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1.  Coronary Calcium Score Predicts Cardiovascular Mortality in Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(4):972-977.
OBJECTIVE
In type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), it remains unclear whether coronary artery calcium (CAC) provides additional information about cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality beyond the Framingham Risk Score (FRS) factors.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A total of 1,123 T2DM participants, ages 34–86 years, in the Diabetes Heart Study followed up for an average of 7.4 years were separated using baseline computed tomography scans of CAC (0–9, 10–99, 100–299, 300–999, and ≥1,000). Logistic regression was performed to examine the association between CAC and CVD mortality adjusting for FRS. Areas under the curve (AUC) with and without CAC were compared. Net reclassification improvement (NRI) compared FRS (model 1) versus FRS+CAC (model 2) using 7.4-year CVD mortality risk categories 0% to <7%, 7% to <20%, and ≥20%.
RESULTS
Overall, 8% of participants died of cardiovascular causes during follow-up. In multivariate analysis, the odds ratios (95% CI) for CVD mortality using CAC 0–9 as the reference group were, CAC 10–99: 2.93 (0.74–19.55); CAC 100–299: 3.17 (0.70–22.22); CAC 300–999: 4.41(1.15–29.00); and CAC ≥1,000: 11.23 (3.24–71.00). AUC (95% CI) without CAC was 0.70 (0.67–0.73), AUC with CAC was 0.75 (0.72–0.78), and NRI was 0.13 (0.07–0.19).
CONCLUSIONS
In T2DM, CAC predicts CVD mortality and meaningfully reclassifies participants, suggesting clinical utility as a risk stratification tool in a population already at increased CVD risk.
doi:10.2337/dc12-1548
PMCID: PMC3609509  PMID: 23230101
3.  Admixture Mapping of Coronary Artery Calcified Plaque in African Americans with Type 2 Diabetes 
Background
The presence and severity of coronary artery calcified plaque (CAC) differs markedly between individuals of African and European descent, suggesting that admixture mapping (AM) may be informative for identifying genetic variants associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Methods and Results
AM of CAC was performed in 1,040 unrelated African Americans with type 2 diabetes mellitus from the African American-Diabetes Heart Study (AA-DHS), Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), and Family Heart Study (FamHS) using the Illumina custom ancestry informative marker (AIM) panel. All cohorts obtained computed tomography scanning of the coronary arteries using identical protocols. For each AIM, the probability of inheriting 0, 1, and 2 copies of a European-derived allele was determined. Linkage analysis was performed by testing for association between each AIM using these probabilities and CAC, accounting for global ancestry, age, gender and study. Markers on 1p32.3 in the GLIS1 gene (rs6663966, LOD=3.7), 1q32.1 near CHIT1 (rs7530895, LOD=3.1), 4q21.2 near PRKG2 (rs1212373, LOD=3.0) and 11q25 in the OPCML gene (rs6590705, LOD=3.4) had statistically significant LOD scores, while markers on 8q22.2 (rs6994682, LOD=2.7), 9p21.2 (rs439314, LOD=2.7), and 13p32.1 (rs7492028, LOD=2.8) manifested suggestive evidence of linkage. These regions were uniformly characterized by higher levels of European ancestry associating with higher levels or odds of CAC. Findings were replicated in 1,350 AAs without diabetes and 2,497 diabetic European Americans from MESA and the Diabetes Heart Study.
Conclusions
Fine mapping these regions will likely identify novel genetic variants that contribute to CAC and clarify racial differences in susceptibility to subclinical CVD.
doi:10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.112.964114
PMCID: PMC3578054  PMID: 23233742
ancestry; cardiovascular disease risk factors; type 2 diabetes; admixture mapping
4.  Associations among Lung Function, Arterial Elasticity and Circulating Endothelial and Inflammation Markers: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Hypertension  2013;61(2):542-548.
A parallel physiologic pathway for elastic changes is hypothesized for declines in arterial elasticity and lung function. Endothelial dysfunction and inflammation could potentially decrease elasticity of both vasculature and lung tissue. We examined biomarkers, large (LAE) and small (SAE) arterial elasticity, and forced vital capacity (FVC) in a period cross-sectional design in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, which recruited 1,823 women and 1,803 men, age range 45–84 years, black, white, Hispanic, and Chinese, free of clinically recognized CVD. Radial artery tonometric pulse waveform registration was performed and LAE and SAE were derived from diastole. Spirometric data and markers of endothelial dysfunction and inflammation (soluble intracellular adhesion molecule-1, fibrinogen, hs-C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6) were obtained. Mean LAE was 13.7 ± 5.5 ml/mmHgx10 and SAE was 4.6 ± 2.6 ml/mmHgx100. Mean FVC was 3,192 ± 956.0 mL and FEV1 was 2,386 ± 734.5 mL. FVC was about 40 ± 5 mL higher per SD of SAE, stronger in men than women. The association was slightly weaker with LAE, with no sex interaction. After regression adjustment for demographic, anthropometric, and cardiovascular risk factors, the biomarkers tended to be related to reduced SAE and FVC, particularly in men. These biomarker associations suggest important CVD risk alterations that occur concurrently with lower arterial elasticity and lung function. The observed positive association of SAE with FVC and with FEV1 in middle-aged to older free-living people is consistent with the hypothesis of parallel physiologic pathways for elastic changes in the vasculature and in lung parenchymal tissue.
doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.00272
PMCID: PMC3586233  PMID: 23283358
arterial stiffness; endothelial markers; inflammatory markers; large and small artery elasticity; lung function; MESA Study
5.  Patient-controlled sharing of medical imaging data across unaffiliated healthcare organizations 
Background
Current image sharing is carried out by manual transportation of CDs by patients or organization-coordinated sharing networks. The former places a significant burden on patients and providers. The latter faces challenges to patient privacy.
Objective
To allow healthcare providers efficient access to medical imaging data acquired at other unaffiliated healthcare facilities while ensuring strong protection of patient privacy and minimizing burden on patients, providers, and the information technology infrastructure.
Methods
An image sharing framework is described that involves patients as an integral part of, and with full control of, the image sharing process. Central to this framework is the Patient Controlled Access-key REgistry (PCARE) which manages the access keys issued by image source facilities. When digitally signed by patients, the access keys are used by any requesting facility to retrieve the associated imaging data from the source facility. A centralized patient portal, called a PCARE patient control portal, allows patients to manage all the access keys in PCARE.
Results
A prototype of the PCARE framework has been developed by extending open-source technology. The results for feasibility, performance, and user assessments are encouraging and demonstrate the benefits of patient-controlled image sharing.
Discussion
The PCARE framework is effective in many important clinical cases of image sharing and can be used to integrate organization-coordinated sharing networks. The same framework can also be used to realize a longitudinal virtual electronic health record.
Conclusion
The PCARE framework allows prior imaging data to be shared among unaffiliated healthcare facilities while protecting patient privacy with minimal burden on patients, providers, and infrastructure. A prototype has been implemented to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of this approach.
doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001146
PMCID: PMC3555338  PMID: 22886546
Medical image; health information exchange; image sharing; diagnostic imaging; electronic health records; pcareportal
6.  Circulating soluble ICAM-1 and subclinical atherosclerosis: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study 
Clinical chemistry  2011;58(2):10.1373/clinchem.2011.168559.
Background
Soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) is associated with endothelial dysfunction and clinical cardiovascular disease. We investigated the relationship of subclinical atherosclerosis with sICAM-1 concentration.
Methods
sICAM-1 concentration was assayed at year 15 of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study (black and white men and women, average age 40 years). We assessed progression of coronary artery calcification through year 20 (CAC, n=2378), and both carotid artery stenosis (n=2432) and intima media thickness at year 20 (IMT, n = 2240).
Results
Median sICAM-1 was 145.9 ng/ml. Among a subgroup with advanced atherosclerotic plaque (either CAC or stenosis), IMT was 0.010 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.003–0.017 mm) higher per standard deviation of sICAM-1 (44 ng/ml) in a model adjusted for age, race, sex, clinic, smoking, exercise, body size, education, blood pressure, antihypertensive medication, plasma lipids, and cholesterol lowering medication. With the same adjustment, the odds ratios (OR) for the presence of year 20 carotid artery stenosis per SD of sICAM-1 was 1.12 (CI 1.01–1.25, p<0.04), while for occurrence of CAC progression the OR was 1.16 (CI 1.04–1.31, p<0.01). The associations with CAC and carotid stenosis were strongest in the top 20th of the sICAM-1 distribution.
Conclusion
sICAM-1 concentration may be an early biomarker that indicates changes in the artery wall that accompany atherosclerosis, as well as the presence of advanced plaque in the coronary and carotid arteries. This finding holds in people with low total burden of atherosclerosis, decades prior to the development of clinical CVD.
doi:10.1373/clinchem.2011.168559
PMCID: PMC3867124  PMID: 22179741
7.  Prognosis of Individuals with Asymptomatic Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Circulation  2012;126(23):2713-2719.
Background
Limited data exist on the prevalence, associations and prognosis of individuals with asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction (ALVSD), especially in populations without prior clinical cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Methods and Results
Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazard analyses were used to assess the association between ALVSD, defined as left ventricular ejection fraction less than 50%, and adjudicated incident congestive heart failure (CHF), all-cause mortality, and CVD events.
Out of 5004 participants, 112 participants had CHF, 321 had a CVD event, and 278 died after 9 years of follow-up. The overall prevalence of ALVSD was 1.7%, with a higher prevalence in African Americans (2.6%). ALVSD had worse cardiovascular risk profile and was also associated with increased risk in unadjusted and adjusted models for incident CHF [HR (95%): 12.0(7.04 – 20.3), p<0.0001 and 8.69(4.89 – 15.45), p<0.001 respectively], CVD [HR (95%):3.32(1.98 -5.58), p<0.001 and 2.21(1.30 – 3.73), p=0.003 respectively] and all-cause mortality [HR(95%):3.47(2.03 – 5.94), p<0.0001 and 2.00(1.13-3.54), p=0.017 respectively]. A 10% decrement in LVEF at baseline was associated with increase in risk in unadjusted and adjusted models for clinical CHF [HR (95%CI): 2.17(1.82 -2.63), p<0.0001 and 2.13(1.73 - 2.51), p<0.001 respectively] and all-cause mortality [HR (95%CI): 1.22(1.05 – 1.41), p=0.009 and 1.17(1.00 – 1.36), p=0.047 respectively]. Among the subset of participants with ALVSD, LVMI was particularly informative about risk for incident CHF (c- index = 0.74).
Conclusions
ALVSD is uncommon in individuals without prior clinical CVD, but is associated with high risk for CHF, CVD, and all-cause mortality. LVMI had good discrimination for incident CHF in MESA participants with ALVSD.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.112201
PMCID: PMC3533250  PMID: 23124035
heart failure; death; cardiovascular diseases; magnetic resonance imaging; population
8.  Normal left ventricular myocardial thickness for middle aged and older subjects with SSFP cardiac MR: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Background
Increased left ventricular myocardial thickness (LVMT) is a feature of several cardiac diseases. The purpose of this study was to establish standard reference values of normal LVMT with cardiac MR (CMR) and to assess variation with image acquisition plane, demographics and LV function.
Methods and Results
End-diastolic LVMT was measured on CMR steady-state free precession cine long and short axis images in 300 consecutive participants free of cardiac disease (169 women; 65.6±8.5 years) of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis cohort. Mean LVMT on short axis images at the mid-cavity level was 5.3±0.9mm and 6.3±1.1mm for women and men, respectively. The average of the maximum LVMT at the mid-cavity for women/men were 7mm/9mm (long axis) and 7mm/8mm (short axis). Mean LVMT was positively associated with weight (0.02mm/kg, p=0.01) and body-surface-area (1.1mm/m2, p<0.001). No relationship was found between mean LVMT and age or height. Greater mean LVMT was associated with lower LV end-diastolic volume (0.01mm/ml, p<0.01), a lower LV end-systolic volume (−0.01mm/ml, p=0.01) and lower LV stroke volume (−0.01mm/ml, p<0.05). LVMT measured on long axis images at the basal and mid-cavity level were slightly greater (by 6% and 10%, respectively) than measurements obtained on short axis images; apical LVMT values on long axis images were 20% less than those on short axis images.
Conclusion
Normal values for wall thickness are provided for middle-aged and older subjects. Normal LVMT is lower for women than men. Observed values vary depending on the imaging plane for measurement.
doi:10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.112.973560
PMCID: PMC3412148  PMID: 22705587
magnetic resonance imaging; myocardial thickness; normal values
9.  Tongue Adiposity and Strength in Healthy Older Adults 
The Laryngoscope  2012;122(7):1600-1604.
Objectives/Hypothesis
To identify treatable risk factors for aspiration in older adults—particularly those associated with sarcopenia – we examined tongue composition. We hypothesized that 1) isometric and swallowing posterior tongue strength would positively correlate with posterior tongue adiposity, and 2) healthy older adults who aspirate would have greater tongue adiposity than healthy older adults who did not aspirate.
Study Design
Prospective
Methods
Participants were 40 healthy adults, comprised of 20 aspirators (Mean age = 78 years) and 20 non-aspirators (Mean age = 81 years), as identified via flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. Measures of maximal isometric posterior tongue strength and posterior swallowing tongue strength were acquired via tongue manometry. An index of posterior tongue adiposity was acquired via computed tomography for a 1 cm region of interest.
Result(s)
Posterior tongue adiposity was correlated with posterior tongue isometric (r = .32, p = 0.05) but not swallowing pressures (p > 0.05) as examined with separate partial correlation analyses. Tongue adiposity did not significantly differ as a function of age, gender, or aspiration status (p > 0.05).
Conclusion(s)
Lower posterior isometric tongue strength was associated with greater posterior tongue adiposity. However, aspiration in healthy older adults was not affected by posterior tongue adiposity. This finding offers insight into the roles of tongue composition and strength in healthy older adults.
doi:10.1002/lary.23290
PMCID: PMC3474535  PMID: 22522371
Tongue; Adiposity; Fat; Swallowing; Older Adults; Computed Tomography
10.  Impact of HDL genetic risk scores on coronary artery calcified plaque and mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes from the Diabetes Heart Study 
Background
Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and mortality. Recent studies have assessed the impact of genetic variants affecting high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) concentrations on CVD risk in the general population. This study examined the utility of HDL-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for CVD risk prediction in European Americans with T2D enrolled in the Diabetes Heart Study (DHS).
Methods
Genetic risk scores (GRS) of HDL-associated SNPs were constructed and evaluated for potential associations with mortality and with coronary artery calcified atherosclerotic plaque (CAC), a measure of subclinical CVD strongly associated with CVD events and mortality. Two sets of SNPs were used to construct GRS; while all SNPs were selected primarily for their impacts on HDL, one set of SNPs had pleiotropic effects on other lipid parameters, while the other set lacked effects on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) or triglyceride concentrations.
Results
The GRS were specifically associated with HDL concentrations (4.90 × 10-7 < p < 0.02) in models adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI), but were not associated with LDL or triglycerides. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis suggested the HDL-associated GRS had no impact on risk of CVD-mortality (0.48 < p < 0.99) in models adjusted for other known CVD risk factors. However, associations between several of the GRS and CAC were observed (3.85 × 10-4 < p < 0.03) in models adjusted for other known CVD risk factors.
Conclusions
The GRS analyzed in this study provide a tool for assessment of HDL-associated SNPs and their impact on CVD risk in T2D. The observed associations between several of the GRS and CAC suggest a potential role for HDL-associated SNPs on subclinical CVD risk in patients with T2D.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-95
PMCID: PMC3695806  PMID: 23799899
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol; Type 2 diabetes; Coronary artery calcified plaque; Mortality; Genetic risk score
11.  Aortic Valve Calcium Independently Predicts Coronary and Cardiovascular Events in a Primary Prevention Population 
Jacc. Cardiovascular Imaging  2012;5(6):619-625.
Objective
This study aimed to test whether aortic valve calcium (AVC) is independently associated with coronary and cardiovascular events in a primary-prevention population.
Background
Aortic sclerosis is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among the elderly, but the mechanisms underlying this association remain controversial and it is unknown if this association extends to younger individuals.
Methods
We performed a prospective analysis of 6,685 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. All subjects, aged 45-84 years and free of clinical cardiovascular disease at baseline, underwent computed tomography for AVC and coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring. The primary, pre-specified combined endpoint of cardiovascular events included myocardial infarctions, fatal and non-fatal strokes, resuscitated cardiac arrest and cardiovascular death, while a secondary combined endpoint of coronary events excluded strokes. The association between AVC and clinical events was assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression with incremental adjustments for demographics, cardiovascular risk factors, inflammatory biomarkers and subclinical coronary atherosclerosis.
Results
Over a median follow up of 5.8 [IQR 5.6, 5.9] years, adjusting for demographics and cardiovascular risk factors, subjects with AVC (n=894, 13.4%) had higher risks of cardiovascular (HR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.10-2.03) and coronary (HR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.19-2.49) events compared to those without AVC. Adjustments for inflammatory biomarkers did not alter these associations, but adjustment for CAC substantially attenuated both cardiovascular (HR, 1.32; 95% CI: 0.98-1.78) and coronary (HR, 1.41; 95% CI, 0.98-2.02) event risk. AVC remained predictive of cardiovascular mortality even after full adjustment (HR, 2.51; 95% CI, 1.22-5.21).
Conclusions
In this multiethnic MESA cohort, free of clinical cardiovascular disease, AVC predicts cardiovascular and coronary event risk independent of traditional risk factors and inflammatory biomarkers, likely due to the strong correlation between AVC and subclinical atherosclerosis. The association of AVC with excess cardiovascular mortality beyond coronary atherosclerosis risk merits further investigation.
doi:10.1016/j.jcmg.2011.12.023
PMCID: PMC3376353  PMID: 22698532
12.  Prediction of Cardiac Events in Patients with Reduced Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction Using Dobutamine Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Assessment of Wall Motion Score Index 
Objectives
To assess the utility of dobutamine cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DCMR) results for predicting cardiac events in individuals with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
Background
It is unknown whether DCMR results identify a poor cardiac prognosis when the resting LVEF is moderately to severely reduced.
Methods
Two-hundred consecutive patients aged 30 to 88 (average 64) years with a LVEF ≤55% that were poorly suited for stress echocardiography, underwent DCMR in which LV wall motion score index (WMSI), defined as the average wall motion of the number of segments scored, was assessed at rest, during low dose, and after peak intravenous infusion of dobutamine/atropine. All participants were followed for an average of 5 years after DCMR to ascertain the post testing occurrence of cardiac death, myocardial infarction (MI), and unstable angina or congestive heart failure warranting hospitalization.
Results
After accounting for risk factors associated with coronary arteriosclerosis and MI, a stress induced increase in WMSI during DCMR was associated with future cardiac events (p< 0.001). After accounting for resting LVEF, a DCMR stress induced change in WMSI added significantly to predicting future cardiac events (p=0.003), but this predictive value was confined primarily to those with a LVEF >40%.
Conclusions
In individuals with mild to moderate reductions in LVEF (40% to 55%), dobutamine induced increases in WMSI forecast MI and cardiac death to a greater extent than an assessment of resting LVEF. In those with a LVEF < 40%, a dobutamine induced increase in WMSI does not predict MI and cardiac death beyond the assessment of resting LVEF.
doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2008.04.025
PMCID: PMC3666037  PMID: 18634983
magnetic resonance imaging; cardiac prognosis; myocardial ischemia; dobutamine stress imaging
13.  Relationship between genetic variants in myocardial sodium and potassium channel genes and QT interval duration in diabetics: the Diabetes Heart Study 
Background
Genetic variants in myocardial sodium and potassium channel genes are associated with prolonged QT interval and increased risk of sudden death. It is unclear whether these genetic variants remain relevant in subjects with underlying conditions such as diabetes that are associated with prolonged QT interval.
Methods
We tested single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in five candidate genes for association with QT interval in a family-based study of subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Thirty-six previously reported SNPs were genotyped in KCNQ1, HERG, SCN5A, KCNE1, and KCNE2 in 901 European Americans from 366 families. The heart rate-corrected (QTc) durations were determined using the Marquette 12SL program. Associations between the QTc interval and the genotypes were evaluated using SOLAR adjusting for age, gender, T2DM status, and body mass index.
Results
Within KCNQ1 there was weak evidence for association between the minor allele of IVS12+14T>C and increased QTc (p=0.02). The minor allele of rs2236609 in KCNE1 trended toward significance with longer QTc (p=0.06), while the minor allele of rs1805123 in HERG trended toward significance with shorter QTc (p=0.07). However, no statistically significant associations were observed between the remaining SNPs and QTc variation.
Conclusions
We found weak evidence of association between three previously-reported SNPs and QTc interval duration. While it appears as though genetic variants in previously identified candidate genes may be associated with QT duration in subjects with diabetes, the clinical implications of these associations in diabetic subjects at high risk for sudden death remains to be determined.
doi:10.1111/j.1542-474X.2008.00276.x
PMCID: PMC3650725  PMID: 19149796
QT interval; diabetes; association study; genetics; ion channels
14.  Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes, and Incidence and Progression of Coronary Calcium: The Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Jacc. Cardiovascular Imaging  2012;5(4):358-366.
Objectives
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.
Background
MetS and DM are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis as evidenced by coronary artery calcium (CAC).
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1016/j.jcmg.2011.12.015
PMCID: PMC3327555  PMID: 22498324
atherosclerosis; diabetes; risk factors; calcification
15.  Genetic analysis of haptoglobin polymorphisms with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in the diabetes heart study 
Background
Haptoglobin (HP) is an acute phase protein that binds to freely circulating hemoglobin. HP exists as two distinct forms, HP1 and HP2. The longer HP2 form has been associated with cardiovascular (CVD) events and mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
Methods
This study examined the association of HP genotypes with subclinical CVD, T2DM risk, and associated risk factors in a T2DM-enriched sample. Haptoglobin genotypes were determined in 1208 European Americans (EA) from 473 Diabetes Heart Study (DHS) families via PCR. Three promoter SNPs (rs5467, rs5470, and rs5471) were also genotyped.
Results
Analyses revealed association between HP2-2 duplication and increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT; p = 0.001). No association between HP and measures of calcified arterial plaque were observed, but the HP polymorphism was associated with triglyceride concentrations (p = 0.005) and CVD mortality (p = 0.04). We found that the HP2-2 genotype was associated with increased T2DM risk with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.49 (95% CI 1.18-1.86, p = 6.59x10-4). Promoter SNPs were not associated with any traits.
Conclusions
This study suggests association between the HP duplication and IMT, triglycerides, CVD mortality, and T2DM in an EA population enriched for T2DM. Lack of association with atherosclerotic calcified plaque likely reflect differences in the pathogenesis of these CVD phenotypes. HP variation may contribute to the heritable risk for CVD complications in T2DM.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-31
PMCID: PMC3576297  PMID: 23399657
Haptoglobin; Genetic polymorphism; Cardiovascular disease; Type 2 diabetes
16.  Relationships between serum MCP-1 and subclinical kidney disease: African American-Diabetes Heart Study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:148.
Background
Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) plays important roles in kidney disease susceptibility and atherogenesis in experimental models. Relationships between serum MCP-1 concentration and early nephropathy and subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) were assessed in African Americans (AAs) with type 2 diabetes (T2D).
Methods
Serum MCP-1 concentration, urine albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and atherosclerotic calcified plaque (CP) in the coronary and carotid arteries and infrarenal aorta were measured in 479 unrelated AAs with T2D. Generalized linear models were fitted to test for associations between MCP-1 and urine ACR, eGFR, and CP.
Results
Participants were 57% female, with mean ± SD (median) age 55.6±9.5 (55.0) years, diabetes duration 10.3±8.2 (8.0) years, urine ACR 149.7±566.7 (14.0) mg/g, CKD-EPI eGFR 92.4±23.3 (92.0) ml/min/1.73m2, MCP-1 262.9±239.1 (224.4) pg/ml, coronary artery CP 280.1±633.8 (13.5), carotid artery CP 47.1±132.9 (0), and aorta CP 1616.0±2864.0 (319.0). Adjusting for age, sex, smoking, HbA1c, BMI, and LDL, serum MCP-1 was positively associated with albuminuria (parameter estimate 0.0021, P=0.04) and negatively associated with eGFR (parameter estimate −0.0003, P=0.001). MCP-1 remained associated with eGFR after adjustment for urine ACR. MCP-1 levels did not correlate with the extent of CP in any vascular bed, HbA1c or diabetes duration, but were positively associated with BMI. No interaction between BMI and MCP-1 was detected on nephropathy outcomes.
Conclusions
Serum MCP-1 levels are associated with eGFR and albuminuria in AAs with T2D. MCP-1 was not associated with subclinical CVD in this population. Inflammation appears to play important roles in development and/or progression of kidney disease in AAs.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-148
PMCID: PMC3534523  PMID: 23151275
African Americans; Albuminuria; Atherosclerotic calcified plaque; Diabetes; GFR; MCP-1
17.  ASSOCIATION OF PNPLA3 SNP RS738409 WITH LIVER DENSITY IN AFRICAN AMERICANS WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS 
Diabetes & metabolism  2011;37(5):452-455.
Aim
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is commonly diagnosed in patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and has been associated with the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs738409 in the PNPLA3 gene. This association remains to be investigated in African Americans with T2DM, a group at lower risk for hepatic steatosis relative to European Americans with T2DM.
Methods
We examined 422 African Americans with T2DM (40.3% male; age: 56.4 ± 9.6 years; BMI: 35.2 ± 8.2 kg/m2), all with measures of liver density reflecting hepatic fat content on abdominal computed tomography, and blood glucose and lipid profiles. Associations between rs738409 and phenotypes of interest were determined using SOLAR, assuming an additive model of inheritance with covariates age, sex, BMI and use of lipid-lowering medications.
Results
Mean ± SD liver density was 55.4 ± 10.2 Hounsfield Units. SNP rs738409 in PNPLA3 was significantly associated with liver density (P=0.0075) and hepatic steatosis (P=0.0350), but not with blood glucose, HbA1c, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density or low-density lipoprotein levels or liver function tests (P=0.15–0.96).
Conclusion
These findings provide evidence that the PNPLA3 SNP rs738409 contributes to risk for increased liver fat content in African Americans with T2DM, an effect that appears to be independent from serum lipids. Although African Americans are less susceptible to fatty liver than European Americans, PNPLA3 appears to be a risk locus for hepatic steatosis in diabetic African Americans.
doi:10.1016/j.diabet.2011.05.001
PMCID: PMC3215942  PMID: 21665509
type 2 diabetes; genetics; fatty liver disease; African American
18.  Pericardial Fat is Associated with Carotid Stiffness in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Background and Aims
Arterial stiffness is a prominent feature of vascular aging and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Fat around the heart and blood vessels (i.e. pericardial fat, Pfat) may contribute to arterial stiffness via a local paracrine effect of adipose tissue on the surrounding vasculature. Thus, we determined the association between Pfat and carotid stiffness in 5,770 participants (mean age 62 yrs, 53% female, 25% African American, 24% Hispanic, and 13% Chinese) from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results
Pfat was measured by computed tomography, and ultrasonography of the common carotid artery was used to calculate the distensibility coefficient (DC) and young’s modulus (YM). Lower DC and higher YM values indicate stiffer arteries. Pfat quartile was highly associated with demographic, behavioral, anthropometric, hemodynamic, metabolic, and disease variables in both men and women. After adjusting for height, clinical site, CVD risk factors, and medications, a 1-standard deviation (41.91 cm3) increment in Pfat was associated with a 0.00007±0.00002 1/mmHg lower DC (p=0.0002) in men and a 48.1±15.1 mmHg/mm higher YM in women (p=0.002). Additional adjustment for C-reactive protein, coronary artery calcification, and carotid intima-media thickness had only modest effects. More importantly, adjusting for body mass index and waist circumference did not significantly change the overall results.
Conclusion
Higher Pfat is associated with higher carotid stiffness, independent of traditional CVD risk factors and obesity.
doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2009.10.010
PMCID: PMC2929306  PMID: 20153618
pericardial fat; arterial stiffness; distensibility; carotid artery
19.  Coronary Calcium Score and Prediction of All-Cause Mortality in Diabetes  
Diabetes Care  2011;34(5):1219-1224.
OBJECTIVE
In diabetes, it remains unclear whether the coronary artery calcium (CAC) score provides additional information about total mortality risk beyond traditional risk factors.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A total of 1,051 participants, aged 34–86 years, in the Diabetes Heart Study (DHS) were followed for 7.4 years. Subjects were separated into five groups using baseline computed tomography scans and CAC scores (0–9, 10–99, 100–299, 300–999, and ≥1,000). Logistic regression was performed adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking, and LDL cholesterol to examine the association between CAC and all-cause mortality. Areas under the curve with and without CAC were compared. Natural splines using continuous measures of CAC were fitted to estimate the relationship between observed CAC and mortality risk.
RESULTS
A total of 17% (178 of 1,051) of participants died during the follow-up. In multivariate analysis, the odds ratios (95% CIs) for all-cause mortality, using CAC 0–9 as the reference group, were CAC 10–99: 1.40 (0.57–3.74); CAC 100–299: 2.87 (1.17–7.77); CAC 300–999: 3.04 (1.32–7.90); and CAC ≥1,000: 6.71 (3.09–16.87). The area under the curve without CAC was 0.68 (95% CI 0.66–0.70), and the area under the curve with CAC was 0.72 (0.70–0.74) (P = 0.0001). Using splines, the estimated risk (95% CI) of mortality for a CAC of 0 was 6.7% (4.6–9.7), and the risk increased nearly linearly, plateauing at CAC ≥1,000 (20.0% [15.7–25.2]).
CONCLUSIONS
In diabetes, CAC was shown to be an independent predictor of mortality. Participants with CAC (0–9) were at lower risk (0.9% annual mortality). The risk of mortality increased with increasing levels of CAC, plateauing at approximately CAC ≥1,000 (2.7% annual mortality). More research is warranted to determine the potential utility of CAC scans in diabetes.
doi:10.2337/dc11-0008
PMCID: PMC3114476  PMID: 21398528
20.  Genetic Mapping of Vascular Calcified Plaque Loci on Chromosome 16p in European Americans from the Diabetes Heart Study 
Annals of human genetics  2011;75(2):222-235.
SUMMARY
A carotid artery calcified plaque (CarCP) linkage peak on chromosome 16p (LOD 4.39 at 8.4cM) in European American (EA) families with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) from the Diabetes Heart Study (DHS) has been refined by fine-mapping and candidate genes and SNPs evaluated for association with subclinical CVD. Fine-mapping was based on 104 SNPs in 937 subjects from 315 families, including 45 SNPs in six candidate genes (CACNA1H, SEPX1, ABCA3, IL32, SOCS1, and KIAA0350). Linkage and association analyses using variance components analysis (SOLAR; adjusting for age, gender, BMI, and T2DM status) refined the original CarCP linkage into two distinct linkage regions (LOD scores: 3.89 at 6.9cM and 4.86 at 16.0cM). Evidence of linkage for coronary calcified plaque (LOD: 2.27 at 19cM) and a vascular calcification principle component (LOD: 3.71 at 16.0cM) was also observed. The strongest evidence for association with CarCP was observed with SNPs in the A2BP1 gene region (rs4337300 p=0.005) with modest evidence of association with SNPs in CACNA1H (p=0.010–0.033). Bayesian Quantitative Trait Nucleotide analysis identified a SNP, rs1358489, with either a functional effect on CarCP or in linkage disequilibrium with a functional SNP. This study refined the 16p region contributing to vascular calcification. Although the causal variants remain to be identified the results are consistent with a linkage peak which is due to multiple common variants, though rare variants cannot be excluded.
doi:10.1111/j.1469-1809.2010.00632.x
PMCID: PMC3074504  PMID: 21309755
type 2 diabetes; subclinical cardiovascular disease; fine mapping
21.  The Effect of Pioglitazone and Resistance Training on Body Composition in Older Men and Women Undergoing Hypocaloric Weight Loss 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2011;19(8):1636-1646.
Age-related increases in ectopic fat accumulation are associated with greater risk for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, and physical disability. Reducing skeletal muscle fat and preserving lean tissue are associated with improved physical function in older adults. PPARγ-agonist treatment decreases abdominal visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and resistance training preserves lean tissue, but their effect on ectopic fat depots in nondiabetic overweight adults is unclear. We examined the influence of pioglitazone and resistance training on body composition in older (65–79 years) nondiabetic overweight/obese men (n = 48, BMI = 32.3 ± 3.8 kg/m2) and women (n = 40, BMI = 33.3 ± 4.9 kg/m2) during weight loss. All participants underwent a 16-week hypocaloric weight-loss program and were randomized to receive pioglitazone (30 mg/day) or no pioglitazone with or without resistance training, following a 2 × 2 factorial design. Regional body composition was measured at baseline and follow-up using computed tomography (CT). Lean mass was measured using dual X-ray absorptiometry. Men lost 6.6% and women lost 6.5% of initial body mass. The percent of fat loss varied across individual compartments. Men who were given pioglitazone lost more visceral abdominal fat than men who were not given pioglitazone (−1,160 vs. −647 cm3, P = 0.007). Women who were given pioglitazone lost less thigh subcutaneous fat (−104 vs. −298 cm3, P = 0.002). Pioglitazone did not affect any other outcomes. Resistance training diminished thigh muscle loss in men and women (resistance training vs. no resistance training men: −43 vs. −88 cm3, P = 0.005; women: −34 vs. −59 cm3, P = 0.04). In overweight/obese older men undergoing weight loss, pioglitazone increased visceral fat loss and resistance training reduced skeletal muscle loss. Additional studies are needed to clarify the observed gender differences and evaluate how these changes in body composition influence functional status.
doi:10.1038/oby.2010.327
PMCID: PMC3091968  PMID: 21233810
22.  CORRELATES OF CORONARY ARTERY CALCIFIED PLAQUE IN BLACKS AND WHITES WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES 
Annals of epidemiology  2011;21(1):34-41.
Purpose
To examine whether the relationship between cardiovascular disease risk factors and coronary artery calcification (CAC) is modified by race among those with diabetes.
Methods
Data were pooled data from three studies (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, Family Heart Study, Diabetes Heart Study) for a total of 835 blacks and 1122 whites with diabetes. CAC was quantified by cardiac computed tomography and risk factors were obtained using standard methods. Regression models examined the relationship between risk factors and presence and quantity of CAC.
Results
The average age of the cohort was 60 years; 57% were women. Presence of CAC was lower in blacks compared to whites (odds ratio = 0.22 for men, 0.57 for women, p<0.01). HbA1c, duration of diabetes, LDL, smoking, and BMI were independently associated with presence of CAC; HDL, triglycerides and CRP were not. Race did not modify these associations. Adjustment for multiple risk factors did not explain the race disparity in CAC.
Conclusions
CAC was reduced in blacks compared to whites in persons with diabetes. This effect was most pronounced in men. The relationship between risk factors and CAC did not differ between races. Racial differences in CAC are likely due to unmeasured risk factors and/or genetic susceptibility.
doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2010.10.007
PMCID: PMC3026318  PMID: 21130367
coronary artery disease; diabetes mellitus; epidemiology; African Americans; cohort studies
23.  Pericardial Fat and Myocardial Perfusion in Asymptomatic Adults from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28410.
Background
Pericardial fat has adverse effects on the surrounding vasculature. Previous studies suggest that pericardial fat may contribute to myocardial ischemia in symptomatic individuals. However, it is unknown if pericardial fat has similar effects in asymptomatic individuals.
Methods
We determined the association between pericardial fat and myocardial blood flow (MBF) in 214 adults with no prior history of cardiovascular disease from the Minnesota field center of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (43% female, 56% Caucasian, 44% Hispanic). Pericardial fat volume was measured by computed tomography. MBF was measured by MRI at rest and during adenosine-induced hyperemia. Myocardial perfusion reserve (PR) was calculated as the ratio of hyperemic to resting MBF.
Results
Gender-stratified analyses revealed significant differences between men and women including less pericardial fat (71.9±31.3 vs. 105.2±57.5 cm3, p<0.0001) and higher resting MBF (1.12±0.23 vs. 0.93±0.19 ml/min/g, p<0.0001), hyperemic MBF (3.49±0.76 vs. 2.65±0.72 ml/min/g, p<0.0001), and PR (3.19±0.78 vs. 2.93±0.89, p = 0.03) in women. Correlations between pericardial fat and clinical and hemodynamic variables were stronger in women. In women only (p = 0.01 for gender interaction) higher pericardial fat was associated with higher resting MBF (p = 0.008). However, this association was attenuated after accounting for body mass index or rate-pressure product. There were no significant associations between pericardial fat and hyperemic MBF or PR after multivariate adjustment in either gender. In logistic regression analyses there was also no association between impaired coronary vasoreactivity, defined as having a PR <2.5, and pericardial fat in men (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.82–1.70) or women (OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.68–1.82).
Conclusions
Our data fail to support an independent association between pericardial fat and myocardial perfusion in adults without symptomatic cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, these findings highlight potentially important differences between asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals with respect to the underlying subclinical disease burden.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028410
PMCID: PMC3235122  PMID: 22174800
24.  Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, Caffeine, and Tea Consumption in Young Adulthood and Atherosclerosis Later in Life: The CARDIA Study 
Objective
Determine the association of coffee, decaffeinated coffee, caffeine, and tea consumption in young adulthood with the presence and progression of coronary artery calcified (CAC) plaque and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) later in life.
Methods and Results
CARDIA is a cohort of 5115 white and black adults who were 18–30 years when they completed a baseline clinic examination in 1985–1986. Subsequent examinations were conducted 2, 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years later. After multivariable adjustment, no association was observed between average coffee, decaffeinated coffee, or caffeine consumption (years 0 and 7) and presence of CAC [score >0 Agatston units (AU) at year 15 or 20], CAC progression (incident CAC at year 20 or an increase in CAC score ≥20 AU), or high cIMT (>80th percentile, year 20). Tea consumption, however, displayed a non-significant trend for an inverse association with CAC (ptrend0.08) and an inverse association with CAC progression (ptrend0.04), but no association with high cIMT (ptrend>0.2). Stratification of the coffee analyses by sex, race, or smoking yielded similar non-significant patterns.
Conclusion
We observed no substantial association between coffee or caffeine intake and coronary and carotid atherosclerosis. However, our results suggested an inverse association between tea and CAC, but not carotid atherosclerosis.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.208280
PMCID: PMC2940975  PMID: 20616310
antioxidants; atherosclerosis; carotid arteries; diet; epidemiology; nutrition
25.  Calcium/Vitamin D Supplementation and Coronary Artery Calcification 
Menopause (New York, N.Y.)  2010;17(4):683-691.
Objectives
Coronary artery calcified plaque is a marker for atheromatous plaque burden and predicts future risk of cardiovascular events. The relationship between calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and coronary artery calcium (CAC) has not been previously assessed in a randomized trial setting. We compared coronary artery calcium scores among women randomized to calcium/vitamin D supplementation versus placebo following trial completion.
Methods
In an ancillary substudy of women randomized to calcium carbonate (1000 mg of elemental calcium daily) plus vitamin D3 (400 IU daily) versus placebo, nested within the Women’s Health Initiative trial of estrogen among women with hysterectomy, we measured CAC with cardiac computed tomography in 754 women aged 50–59 years at randomization. Imaging for CAC was performed at 28 of 40 centers following a mean of 7 years of treatment and scans were read centrally. Coronary artery calcium scores were measured by a central reading center with masking to randomization assignments.
Results
Post-trial CAC measurements were similar in women randomized to calcium/vitamin D supplementation (calcium/D) and those receiving placebo. The mean CAC score was 91.6 for calcium/D and 100.5 for placebo (rank test p-value=0.74). After adjustment for coronary risk factors, multivariate odds ratios for increasing CAC score cutpoints (CAC >0, ≥10, and ≥100) for calcium/D vs placebo were 0.92 (95% confidence interval, 0.64–1.34), 1.29 (0.88–1.87), and 0.90 (0.56–1.44), respectively. Corresponding odds ratios among women with >50% adherence to study pills and for higher levels of CAC (>300), were similar.
Conclusions
Treatment with moderate doses of calcium plus vitamin D3 did not appear to alter coronary artery calcified plaque burden among postmenopausal women.
doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e3181d683b5
PMCID: PMC2940244  PMID: 20551849
calcium; vitamin D; supplementation; coronary artery calcification; coronary heart disease; women’s health

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