Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), which is mostly carried in blood by IGF-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), was associated to the glomerular filtration rate and chronic kidney disease in a multiethnic study among US adults. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether serum IGF-I or IGFBP-3 are associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in a population-based study of Caucasian adults.
Data from 4028 subjects (2048 women) aged 20 to 81 years from the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP) were analyzed. Total serum IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations were determined by chemiluminescence immunoassays and categorized into sex- and age-specific quartiles.
After adjusting for age, waist circumference and type 2 diabetes mellitus, analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed inverse associations between serum IGF-I concentrations and eGFR in men as well as between serum IGFBP-3 concentrations and eGFR in men and women. Logistic regression analyses confirmed these findings and showed that high IGF-I or IGFBP-3 concentrations were associated with an increased risk of decreased eGFR (<60 mL/min/1.73 m2) in men or women. These relations became stronger when lower eGFR cut-offs were used for the analyses.
Our data revealed associations of increased serum IGF-I concentrations and decreased eGFR in men but not in women and an association of increased serum IGFBP-3 concentrations and decreased eGFR in both sexes.
eGFR; Insulin-like growth factor; IGF-I; IGFBP-3; Renal function; Study of health in Pomerania
Microarray profiling of gene expression is widely applied in molecular biology and functional genomics. Experimental and technical variations make meta-analysis of different studies challenging. In a total of 3358 samples, all from German population-based cohorts, we investigated the effect of data preprocessing and the variability due to sample processing in whole blood cell and blood monocyte gene expression data, measured on the Illumina HumanHT-12 v3 BeadChip array.
Gene expression signal intensities were similar after applying the log2 or the variance-stabilizing transformation. In all cohorts, the first principal component (PC) explained more than 95% of the total variation. Technical factors substantially influenced signal intensity values, especially the Illumina chip assignment (33–48% of the variance), the RNA amplification batch (12–24%), the RNA isolation batch (16%), and the sample storage time, in particular the time between blood donation and RNA isolation for the whole blood cell samples (2–3%), and the time between RNA isolation and amplification for the monocyte samples (2%). White blood cell composition parameters were the strongest biological factors influencing the expression signal intensities in the whole blood cell samples (3%), followed by sex (1–2%) in both sample types. Known single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were located in 38% of the analyzed probe sequences and 4% of them included common SNPs (minor allele frequency >5%). Out of the tested SNPs, 1.4% significantly modified the probe-specific expression signals (Bonferroni corrected p-value<0.05), but in almost half of these events the signal intensities were even increased despite the occurrence of the mismatch. Thus, the vast majority of SNPs within probes had no significant effect on hybridization efficiency.
In summary, adjustment for a few selected technical factors greatly improved reliability of gene expression analyses. Such adjustments are particularly required for meta-analyses.
To evaluate the association between restless legs syndrome (RLS) and all-cause mortality.
Four prospective cohort studies.
The Dortmund Health Study (DHS) and the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP) from Germany. The Women's Health Study (WHS) and the Physicians’ Health Study (PHS) from the USA.
In DHS: a random sample (n=1 299) from the population of Dortmund; in SHIP: a sample (n=4 291) from residents living in West Pomerania were drawn by multistage random sampling design; in WHS: female healthcare professionals (n=31 370); in PHS: male physicians (n=22 926)
Main outcome measures
The prevalence of RLS ranged between 7.4% and 11.9% at baseline. During follow-up (ranging between 6 and 11 years) RLS was not associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality in any of the four cohorts. The multivariable-adjusted HRs (95% CI) for all-cause mortality ranged from 0.21 (0.03 to 1.53) to 1.07 (0.93 to 1.23) across the four studies. The HRs for all-cause mortality did not differ according to gender.
In these four independently conducted large prospective cohort studies from Germany and the USA, RLS did not increase the risk of all-cause mortality. These findings do not support the hypothesis that RLS is a risk factor for mortality of any cause.
restless legs sydrome; prospective cohort study; mortality
Hypertension and dyslipidemia are often insufficiently controlled in persons with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Germany. In the current study we evaluated individual characteristics that are assumed to influence the adequate treatment and control of hypertension and dyslipidemia and aimed to identify the patient group with the most urgent need for improved health care.
The analysis was based on the DIAB-CORE project in which cross-sectional data from five regional population-based studies and one nationwide German study, conducted between 1997 and 2006, were pooled. We compared the frequencies of socio-economic and lifestyle factors along with comorbidities in hypertensive participants with or without the blood pressure target of < 140/90 mmHg. Similar studies were also performed in participants with dyslipidemia with and without the target of total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio < 5. Furthermore, we compared participants who received antihypertensive/lipid lowering treatment with those who were untreated. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the odds of potentially influential factors.
We included 1287 participants with T2D of whom n = 1048 had hypertension and n = 636 had dyslipidemia. Uncontrolled blood pressure was associated with male sex, low body mass index (BMI), no history of myocardial infarction (MI) and study site. Uncontrolled blood lipid levels were associated with male sex, no history of MI and study site. The odds of receiving no pharmacotherapy for hypertension were significantly greater in men, younger participants, those with BMI < 30 kg/m2 and those without previous MI or stroke. Participants with dyslipidemia received lipid lowering medication less frequently if they were male and had not previously had an MI. The more recent studies HNR and CARLA had the greatest numbers of well controlled and treated participants.
In the DIAB-CORE study, the patient group with the greatest odds of uncontrolled co-morbidities and no pharmacotherapy was more likely comprised of younger men with low BMI and no history of cardiovascular disease.
Type 2 Diabetes; Comorbidities; Hypertension; Dyslipidemia; Adherence to guidelines; Sex differences
Several linkage analyses implicated the chromosome 9q22 region in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neurodevelopmental disease with remarkable persistence into adulthood. This locus contains the brain-expressed GTP-binding RAS-like 2 gene (DIRAS2) thought to regulate neurogenesis. As DIRAS2 is a positional and functional ADHD candidate gene, we conducted an association study in 600 patients suffering from adult ADHD (aADHD) and 420 controls. Replication samples consisted of 1035 aADHD patients and 1381 controls, as well as 166 families with a child affected from childhood ADHD. Given the high degree of co-morbidity with ADHD, we also investigated patients suffering from bipolar disorder (BD) (n=336) or personality disorders (PDs) (n=622). Twelve single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) covering the structural gene and the transcriptional control region of DIRAS2 were analyzed. Four SNPs and two haplotype blocks showed evidence of association with ADHD, with nominal p-values ranging from p=0.006 to p=0.05. In the adult replication samples, we obtained a consistent effect of rs1412005 and of a risk haplotype containing the promoter region (p=0.026). Meta-analysis resulted in a significant common OR of 1.12 (p=0.04) for rs1412005 and confirmed association with the promoter risk haplotype (OR=1.45, p=0.0003). Subsequent analysis in nuclear families with childhood ADHD again showed an association of the promoter haplotype block (p=0.02). rs1412005 also increased risk toward BD (p=0.026) and cluster B PD (p=0.031). Additional SNPs showed association with personality scores (p=0.008–0.048). Converging lines of evidence implicate genetic variance in the promoter region of DIRAS2 in the etiology of ADHD and co-morbid impulsive disorders.
adult ADHD; linkage; genome-wide association; ras pathway; association study; bipolar disorder; biological psychiatry; neurogenetics; depression; unipolar/bipolar; development/developmental disorders; adult ADHD; linkage; genome-wide association study; ras pathway
Childhood maltreatment and depressive disorders have both been associated with a dysregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. The FKBP5 gene codes for a co-chaperone regulating the glucocorticoid-receptor sensitivity. Previous evidence suggests that subjects carrying the TT genotype of the FKBP5 gene single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1360780 have an increased susceptibility to adverse effects of experimental stress. We therefore tested the hypothesis of an interaction of childhood abuse with rs1360780 in predicting adult depression. In all, 2157 Caucasian subjects from the Study of Health in Pomerania (German general population) completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. The DSM-IV diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) was assessed by interview. Genotypes of rs1360780 were taken from the Affymetrix Human SNP Array 6.0. Significant interaction (p=0.006) of physical abuse with the TT genotype of rs1360780 was found increasing the BDI-II score to 17.4 (95% confidence interval (CI)=12.0–22.9) compared with 10.0 (8.2–11.7) in exposed CC/CT carriers. Likewise, the adjusted odds ratio for MDD in exposed TT carriers was 8.2 (95% CI=1.9–35.0) compared with 1.3 (0.8–2.3) in exposed subjects with CC/CT genotypes. Relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) analyses confirmed a significant additive interaction effect (RERI=6.8; 95% CI=0.64–33.7; p<0.05). In explorative analyses, the most severe degree of sexual and emotional abuse also yielded significant interaction effects (p<0.05). This study revealed interactions between physical abuse and rs1360780 of the FKBP5 gene, confirming its role in the individual susceptibility to depression. Given the large effect sizes, rs1360780 could be included into prediction models for depression in individuals exposed to childhood abuse.
major depression; childhood abuse; general population; FKBP5 gene; gene–environment interaction; CTQ; depression; unipolar/bipolar; epidemiology; mood/anxiety/stress disorders; development/developmental disorders; FKBP5; CTQ; childhood maltreatment; depression; gene environment interaction; sexual abuse
Apart from alcohol, there are other factors that may induce complications, which resemble alcohol-related liver disorders. In particular, obesity has been brought into focus as a risk factor for fatty liver disease. The term “non-alcoholic” fatty liver disease is commonly used to distinguish between obesity-related and alcohol-related hepatic steatosis. This review uses the epidemiological perspective to critically assess whether it is necessary and useful to differentiate between alcoholic and “non-alcoholic” fatty liver disease. The MEDLINE database was searched using the PubMed search engine, and a review of reference lists from original research and review articles was conducted. The concept to distinguish between alcoholic and “non-alcoholic” fatty liver disease is mainly based on specific pathomechanisms. This concept has, however, several limitations including the common overlap between alcohol misuse and obesity-related metabolic disorders and the non-consideration of additional causal factors. Both entities share similar histopathological patterns. Studies demonstrating differences in clinical presentation and outcome are often biased by selection. Risk factor reduction is the main principle of prevention and treatment of both disease forms. In conclusion, alcoholic and “non-alcoholic” fatty liver diseases are one and the same disease caused by different risk factors. A shift from artificial categories to a more general approach to fatty liver disease as a multicausal disorder may optimize preventive strategies and help clinicians more effectively treat patients at the individual level.
Fatty liver disease; Hepatic steatosis; Risk factors; Clinical epidemiology
In a population-based genome-wide analysis including 5122 migraineurs and 18,108 non-migraineurs, rs2651899 (PRDM16), rs10166942 (TRMP8), and rs11172113 (LRP1) were among the top associations (p<5×10−6) with migraine. All three SNPs were significant in meta-analysis among replication cohorts and met genome-wide significance (p<4.3×10−9) in meta-analysis combining discovery and replication cohorts. Rs2651899 and rs10166942 associated with migraine compared to non-migraine headache; none of the three SNPs specifically associated with migraine subtypes or features.
The additional clinical value of clustering cardiovascular risk factors to define the metabolic syndrome (MetS) is still under debate. However, it is unclear which cardiovascular risk factors tend to cluster predominately and how individual risk factor states change over time.
Methods & Results
We used data from 3,187 individuals aged 20–79 years from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania for a network-based approach to visualize clustered MetS risk factor states and their change over a five-year follow-up period. MetS was defined by harmonized Adult Treatment Panel III criteria, and each individual's risk factor burden was classified according to the five MetS components at baseline and follow-up. We used the map generator to depict 32 (25) different states and highlight the most important transitions between the 1,024 (322) possible states in the weighted directed network. At baseline, we found the largest fraction (19.3%) of all individuals free of any MetS risk factors and identified hypertension (15.4%) and central obesity (6.3%), as well as their combination (19.0%), as the most common MetS risk factors. Analyzing risk factor flow over the five-year follow-up, we found that most individuals remained in their risk factor state and that low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) (6.3%) was the most prominent additional risk factor beyond hypertension and central obesity. Also among individuals without any MetS risk factor at baseline, low HDL (3.5%), hypertension (2.1%), and central obesity (1.6%) were the first risk factors to manifest during follow-up.
We identified hypertension and central obesity as the predominant MetS risk factor cluster and low HDL concentrations as the most prominent new onset risk factor.
Atrial fibrillation is a highly prevalent arrhythmia and a major risk factor for stroke, heart failure and death1. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in individuals of European ancestry, including 6,707 with and 52,426 without atrial fibrillation. Six new atrial fibrillation susceptibility loci were identified and replicated in an additional sample of individuals of European ancestry, including 5,381 subjects with and 1 0,030 subjects without atrial fibrillation (P < 5 × 10−8). Four of the loci identified in Europeans were further replicated in silico in a GWAS of Japanese individuals, including 843 individuals with and 3,350 individuals without atrial fibrillation. The identified loci implicate candidate genes that encode transcription factors related to cardiopulmonary development, cardiac-expressed ion channels and cell signaling molecules.
Although most deaths among patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are attributable to cardiovascular disease, modifiable cardiovascular risk factors appear to be inadequately treated in medical practice. The aim of this study was to describe hypertension, dyslipidemia and medical treatment of these conditions in a large population-based sample.
The present analysis was based on the DIAB-CORE project, in which data from five regional population-based studies and one nationwide German study were pooled. All studies were conducted between 1997 and 2006. We assessed the frequencies of risk factors and co-morbidities, especially hypertension and dyslipidemia, in participants with and without T2D. The odds of no or insufficient treatment and the odds of pharmacotherapy were computed using multivariable logistic regression models. Types of medication regimens were described.
The pooled data set comprised individual data of 15, 071 participants aged 45–74 years, including 1287 (8.5%) participants with T2D. Subjects with T2D were significantly more likely to have untreated or insufficiently treated hypertension, i.e. blood pressure of > = 140/90 mmHg (OR = 1.43, 95% CI 1.26-1.61) and dyslipidemia i.e. a total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio > = 5 (OR = 1.80, 95% CI 1.59-2.04) than participants without T2D. Untreated or insufficiently treated blood pressure was observed in 48.9% of participants without T2D and in 63.6% of participants with T2D. In this latter group, 28.0% did not receive anti-hypertensive medication and 72.0% were insufficiently treated. In non-T2D participants, 28.8% had untreated or insufficiently treated dyslipidemia. Of all participants with T2D 42.5% had currently elevated lipids, 80.3% of these were untreated and 19.7% were insufficiently treated.
Blood pressure and lipid management fall short especially in persons with T2D across Germany. The importance of sufficient risk factor control besides blood glucose monitoring in diabetes care needs to be emphasized in order to prevent cardiovascular sequelae and premature death.
Type 2 Diabetes; Hypertension; Dyslipidemia; Adherence to guidelines; Pharmacological treatment
genome-wide association study; genetic epidemiology; genetics; subclinical atherosclerosis; carotid intima media thickness; cardiovascular disease; cohort study; meta-analysis; risk
Biomarkers may help clinicians predict cardiovascular risk. We aimed to determine if the addition of endocrine, metabolic, and obesity-associated biomarkers to conventional risk factors improves the prediction of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.
In a population-based cohort study (the Study of Health in Pomerania) of 3,967 subjects (age 20–80 years) free of cardiovascular disease with a median follow-up of 10.0 years (38,638 person-years), we assessed the predictive value of conventional cardiovascular risk factors and the biomarkers thyrotropin; testosterone (in men only); insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1); hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c); creatinine; high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP); fibrinogen; urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio; and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) on cardiovascular and all-cause death.
During follow-up, we observed 339 all-cause including 103 cardiovascular deaths. In Cox regression models with conventional risk factors, the following biomarkers were retained as significant predictors of cardiovascular death after backward elimination: HbA1c, IGF-1, and hsCRP. IGF-1 and hsCRP were retained as significant predictors of all-cause death.
For cardiovascular death, adding these biomarkers to the conventional risk factors changed the C-statistic from 0.898 to 0.910 (p = 0.02). The net reclassification improvement was 10.6%. For all-cause death, the C-statistic changed from 0.849 to 0.853 (P = 0.09).
HbA1c, IGF-1, and hsCRP predict cardiovascular death independently of conventional cardiovascular risk factors. These easily assessed endocrine and metabolic biomarkers might improve the ability to predict cardiovascular death.
Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) are involved in cell replication, proliferation, differentiation, protein synthesis, carbohydrate homeostasis and bone metabolism. Circulating IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations predict anthropometric traits and risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. In a genome-wide association study of 10 280 middle-aged and older men and women from four community-based cohort studies, we confirmed a known association of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the IGFBP3 gene region on chromosome 7p12.3 with IGFBP-3 concentrations using a significance threshold of P < 5 × 10−8 (P = 3.3 × 10−101). Furthermore, the same IGFBP3 gene locus (e.g. rs11977526) that was associated with IGFBP-3 concentrations was also associated with the opposite direction of effect, with IGF-I concentration after adjustment for IGFBP-3 concentration (P = 1.9 × 10−26). A novel and independent locus on chromosome 7p12.3 (rs700752) had genome-wide significant associations with higher IGFBP-3 (P = 4.4 × 10−21) and higher IGF-I (P = 4.9 × 10−9) concentrations; when the two measurements were adjusted for one another, the IGF-I association was attenuated but the IGFBP-3 association was not. Two additional loci demonstrated genome-wide significant associations with IGFBP-3 concentration (rs1065656, chromosome 16p13.3, P = 1.2 × 10−11, IGFALS, a confirmatory finding; and rs4234798, chromosome 4p16.1, P = 4.5 × 10−10, SORCS2, a novel finding). Together, the four genome-wide significant loci explained 6.5% of the population variation in IGFBP-3 concentration. Furthermore, we observed a borderline statistically significant association between IGF-I concentration and FOXO3 (rs2153960, chromosome 6q21, P = 5.1 × 10−7), a locus associated with longevity. These genetic loci deserve further investigation to elucidate the biological basis for the observed associations and clarify their possible role in IGF-mediated regulation of cell growth and metabolism.
ATP Binding Cassette B1 (ABCB1) is a transporter with a broad substrate specificity involved in the elimination of several carcinogens from the gut. Several polymorphic variants within the ABCB1 gene have been reported as modulators of ABCB1-mediated transport. We investigated the impact of ABCB1 genetic variants on colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. A hybrid tagging/functional approach was performed to select 28 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were genotyped in 1,321 Czech subjects, 699 CRC cases and 622 controls. In addition, six potentially functional SNPs were genotyped in 3,662 German subjects, 1,809 cases and 1,853 controls from the DACHS study. We found that three functional SNPs (rs1202168, rs1045642 and rs868755) were associated with CRC risk in the German population. Carriers of the rs1202168_T and rs868755_T alleles had an increased risk for CRC (Ptrend = 0.016 and 0.029, respectively), while individuals bearing the rs1045642_C allele showed a decreased risk of CRC (Ptrend = 0.022). We sought to replicate the most significant results in an independent case-control study of 3,803 subjects, 2,169 cases and 1,634 controls carried out in the North of Germany. None of the SNPs tested were significantly associated with CRC risk in the replication study. In conclusion, in this study of about 8,800 individuals we show that ABCB1 gene polymorphisms play at best a minor role in the susceptibility to CRC.
Associations between measures of subjective health and mortality risk have previously been shown. We assessed the impact and comparative predictive performance of a multi-biomarker panel on this association.
Data from 4,261 individuals aged 20-79 years recruited for the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania was used. During an average 9.7 year follow-up, 456 deaths (10.7%) occurred. Subjective health was assessed by SF-12 derived physical (PCS-12) and mental component summaries (MCS-12), and a single-item self-rated health (SRH) question. We implemented Cox proportional-hazards regression models to investigate the association of subjective health with mortality and to assess the impact of a combination of 10 biomarkers on this association. Variable selection procedures were used to identify a parsimonious set of subjective health measures and biomarkers, whose predictive ability was compared using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, C-statistics, and reclassification methods.
In age- and gender-adjusted Cox models, poor SRH (hazard ratio (HR), 2.07; 95% CI, 1.34-3.20) and low PCS-12 scores (lowest vs. highest quartile: HR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.31-2.33) were significantly associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality; an association independent of various covariates and biomarkers. Furthermore, selected subjective health measures yielded a significantly higher C-statistic (0.883) compared to the selected biomarker panel (0.872), whereas a combined assessment showed the highest C-statistic (0.887) with a highly significant integrated discrimination improvement of 1.5% (p < 0.01).
Adding biomarker information did not affect the association of subjective health measures with mortality, but significantly improved risk stratification. Thus, a combined assessment of self-reported subjective health and measured biomarkers may be useful to identify high-risk individuals for intensified monitoring.
Health-related quality of life; multiple biomarker panel; all-cause mortality; SF-12; population-based cohort
Impaired heart rate (HR) response to exercise is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We analyzed whether common variants (rs5443/C825T and rs5442/G814A) in the G-protein β3 subunit (GNB3) gene modulate interindividual variation in β-blocker responses with respect to HR.
Materials & methods
Among 1614 subjects (347 current β-blocker users) of a population-based study, HR during symptom-limited exercise testing was analyzed by multilevel linear regression models adjusted for potential confounders.
In β-blocker users, but not in nonusers, HR was attenuated in rs5443 T allele carriers (TC/TT vs CC) with lower adjusted HR over the entire exercise period from rest to peak workload (3.5 bpm; 95% CI: 1.1–5.8; p < 0.01), and during recovery (4.2 bpm; 95% CI: 0.6–7.8; p = 0.02). The genotype-related HR reducing effect at peak exercise varied by up to 7.5 bpm (CC vs TT), more than a third (35.9%) of the total β-blocker effect (20.9 bpm). By contrast, rs5442 had no impact on any HR-related parameter.
In this population-based sample, a common GNB3 polymorphism (C825T) was significantly related with response to β-blocker therapy with respect to HR during exercise and HR recovery, respectively. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm these associations and to examine their potential clinical relevance.
β-blocker; epidemiology; exercise testing; genetic susceptibility; GNB3; heart rate; polymorphism
White blood cell (WBC) count is a common clinical measure from complete blood count assays, and it varies widely among healthy individuals. Total WBC count and its constituent subtypes have been shown to be moderately heritable, with the heritability estimates varying across cell types. We studied 19,509 subjects from seven cohorts in a discovery analysis, and 11,823 subjects from ten cohorts for replication analyses, to determine genetic factors influencing variability within the normal hematological range for total WBC count and five WBC subtype measures. Cohort specific data was supplied by the CHARGE, HeamGen, and INGI consortia, as well as independent collaborative studies. We identified and replicated ten associations with total WBC count and five WBC subtypes at seven different genomic loci (total WBC count—6p21 in the HLA region, 17q21 near ORMDL3, and CSF3; neutrophil count—17q21; basophil count- 3p21 near RPN1 and C3orf27; lymphocyte count—6p21, 19p13 at EPS15L1; monocyte count—2q31 at ITGA4, 3q21, 8q24 an intergenic region, 9q31 near EDG2), including three previously reported associations and seven novel associations. To investigate functional relationships among variants contributing to variability in the six WBC traits, we utilized gene expression- and pathways-based analyses. We implemented gene-clustering algorithms to evaluate functional connectivity among implicated loci and showed functional relationships across cell types. Gene expression data from whole blood was utilized to show that significant biological consequences can be extracted from our genome-wide analyses, with effect estimates for significant loci from the meta-analyses being highly corellated with the proximal gene expression. In addition, collaborative efforts between the groups contributing to this study and related studies conducted by the COGENT and RIKEN groups allowed for the examination of effect homogeneity for genome-wide significant associations across populations of diverse ancestral backgrounds.
WBC traits are highly variable, moderately heritable, and commonly assayed as part of clinical complete blood count (CBC) examinations. The counts of constituent cell subtypes comprising the WBC count measure are assayed as part of a standard clinical WBC differential test. In this study we employed meta-analytic techniques and identified ten associations with WBC measures at seven genomic loci in a large sample set of over 31,000 participants. Cohort specific data was supplied by the CHARGE, HeamGen, and INGI consortia, as well as independent collaborative studies. We confirm previous associations of WBC traits with three loci and identified seven novel loci. We also utilize a number of additional analytic methods to infer the functional relatedness of independently implicated loci across WBC phenotypes, as well as investigate direct functional consequences of these loci through analyses of genomic variation affecting the expression of proximal genes in samples of whole blood. In addition, subsequent collaborative efforts with studies of WBC traits in African-American and Japanese cohorts allowed for the investigation of the effects of these genomic variants across populations of diverse continental ancestries.
Lung function measures are heritable traits that predict population morbidity and mortality and are essential for the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Variations in many genes have been reported to affect these traits, but attempts at replication have provided conflicting results. Recently, we undertook a meta-analysis of Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) results for lung function measures in 20,288 individuals from the general population (the SpiroMeta consortium).
To comprehensively analyse previously reported genetic associations with lung function measures, and to investigate whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in these genomic regions are associated with lung function in a large population sample.
We analysed association for SNPs tagging 130 genes and 48 intergenic regions (+/−10 kb), after conducting a systematic review of the literature in the PubMed database for genetic association studies reporting lung function associations.
The analysis included 16,936 genotyped and imputed SNPs. No loci showed overall significant association for FEV1 or FEV1/FVC traits using a carefully defined significance threshold of 1.3×10−5. The most significant loci associated with FEV1 include SNPs tagging MACROD2 (P = 6.81×10−5), CNTN5 (P = 4.37×10−4), and TRPV4 (P = 1.58×10−3). Among ever-smokers, SERPINA1 showed the most significant association with FEV1 (P = 8.41×10−5), followed by PDE4D (P = 1.22×10−4). The strongest association with FEV1/FVC ratio was observed with ABCC1 (P = 4.38×10−4), and ESR1 (P = 5.42×10−4) among ever-smokers.
Polymorphisms spanning previously associated lung function genes did not show strong evidence for association with lung function measures in the SpiroMeta consortium population. Common SERPINA1 polymorphisms may affect FEV1 among smokers in the general population.
Infection may be a type 2 diabetes risk factor. Periodontal disease is a chronic infection. We hypothesized that periodontal disease was related to A1C progression in diabetes-free participants.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP) is a population-based cohort in Germany including 2,973 diabetes-free participants (53% women; aged 20–81 years). Participants were categorized into four groups according to increasing baseline periodontal disease levels (percentage of sites per mouth with attachment loss ≥5 mm, determined a priori); sample sizes for each respective category were 1,122, 488, 463, and 479 (241 participants were edentulous). Mean absolute changes (year 5 minus baseline) in A1C (ΔA1C) were regressed across periodontal categories while adjusting for confounders (e.g., age, sex, smoking, obesity, physical activity, and family history).
Across baseline periodontal disease categories, ΔA1C ± SEM values were 0.023 ± 0.02, 0.023 ± 0.02, 0.065 ± 0.03, and 0.106 ± 0.03 (Ptrend = 0.02), yielding an approximate fivefold increase in the absolute difference in ΔA1C when dentate participants in the highest versus lowest periodontal disease category were compared; these results were markedly stronger among participants with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein ≥1.0 mg/l (Pinteraction = 0.01). When individuals who had neither baseline periodontal disease nor deterioration in periodontal status at 5 years were compared with individuals with both poor baseline periodontal health and longitudinal periodontal deterioration, mean ΔA1C values were 0.005 vs. 0.143% (P = 0.003).
Periodontal disease was associated with 5-year A1C progression, which was similar to that observed for a 2-SD increase in either waist-to-hip ratio or age in this population.
To assess the cross-sectional association between exercise capacity, gas exchange efficiency and endothelial function, as measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and nitroglycerin-mediated dilation (NMD) of the brachial artery, in a large-scale population-based survey.
The study population was comprised of 1416 volunteers 25 to 85 years old. Oxygen uptake at anaerobic threshold (VO2@AT), peak exercise (peakVO2) and ventilatory efficiency (VE vs. VCO2 slope and VE/VCO2@AT) were assessed on a breath-by-breath basis during incremental symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise. FMD and NMD measurements at rest were performed using standardised ultrasound techniques.
Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed a significant association between FMD and ventilatory efficiency in current smokers but not in ex-smokers or non-smokers. There was no association between FMD and VO2@AT or peak VO2. In current smokers, for each one millimetre decrement in FMD, VE/VCO2@AT improved by -3.6 (95% CI -6.8, -0.4) in the overall population [VE vs. VCO2 slope -3.9 (-7.1, -0.6)]. These results remained robust after adjusting for all major influencing factors. Neither exercise capacity nor ventilatory efficiency was significantly associated with NMD.
In current smokers, FMD is significantly associated with ventilatory efficiency. This result may be interpreted as a potential clinical link between smoking and early pulmonary vasculopathy due to smoking.
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) is the most abundant circulating steroid secreted by adrenal glands—yet its function is unknown. Its serum concentration declines significantly with increasing age, which has led to speculation that a relative DHEAS deficiency may contribute to the development of common age-related diseases or diminished longevity. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association data with 14,846 individuals and identified eight independent common SNPs associated with serum DHEAS concentrations. Genes at or near the identified loci include ZKSCAN5 (rs11761528; p = 3.15×10−36), SULT2A1 (rs2637125; p = 2.61×10−19), ARPC1A (rs740160; p = 1.56×10−16), TRIM4 (rs17277546; p = 4.50×10−11), BMF (rs7181230; p = 5.44×10−11), HHEX (rs2497306; p = 4.64×10−9), BCL2L11 (rs6738028; p = 1.72×10−8), and CYP2C9 (rs2185570; p = 2.29×10−8). These genes are associated with type 2 diabetes, lymphoma, actin filament assembly, drug and xenobiotic metabolism, and zinc finger proteins. Several SNPs were associated with changes in gene expression levels, and the related genes are connected to biological pathways linking DHEAS with ageing. This study provides much needed insight into the function of DHEAS.
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), mainly secreted by the adrenal gland, is the most abundant circulating steroid in humans. It shows a significant physiological decline after the age of 25 and diminishes about 95% by the age of 85 years, which has led to speculation that a relative DHEAS deficiency may contribute to the development of common age-related diseases or diminished longevity. Twin- and family-based studies have shown that there is a substantial genetic effect with heritability estimate of 60%, but no specific genes regulating serum DHEAS concentration have been identified to date. Here we take advantage of recent technical and methodological advances to examine the effects of common genetic variants on serum DHEAS concentrations. By examining 14,846 Caucasian individuals, we show that eight common genetic variants are associated with serum DHEAS concentrations. Genes at or near these genetic variants include BCL2L11, ARPC1A, ZKSCAN5, TRIM4, HHEX, CYP2C9, BMF, and SULT2A1. These genes have various associations with steroid hormone metabolism—co-morbidities of ageing including type 2 diabetes, lymphoma, actin filament assembly, drug and xenobiotic metabolism, and zinc finger proteins—suggesting a wider functional role for DHEAS than previously thought.
Adiponutrin (PNPLA3) is a predominantly liver-expressed transmembrane protein with phospholipase activity that is regulated by fasting and feeding. Recent genome-wide association studies identified PNPLA3 to be associated with hepatic fat content and liver function, thus pointing to a possible involvement in the hepatic lipoprotein metabolism. The aim of this study was to examine the association between two common variants in the adiponutrin gene and parameters of lipoprotein metabolism in 23 274 participants from eight independent West-Eurasian study populations including six population-based studies [Bruneck (n = 800), KORA S3/F3 (n = 1644), KORA S4/F4 (n = 1814), CoLaus (n = 5435), SHIP (n = 4012), Rotterdam (n = 5967)], the SAPHIR Study as a healthy working population (n = 1738) and the Utah Obesity Case-Control Study including a group of 1037 severely obese individuals (average BMI 46 kg/m2) and 827 controls from the same geographical region of Utah. We observed a strong additive association of a common non-synonymous variant within adiponutrin (rs738409) with age-, gender-, and alanine-aminotransferase-adjusted lipoprotein concentrations: each copy of the minor allele decreased levels of total cholesterol on average by 2.43 mg/dl (P = 8.87 × 10−7), non-HDL cholesterol levels by 2.35 mg/dl (P = 2.27 × 10−6) and LDL cholesterol levels by 1.48 mg/dl (P = 7.99 × 10−4). These associations remained significant after correction for multiple testing. We did not observe clear evidence for associations with HDL cholesterol or triglyceride concentrations. In conclusion, our study suggests that adiponutrin is involved in the metabolism of apoB-containing lipoproteins.
The aim of this analysis was to assess the prospective association of serum testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) levels with incident metabolic syndrome (MetS) in men.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Data were obtained from the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP), a population-based prospective cohort of adults aged 20–79 years. Analyses were conducted in 1,004 men without baseline MetS defined by National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. Testosterone and DHEAS were categorized by age-specific quartiles and Poisson regression models with relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs were estimated.
After a median follow-up time of 5.0 years, 480 men (47.8%) developed MetS. Testosterone levels decreased with increasing number of MetS components. Testosterone in the lowest quartile predicted MetS (RR 1.38 [95% CI 1.13–1.69]), particularly among men aged 20–39 years (2.06 [1.29–3.29]), even after adjustment for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, waist circumference, self-related health, and time of blood sampling. DHEAS levels were not related to incident MetS (0.99 [0.83–1.19]).
Low testosterone but not DHEAS predicts development of MetS in a population-based cohort of 1,004 men aged 20–79 years. Especially in young men aged 20–39 years, results suggest low testosterone as a strong predictor for incident MetS. Assessment of testosterone in young and middle-age men may allow early interventions in the general population.