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1.  Relation of Thoracic Aortic Distensibility to Left Ventricular Area (From the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis [MESA]) 
The American journal of cardiology  2013;113(1):178-182.
Decreased arterial compliance is an early manifestation of adverse structural and functional changes within the vessel wall. Its correlation with left ventricular (LV) area on computed tomography (CT), a marker of LV remodeling, has not been well demonstrated. We tested the hypothesis that decreasing aortic compliance and increasing arterial stiffness is independently associated with increased LV area. The study population consisted of 3,540 (61±10 years, 46% men) from the MESA study who underwent aortic distensibility (AD) assessment on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and LV area measurement on CT (adjusted to body surface area). Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess the association between body surface area (BSA) normalized LV area >75th percentile and AD after adjusting for baseline clinical, historical and imaging covariates. The mean LV area /BSA was 2,153 cm2 and mean AD was 1.84 mm Hg−1 x103. Subjects in the lowest AD quartile were older with higher prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia (p<0.05 for all comparisons). Using multivariate linear regression adjusting for demographics, traditional risk factors, coronary artery calcium and C-reactive protein, each standard deviation decrease was associated with 18 cm2 increase in the LV area. In addition, decreasing AD quartiles were independently associated with increased BSA LV area defined as >75th percentile. In this multi-ethnic cohort, reduced AD was associated with increased LV area. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine if decreased distensibility precedes and directly influences increased LV area.
doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.09.039
PMCID: PMC3912190  PMID: 24210674
Arterial compliance; Left ventricular area; Computed tomography; Aortic Distensibility
3.  Association Between Resting Heart Rate and Inflammatory Biomarkers (High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein, Interleukin-6, and Fibrinogen) (from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) 
The American journal of cardiology  2013;113(4):644-649.
Heart rate (HR) at rest is associated with adverse cardiovascular events; however, the biologic mechanism for the relation is unclear. We hypothesized a strong association between HR at rest and subclinical inflammation, given their common interrelation with the autonomic nervous system. HR at rest was recorded at baseline in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a cohort of 4 racial or ethnic groups without cardiovascular disease at baseline and then divided into quintiles. Subclinical inflammation was measured using high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and fibrinogen. We used progressively adjusted regression models with terms for physical activity and atrioventricular nodal blocking agents in the fully adjusted models. We examined inflammatory markers as both continuous and categorical variables using the clinical cut point of ≥3 mg/L for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and the upper quartiles of fibrinogen (≥389 mg/dl) and interleukin-6 (≥1.89 pg/ml). Participants had a mean age of 62 years (SD 9.7), mean resting heart rate of 63 beats/min (SD 9.6) and were 47% men. Increased HR at rest was significantly associated with higher levels of all 3 inflammatory markers in both continuous (p for trend <0.001) and categorical (p for trend <0.001) models. Results were similar among all 3 inflammatory markers, and there was no significant difference in the association among the 4 racial or ethnic groups. In conclusion, an increased HR at rest was associated with a higher level of inflammation among an ethnically diverse group of subjects without known cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.11.009
PMCID: PMC4280910  PMID: 24393259
4.  Thoracic Aortic Distensibility and Thoracic Aortic Calcium (From the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis [MESA]) 
The American journal of cardiology  2010;106(4):575-580.
Decreased arterial distensibility is an early manifestation of adverse structural and functional changes within the vessel wall. Its correlation with thoracic aortic calcium (TAC), a marker of atherosclerosis, has not been well demonstrated. We tested the hypothesis that decreasing aortic compliance and increasing arterial stiffness is independently associated with increased TAC. We included 3,540 (61±10 years, 46% males) subjects from the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) study who underwent aortic distensibility (AD) assessment on MRI. TAC was calculated using modified Agatston algorithm on non-contrast cardiac CT. Multivariate regression models were calculated for the presence of TAC. Overall, 861 (24%) individuals had detectable TAC. A lower AD was observed among those with vs. without TAC (2.02±1.34 vs. 1.28±0.74, p<0.0001). The prevalence of TAC increased significantly across decreasing quartiles of AD (7%, 17%, 31%, and 42%, p<0.0001). Using multivariate analysis, TAC was independently associated with AD after adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity and other covariates. In conclusion, our analysis demonstrates that increased arterial stiffness is associated with increased TAC independent of ethnicity and other atherosclerotic risk factors.
doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2010.03.074
PMCID: PMC4228943  PMID: 20691319
5.  Association of resting heart rate with carotid and aortic arterial stiffness: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Hypertension  2013;62(3):10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.01605.
Resting heart rate is an easily measured, non-invasive vital sign that is associated with cardiovascular disease events. The pathophysiology of this association is not known. We investigated the relationship between resting heart rate and stiffness of the carotid (a peripheral artery) and the aorta (a central artery) in an asymptomatic multi-ethnic population. Resting heart rate was recorded at baseline in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Distensibility was used as a measure of arterial elasticity, with a lower distensibility indicating an increase in arterial stiffness. Carotid distensibility was measured in 6,484 participants (98% of participants) using B-mode ultrasound and aortic distensibility was measured in 3,512 participants (53% of participants) using cardiac MRI. Heart rate was divided into quintiles and we used progressively adjusted models that included terms for physical activity and AV-nodal blocking agents. Mean resting heart rate of participants (mean age 62 years, 47% male) was 63 beats per minute (SD 9.6 beats per minute). In unadjusted and fully adjusted models, carotid distensibility and aortic distensibility decreased monotonically with increasing resting heart rate (p for trend <0.001 and 0.009 respectively). The relationship was stronger for carotid versus aortic distensibility. Similar results were seen using the resting heart rate taken at the time of MRI scanning. Our results suggest that a higher resting heart rate is associated with an increased arterial stiffness independent of AV-nodal blocker use and physical activity level, with a stronger association for a peripheral (carotid) compared to a central (aorta) artery.
doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.01605
PMCID: PMC3838105  PMID: 23836802
heart rate; cardiovascular disease; stiffness; ultrasound; cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
6.  A Systematic Review of Internet-Based Worksite Wellness Approaches for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Management: Outcomes, Challenges & Opportunities 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e83594.
Context
The internet is gaining popularity as a means of delivering employee-based cardiovascular (CV) wellness interventions though little is known about the cardiovascular health outcomes of these programs. In this review, we examined the effectiveness of internet-based employee cardiovascular wellness and prevention programs.
Evidence Acquisition
We conducted a systematic review by searching PubMed, Web of Science and Cochrane library for all published studies on internet-based programs aimed at improving CV health among employees up to November 2012. We grouped the outcomes according to the American Heart Association (AHA) indicators of cardiovascular wellbeing – weight, BP, lipids, smoking, physical activity, diet, and blood glucose.
Evidence Synthesis
A total of 18 randomized trials and 11 follow-up studies met our inclusion/exclusion criteria. Follow-up duration ranged from 6 – 24 months. There were significant differences in intervention types and number of components in each intervention. Modest improvements were observed in more than half of the studies with weight related outcomes while no improvement was seen in virtually all the studies with physical activity outcome. In general, internet-based programs were more successful if the interventions also included some physical contact and environmental modification, and if they were targeted at specific disease entities such as hypertension. Only a few of the studies were conducted in persons at-risk for CVD, none in blue-collar workers or low-income earners.
Conclusion
Internet based programs hold promise for improving the cardiovascular wellness among employees however much work is required to fully understand its utility and long term impact especially in special/at-risk populations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083594
PMCID: PMC3885454  PMID: 24421894
7.  Beyond BMI: The “Metabolically healthy obese” phenotype & its association with clinical/subclinical cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality -- a systematic review 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:14.
Background
A subgroup has emerged within the obese that do not display the typical metabolic disorders associated with obesity and are hypothesized to have lower risk of complications. The purpose of this review was to analyze the literature which has examined the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality in the metabolically healthy obese (MHO) population.
Methods
Pubmed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science were searched from their inception until December 2012. Studies were included which clearly defined the MHO group (using either insulin sensitivity and/or components of metabolic syndrome AND obesity) and its association with either all cause mortality, CVD mortality, incident CVD, and/or subclinical CVD.
Results
A total of 20 studies were identified; 15 cohort and 5 cross-sectional. Eight studies used the NCEP Adult Treatment Panel III definition of metabolic syndrome to define “metabolically healthy”, while another nine used insulin resistance. Seven studies assessed all-cause mortality, seven assessed CVD mortality, and nine assessed incident CVD. MHO was found to be significantly associated with all-cause mortality in two studies (30%), CVD mortality in one study (14%), and incident CVD in three studies (33%). Of the six studies which examined subclinical disease, four (67%) showed significantly higher mean common carotid artery intima media thickness (CCA-IMT), coronary artery calcium (CAC), or other subclinical CVD markers in the MHO as compared to their MHNW counterparts.
Conclusions
MHO is an important, emerging phenotype with a CVD risk between healthy, normal weight and unhealthy, obese individuals. Successful work towards a universally accepted definition of MHO would improve (and simplify) future studies and aid inter-study comparisons. Usefulness of a definition inclusive of insulin sensitivity and stricter criteria for metabolic syndrome components as well as the potential addition of markers of fatty liver and inflammation should be explored. Clinicians should be hesitant to reassure patients that the metabolically benign phenotype is safe, as increased risk cardiovascular disease and death have been shown.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-14
PMCID: PMC3890499  PMID: 24400816
8.  Public Availability of Published Research Data in High-Impact Journals 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24357.
Background
There is increasing interest to make primary data from published research publicly available. We aimed to assess the current status of making research data available in highly-cited journals across the scientific literature.
Methods and Results
We reviewed the first 10 original research papers of 2009 published in the 50 original research journals with the highest impact factor. For each journal we documented the policies related to public availability and sharing of data. Of the 50 journals, 44 (88%) had a statement in their instructions to authors related to public availability and sharing of data. However, there was wide variation in journal requirements, ranging from requiring the sharing of all primary data related to the research to just including a statement in the published manuscript that data can be available on request. Of the 500 assessed papers, 149 (30%) were not subject to any data availability policy. Of the remaining 351 papers that were covered by some data availability policy, 208 papers (59%) did not fully adhere to the data availability instructions of the journals they were published in, most commonly (73%) by not publicly depositing microarray data. The other 143 papers that adhered to the data availability instructions did so by publicly depositing only the specific data type as required, making a statement of willingness to share, or actually sharing all the primary data. Overall, only 47 papers (9%) deposited full primary raw data online. None of the 149 papers not subject to data availability policies made their full primary data publicly available.
Conclusion
A substantial proportion of original research papers published in high-impact journals are either not subject to any data availability policies, or do not adhere to the data availability instructions in their respective journals. This empiric evaluation highlights opportunities for improvement.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024357
PMCID: PMC3168487  PMID: 21915316
10.  Trends in the Use of Evidence-based Therapies Early in the Course of Acute Myocardial Infarction and its Influence on Short Term Patient Outcomes 
Aim:
To evaluate changes in management practices and its influence on short term hospital outcomes in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) admitted during two different time periods, 2007 and 2004.
Methods and Results:
We studied AMI patients from two acute coronary syndrome registries carried out in Kuwait in 2007 and 2004. We included 1872 and 1197 patients from the 2007 and 2004 registries, respectively. When compared with 2004, patients from the 2007 registry had similar baseline clinical characteristics. In 2007 compared to 2004, during the in-hospital period, patients with AMI received significantly more statins (94% vs. 73%%, p<0.0001), Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) (70% vs. 47%, p<0.001), and Clopidogrel (38% vs. 4%, p<0.001), while beta-blockers use dropped in 2007 compared to 2004 (63% vs. 68%, p=0.0066). The rates of in-hospital mortality and recurrent ischemia were significantly lower in the 2007 cohort compared with the 2004 cohort (for mortality 2.2% vs. 3.9%, P=0.0008, for recurrent ischemia 13.7% vs. 20.4%, P=0<0.0001).Higher utilization of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers and statins were the main contributors to the improved in-hospital mortality and morbidity.
In Conclusion:
In the acute management of AMI, there was a significant increase in the use of statins, ACE inhibitors and Clopidogrel in 2007 compared to 2004. This was associated with a significant decrease in the in-hospital mortality and recurrent ischemia. Adherence to guidelines recommended therapies improved in-hospital outcomes.
doi:10.2174/1874192401105010171
PMCID: PMC3162191  PMID: 21886684
Acute Coronary Syndrome; Outcomes; Evidence based therapies.

Results 1-10 (10)