662 subjects (51% female, mean age 61.0 ± 10.3 years) received baseline and follow-up (mean 2.4 years) cardiac CT scans. We compared the incidence of CAC in 2,927 subjects without CAC at baseline and progression of CAC in 2,735 subjects with CAC at baseline in those with MetS without DM (25.2%), DM without MetS (3.5%), or both DM and MetS (9.0%), compared to neither MetS nor DM (58%). Progression of CAC was also examined in relation to coronary heart disease events over an additional 4.9 years.
Relative to those with neither MetS nor DM, adjusted relative risks (95% confidence intervals) for incident CAC were 1.7 (1.4–2.0), 1.9 (1.4–2.4), and 1.8 (1.4–2.2) (all p<0.01) and absolute differences in mean progression (volume score) were 7.8 (4.0–11.6; p<0.01), 11.6 (2.7–20.5; p<0.05), and 22.6 (17.2–27.9; p<0.01) for those with MetS without DM, DM without MetS, and both DM and MetS, respectively. Similar findings were seen in analysis using Agatston calcium score. In addition, progression predicted CHD events in those with MetS without DM (adjusted hazard ratio 4.1, 95% CI=2.0–8.5, p<0.01) and DM (4.9 [1.3–18.4], p<0.05) among those in highest tertile of CAC increase vs. no increase).
Individuals with MetS and DM have a greater incidence and absolute progression of CAC compared to individuals without these conditions, with progression also predicting CHD events in those with MetS and DM.
atherosclerosis; diabetes; risk factors; calcification
While non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) have been positively associated with coronary heart disease risk factors, limited and inconsistent data are available on the relation between NEFA and sudden cardiac death.
Methods and Results
Using a prospective design, we studied 4,657 older men and women (mean age 75 y) from the Cardiovascular Health Study (1992-2006) to evaluate the association between plasma NEFA and the risk of sudden cardiac death in older adults. Plasma concentrations of NEFA were measured using established enzymatic methods and sudden death was adjudicated using medical records, death certificates, proxy interview, and autopsy reports. We used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate multivariable-adjusted relative risks. During a median follow-up of 10.0 years, 221 new cases of sudden cardiac death occurred. In a multivariable model adjusting for age, sex, race, clinic site, alcohol intake, smoking, prevalent coronary heart disease and heart failure, and self-reported health status, relative risks (95% CI) for sudden cardiac death were 1.0 (ref), 1.15 (0.81-1.64), 1.06 (0.72-1.55), and 0.91 (0.60-1.38) across consecutive quartiles of NEFA concentration. In secondary analyses restricted to the first five years of follow up, we also did not observe a statistically significant association between plasma NEFA and sudden cardiac death.
Our data do not provide evidence for an association between plasma NEFA measured late in life and the risk of sudden cardiac death in older adults.
epidemiology; sudden death; fatty acid binding protein 4; risk factors
Adiposity is associated with C-reactive protein level in healthy 2–3 year old children and with other markers of endothelial activation adults, but data are lacking in very young children. Data from 491 healthy Hispanic children were analyzed. Mean age was 2.7 years (S.D. 0.5, range 2 to 3 years); mean body mass index (BMI) was 17.2 kg/m2 (S.D. 1.9) among boys and 17.1 kg/m2 (S.D. 2.1) among girls. E-selectin level was associated with BMI (R =0.11; p < 0.02), ponderal index (p < 0.02), waist circumference (p = 0.02), fasting insulin (p < 0.02), and insulin resistance (p ≤ 0.05); these associations remained significant after adjustment for age, sex and fasting glucose. sVCAM was also associated with BMI (R = 0.12; P<0.05). These observations indicate that adiposity is associated with inflammation and endothelial activation in very early childhood.
children; adiposity; E-selectin; sICAM; sVAM
To delineate the associations of total adiponectin, high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin, and the HMW-to-total adiponectin ratio with diabetes in older adults.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Total and HMW adiponectin were measured in a population-based study of older adults. The relations of total adiponectin, HMW adiponectin, and their ratio with incident diabetes (n = 309) were assessed in 3,802 individuals.
Total and HMW adiponectin were highly correlated (r = 0.94). Analysis using cubic splines revealed that the associations between total and HMW adiponectin and new-onset diabetes were not linear. Specifically, after adjustment for confounders, there were similar inverse relationships for total (hazard ratio per SD 0.49 [95% CI 0.39–0.63]) and HMW adiponectin (0.42 [0.32–0.56]) with diabetes up to values of 20 and 10 mg/L, respectively, above which the associations plateaued. These associations persisted after adjustment for potential mediators (blood pressure, lipids, C-reactive protein, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance [HOMA-IR]). There was, however, evidence of interaction by HOMA-IR in the lower range of adiponectin, with stronger inverse associations among insulin-sensitive than insulin-resistant participants. HMW-to-total adiponectin ratio showed a linear adjusted association with outcome, but this was abolished by inclusion of mediating variables.
In this older cohort, increasing concentrations of total and HMW adiponectin were associated with comparably lower risks of diabetes, but these associations leveled off with further increases above concentrations of 20 and 10 mg/L, respectively. The more pronounced risk decreases at the lower range among participants without insulin resistance support a role for adiponectin that is independent of baseline hyperinsulinemia, but this will require further investigation.
Pathogenesis studies of SIV infection have not been performed to date in wild monkeys due to difficulty in collecting and storing samples on site and the lack of analytical reagents covering the extensive SIV diversity. We performed a large scale study of molecular epidemiology and natural history of SIVagm infection in 225 free-ranging AGMs from multiple locations in South Africa. SIV prevalence (established by sequencing pol, env, and gag) varied dramatically between infant/juvenile (7%) and adult animals (68%) (p<0.0001), and between adult females (78%) and males (57%). Phylogenetic analyses revealed an extensive genetic diversity, including frequent recombination events. Some AGMs harbored epidemiologically linked viruses. Viruses infecting AGMs in the Free State, which are separated from those on the coastal side by the Drakensberg Mountains, formed a separate cluster in the phylogenetic trees; this observation supports a long standing presence of SIV in AGMs, at least from the time of their speciation to their Plio-Pleistocene migration. Specific primers/probes were synthesized based on the pol sequence data and viral loads (VLs) were quantified. VLs were of 104–106 RNA copies/ml, in the range of those observed in experimentally-infected monkeys, validating the experimental approaches in natural hosts. VLs were significantly higher (107–108 RNA copies/ml) in 10 AGMs diagnosed as acutely infected based on SIV seronegativity (Fiebig II), which suggests a very active transmission of SIVagm in the wild. Neither cytokine levels (as biomarkers of immune activation) nor sCD14 levels (a biomarker of microbial translocation) were different between SIV-infected and SIV-uninfected monkeys. This complex algorithm combining sequencing and phylogeny, VL quantification, serology, and testing of surrogate markers of microbial translocation and immune activation permits a systematic investigation of the epidemiology, viral diversity and natural history of SIV infection in wild African natural hosts.
We simultaneously assessed, for the first time in a natural host, the epidemiology, diversity and natural history of SIVagmVer infection in wild vervet populations from South Africa. We report that African green monkeys (AGMs) have likely been infected with SIVagm for a long period, ranging from the time of their speciation to Plio-Pleistocene migrations, refuting previous molecular clock calculations suggesting SIVagm to be of recent occurrence. As a result of virus-host coadaptation, SIVagmVer infection is characterized by a lack of disease progression in spite of robust viral replication. We show that very active SIVagm transmission in adult AGMs contrasts with a very limited transmission to their offspring, in spite of massive exposure to SIVagm both in utero and through breastfeeding. The observation that some AGMs remain uninfected in spite of life-long exposure to SIVagm identifies wild vervets as an acceptable animal model for the exposed uninfected individuals, which can be used to identify correlates of resistance to HIV/SIV infection.
To assess associations between abacavir (ABC) use and systemic inflammation.
Retrospective case-control study.
MACS & WIHS cohort participants who initiated ABC were matched, using propensity score methods, to ABC-unexposed persons. Levels of hsCRP(μg/mL), IL-6(pg/mL), and D-dimer (μg/mL) were measured from pre-HAART and on-HAART plasma. Random-effects models compared markers by ABC exposure and by changes from pre-HAART levels.
Biomarkers were measured in N=508 matched pairs (328 women; 180 men). Pre-HAART levels did not differ by exposure group except that hsCRP levels were higher among WIHS women who subsequently used ABC (p=0.04). Regardless of ABC use, mean hsCRP increases and D-dimer reductions were seen when comparing pre- to on-HAART levels, in the overall group (28% and -27%), for MACS men (28% and -31%) and for WIHS women (29% and -24% (p<0.01 for all); IL-6 levels declined in MACS men (p=0.02). No adjusted biomarker level differences existed by ABC exposure at the on-HAART visit. HIV RNA reductions correlated with D-dimer (r = 0.14, p < 0.01) and IL-6 (r = 0.12, p < 0.01) reductions. Associations between ABC use and mean biomarker levels were modified by pre-HAART ART experience. Renal dysfunction was equally likely among non-ABC and ABC recipients.
ABC use was not associated with plasma elevations in hsCRP, IL-6 and d-dimer. Mechanisms other than increased systemic inflammation may account for ABC’s reported association with increased cardiovascular disease. HAART -associated reductions in D-dimer and IL-6 were apparent regardless of ABC use and were correlated with HIV RNA reductions.
HIV infection; inflammation; HAART; abacavir; cytokines
Background and purpose
Few studies have assessed post-glucose load measures of insulin resistance and ischemic stroke risk, and data are sparse for older adults. We investigated whether fasting and post-glucose load measures of insulin resistance were related to incident ischemic stroke in non-diabetic older adults.
Participants were men and women in the Cardiovascular Health Study, aged 65+ and without prevalent diabetes or stroke at baseline, followed for 17 years for incident ischemic stroke. The Gutt insulin sensitivity index was calculated from baseline body weight and fasting and 2-hour post-load insulin and glucose; a lower Gutt index indicates higher insulin resistance.
Analyses included 3,442 participants (42% men) with a mean age of 73. Incidence of ischemic stroke was 9.8 strokes per 1,000 person years. The relative risk (RR) for lowest quartile vs. highest quartile of Gutt index was 1.64 (95% confidence interval: 1.24, 2.16), adjusted for demographics and prevalent cardiovascular and kidney disease. Similarly, the adjusted RR for highest quartile vs. lowest quartile of 2-hour glucose was 1.84 (95% CI: 1.39, 2.42). In contrast, the adjusted RR for highest quartile vs. lowest quartile of fasting insulin was 1.10 (95% CI: 0.84, 1.46).
In non-diabetic older adults, insulin resistance measured by Gutt index or 2-hour glucose, but not fasting insulin, was associated with risk of incident ischemic stroke.
Non-diabetic older adults; Cohort study; Gutt insulin sensitivity index