Background The extent to which adult height, a biomarker of the interplay of genetic endowment and early-life experiences, is related to risk of chronic diseases in adulthood is uncertain.
Methods We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for height, assessed in increments of 6.5 cm, using individual–participant data on 174 374 deaths or major non-fatal vascular outcomes recorded among 1 085 949 people in 121 prospective studies.
Results For people born between 1900 and 1960, mean adult height increased 0.5–1 cm with each successive decade of birth. After adjustment for age, sex, smoking and year of birth, HRs per 6.5 cm greater height were 0.97 (95% confidence interval: 0.96–0.99) for death from any cause, 0.94 (0.93–0.96) for death from vascular causes, 1.04 (1.03–1.06) for death from cancer and 0.92 (0.90–0.94) for death from other causes. Height was negatively associated with death from coronary disease, stroke subtypes, heart failure, stomach and oral cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mental disorders, liver disease and external causes. In contrast, height was positively associated with death from ruptured aortic aneurysm, pulmonary embolism, melanoma and cancers of the pancreas, endocrine and nervous systems, ovary, breast, prostate, colorectum, blood and lung. HRs per 6.5 cm greater height ranged from 1.26 (1.12–1.42) for risk of melanoma death to 0.84 (0.80–0.89) for risk of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. HRs were not appreciably altered after further adjustment for adiposity, blood pressure, lipids, inflammation biomarkers, diabetes mellitus, alcohol consumption or socio-economic indicators.
Conclusion Adult height has directionally opposing relationships with risk of death from several different major causes of chronic diseases.
Height; cardiovascular disease; cancer; cause-specific mortality; epidemiological study; meta-analysis
Electronic linkage of UK cohorts to routinely collected National Health Service (NHS) records provides virtually complete follow-up for cause-specific hospital admissions and deaths. The reliability of dementia diagnoses recorded in NHS hospital data is not well documented.
For a sample of Million Women Study participants in England we compared dementia recorded in routinely collected NHS hospital data (Hospital Episode Statistics: HES) with dementia recorded in two separate sources of primary care information: a primary care database [Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), n = 340] and a survey of study participants’ General Practitioners (GPs, n = 244).
Dementia recorded in HES fully agreed both with CPRD and with GP survey data for 85% of women; it did not agree for 1 and 4%, respectively. Agreement was uncertain for the remaining 14 and 11%, respectively; and among those classified as having uncertain agreement in CPRD, non-specific terms compatible with dementia, such as ‘memory loss’, were recorded in the CPRD database for 79% of the women. Agreement was significantly better (p < 0.05 for all comparisons) for women with HES diagnoses for Alzheimer’s disease (95 and 94% agreement with any dementia for CPRD and GP survey, respectively) and for vascular dementia (88 and 88%, respectively) than for women with a record only of dementia not otherwise specified (70 and 72%, respectively). Dementia in the same woman was first mentioned an average 1.6 (SD 2.6) years earlier in primary care (CPRD) than in hospital (HES) data. Age-specific rates for dementia based on the hospital admission data were lower than the rates based on the primary care data, but were similar if the delay in recording in HES was taken into account.
Dementia recorded in routinely collected NHS hospital admission data for women in England agrees well with primary care records of dementia assessed separately from two different sources, and is sufficiently reliable for epidemiological research.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12982-016-0053-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Dementia; Hospital Episode Statistics; Clinical Practice Research Datalink; Electronic health record; Cohort studies
Diagnosis of dementia often requires specialist referral and detailed, time-consuming assessments.
To investigate the utility of simple clinical items that non-specialist clinicians could use, in addition to routine practice, to diagnose all-cause dementia syndrome.
Design and setting
Cross-sectional diagnostic test accuracy study. Participants were identified from the electoral roll and general practice lists in Caerphilly and adjoining villages in South Wales, UK.
Participants (1225 men aged 45–59 years) were screened for cognitive impairment using the Cambridge Cognitive Examination, CAMCOG, at phase 5 of the Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS). Index tests were a standardised clinical evaluation, neurological examination, and individual items on the Informant Questionnaire for Cognitive Disorders in the Elderly (IQCODE).
Two-hundred and five men who screened positive (68%) and 45 (4.8%) who screened negative were seen, with 59 diagnosed with dementia. The model comprising problems with personal finance and planning had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.92 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.86 to 0.97), positive likelihood ratio (LR+) of 23.7 (95% CI = 5.88 to 95.6), negative likelihood ratio (LR−) of 0.41 (95% CI = 0.27 to 0.62). The best single item for ruling out was no problems learning to use new gadgets (LR− of 0.22, 95% CI = 0.11 to 0.43).
This study found that three simple questions have high utility for diagnosing dementia in men who are cognitively screened. If confirmed, this could lead to less burdensome assessment where clinical assessment suggests possible dementia.
cohort studies; dementia; diagnostic tests; general practice; sensitivity and specificity
An association between blood markers of thrombosis and haemostasis and cognitive decline has been described. These results may be confounded by lifestyle and environmental factors. We used a Mendelian randomisation approach to describe the association between thrombosis/haemostasis genotypes and cognition. We studied the genetic variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms) of circulating markers of thrombosis and haemostasis. Our chosen blood factors and associated polymorphisms were D-dimer [rs12029080], fibrinogen [rs1800789], plasminogen activator inhibitor [rs2227631], and von Willebrand factor [rs1063857]. We described association with multidomain cognitive test scores using data from the Scottish Family Health Study. Cognitive data were analysed for individual tests and combined to give a general cognitive factor. In 20,288 subjects, we found no evidence of association between cognitive function (individual tests and combined scores) and any of the above-mentioned single nucleotide polymorphisms. Lower scores on cognitive measures were associated with increasing age, socioeconomic deprivation, blood pressure, waist-hip ratio, smoking, and vascular comorbidity (all p < 0.001). In a post hoc sensitivity analysis restricted to those aged over 50 years, there was still no signal of association. Our data add to our understanding of determinants of cognition but are not definitive; the variation in blood levels explained by SNPs was modest and our sample size may have been insufficient to detect a modest association.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-015-9820-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Cognition disorders; Dementia; Haemostasis; Genomics; Mendelian randomization analysis
Late–onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) is heritable with 20 genes showing genome wide association in the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP). To identify the biology underlying the disease we extended these genetic data in a pathway analysis.
The ALIGATOR and GSEA algorithms were used in the IGAP data to identify associated functional pathways and correlated gene expression networks in human brain.
ALIGATOR identified an excess of curated biological pathways showing enrichment of association. Enriched areas of biology included the immune response (p = 3.27×10-12 after multiple testing correction for pathways), regulation of endocytosis (p = 1.31×10-11), cholesterol transport (p = 2.96 × 10-9) and proteasome-ubiquitin activity (p = 1.34×10-6). Correlated gene expression analysis identified four significant network modules, all related to the immune response (corrected p 0.002 – 0.05).
The immune response, regulation of endocytosis, cholesterol transport and protein ubiquitination represent prime targets for AD therapeutics.
Alzheimer's disease; dementia; neurodegeneration; immune response; endocytosis; cholesterol metabolism; uniquitination; pathway analysis; ALIGATOR; Weighted gene coexpression network analysis
Parkinson’s disease is a complex heterogeneous disorder with urgent need for disease-modifying therapies. Progress in successful therapeutic approaches for PD will require an unprecedented level of collaboration. At a workshop hosted by Parkinson’s UK and co-organized by Critical Path Institute’s (C-Path) Coalition Against Major Diseases (CAMD) Consortiums, investigators from industry, academia, government and regulatory agencies agreed on the need for sharing of data to enable future success. Government agencies included EMA, FDA, NINDS/NIH and IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative). Emerging discoveries in new biomarkers and genetic endophenotypes are contributing to our understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of PD. In parallel there is growing recognition that early intervention will be key for successful treatments aimed at disease modification. At present, there is a lack of a comprehensive understanding of disease progression and the many factors that contribute to disease progression heterogeneity. Novel therapeutic targets and trial designs that incorporate existing and new biomarkers to evaluate drug effects independently and in combination are required. The integration of robust clinical data sets is viewed as a powerful approach to hasten medical discovery and therapies, as is being realized across diverse disease conditions employing big data analytics for healthcare. The application of lessons learned from parallel efforts is critical to identify barriers and enable a viable path forward. A roadmap is presented for a regulatory, academic, industry and advocacy driven integrated initiative that aims to facilitate and streamline new drug trials and registrations in Parkinson’s disease.
Data standards; privacy; data integration; collaboration; quantitative disease progression; regulatory science
Increasing evidence suggests epidemiological and pathological links between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and ischemic stroke (IS). We investigated the evidence that shared genetic factors underpin the two diseases.
Using genome‐wide association study (GWAS) data from METASTROKE + (15,916 IS cases and 68,826 controls) and the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP; 17,008 AD cases and 37,154 controls), we evaluated known associations with AD and IS. On the subset of data for which we could obtain compatible genotype‐level data (4,610 IS cases, 1,281 AD cases, and 14,320 controls), we estimated the genome‐wide genetic correlation (rG) between AD and IS, and the three subtypes (cardioembolic, small vessel, and large vessel), using genome‐wide single‐nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data. We then performed a meta‐analysis and pathway analysis in the combined AD and small vessel stroke data sets to identify the SNPs and molecular pathways through which disease risk may be conferred.
We found evidence of a shared genetic contribution between AD and small vessel stroke (rG [standard error] = 0.37 [0.17]; p = 0.011). Conversely, there was no evidence to support shared genetic factors in AD and IS overall or with the other stroke subtypes. Of the known GWAS associations with IS or AD, none reached significance for association with the other trait (or stroke subtypes). A meta‐analysis of AD IGAP and METASTROKE + small vessel stroke GWAS data highlighted a region (ATP5H/KCTD2/ICT1) associated with both diseases (p = 1.8 × 10−8). A pathway analysis identified four associated pathways involving cholesterol transport and immune response.
Our findings indicate shared genetic susceptibility to AD and small vessel stroke and highlight potential causal pathways and loci. Ann Neurol 2016;79:739–747
Several recessive Mendelian disorders are common in Europeans, including cystic fibrosis (CFTR), medium-chain-acyl-Co-A-dehydrogenase deficiency (ACADM), phenylketonuria (PAH) and alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency (SERPINA1).
In a multicohort study of >19 000 older individuals, we investigated the relevant phenotypes in heterozygotes for these genes: lung function (forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC)) for CFTR and SERPINA1; cognitive measures for ACADM and PAH; and physical capability for ACADM, PAH and SERPINA1.
Findings were mostly negative but lung function in SERPINA1 (protease inhibitor (PI) Z allele, rs28929474) showed enhanced FEV1 and FVC (0.13 z-score increase in FEV1 (p=1.7×10−5) and 0.16 z-score increase in FVC (p=5.2×10−8)) in PI-MZ individuals. Height adjustment (a known, strong correlate of FEV1 and FVC) revealed strong positive height associations of the Z allele (1.50 cm increase in height (p=3.6×10−10)).
The PI-MZ rare (2%) SNP effect is nearly four times greater than the ‘top’ common height SNP in HMGA2. However, height only partially attenuates the SERPINA1-FEV1 or FVC association (around 50%) and vice versa. Height SNP variants have recently been shown to be positively selected collectively in North versus South Europeans, while the Z allele high frequency is localised to North Europe. Although PI-ZZ is clinically disadvantageous to lung function, PI-MZ increases both height and respiratory function; potentially a balanced polymorphism. Partial blockade of PI could conceivably form part of a future poly-therapeutic approach in very short children. The notion that elastase inhibition should benefit patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may also merit re-evaluation. PI is already a therapeutic target: our findings invite a reconsideration of the optimum level in respiratory care and novel pathway potential for development of agents for the management of growth disorders.
Alpha 1-Antitrypsin; Mendelian carriers; height; ALSPAC; HALCion
The relationship between the duration of depressive symptoms and mortality remains poorly understood.
To examine whether the duration of depressive symptoms is associated with mortality risk.
Data (n = 9560) came from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). We assessed depressive symptom duration as the sum of examinations with an eight-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score of ⩾3; we ascertained mortality from linking our data to a national register.
Relative to those participants who never reported symptoms, the age- and gender-adjusted hazard ratios for elevated depressive symptoms over 1, 2, 3 and 4 examinations were 1.41 (95% CI 1.15–1.74), 1.80 (95% CI 1.44–2.26), 1.97 (95% CI 1.57–2.47) and 2.48 (95% CI 1.90–3.23), respectively (P for trend <0.001). This graded association can be explained largely by differences in physical activity, cognitive function, functional impairments and physical illness.
In this cohort of older adults, the duration of depressive symptoms was associated with mortality in a dose–response manner.
To examine a panel of 28 biomarkers for prediction of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and non-CVD mortality in a population-based cohort of men.
Starting in 1979, middle-aged men in Caerphilly underwent detailed medical examination. Subsequently 2171 men were re-examined during 1989–1993, and fasting blood samples obtained from 1911 men (88%). Fibrinogen, viscosity and white cell count (WCC), routine biochemistry tests and lipids were analysed using fresh samples. Stored aliquots were later analysed for novel biomarkers. Statistical analysis of CVD and non-CVD mortality follow-up used competing risk Cox regression models with biomarkers in thirds tested at the 1% significance level after covariate adjustment.
During an average of 15.4 years follow-up, troponin (subhazard ratio per third 1.71, 95% CI 1.46–1.99) and B-natriuretic peptide (BNP) (subhazard ratio per third 1.54, 95% CI 1.34–1.78) showed strong trends with CVD death but not with non-CVD death. WCC and fibrinogen showed similar weaker findings. Plasma viscosity, growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were associated positively with both CVD death and non-CVD death while total cholesterol was associated positively with CVD death but negatively with non-CVD death. C-reactive protein (C-RP), alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), retinol binding protein 4 (RBP-4) and vitamin B6 were significantly associated only with non-CVD death, the last two negatively. Troponin, BNP and IL-6 showed evidence of diminishing associations with CVD mortality through follow-up.
Biomarkers for cardiac necrosis were strong, specific predictors of CVD mortality while many inflammatory markers were equally predictive of non-CVD mortality.
Biomarkers; Cardiovascular mortality; Non-cardiovascular mortality; Epidemiology
Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is diagnosed by its distinct appearance. Parental diagnosis of MC may reduce anxiety and lead to reductions in healthcare consultations, and may be particularly useful in large-scale epidemiological studies. However, there are currently no published, validated tools allowing parental diagnosis of MC.
To develop and validate a tool for parental diagnosis of MC.
Design and setting
The Molluscum Contagiosum Diagnostic Tool for Parents (MCDTP) was developed and its diagnostic accuracy was compared with GP diagnosis in 12 GP surgeries in South Wales.
Following development, which involved three phases with dermatologists, nurses, GPs, and parents, parents completed the MCDTP (index test) in the practice waiting room, and rated their confidence in their diagnosis. A GP then examined their child for MC (reference test). Test characteristics were calculated for all responders and for those who expressed being confident or very confident in their diagnosis.
A total of 203 parents completed the MCDTP. The MCDTP showed a sensitivity of 91.5% (95% confidence intervals (CI) = 81.3 to 97.2) and a specificity of 88.2% (95% CI = 81.8 to 93.0) in all parents and a sensitivity of 95.8% (95% CI = 85.7 to 99.5) and a specificity of 90.9% (95% CI = 83.9 to 95.6) in parents who were confident or very confident in their diagnosis. The positive predictive value was 76.1% (95% CI = 64.5 to 85.4) and negative predictive value was 96.2% (95% CI = 91.4 to 98.8) for all parents.
The MCDTP performed well compared with GP diagnosis and is suitable for clinical use by parents and in population-based studies.
dermatology; diagnostic tool; epidemiology; general practice; molluscum contagiosum; paediatrics
The value of measuring levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) for the prediction of first cardiovascular events is uncertain.
To determine whether adding information on HbA1c values to conventional cardiovascular risk factors is associated with improvement in prediction of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Analysis of individual-participant data available from 73 prospective studies involving 294 998 participants without a known history of diabetes mellitus or CVD at the baseline assessment.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
Measures of risk discrimination for CVD outcomes (eg, C-index) and reclassification (eg, net reclassification improvement) of participants across predicted 10-year risk categories of low (<5%), intermediate (5%to <7.5%), and high (≥7.5%) risk.
During a median follow-up of 9.9 (interquartile range, 7.6-13.2) years, 20 840 incident fatal and nonfatal CVD outcomes (13 237 coronary heart disease and 7603 stroke outcomes) were recorded. In analyses adjusted for several conventional cardiovascular risk factors, there was an approximately J-shaped association between HbA1c values and CVD risk. The association between HbA1c values and CVD risk changed only slightly after adjustment for total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations or estimated glomerular filtration rate, but this association attenuated somewhat after adjustment for concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and C-reactive protein. The C-index for a CVD risk prediction model containing conventional cardiovascular risk factors alone was 0.7434 (95% CI, 0.7350 to 0.7517). The addition of information on HbA1c was associated with a C-index change of 0.0018 (0.0003 to 0.0033) and a net reclassification improvement of 0.42 (−0.63 to 1.48) for the categories of predicted 10-year CVD risk. The improvement provided by HbA1c assessment in prediction of CVD risk was equal to or better than estimated improvements for measurement of fasting, random, or postload plasma glucose levels.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
In a study of individuals without known CVD or diabetes, additional assessment of HbA1c values in the context of CVD risk assessment provided little incremental benefit for prediction of CVD risk.
Cathie Sudlow and colleagues describe the UK Biobank, a large population-based prospective study, established to allow investigation of the genetic and non-genetic determinants of the diseases of middle and old age.
Statins increase the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus. We aimed to assess whether this increase in risk is a consequence of inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR), the intended drug target.
We used single nucleotide polymorphisms in the HMGCR gene, rs17238484 (for the main analysis) and rs12916 (for a subsidiary analysis) as proxies for HMGCR inhibition by statins. We examined associations of these variants with plasma lipid, glucose, and insulin concentrations; bodyweight; waist circumference; and prevalent and incident type 2 diabetes. Study-specific effect estimates per copy of each LDL-lowering allele were pooled by meta-analysis. These findings were compared with a meta-analysis of new-onset type 2 diabetes and bodyweight change data from randomised trials of statin drugs. The effects of statins in each randomised trial were assessed using meta-analysis.
Data were available for up to 223 463 individuals from 43 genetic studies. Each additional rs17238484-G allele was associated with a mean 0·06 mmol/L (95% CI 0·05–0·07) lower LDL cholesterol and higher body weight (0·30 kg, 0·18–0·43), waist circumference (0·32 cm, 0·16–0·47), plasma insulin concentration (1·62%, 0·53–2·72), and plasma glucose concentration (0·23%, 0·02–0·44). The rs12916 SNP had similar effects on LDL cholesterol, bodyweight, and waist circumference. The rs17238484-G allele seemed to be associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes (odds ratio [OR] per allele 1·02, 95% CI 1·00–1·05); the rs12916-T allele association was consistent (1·06, 1·03–1·09). In 129 170 individuals in randomised trials, statins lowered LDL cholesterol by 0·92 mmol/L (95% CI 0·18–1·67) at 1-year of follow-up, increased bodyweight by 0·24 kg (95% CI 0·10–0·38 in all trials; 0·33 kg, 95% CI 0·24–0·42 in placebo or standard care controlled trials and −0·15 kg, 95% CI −0·39 to 0·08 in intensive-dose vs moderate-dose trials) at a mean of 4·2 years (range 1·9–6·7) of follow-up, and increased the odds of new-onset type 2 diabetes (OR 1·12, 95% CI 1·06–1·18 in all trials; 1·11, 95% CI 1·03–1·20 in placebo or standard care controlled trials and 1·12, 95% CI 1·04–1·22 in intensive-dose vs moderate dose trials).
The increased risk of type 2 diabetes noted with statins is at least partially explained by HMGCR inhibition.
The funding sources are cited at the end of the paper.
Background. Haptoglobin acts as an antioxidant by limiting peroxidative tissue damage by free hemoglobin. The haptoglobin gene allele Hp2 comprises a 1.7 kb partial duplication. Relative to allele Hp1, Hp2 carriers form protein multimers, suboptimal for hemoglobin scavenging. Objective. To examine the association of haptoglobin genotype with a range of phenotypes, with emphasis on vitamin C and hemoglobin levels. Methods. We applied a quantitative PCR assay for the duplication junction to two population cohorts including 2747 British women and 1198 British men. We examined the association of haptoglobin duplicon copy number with hemoglobin and vitamin C and used the copy number to complete a phenome scan. Results. Hemoglobin concentrations were greater in those with Hp2,2 genotype, in women only (Hp1,1 13.45 g/dL, Hp1,2 13.49 g/dL, Hp2,2 13.61 g/dL; P = 0.002), though statistically there was no evidence of a difference between the sexes (z value = 1.2, P = 0.24). Haptoglobin genotype was not associated with vitamin C or any other phenotype in either cohort. Conclusions. Our results do not support association of haptoglobin genotype with vitamin C or with other phenotypes measured in two population cohorts. The apparent association between haptoglobin genotype and hemoglobin in the women's cohort merits further investigation.
Objective measures of physical capability are being used in a growing number of studies as biomarkers of healthy ageing. However, very little research has been done to assess the impact of physical capability on subsequent positive mental wellbeing, the maintenance of which is widely considered to be an essential component of healthy ageing. We aimed to test the associations of grip strength and walking, timed get up and go and chair rise speeds (assessed at ages 53 to 82 years) with positive mental wellbeing assessed using the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) five to ten years later. Data were drawn from five British cohorts participating in the HALCyon research collaboration. Data from each study were analysed separately and then combined using random-effects meta-analyses. Higher levels of physical capability were consistently associated with higher subsequent levels of wellbeing; for example, a 1SD increase in grip strength was associated with an age and sex-adjusted mean difference in WEMWBS score of 0.81 (0.25, 1.37), equivalent to 10% of a standard deviation (3 studies, N=3,096). When adjusted for body size, health status, living alone, socioeconomic position and neuroticism the associations remained albeit attenuated. The finding of these consistent modest associations across five studies, spanning early and later old age, highlights the importance of maintaining physical capability in later life and provides additional justification for using objective measures of physical capability as markers of healthy ageing.
physical capability; positive mental wellbeing; grip strength; walking speed; chair rise time
Alzheimer's disease is a common debilitating dementia with known heritability, for which 20 late onset susceptibility loci have been identified, but more remain to be discovered. This study sought to identify new susceptibility genes, using an alternative gene-wide analytical approach which tests for patterns of association within genes, in the powerful genome-wide association dataset of the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project Consortium, comprising over 7 m genotypes from 25,580 Alzheimer's cases and 48,466 controls.
In addition to earlier reported genes, we detected genome-wide significant loci on chromosomes 8 (TP53INP1, p = 1.4×10−6) and 14 (IGHV1-67 p = 7.9×10−8) which indexed novel susceptibility loci.
The additional genes identified in this study, have an array of functions previously implicated in Alzheimer's disease, including aspects of energy metabolism, protein degradation and the immune system and add further weight to these pathways as potential therapeutic targets in Alzheimer's disease.
Eleven susceptibility loci for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) were identified by previous studies; however, a large portion of the genetic risk for this disease remains unexplained. We conducted a large, two-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in individuals of European ancestry. In stage 1, we used genotyped and imputed data (7,055,881 SNPs) to perform meta-analysis on 4 previously published GWAS data sets consisting of 17,008 Alzheimer’s disease cases and 37,154 controls. In stage 2,11,632 SNPs were genotyped and tested for association in an independent set of 8,572 Alzheimer’s disease cases and 11,312 controls. In addition to the APOE locus (encoding apolipoprotein E), 19 loci reached genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) in the combined stage 1 and stage 2 analysis, of which 11 are newly associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Insulin-like growth factors are peptide hormones that have an endocrine role in the development, growth and repair of human tissues including the respiratory tract. To date, only one population study exists which found positive cross-sectional associations with IGF-I and higher lung volumes. We hypothesised that higher IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-3 and IGF molar ratio would be associated with better cross-sectional and longitudinal lung function. We examined cross-sectional (n=843) and prospective associations (n=717) between IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-3 and IGF molar ratio with lung function in the Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS) from blood samples obtained around 1986, with spirometry (forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC)) performed in the same year and around 2003. Higher IGF molar ratio was associated with improved FEV1/FEV ratio cross-sectionally in both simple (0.007, 95% CI 0.001-0.013, P=0.02) and fully adjusted (0.001, 95% CI 0.001-0.012, P=0.03) models. With the exception of IGFBP-3 and FEV1/FVC in the simple model (0.009, 95% CI 0.001-0.018, P=0.04) all prospective associations between IGF and spirometric measures were consistent with chance. In this study of men, higher IGF molar ratio was associated with improved cross-sectional lung function, although these findings were not replicated prospectively. Further work is required with repeat IGF sampling during follow up to see if IGF levels play any role in predicting future lung function through the life course.
Insulin-like growth factors; cohort study; spirometry; lung function
Previous studies on the association between adiposity and mood disorder have produced contradictory results, and few have used measurements other than body mass index (BMI). We examined the association between probable major depression and several measurements of adiposity: BMI, waist circumference (WC), waist-hip-ratio (WHR), and body fat percentage (BF%).
We conducted a cross-sectional study using baseline data on the sub-group of UK Biobank participants who were assessed for mood disorder. Multivariate logistic regression models were used, adjusting for potential confounders including: demographic and life-style factors, comorbidity and psychotropic medication.
Of the 140,564 eligible participants, evidence of probable major depression was reported by 30,145 (21.5%). The fully adjusted odds ratios (OR) for obese participants were 1.16 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12, 1.20) using BMI, 1.15 (95% CI 1.11, 1.19) using WC, 1.09 (95% CI 1.05, 1.13) using WHR and 1.18 (95% CI 1.12, 1.25) using BF% (all p < 0.001). There was a significant interaction between adiposity and gender (p = 0.001). Overweight women were at increased risk of depression with a dose response relationship across the overweight (25.0-29.9 kg/m2), obese I (30.0-34.9 kg/m2), II (35.0-39.9 kg/m2) and III (≥40.0 kg/m2) categories; fully adjusted ORs 1.14, 1.20, 1.29 and 1.48, respectively (all p < 0.001). In contrast, only obese III men had significantly increased risk of depression (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.08, 1.54, p = 0.006).
Adiposity was associated with probable major depression, irrespective of the measurement used. The association was stronger in women than men. Physicians managing overweight and obese women should be alert to this increased risk.
Adiposity; Obesity; Depression; Mental health; Mood disorder; UK Biobank
The built environment in which older people live plays an important role in promoting or inhibiting physical activity. Most work on this complex relationship between physical activity and the environment has excluded people with reduced physical function or ignored the difference between groups with different levels of physical function. This study aims to explore the role of neighbourhood green space in determining levels of participation in physical activity among elderly men with different levels of lower extremity physical function.
Using data collected from the Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS) and green space data collected from high resolution Landmap true colour aerial photography, we first investigated the effect of the quantity of neighbourhood green space and the variation in neighbourhood vegetation on participation in physical activity for 1,010 men aged 66 and over in Caerphilly county borough, Wales, UK. Second, we explored whether neighbourhood green space affects groups with different levels of lower extremity physical function in different ways.
Increasing percentage of green space within a 400 meters radius buffer around the home was significantly associated with more participation in physical activity after adjusting for lower extremity physical function, psychological distress, general health, car ownership, age group, marital status, social class, education level and other environmental factors (OR = 1.21, 95% CI 1.05, 1.41). A statistically significant interaction between the variation in neighbourhood vegetation and lower extremity physical function was observed (OR = 1.92, 95% CI 1.12, 3.28).
Elderly men living in neighbourhoods with more green space have higher levels of participation in regular physical activity. The association between variation in neighbourhood vegetation and regular physical activity varied according to lower extremity physical function. Subjects reporting poor lower extremity physical function living in neighbourhoods with more homogeneous vegetation (i.e. low variation) were more likely to participate in regular physical activity than those living in neighbourhoods with less homogeneous vegetation (i.e. high variation). Good lower extremity physical function reduced the adverse effect of high variation vegetation on participation in regular physical activity. This provides a basis for the future development of novel interventions that aim to increase levels of physical activity in later life, and has implications for planning policy to design, preserve, facilitate and encourage the use of green space near home.
Green space; Lower extremity physical function; Physical activity; Elderly men
Individual participant time-to-event data from multiple prospective epidemiologic studies enable detailed investigation into the predictive ability of risk models. Here we address the challenges in appropriately combining such information across studies. Methods are exemplified by analyses of log C-reactive protein and conventional risk factors for coronary heart disease in the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, a collation of individual data from multiple prospective studies with an average follow-up duration of 9.8 years (dates varied). We derive risk prediction models using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis stratified by study and obtain estimates of risk discrimination, Harrell's concordance index, and Royston's discrimination measure within each study; we then combine the estimates across studies using a weighted meta-analysis. Various weighting approaches are compared and lead us to recommend using the number of events in each study. We also discuss the calculation of measures of reclassification for multiple studies. We further show that comparison of differences in predictive ability across subgroups should be based only on within-study information and that combining measures of risk discrimination from case-control studies and prospective studies is problematic. The concordance index and discrimination measure gave qualitatively similar results throughout. While the concordance index was very heterogeneous between studies, principally because of differing age ranges, the increments in the concordance index from adding log C-reactive protein to conventional risk factors were more homogeneous.
C index; coronary heart disease; D measure; individual participant data; inverse variance; meta-analysis; risk prediction; weighting
Healthy lifestyles based on non-smoking, an acceptable BMI, a high fruit and vegetable intake, regular physical activity, and low/moderate alcohol intake, are associated with reductions in the incidence of certain chronic diseases, but to date there is limited evidence on cognitive function and dementia.
In 1979 healthy behaviours were recorded on 2,235 men aged 45–59 years in Caerphilly, UK. During the following 30 years incident diabetes, vascular disease, cancer and death were recorded, and in 2004 cognitive state was determined.
Men who followed four or five of the behaviours had an odds ratio (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) for diabetes, corrected for age and social class, of 0.50 (95% CI: 0.19, 1.31; P for trend with increasing numbers of healthy behaviours <0.0005). For vascular disease the OR was 0.50 (95% CI: 0.30, 0.84; P for trend <0.0005), and there was a delay in vascular disease events of up to 12 years. Cancer incidence was not significantly related to lifestyle although there was a reduction associated with non-smoking (OR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.54, 0.79). All-cause mortality was reduced in men following four or five behaviours (OR 0.40; 95% CI: 0.24, 0.67; P for trend <0.005).
After further adjustment for NART, the OR for men following four or five healthy behaviours was 0.36 (95% CI: 0.12, 1.09; P for trend <0.001) for cognitive impairment, and 0.36 (95% CI: 0.07, 1.99; P for trend <0.02) for dementia.
The adoption of a healthy lifestyle by men was low and appears not to have changed during the subsequent 30 years, with under 1% of men following all five of the behaviours and 5% reporting four or more in 1979 and in 2009.
A healthy lifestyle is associated with increased disease-free survival and reduced cognitive impairment but the uptake remains low.