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1.  Large Multiethnic Candidate Gene Study for C-Reactive Protein Levels: Identification of a Novel Association at CD36 in African Americans 
Human genetics  2014;133(8):985-995.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a heritable biomarker of systemic inflammation and a predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Large-scale genetic association studies for CRP have largely focused on individuals of European descent. We sought to uncover novel genetic variants for CRP in a multi-ethnic sample using the ITMAT Broad-CARe (IBC) array, a custom 50,000 SNP gene-centric array having dense coverage of over 2,000 candidate CVD genes. We performed analyses on 7570 African Americans (AA) from the Candidate gene Association Resource (CARe) study and race-combined meta-analyses that included 29,939 additional individuals of European descent from CARe, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and KORA studies. We observed array-wide significance (p<2.2×10−6) for four loci in AA, three of which have been reported previously in individuals of European descent (IL6R, p=2.0×10−6; CRP, p=4.2×10−71; APOE, p=1.6×10−6). The fourth significant locus, CD36 (p=1.6×10−6), was observed at a functional variant (rs3211938) that is extremely rare in individuals of European descent. We replicated the CD36 finding (p=1.8×10−5) in an independent sample of 8041 AA women from WHI; a meta-analysis combining the CARe and WHI AA results at rs3211938 reached genome-wide significance (p=1.5×10−10). In the race-combined meta-analyses, 13 loci reached significance, including ten (CRP, TOMM40/APOE/APOC1, HNF1A, LEPR, GCKR, IL6R, IL1RN, NLRP3, HNF4A and BAZ1B/BCL7B) previously associated with CRP, and one (ARNTL) previously reported to be nominally associated with CRP. Two novel loci were also detected (RPS6KB1, p=2.0×10−6; CD36, p=1.4×10−6). These results highlight both shared and unique genetic risk factors for CRP in AA compared to populations of European descent.
doi:10.1007/s00439-014-1439-z
PMCID: PMC4104766  PMID: 24643644
C-reactive protein; Inflammation; Multi-ethnic; Candidate gene
2.  Correlation of concentrations of high-sensitivity troponin T and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein with plaque progression as measured by CT coronary angiography 
Background
Elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers are associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Objective
We sought to determine whether elevated concentrations of high-sensitivity troponin T (hs-TnT) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) predict progression of coronary artery disease (CAD) as determined by coronary CT angiography (coronary CTA).
Methods
Patients presenting to the emergency department with acute chest pain who initially showed no evidence of an acute coronary syndrome underwent baseline and follow-up coronary CTA (median follow-up, 23.9 months) using identical acquisition and reconstruction parameters. Coronary CTA data of each major coronary artery were co-registered. Cross-sections were assessed for the presence of calcified and noncalcified plaques. Progression of atherosclerotic plaque and change of plaque composition from noncalcified to calcified plaque was evaluated and correlated to levels of hs-TnT and hs-CRP at the time of the baseline CT.
Results
Fifty-four patients (mean age, 54.1 years; 59% male) were included, and 6775 cross-sections were compared. CAD was detected in 12.2 ± 21.2 cross-sections per patient at baseline. Prevalence of calcified plaque increased by 1.5 ± 2.4 slices per patient (P < .0001) over the follow-up period. On average, 1.6 ± 3.6 slices with new noncalcified plaque were found per patient (P < .0001) and 0.7 ± 1.7 slices with pre-existing noncalcified plaque had progressed to calcified plaque (P < .0001). After multivariate adjustment, change of overall CAD burden was predicted by baseline hs-TnT and hs-CRP (r = 0.29; P = .039 and r = 0.40; P = .004). Change of plaque composition was associated with baseline hs-TnT (r = 0.29; P = .03).
Conclusion
Concentrations of hs-TnT and hs-CRP are weakly associated with a significant increase in CAD burden and change in plaque composition over 24 months independent of baseline risk factors.
doi:10.1016/j.jcct.2014.09.005
PMCID: PMC4487607  PMID: 25467832
Coronary artery disease; Coronary atherosclerotic plaque; Plaque progression; Cardiac biomarker; Coronary CT angiography
3.  Air Pollution and Atherosclerosis: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Four European Cohort Studies in the ESCAPE Study 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2015;123(6):597-605.
Background:
In four European cohorts, we investigated the cross-sectional association between long-term exposure to air pollution and intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery (CIMT), a preclinical marker of atherosclerosis.
Methods:
Individually assigned levels of nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5), absorbance of PM2.5 (PM2.5abs), PM10, PMcoarse, and two indicators of residential proximity to highly trafficked roads were obtained under a standard exposure protocol (European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects—ESCAPE study) in the Stockholm area (Sweden), the Ausburg and Ruhr area (Germany), and the Girona area (Spain). We used linear regression and meta-analyses to examine the association between long-term exposure to air pollution and CIMT.
Results:
The meta-analysis with 9,183 individuals resulted in an estimated increase in CIMT (geometric mean) of 0.72% (95% CI: –0.65%, 2.10%) per 5-μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 and 0.42% (95% CI: –0.46%, 1.30%) per 10–5/m increase in PM2.5abs. Living in proximity to high traffic was also positively but not significantly associated with CIMT. Meta-analytic estimates for other pollutants were inconsistent. Results were similar across different adjustment sets and sensitivity analyses. In an extended meta-analysis for PM2.5 with three other previously published studies, a 0.78% (95% CI: –0.18%, 1.75%) increase in CIMT was estimated for a 5-μg/m3 contrast in PM2.5.
Conclusions:
Using a standardized exposure and analytical protocol in four European cohorts, we found that cross-sectional associations between CIMT and the eight ESCAPE markers of long-term residential air pollution exposure did not reach statistical significance. The additional meta-analysis of CIMT and PM2.5 across all published studies also was positive but not significant.
Citation:
Perez L, Wolf K, Hennig F, Penell J, Basagaña X, Foraster M, Aguilera I, Agis D, Beelen R, Brunekreef B, Cyrys J, Fuks KB, Adam M, Baldassarre D, Cirach M, Elosua R, Dratva J, Hampel R, Koenig W, Marrugat J, de Faire U, Pershagen G, Probst-Hensch NM, de Nazelle A, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Rathmann W, Rivera M, Seissler J, Schindler C, Thiery J, Hoffmann B, Peters A, Künzli N. 2015. Air pollution and atherosclerosis: a cross-sectional analysis of four European cohort studies in the ESCAPE Study. Environ Health Perspect 123:597–605; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307711
doi:10.1289/ehp.1307711
PMCID: PMC4455580  PMID: 25625785
4.  Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology 
Locke, Adam E. | Kahali, Bratati | Berndt, Sonja I. | Justice, Anne E. | Pers, Tune H. | Day, Felix R. | Powell, Corey | Vedantam, Sailaja | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Yang, Jian | Croteau-Chonka, Damien C. | Esko, Tonu | Fall, Tove | Ferreira, Teresa | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kutalik, Zoltán | Luan, Jian’an | Mägi, Reedik | Randall, Joshua C. | Winkler, Thomas W. | Wood, Andrew R. | Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie | Faul, Jessica D. | Smith, Jennifer A. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Zhao, Wei | Chen, Jin | Fehrmann, Rudolf | Hedman, Åsa K. | Karjalainen, Juha | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Absher, Devin | Amin, Najaf | Anderson, Denise | Beekman, Marian | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Buyske, Steven | Demirkan, Ayse | Deng, Guohong | Ehret, Georg B. | Feenstra, Bjarke | Feitosa, Mary F. | Fischer, Krista | Goel, Anuj | Gong, Jian | Jackson, Anne U. | Kanoni, Stavroula | Kleber, Marcus E. | Kristiansson, Kati | Lim, Unhee | Lotay, Vaneet | Mangino, Massimo | Leach, Irene Mateo | Medina-Gomez, Carolina | Medland, Sarah E. | Nalls, Michael A. | Palmer, Cameron D. | Pasko, Dorota | Pechlivanis, Sonali | Peters, Marjolein J. | Prokopenko, Inga | Shungin, Dmitry | Stančáková, Alena | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Sung, Yun Ju | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teumer, Alexander | Trompet, Stella | van der Laan, Sander W. | van Setten, Jessica | Van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V. | Wang, Zhaoming | Yengo, Loïc | Zhang, Weihua | Isaacs, Aaron | Albrecht, Eva | Ärnlöv, Johan | Arscott, Gillian M. | Attwood, Antony P. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Barrett, Amy | Bas, Isabelita N. | Bellis, Claire | Bennett, Amanda J. | Berne, Christian | Blagieva, Roza | Blüher, Matthias | Böhringer, Stefan | Bonnycastle, Lori L. | Böttcher, Yvonne | Boyd, Heather A. | Bruinenberg, Marcel | Caspersen, Ida H. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Clarke, Robert | Daw, E. Warwick | de Craen, Anton J. M. | Delgado, Graciela | Dimitriou, Maria | Doney, Alex S. F. | Eklund, Niina | Estrada, Karol | Eury, Elodie | Folkersen, Lasse | Fraser, Ross M. | Garcia, Melissa E. | Geller, Frank | Giedraitis, Vilmantas | Gigante, Bruna | Go, Alan S. | Golay, Alain | Goodall, Alison H. | Gordon, Scott D. | Gorski, Mathias | Grabe, Hans-Jörgen | Grallert, Harald | Grammer, Tanja B. | Gräßler, Jürgen | Grönberg, Henrik | Groves, Christopher J. | Gusto, Gaëlle | Haessler, Jeffrey | Hall, Per | Haller, Toomas | Hallmans, Goran | Hartman, Catharina A. | Hassinen, Maija | Hayward, Caroline | Heard-Costa, Nancy L. | Helmer, Quinta | Hengstenberg, Christian | Holmen, Oddgeir | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | James, Alan L. | Jeff, Janina M. | Johansson, Åsa | Jolley, Jennifer | Juliusdottir, Thorhildur | Kinnunen, Leena | Koenig, Wolfgang | Koskenvuo, Markku | Kratzer, Wolfgang | Laitinen, Jaana | Lamina, Claudia | Leander, Karin | Lee, Nanette R. | Lichtner, Peter | Lind, Lars | Lindström, Jaana | Lo, Ken Sin | Lobbens, Stéphane | Lorbeer, Roberto | Lu, Yingchang | Mach, François | Magnusson, Patrik K. E. | Mahajan, Anubha | McArdle, Wendy L. | McLachlan, Stela | Menni, Cristina | Merger, Sigrun | Mihailov, Evelin | Milani, Lili | Moayyeri, Alireza | Monda, Keri L. | Morken, Mario A. | Mulas, Antonella | Müller, Gabriele | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Musk, Arthur W. | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Nöthen, Markus M. | Nolte, Ilja M. | Pilz, Stefan | Rayner, Nigel W. | Renstrom, Frida | Rettig, Rainer | Ried, Janina S. | Ripke, Stephan | Robertson, Neil R. | Rose, Lynda M. | Sanna, Serena | Scharnagl, Hubert | Scholtens, Salome | Schumacher, Fredrick R. | Scott, William R. | Seufferlein, Thomas | Shi, Jianxin | Smith, Albert Vernon | Smolonska, Joanna | Stanton, Alice V. | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Stirrups, Kathleen | Stringham, Heather M. | Sundström, Johan | Swertz, Morris A. | Swift, Amy J. | Syvänen, Ann-Christine | Tan, Sian-Tsung | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Thorand, Barbara | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Tyrer, Jonathan P. | Uh, Hae-Won | Vandenput, Liesbeth | Verhulst, Frank C. | Vermeulen, Sita H. | Verweij, Niek | Vonk, Judith M. | Waite, Lindsay L. | Warren, Helen R. | Waterworth, Dawn | Weedon, Michael N. | Wilkens, Lynne R. | Willenborg, Christina | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wojczynski, Mary K. | Wong, Andrew | Wright, Alan F. | Zhang, Qunyuan | Brennan, Eoin P. | Choi, Murim | Dastani, Zari | Drong, Alexander W. | Eriksson, Per | Franco-Cereceda, Anders | Gådin, Jesper R. | Gharavi, Ali G. | Goddard, Michael E. | Handsaker, Robert E. | Huang, Jinyan | Karpe, Fredrik | Kathiresan, Sekar | Keildson, Sarah | Kiryluk, Krzysztof | Kubo, Michiaki | Lee, Jong-Young | Liang, Liming | Lifton, Richard P. | Ma, Baoshan | McCarroll, Steven A. | McKnight, Amy J. | Min, Josine L. | Moffatt, Miriam F. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Murabito, Joanne M. | Nicholson, George | Nyholt, Dale R. | Okada, Yukinori | Perry, John R. B. | Dorajoo, Rajkumar | Reinmaa, Eva | Salem, Rany M. | Sandholm, Niina | Scott, Robert A. | Stolk, Lisette | Takahashi, Atsushi | Tanaka, Toshihiro | van ’t Hooft, Ferdinand M. | Vinkhuyzen, Anna A. E. | Westra, Harm-Jan | Zheng, Wei | Zondervan, Krina T. | Heath, Andrew C. | Arveiler, Dominique | Bakker, Stephan J. L. | Beilby, John | Bergman, Richard N. | Blangero, John | Bovet, Pascal | Campbell, Harry | Caulfield, Mark J. | Cesana, Giancarlo | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chasman, Daniel I. | Chines, Peter S. | Collins, Francis S. | Crawford, Dana C. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Cusi, Daniele | Danesh, John | de Faire, Ulf | den Ruijter, Hester M. | Dominiczak, Anna F. | Erbel, Raimund | Erdmann, Jeanette | Eriksson, Johan G. | Farrall, Martin | Felix, Stephan B. | Ferrannini, Ele | Ferrières, Jean | Ford, Ian | Forouhi, Nita G. | Forrester, Terrence | Franco, Oscar H. | Gansevoort, Ron T. | Gejman, Pablo V. | Gieger, Christian | Gottesman, Omri | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hall, Alistair S. | Harris, Tamara B. | Hattersley, Andrew T. | Hicks, Andrew A. | Hindorff, Lucia A. | Hingorani, Aroon D. | Hofman, Albert | Homuth, Georg | Hovingh, G. Kees | Humphries, Steve E. | Hunt, Steven C. | Hyppönen, Elina | Illig, Thomas | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jöckel, Karl-Heinz | Johansen, Berit | Jousilahti, Pekka | Jukema, J. Wouter | Jula, Antti M. | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kastelein, John J. P. | Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka M. | Kiemeney, Lambertus A. | Knekt, Paul | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Kooperberg, Charles | Kovacs, Peter | Kraja, Aldi T. | Kumari, Meena | Kuusisto, Johanna | Lakka, Timo A. | Langenberg, Claudia | Marchand, Loic Le | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lyssenko, Valeriya | Männistö, Satu | Marette, André | Matise, Tara C. | McKenzie, Colin A. | McKnight, Barbara | Moll, Frans L. | Morris, Andrew D. | Morris, Andrew P. | Murray, Jeffrey C. | Nelis, Mari | Ohlsson, Claes | Oldehinkel, Albertine J. | Ong, Ken K. | Madden, Pamela A. F. | Pasterkamp, Gerard | Peden, John F. | Peters, Annette | Postma, Dirkje S. | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Price, Jackie F. | Qi, Lu | Raitakari, Olli T. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Rao, D. C. | Rice, Treva K. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rioux, John D. | Ritchie, Marylyn D. | Rudan, Igor | Salomaa, Veikko | Samani, Nilesh J. | Saramies, Jouko | Sarzynski, Mark A. | Schunkert, Heribert | Schwarz, Peter E. H. | Sever, Peter | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Sinisalo, Juha | Stolk, Ronald P. | Strauch, Konstantin | Tönjes, Anke | Trégouët, David-Alexandre | Tremblay, Angelo | Tremoli, Elena | Virtamo, Jarmo | Vohl, Marie-Claude | Völker, Uwe | Waeber, Gérard | Willemsen, Gonneke | Witteman, Jacqueline C. | Zillikens, M. Carola | Adair, Linda S. | Amouyel, Philippe | Asselbergs, Folkert W. | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Bouchard, Claude | Cauchi, Stéphane | Chambers, John C. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Cooper, Richard S. | de Bakker, Paul I. W. | Dedoussis, George | Ferrucci, Luigi | Franks, Paul W. | Froguel, Philippe | Groop, Leif C. | Haiman, Christopher A. | Hamsten, Anders | Hui, Jennie | Hunter, David J. | Hveem, Kristian | Kaplan, Robert C. | Kivimaki, Mika | Kuh, Diana | Laakso, Markku | Liu, Yongmei | Martin, Nicholas G. | März, Winfried | Melbye, Mads | Metspalu, Andres | Moebus, Susanne | Munroe, Patricia B. | Njølstad, Inger | Oostra, Ben A. | Palmer, Colin N. A. | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Perola, Markus | Pérusse, Louis | Peters, Ulrike | Power, Chris | Quertermous, Thomas | Rauramaa, Rainer | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Saaristo, Timo E. | Saleheen, Danish | Sattar, Naveed | Schadt, Eric E. | Schlessinger, David | Slagboom, P. Eline | Snieder, Harold | Spector, Tim D. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Stumvoll, Michael | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uitterlinden, André G. | Uusitupa, Matti | van der Harst, Pim | Walker, Mark | Wallaschofski, Henri | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Watkins, Hugh | Weir, David R. | Wichmann, H-Erich | Wilson, James F. | Zanen, Pieter | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Deloukas, Panos | Fox, Caroline S. | Heid, Iris M. | O’Connell, Jeffrey R. | Strachan, David P. | Stefansson, Kari | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Abecasis, Gonçalo R. | Franke, Lude | Frayling, Timothy M. | McCarthy, Mark I. | Visscher, Peter M. | Scherag, André | Willer, Cristen J. | Boehnke, Michael | Mohlke, Karen L. | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Barroso, Inês | North, Kari E. | Ingelsson, Erik | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Loos, Ruth J. F. | Speliotes, Elizabeth K.
Nature  2015;518(7538):197-206.
Obesity is heritable and predisposes to many diseases. To understand the genetic basis of obesity better, here we conduct a genome-wide association study and Metabochip meta-analysis of body mass index (BMI), a measure commonly used to define obesity and assess adiposity, in up to 339,224 individuals. This analysis identifies 97 BMI-associated loci (P < 5 × 10−8), 56 of which are novel. Five loci demonstrate clear evidence of several independent association signals, and many loci have significant effects on other metabolic phenotypes. The 97 loci account for ~2.7% of BMI variation, and genome-wide estimates suggest that common variation accounts for >20% of BMI variation. Pathway analyses provide strong support for a role of the central nervous system in obesity susceptibility and implicate new genes and pathways, including those related to synaptic function, glutamate signalling, insulin secretion/action, energy metabolism, lipid biology and adipogenesis.
doi:10.1038/nature14177
PMCID: PMC4382211  PMID: 25673413
5.  Presence of Fatty Liver and the Relationship between Alcohol Consumption and Markers of Inflammation 
Mediators of Inflammation  2015;2015:278785.
Background and Aims. Local and systemic inflammation represent a major feature of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) and are also linked to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Studies indicate that NAFLD might be a risk factor for CVD whereas low-to-moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower cardiovascular morbidity and mortality compared to abstainers and heavy drinkers. We hypothesize that FLD interacts with the effect of alcohol intake on markers of inflammation, and thus potentially on cardiovascular risk. Methods and Results. We evaluated alcohol consumption, markers of inflammation and sonographic criteria of FLD in 515 subjects, representing a subsample of a cross-sectional population based study (Echinococcus multilocularis and Internal Diseases in Leutkirch (EMIL) Study). Presence of FLD was markedly reduced in subjects drinking 0–20 g alcohol/d (19%), compared to nondrinkers (35%) and heavy drinkers (34–44.9%). Serum concentrations of inflammatory markers were substantially higher in subjects with FLD. However, presence of FLD showed no effect on the association between alcohol consumption and inflammatory biomarkers. Conclusions. Based on data from a population-based sample, there is no evidence for a link between FLD, alcohol consumption, and inflammatory cardiovascular risk markers. However, larger prospective studies are needed to confirm this.
doi:10.1155/2015/278785
PMCID: PMC4348581  PMID: 25788761
6.  Serial Measurements of N-Terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0117143.
Objective
To assess the prognostic value of 12-months N-Terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide (NT-proBNP) levels on adverse cardiovascular events in patients with stable coronary heart disease.
Methods
NT-proBNP concentrations were measured at baseline and at 12-months follow-up in participants of cardiac rehabilitation (median follow-up 8.96 years). Cox-proportional hazards models evaluated the prognostic value of log-transformed NT-proBNP levels, and of 12-months NT-proBNP relative changes on adverse cardiovascular events adjusting for established risk factors measured at baseline.
Results
Among 798 participants (84.7% men, mean age 59 years) there were 114 adverse cardiovascular events. 12-months NT-proBNP levels were higher than baseline levels in 60 patients (7.5%) and numerically more strongly associated with the outcome in multivariable analysis (HR 1.65 [95% CI 1.33–2.05] vs. HR 1.41 [95% CI 1.12–1.78], with a net reclassification improvement (NRI) of 0.098 [95% CI 0.002–0.194] compared to NRI of 0.047 [95% CI −0.0004–0.133] for baseline NT-proBNP levels. A 12-month 10% increment of NT-proBNP was associated with a HR of 1.35 [95% CI 1.12–1.63] for the onset of an adverse cardiovascular event. Subjects with a 12-month increment of NT-proBNP had a HR of 2.56 [95% CI 1.10–5.95] compared to those with the highest 12-months reduction.
Conclusions
Twelve-months NT-proBNP levels after an acute cardiovascular event are strongly associated with a subsequent event and may provide numerically better reclassification of patients at risk for an adverse cardiovascular event compared to NT-proBNP baseline levels after adjustment for established risk factors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117143
PMCID: PMC4309398  PMID: 25629613
7.  No Evidence for Genome-Wide Interactions on Plasma Fibrinogen by Smoking, Alcohol Consumption and Body Mass Index: Results from Meta-Analyses of 80,607 Subjects 
Baumert, Jens | Huang, Jie | McKnight, Barbara | Sabater-Lleal, Maria | Steri, Maristella | Chu, Audrey Y. | Trompet, Stella | Lopez, Lorna M. | Fornage, Myriam | Teumer, Alexander | Tang, Weihong | Rudnicka, Alicja R. | Mälarstig, Anders | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Kavousi, Maryam | Lahti, Jari | Tanaka, Toshiko | Hayward, Caroline | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Morange, Pierre-Emmanuel | Rose, Lynda M. | Basu, Saonli | Rumley, Ann | Stott, David J. | Buckley, Brendan M. | de Craen, Anton J. M. | Sanna, Serena | Masala, Marco | Biffar, Reiner | Homuth, Georg | Silveira, Angela | Sennblad, Bengt | Goel, Anuj | Watkins, Hugh | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Rückerl, Regina | Taylor, Kent | Chen, Ming-Huei | de Geus, Eco J. C. | Hofman, Albert | Witteman, Jacqueline C. M. | de Maat, Moniek P. M. | Palotie, Aarno | Davies, Gail | Siscovick, David S. | Kolcic, Ivana | Wild, Sarah H. | Song, Jaejoon | McArdle, Wendy L. | Ford, Ian | Sattar, Naveed | Schlessinger, David | Grotevendt, Anne | Franzosi, Maria Grazia | Illig, Thomas | Waldenberger, Melanie | Lumley, Thomas | Tofler, Geoffrey H. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Uitterlinden, André G. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Räikkönen, Katri | Chasman, Daniel I. | Folsom, Aaron R. | Lowe, Gordon D. | Westendorp, Rudi G. J. | Slagboom, P. Eline | Cucca, Francesco | Wallaschofski, Henri | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Seedorf, Udo | Koenig, Wolfgang | Bis, Joshua C. | Mukamal, Kenneth J. | van Dongen, Jenny | Widen, Elisabeth | Franco, Oscar H. | Starr, John M. | Liu, Kiang | Ferrucci, Luigi | Polasek, Ozren | Wilson, James F. | Oudot-Mellakh, Tiphaine | Campbell, Harry | Navarro, Pau | Bandinelli, Stefania | Eriksson, Johan | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Dehghan, Abbas | Clarke, Robert | Hamsten, Anders | Boerwinkle, Eric | Jukema, J. Wouter | Naitza, Silvia | Ridker, Paul M. | Völzke, Henry | Deary, Ian J. | Reiner, Alexander P. | Trégouët, David-Alexandre | O'Donnell, Christopher J. | Strachan, David P. | Peters, Annette | Smith, Nicholas L.
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e111156.
Plasma fibrinogen is an acute phase protein playing an important role in the blood coagulation cascade having strong associations with smoking, alcohol consumption and body mass index (BMI). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a variety of gene regions associated with elevated plasma fibrinogen concentrations. However, little is yet known about how associations between environmental factors and fibrinogen might be modified by genetic variation. Therefore, we conducted large-scale meta-analyses of genome-wide interaction studies to identify possible interactions of genetic variants and smoking status, alcohol consumption or BMI on fibrinogen concentration. The present study included 80,607 subjects of European ancestry from 22 studies. Genome-wide interaction analyses were performed separately in each study for about 2.6 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the 22 autosomal chromosomes. For each SNP and risk factor, we performed a linear regression under an additive genetic model including an interaction term between SNP and risk factor. Interaction estimates were meta-analysed using a fixed-effects model. No genome-wide significant interaction with smoking status, alcohol consumption or BMI was observed in the meta-analyses. The most suggestive interaction was found for smoking and rs10519203, located in the LOC123688 region on chromosome 15, with a p value of 6.2×10−8. This large genome-wide interaction study including 80,607 participants found no strong evidence of interaction between genetic variants and smoking status, alcohol consumption or BMI on fibrinogen concentrations. Further studies are needed to yield deeper insight in the interplay between environmental factors and gene variants on the regulation of fibrinogen concentrations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111156
PMCID: PMC4281156  PMID: 25551457
8.  PPAR Activators as Antiinflammatory Mediators in Human T Lymphocytes 
Circulation research  2002;90(6):703-710.
Activation of T lymphocytes and their ensuing elaboration of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interferon (IFN)-γ, represent a critical step in atherogenesis and arteriosclerosis. IFNγ pathways also appear integral to the development of transplantation-associated arteriosclerosis (Tx-AA), limiting long-term cardiac allograft survival. Although disruption of these IFNγ signaling pathways limits atherosclerosis and Tx-AA in animals, little is known about inhibitory regulation of proinflammatory cytokine production in humans. The present study investigated whether activators of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR) α and PPARγ, with their known antiinflammatory effects, might regulate the expression of proinflammatory cytokines in human CD4-positive T cells. Isolated human CD4-positive T cells express PPARα and PPARγ mRNA and protein. Activation of CD4-positive T cells by anti-CD3 monoclonal antibodies significantly increased IFNγ protein secretion from 0 to 504±168 pg/mL, as determined by ELISA. Pretreatment of cells with well-established PPARα (WY14643 or fenofibrate) or PPARγ (BRL49653/rosiglitazone or pioglitazone) activators reduced anti-CD3–induced IFNγ secretion in a concentration-dependent manner. PPAR activators also inhibited TNFα and interleukin-2 protein expression. In addition, PPAR activators markedly reduced cytokine mRNA expression in these cells. Such antiinflammatory actions were also evident in cell-cell interactions with medium conditioned by PPAR activator–treated T cells attenuating human monocyte CD64 expression and human endothelial cell major histocompatibility complex class II induction. Thus, activation of PPARα and PPARγ in human CD4-positive T cells limits the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, such as IFNγ, yielding potential therapeutic benefits in pathological processes, such as atherosclerosis and Tx-AA.
PMCID: PMC4231718  PMID: 11934839
atherosclerosis; fibrates; thiazolidinediones; peroxisome proliferator–activated receptors; T cells
9.  Association of Subclinical Inflammation With Polyneuropathy in the Older Population 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(11):3663-3670.
OBJECTIVE
Inflammatory processes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic distal sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSPN), but their possible relationship has not been assessed at the population level.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We determined serum concentrations of mediators of subclinical inflammation among 1,047 participants 61–82 years of age from the population-based Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) F4 study (Germany). Logistic and linear regression models were fitted to assess associations between immune mediators (log-transformed) and the presence of clinical DSPN (dichotomous variable) or Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI) examination score (continuous variable), respectively.
RESULTS
Serum concentrations of the anti-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) were positively associated with the presence of DSPN and higher MNSI scores in age-adjusted and sex-adjusted analyses, whereas IL-6, IL-18, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 were positively associated with only MNSI scores. No associations were observed for adiponectin, C-reactive protein, or tumor necrosis factor-α. Associations for IL-1RA and IL-6 with the MNSI score remained statistically significant after additional adjustment for waist circumference, height, hypertension, cholesterol, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, history of myocardial infarction or stroke, presence of neurological conditions, and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
CONCLUSIONS
We conclude that DSPN is linked to proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory, possibly compensatory, processes in the older general population. Future studies should clarify the temporal sequence and causality of these associations.
doi:10.2337/dc13-0382
PMCID: PMC3816905  PMID: 24009302
10.  BiomarCaRE: rationale and design of the European BiomarCaRE project including 300,000 participants from 13 European countries 
European Journal of Epidemiology  2014;29(10):777-790.
Biomarkers are considered as tools to enhance cardiovascular risk estimation. However, the value of biomarkers on risk estimation beyond European risk scores, their comparative impact among different European regions and their role towards personalised medicine remains uncertain. Biomarker for Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in Europe (BiomarCaRE) is an European collaborative research project with the primary objective to assess the value of established and emerging biomarkers for cardiovascular risk prediction. BiomarCaRE integrates clinical and epidemiological biomarker research and commercial enterprises throughout Europe to combine innovation in biomarker discovery for cardiovascular disease prediction with consecutive validation of biomarker effectiveness in large, well-defined primary and secondary prevention cohorts including over 300,000 participants from 13 European countries. Results from this study will contribute to improved cardiovascular risk prediction across different European populations. The present publication describes the rationale and design of the BiomarCaRE project.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10654-014-9952-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s10654-014-9952-x
PMCID: PMC4197377  PMID: 25238720
BiomarCaRE; Biomarker; Cardiovascular Risk Assessment; MORGAM; EU
11.  A Multi-Ethnic Meta-Analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies in Over 100,000 Subjects Identifies 23 Fibrinogen-Associated Loci but no Strong Evidence of a Causal Association between Circulating Fibrinogen and Cardiovascular Disease 
Sabater-Lleal, Maria | Huang, Jie | Chasman, Daniel | Naitza, Silvia | Dehghan, Abbas | Johnson, Andrew D | Teumer, Alexander | Reiner, Alex P | Folkersen, Lasse | Basu, Saonli | Rudnicka, Alicja R | Trompet, Stella | Mälarstig, Anders | Baumert, Jens | Bis, Joshua C. | Guo, Xiuqing | Hottenga, Jouke J | Shin, So-Youn | Lopez, Lorna M | Lahti, Jari | Tanaka, Toshiko | Yanek, Lisa R | Oudot-Mellakh, Tiphaine | Wilson, James F | Navarro, Pau | Huffman, Jennifer E | Zemunik, Tatijana | Redline, Susan | Mehra, Reena | Pulanic, Drazen | Rudan, Igor | Wright, Alan F | Kolcic, Ivana | Polasek, Ozren | Wild, Sarah H | Campbell, Harry | Curb, J David | Wallace, Robert | Liu, Simin | Eaton, Charles B. | Becker, Diane M. | Becker, Lewis C. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Räikkönen, Katri | Widen, Elisabeth | Palotie, Aarno | Fornage, Myriam | Green, David | Gross, Myron | Davies, Gail | Harris, Sarah E | Liewald, David C | Starr, John M | Williams, Frances M.K. | Grant, P.J. | Spector, Timothy D. | Strawbridge, Rona J | Silveira, Angela | Sennblad, Bengt | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Uitterlinden, Andre G | Franco, Oscar H | Hofman, Albert | van Dongen, Jenny | Willemsen, G | Boomsma, Dorret I | Yao, Jie | Jenny, Nancy Swords | Haritunians, Talin | McKnight, Barbara | Lumley, Thomas | Taylor, Kent D | Rotter, Jerome I | Psaty, Bruce M | Peters, Annette | Gieger, Christian | Illig, Thomas | Grotevendt, Anne | Homuth, Georg | Völzke, Henry | Kocher, Thomas | Goel, Anuj | Franzosi, Maria Grazia | Seedorf, Udo | Clarke, Robert | Steri, Maristella | Tarasov, Kirill V | Sanna, Serena | Schlessinger, David | Stott, David J | Sattar, Naveed | Buckley, Brendan M | Rumley, Ann | Lowe, Gordon D | McArdle, Wendy L | Chen, Ming-Huei | Tofler, Geoffrey H | Song, Jaejoon | Boerwinkle, Eric | Folsom, Aaron R. | Rose, Lynda M. | Franco-Cereceda, Anders | Teichert, Martina | Ikram, M Arfan | Mosley, Thomas H | Bevan, Steve | Dichgans, Martin | Rothwell, Peter M. | Sudlow, Cathie L M | Hopewell, Jemma C. | Chambers, John C. | Saleheen, Danish | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Danesh, John | Nelson, Christopher P | Erdmann, Jeanette | Reilly, Muredach P. | Kathiresan, Sekar | Schunkert, Heribert | Morange, Pierre-Emmanuel | Ferrucci, Luigi | Eriksson, Johan G | Jacobs, David | Deary, Ian J | Soranzo, Nicole | Witteman, Jacqueline CM | de Geus, Eco JC | Tracy, Russell P. | Hayward, Caroline | Koenig, Wolfgang | Cucca, Francesco | Jukema, J Wouter | Eriksson, Per | Seshadri, Sudha | Markus, Hugh S. | Watkins, Hugh | Samani, Nilesh J | Wallaschofski, Henri | Smith, Nicholas L. | Tregouet, David | Ridker, Paul M. | Tang, Weihong | Strachan, David P. | Hamsten, Anders | O’Donnell, Christopher J.
Circulation  2013;128(12):10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.002251.
Background
Estimates of the heritability of plasma fibrinogen concentration, an established predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD), range from 34 to 50%. Genetic variants so far identified by genome-wide association (GWA) studies only explain a small proportion (< 2%) of its variation.
Methods and Results
We conducted a meta-analysis of 28 GWA studies, including more than 90,000 subjects of European ancestry, the first GWA meta-analysis of fibrinogen levels in 7 African Americans studies totaling 8,289 samples, and a GWA study in Hispanic-Americans totaling 1,366 samples. Evaluation for association of SNPs with clinical outcomes included a total of 40,695 cases and 85,582 controls for coronary artery disease (CAD), 4,752 cases and 24,030 controls for stroke, and 3,208 cases and 46,167 controls for venous thromboembolism (VTE). Overall, we identified 24 genome-wide significant (P<5×10−8) independent signals in 23 loci, including 15 novel associations, together accounting for 3.7% of plasma fibrinogen variation. Gene-set enrichment analysis highlighted key roles in fibrinogen regulation for the three structural fibrinogen genes and pathways related to inflammation, adipocytokines and thyrotrophin-releasing hormone signaling. Whereas lead SNPs in a few loci were significantly associated with CAD, the combined effect of all 24 fibrinogen-associated lead SNPs was not significant for CAD, stroke or VTE.
Conclusion
We identify 23 robustly associated fibrinogen loci, 15 of which are new. Clinical outcome analysis of these loci does not support a causal relationship between circulating levels of fibrinogen and CAD, stroke or VTE.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.002251
PMCID: PMC3842025  PMID: 23969696
Fibrinogen; cardiovascular disease; genome-wide association study
12.  Loci influencing blood pressure identified using a cardiovascular gene-centric array 
Ganesh, Santhi K. | Tragante, Vinicius | Guo, Wei | Guo, Yiran | Lanktree, Matthew B. | Smith, Erin N. | Johnson, Toby | Castillo, Berta Almoguera | Barnard, John | Baumert, Jens | Chang, Yen-Pei Christy | Elbers, Clara C. | Farrall, Martin | Fischer, Mary E. | Franceschini, Nora | Gaunt, Tom R. | Gho, Johannes M.I.H. | Gieger, Christian | Gong, Yan | Isaacs, Aaron | Kleber, Marcus E. | Leach, Irene Mateo | McDonough, Caitrin W. | Meijs, Matthijs F.L. | Mellander, Olle | Molony, Cliona M. | Nolte, Ilja M. | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Price, Tom S. | Rajagopalan, Ramakrishnan | Shaffer, Jonathan | Shah, Sonia | Shen, Haiqing | Soranzo, Nicole | van der Most, Peter J. | Van Iperen, Erik P.A. | Van Setten, Jessica | Vonk, Judith M. | Zhang, Li | Beitelshees, Amber L. | Berenson, Gerald S. | Bhatt, Deepak L. | Boer, Jolanda M.A. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Burkley, Ben | Burt, Amber | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chen, Wei | Cooper-DeHoff, Rhonda M. | Curtis, Sean P. | Dreisbach, Albert | Duggan, David | Ehret, Georg B. | Fabsitz, Richard R. | Fornage, Myriam | Fox, Ervin | Furlong, Clement E. | Gansevoort, Ron T. | Hofker, Marten H. | Hovingh, G. Kees | Kirkland, Susan A. | Kottke-Marchant, Kandice | Kutlar, Abdullah | LaCroix, Andrea Z. | Langaee, Taimour Y. | Li, Yun R. | Lin, Honghuang | Liu, Kiang | Maiwald, Steffi | Malik, Rainer | Murugesan, Gurunathan | Newton-Cheh, Christopher | O'Connell, Jeffery R. | Onland-Moret, N. Charlotte | Ouwehand, Willem H. | Palmas, Walter | Penninx, Brenda W. | Pepine, Carl J. | Pettinger, Mary | Polak, Joseph F. | Ramachandran, Vasan S. | Ranchalis, Jane | Redline, Susan | Ridker, Paul M. | Rose, Lynda M. | Scharnag, Hubert | Schork, Nicholas J. | Shimbo, Daichi | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Srinivasan, Sathanur R. | Stolk, Ronald P. | Taylor, Herman A. | Thorand, Barbara | Trip, Mieke D. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Verschuren, W. Monique | Wijmenga, Cisca | Winkelmann, Bernhard R. | Wyatt, Sharon | Young, J. Hunter | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Caulfield, Mark J. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Davidson, Karina W. | Doevendans, Pieter A. | FitzGerald, Garret A. | Gums, John G. | Hakonarson, Hakon | Hillege, Hans L. | Illig, Thomas | Jarvik, Gail P. | Johnson, Julie A. | Kastelein, John J.P. | Koenig, Wolfgang | März, Winfried | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Murray, Sarah S. | Oldehinkel, Albertine J. | Rader, Daniel J. | Reilly, Muredach P. | Reiner, Alex P. | Schadt, Eric E. | Silverstein, Roy L. | Snieder, Harold | Stanton, Alice V. | Uitterlinden, André G. | van der Harst, Pim | van der Schouw, Yvonne T. | Samani, Nilesh J. | Johnson, Andrew D. | Munroe, Patricia B. | de Bakker, Paul I.W. | Zhu, Xiaofeng | Levy, Daniel | Keating, Brendan J. | Asselbergs, Folkert W.
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(16):3394-3395.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt177
PMCID: PMC3888295
13.  Genome-wide and gene-centric analyses of circulating myeloperoxidase levels in the charge and care consortia 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(16):3381-3393.
Increased systemic levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) are associated with the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). To identify the genetic factors that are associated with circulating MPO levels, we carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and a gene-centric analysis in subjects of European ancestry and African Americans (AAs). A locus on chromosome 1q31.1 containing the complement factor H (CFH) gene was strongly associated with serum MPO levels in 9305 subjects of European ancestry (lead SNP rs800292; P = 4.89 × 10−41) and in 1690 AA subjects (rs505102; P = 1.05 × 10−8). Gene-centric analyses in 8335 subjects of European ancestry additionally identified two rare MPO coding sequence variants that were associated with serum MPO levels (rs28730837, P = 5.21 × 10−12; rs35897051, P = 3.32 × 10−8). A GWAS for plasma MPO levels in 9260 European ancestry subjects identified a chromosome 17q22 region near MPO that was significantly associated (lead SNP rs6503905; P = 2.94 × 10−12), but the CFH locus did not exhibit evidence of association with plasma MPO levels. Functional analyses revealed that rs800292 was associated with levels of complement proteins in serum. Variants at chromosome 17q22 also had pleiotropic cis effects on gene expression. In a case–control analysis of ∼80 000 subjects from CARDIoGRAM, none of the identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were associated with CAD. These results suggest that distinct genetic factors regulate serum and plasma MPO levels, which may have relevance for various acute and chronic inflammatory disorders. The clinical implications for CAD and a better understanding of the functional basis for the association of CFH and MPO variants with circulating MPO levels require further study.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt189
PMCID: PMC3723315  PMID: 23620142
14.  PLA1A2 platelet polymorphism predicts mortality in prediabetic subjects of the population based KORA S4-Cohort 
Objective
The genetic polymorphism concerning the ß3-subunit of platelet integrin receptor glycoprotein IIIa is held responsible for enhanced binding of adhesive proteins resulting in increased thrombogenic potential. Whether it is associated with mortality, HbA1c or platelet volume is tested prospectively in an epidemiological cohort.
Research design and methods
Population-based Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) S4-Survey (N = 4,028) was investigated for prognostic value of PLA1A2-polymorphism regarding all-cause mortality, correlation with HbA1c, and mean platelet volume. Multivariate analysis was performed to investigate association between genotype and key variables.
Results
Prevalence of thrombogenic allele variant PLA2 was 15.0%. Multivariate analysis revealed no association between PLA1A2 polymorphism and mortality in the KORA-cohort. HbA1c was a prognostic marker of mortality in non-diabetic persons resulting in J-shaped risk curve with dip at HbA1c = 5.5% (37 mmol/mol), confirming previous findings regarding aged KORA-S4 participants (55–75 years). PLA1A2 was significantly associated with elevated HbA1c levels in diabetic patients (N = 209) and reduced mean platelet volume in general population. In non-diabetic participants (N = 3,819), carriers of PLA2 allele variant presenting with HbA1c > 5.5% (37 mmol/mol) showed higher relative risk of mortality with increasing HbA1c.
Conclusion
PLA1A2 polymorphism is associated with mortality in participants with HbA1c ranging from 5.5% (37 mmol/mol) to 6.5% (48 mmol/mol). Maintenance of euglycemic control and antiplatelet therapy are therefore regarded as effective primary prevention in this group.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-90
PMCID: PMC4022397  PMID: 24886443
Glycated hemoglobin; Platelet glycoprotein receptor polymorphism; Mean platelet volume; All-cause mortality; Glycemic management; Epidemiology
15.  Acute-Phase Serum Amyloid A Protein and Its Implication in the Development of Type 2 Diabetes in the KORA S4/F4 Study 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(5):1321-1326.
OBJECTIVE
We sought to investigate whether elevated levels of acute-phase serum amyloid A (A-SAA) protein precede the onset of type 2 diabetes independently of other risk factors, including parameters of glucose metabolism.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Within the population-based Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) S4 study, we measured A-SAA concentrations in 836 initially nondiabetic subjects (55–74 years of age) without clinically overt inflammation who participated in a 7-year follow-up examination including an oral glucose tolerance test.
RESULTS
A-SAA concentrations were significantly associated with incident type 2 diabetes (odds ratio [OR] for a one-SD increase of A-SAA adjusted for age and sex = 1.28 [95% CI 1.08–1.53], P = 0.005), particularly in younger subjects (P value for interaction = 0.047). The association attenuated when adjusting for parameters of glucose metabolism (fasting glucose, fasting insulin, HbA1c, and 2-h glucose; OR 1.16 [0.95–1.42], P = 0.15). Similar analyses for high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) yielded the following ORs: 1.39 (1.10–1.68, P = 0.0006) and 1.13 (0.88–1.45, P = 0.34), respectively. In contrast, A-SAA concentrations were significantly associated with 2-h glucose levels at follow-up even after adjustment for parameters of glucose metabolism (P = 0.008, n = 803).
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings indicate similarly strong prospective associations with type 2 diabetes for A-SAA and hs-CRP and suggest a potential causal link via postchallenge hyperglycemia.
doi:10.2337/dc12-1514
PMCID: PMC3631869  PMID: 23238662
16.  Effects of the high-density lipoprotein mimetic agent CER-001 on coronary atherosclerosis in patients with acute coronary syndromes: a randomized trial† 
European Heart Journal  2014;35(46):3277-3286.
Aim
High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) have several potentially protective vascular effects. Most clinical studies of therapies targeting HDL have failed to show benefits vs. placebo.
Objective
To investigate the effects of an HDL-mimetic agent on atherosclerosis by intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS) and quantitative coronary angiography (QCA).
Design and setting
A prospective, double-blinded, randomized trial was conducted at 51 centres in the USA, the Netherlands, Canada, and France. Intravascular ultrasonography and QCA were performed to assess coronary atherosclerosis at baseline and 3 (2–5) weeks after the last study infusion.
Patients
Five hundred and seven patients were randomized; 417 and 461 had paired IVUS and QCA measurements, respectively.
Intervention
Patients were randomized to receive 6 weekly infusions of placebo, 3 mg/kg, 6 mg/kg, or 12 mg/kg CER-001.
Main outcome measures
The primary efficacy parameter was the nominal change in the total atheroma volume. Nominal changes in per cent atheroma volume on IVUS and coronary scores on QCA were also pre-specified endpoints.
Results
The nominal change in the total atheroma volume (adjusted means) was −2.71, −3.13, −1.50, and −3.05 mm3 with placebo, CER-001 3 mg/kg, 6 mg/kg, and 12 mg/kg, respectively (primary analysis of 12 mg/kg vs. placebo: P = 0.81). There was also no difference among groups for the nominal change in per cent atheroma volume (0.02, −0.02, 0.01, and 0.19%; nominal P = 0.53 for 12 mg/kg vs. placebo). Change in the coronary artery score was −0.022, −0.036, −0.022, and −0.015 mm (nominal P = 0.25, 0.99, 0.55), and change in the cumulative coronary stenosis score was −0.51, 2.65, 0.71, and −0.77% (compared with placebo, nominal P = 0.85 for 12 mg/kg and nominal P = 0.01 for 3 mg/kg). The number of patients with major cardiovascular events was 10 (8.3%), 16 (13.3%), 17 (13.7%), and 12 (9.8%) in the four groups.
Conclusion
CER-001 infusions did not reduce coronary atherosclerosis on IVUS and QCA when compared with placebo. Whether CER-001 administered in other regimens or to other populations could favourably affect atherosclerosis must await further study.
Name of the trial registry: Clinicaltrials.gov; Registry's URL: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01201837?term=cer-001&rank=2; Trial registration number: NCT01201837.
doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehu171
PMCID: PMC4258222  PMID: 24780501
Atherosclerosis; Coronary disease; High-density lipoproteins; Clinical trial
17.  Lipoprotein (a) concentrations, apolipoprotein (a) phenotypes, and peripheral arterial disease in three independent cohorts 
Cardiovascular Research  2014;103(1):28-36.
Aims
The relevance of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] concentrations and low-molecular-weight (LMW) apo(a) phenotypes in peripheral arterial disease (PAD) has only been investigated by few studies. Therefore, we analysed this association in three independent cohorts and performed a Mendelian Randomization approach using instrumental variable regression.
Methods and results
Lp(a) concentrations, apo(a) phenotypes, and one SNP in the LPA gene (rs10455872) were measured in the CAVASIC study, including 241 male patients with intermittent claudication and 246 age- and diabetes-matched controls as well as in the two population-based studies KORA F3 (n = 3184) and KORA F4 (n = 3080). In KORA F3/F4, 109/80 persons suffered from intermittent claudication, 200/144 from PAD, and 128/103 showed an ankle–brachial index (ABI) <0.9. In CAVASIC, adjusted logistic regression analyses revealed significant associations between an increase of log-Lp(a) per one standard deviation (SD) (OR = 1.28, P = 0.02) as well as LMW apo(a) phenotypes and symptomatic PAD (OR = 1.65, P = 0.03). Linear regression models with continuous ABI showed a significant association in the combined analyses of KORA F3/F4: an increase in log-Lp(a) per one SD (β = −0.006, P = 0.005) and the presence of LMW apo(a) phenotypes (β = −0.011, P = 0.02) or the minor allele of rs10455872 (ß = −0.016, P = 0.03) were associated with a decrease in ABI in the fully adjusted linear and instrumental variable regression models.
Conclusion
Analyses in three independent populations showed significant associations of Lp(a) concentrations, LMW apo(a) phenotypes, and rs10455872 with PAD. This points to a causal relationship between Lp(a) and PAD since the genetically determined apo(a) phenotypes and SNP alleles are indeed associated with PAD.
doi:10.1093/cvr/cvu107
PMCID: PMC4065111  PMID: 24760552
Lp(a) concentrations; Apolipoprotein(a) phenotypes; Peripheral arterial disease; Ankle-brachial index; Mendelian randomization; Causality
18.  Loci influencing blood pressure identified using a cardiovascular gene-centric array 
Ganesh, Santhi K. | Tragante, Vinicius | Guo, Wei | Guo, Yiran | Lanktree, Matthew B. | Smith, Erin N. | Johnson, Toby | Castillo, Berta Almoguera | Barnard, John | Baumert, Jens | Chang, Yen-Pei Christy | Elbers, Clara C. | Farrall, Martin | Fischer, Mary E. | Franceschini, Nora | Gaunt, Tom R. | Gho, Johannes M.I.H. | Gieger, Christian | Gong, Yan | Isaacs, Aaron | Kleber, Marcus E. | Leach, Irene Mateo | McDonough, Caitrin W. | Meijs, Matthijs F.L. | Mellander, Olle | Molony, Cliona M. | Nolte, Ilja M. | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Price, Tom S. | Rajagopalan, Ramakrishnan | Shaffer, Jonathan | Shah, Sonia | Shen, Haiqing | Soranzo, Nicole | van der Most, Peter J. | Van Iperen, Erik P.A. | Van Setten, Jessic A. | Vonk, Judith M. | Zhang, Li | Beitelshees, Amber L. | Berenson, Gerald S. | Bhatt, Deepak L. | Boer, Jolanda M.A. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Burkley, Ben | Burt, Amber | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chen, Wei | Cooper-DeHoff, Rhonda M. | Curtis, Sean P. | Dreisbach, Albert | Duggan, David | Ehret, Georg B. | Fabsitz, Richard R. | Fornage, Myriam | Fox, Ervin | Furlong, Clement E. | Gansevoort, Ron T. | Hofker, Marten H. | Hovingh, G. Kees | Kirkland, Susan A. | Kottke-Marchant, Kandice | Kutlar, Abdullah | LaCroix, Andrea Z. | Langaee, Taimour Y. | Li, Yun R. | Lin, Honghuang | Liu, Kiang | Maiwald, Steffi | Malik, Rainer | Murugesan, Gurunathan | Newton-Cheh, Christopher | O'Connell, Jeffery R. | Onland-Moret, N. Charlotte | Ouwehand, Willem H. | Palmas, Walter | Penninx, Brenda W. | Pepine, Carl J. | Pettinger, Mary | Polak, Joseph F. | Ramachandran, Vasan S. | Ranchalis, Jane | Redline, Susan | Ridker, Paul M. | Rose, Lynda M. | Scharnag, Hubert | Schork, Nicholas J. | Shimbo, Daichi | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Srinivasan, Sathanur R. | Stolk, Ronald P. | Taylor, Herman A. | Thorand, Barbara | Trip, Mieke D. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Verschuren, W. Monique | Wijmenga, Cisca | Winkelmann, Bernhard R. | Wyatt, Sharon | Young, J. Hunter | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Caulfield, Mark J. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Davidson, Karina W. | Doevendans, Pieter A. | FitzGerald, Garret A. | Gums, John G. | Hakonarson, Hakon | Hillege, Hans L. | Illig, Thomas | Jarvik, Gail P. | Johnson, Julie A. | Kastelein, John J.P. | Koenig, Wolfgang | März, Winfried | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Murray, Sarah S. | Oldehinkel, Albertine J. | Rader, Daniel J. | Reilly, Muredach P. | Reiner, Alex P. | Schadt, Eric E. | Silverstein, Roy L. | Snieder, Harold | Stanton, Alice V. | Uitterlinden, André G. | van der Harst, Pim | van der Schouw, Yvonne T. | Samani, Nilesh J. | Johnson, Andrew D. | Munroe, Patricia B. | de Bakker, Paul I.W. | Zhu, Xiaofeng | Levy, Daniel | Keating, Brendan J. | Asselbergs, Folkert W.
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(8):1663-1678.
Blood pressure (BP) is a heritable determinant of risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). To investigate genetic associations with systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and pulse pressure (PP), we genotyped ∼50 000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that capture variation in ∼2100 candidate genes for cardiovascular phenotypes in 61 619 individuals of European ancestry from cohort studies in the USA and Europe. We identified novel associations between rs347591 and SBP (chromosome 3p25.3, in an intron of HRH1) and between rs2169137 and DBP (chromosome1q32.1 in an intron of MDM4) and between rs2014408 and SBP (chromosome 11p15 in an intron of SOX6), previously reported to be associated with MAP. We also confirmed 10 previously known loci associated with SBP, DBP, MAP or PP (ADRB1, ATP2B1, SH2B3/ATXN2, CSK, CYP17A1, FURIN, HFE, LSP1, MTHFR, SOX6) at array-wide significance (P < 2.4 × 10−6). We then replicated these associations in an independent set of 65 886 individuals of European ancestry. The findings from expression QTL (eQTL) analysis showed associations of SNPs in the MDM4 region with MDM4 expression. We did not find any evidence of association of the two novel SNPs in MDM4 and HRH1 with sequelae of high BP including coronary artery disease (CAD), left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) or stroke. In summary, we identified two novel loci associated with BP and confirmed multiple previously reported associations. Our findings extend our understanding of genes involved in BP regulation, some of which may eventually provide new targets for therapeutic intervention.
doi:10.1093/hmg/dds555
PMCID: PMC3657476  PMID: 23303523
19.  Association of adiponectin with hepatic steatosis: a study of 1,349 subjects in a random population sample 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:207.
Background
Objective of the present study was to examine the association between adiponectin and hepatic steatosis, and other biochemical and anthropometric parameters in healthy subjects.
Results
A total of 1349 subjects (age 18–65 years) underwent ultrasound examination of the liver. Mean adiponectin concentration for the study collective was 11.35 ± 6.28 μg/mL. The following parameters were assessed for their association with adiponectin: body-mass index (BMI); age; sex; arterial blood pressure; nicotine use; alcohol consumption; physical activity; metabolic syndrome; total, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; triglycerides; aspartate aminotransferase (AST); alanine aminotransferase (ALT); γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT); alkaline phosphatase (AP); C-reactive protein (CRP); insulin sensitivity according to the Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA); random blood glucose; and the degree of steatosis of the liver. The numerical differences in the variables influencing adiponectin returned in the descriptive analysis were confirmed at bivariate analysis for BMI, ALT, AST, GGT, AP, total and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, CRP, arterial blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, nicotine use and alcohol consumption. The logistic regression of the multivariate analysis showed that male sex, hepatic steatosis, BMI, metabolic syndrome, tobacco smoking and CRP correlate negatively with adiponectin, while age, moderate alcohol consumption and HDL cholesterol exhibit a positive association.
Conclusions
The results of the present study confirm the findings of previous research. Adiponectin correlates negatively with cardiometabolic risk factors and is an independent indicator for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-207
PMCID: PMC3977975  PMID: 24693952
Ultrasonography; Fatty liver; NAFLD; Adipose tissue; Cross-sectional studies
20.  Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies 11 new loci for anthropometric traits and provides insights into genetic architecture 
Berndt, Sonja I. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Mägi, Reedik | Ganna, Andrea | Wheeler, Eleanor | Feitosa, Mary F. | Justice, Anne E. | Monda, Keri L. | Croteau-Chonka, Damien C. | Day, Felix R. | Esko, Tõnu | Fall, Tove | Ferreira, Teresa | Gentilini, Davide | Jackson, Anne U. | Luan, Jian’an | Randall, Joshua C. | Vedantam, Sailaja | Willer, Cristen J. | Winkler, Thomas W. | Wood, Andrew R. | Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie | Hu, Yi-Juan | Lee, Sang Hong | Liang, Liming | Lin, Dan-Yu | Min, Josine L. | Neale, Benjamin M. | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Yang, Jian | Albrecht, Eva | Amin, Najaf | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Cadby, Gemma | den Heijer, Martin | Eklund, Niina | Fischer, Krista | Goel, Anuj | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Jarick, Ivonne | Johansson, Åsa | Johnson, Toby | Kanoni, Stavroula | Kleber, Marcus E. | König, Inke R. | Kristiansson, Kati | Kutalik, Zoltán | Lamina, Claudia | Lecoeur, Cecile | Li, Guo | Mangino, Massimo | McArdle, Wendy L. | Medina-Gomez, Carolina | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Ngwa, Julius S. | Nolte, Ilja M. | Paternoster, Lavinia | Pechlivanis, Sonali | Perola, Markus | Peters, Marjolein J. | Preuss, Michael | Rose, Lynda M. | Shi, Jianxin | Shungin, Dmitry | Smith, Albert Vernon | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Surakka, Ida | Teumer, Alexander | Trip, Mieke D. | Tyrer, Jonathan | Van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V. | Vandenput, Liesbeth | Waite, Lindsay L. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Absher, Devin | Asselbergs, Folkert W. | Atalay, Mustafa | Attwood, Antony P. | Balmforth, Anthony J. | Basart, Hanneke | Beilby, John | Bonnycastle, Lori L. | Brambilla, Paolo | Bruinenberg, Marcel | Campbell, Harry | Chasman, Daniel I. | Chines, Peter S. | Collins, Francis S. | Connell, John M. | Cookson, William | de Faire, Ulf | de Vegt, Femmie | Dei, Mariano | Dimitriou, Maria | Edkins, Sarah | Estrada, Karol | Evans, David M. | Farrall, Martin | Ferrario, Marco M. | Ferrières, Jean | Franke, Lude | Frau, Francesca | Gejman, Pablo V. | Grallert, Harald | Grönberg, Henrik | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Hall, Alistair S. | Hall, Per | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hayward, Caroline | Heard-Costa, Nancy L. | Heath, Andrew C. | Hebebrand, Johannes | Homuth, Georg | Hu, Frank B. | Hunt, Sarah E. | Hyppönen, Elina | Iribarren, Carlos | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Jansson, John-Olov | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kathiresan, Sekar | Kee, Frank | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kivimaki, Mika | Koenig, Wolfgang | Kraja, Aldi T. | Kumari, Meena | Kuulasmaa, Kari | Kuusisto, Johanna | Laitinen, Jaana H. | Lakka, Timo A. | Langenberg, Claudia | Launer, Lenore J. | Lind, Lars | Lindström, Jaana | Liu, Jianjun | Liuzzi, Antonio | Lokki, Marja-Liisa | Lorentzon, Mattias | Madden, Pamela A. | Magnusson, Patrik K. | Manunta, Paolo | Marek, Diana | März, Winfried | Mateo Leach, Irene | McKnight, Barbara | Medland, Sarah E. | Mihailov, Evelin | Milani, Lili | Montgomery, Grant W. | Mooser, Vincent | Mühleisen, Thomas W. | Munroe, Patricia B. | Musk, Arthur W. | Narisu, Narisu | Navis, Gerjan | Nicholson, George | Nohr, Ellen A. | Ong, Ken K. | Oostra, Ben A. | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Palotie, Aarno | Peden, John F. | Pedersen, Nancy | Peters, Annette | Polasek, Ozren | Pouta, Anneli | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Prokopenko, Inga | Pütter, Carolin | Radhakrishnan, Aparna | Raitakari, Olli | Rendon, Augusto | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Saaristo, Timo E. | Sambrook, Jennifer G. | Sanders, Alan R. | Sanna, Serena | Saramies, Jouko | Schipf, Sabine | Schreiber, Stefan | Schunkert, Heribert | Shin, So-Youn | Signorini, Stefano | Sinisalo, Juha | Skrobek, Boris | Soranzo, Nicole | Stančáková, Alena | Stark, Klaus | Stephens, Jonathan C. | Stirrups, Kathleen | Stolk, Ronald P. | Stumvoll, Michael | Swift, Amy J. | Theodoraki, Eirini V. | Thorand, Barbara | Tregouet, David-Alexandre | Tremoli, Elena | Van der Klauw, Melanie M. | van Meurs, Joyce B.J. | Vermeulen, Sita H. | Viikari, Jorma | Virtamo, Jarmo | Vitart, Veronique | Waeber, Gérard | Wang, Zhaoming | Widén, Elisabeth | Wild, Sarah H. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Winkelmann, Bernhard R. | Witteman, Jacqueline C.M. | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H.R. | Wong, Andrew | Wright, Alan F. | Zillikens, M. Carola | Amouyel, Philippe | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Caulfield, Mark J. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Cusi, Daniele | Dedoussis, George V. | Erdmann, Jeanette | Eriksson, Johan G. | Franks, Paul W. | Froguel, Philippe | Gieger, Christian | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hamsten, Anders | Harris, Tamara B. | Hengstenberg, Christian | Hicks, Andrew A. | Hingorani, Aroon | Hinney, Anke | Hofman, Albert | Hovingh, Kees G. | Hveem, Kristian | Illig, Thomas | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jöckel, Karl-Heinz | Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka M. | Kiemeney, Lambertus A. | Kuh, Diana | Laakso, Markku | Lehtimäki, Terho | Levinson, Douglas F. | Martin, Nicholas G. | Metspalu, Andres | Morris, Andrew D. | Nieminen, Markku S. | Njølstad, Inger | Ohlsson, Claes | Oldehinkel, Albertine J. | Ouwehand, Willem H. | Palmer, Lyle J. | Penninx, Brenda | Power, Chris | Province, Michael A. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Qi, Lu | Rauramaa, Rainer | Ridker, Paul M. | Ripatti, Samuli | Salomaa, Veikko | Samani, Nilesh J. | Snieder, Harold | Sørensen, Thorkild I.A. | Spector, Timothy D. | Stefansson, Kari | Tönjes, Anke | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uitterlinden, André G. | Uusitupa, Matti | van der Harst, Pim | Vollenweider, Peter | Wallaschofski, Henri | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Watkins, Hugh | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Wilson, James F. | Abecasis, Goncalo R. | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Barroso, Inês | Boehnke, Michael | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Deloukas, Panos | Fox, Caroline S. | Frayling, Timothy | Groop, Leif C. | Haritunian, Talin | Heid, Iris M. | Hunter, David | Kaplan, Robert C. | Karpe, Fredrik | Moffatt, Miriam | Mohlke, Karen L. | O’Connell, Jeffrey R. | Pawitan, Yudi | Schadt, Eric E. | Schlessinger, David | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Strachan, David P. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Visscher, Peter M. | Di Blasio, Anna Maria | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Morris, Andrew P. | Meyre, David | Scherag, André | McCarthy, Mark I. | Speliotes, Elizabeth K. | North, Kari E. | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Ingelsson, Erik
Nature genetics  2013;45(5):501-512.
Approaches exploiting extremes of the trait distribution may reveal novel loci for common traits, but it is unknown whether such loci are generalizable to the general population. In a genome-wide search for loci associated with upper vs. lower 5th percentiles of body mass index, height and waist-hip ratio, as well as clinical classes of obesity including up to 263,407 European individuals, we identified four new loci (IGFBP4, H6PD, RSRC1, PPP2R2A) influencing height detected in the tails and seven new loci (HNF4G, RPTOR, GNAT2, MRPS33P4, ADCY9, HS6ST3, ZZZ3) for clinical classes of obesity. Further, we show that there is large overlap in terms of genetic structure and distribution of variants between traits based on extremes and the general population and little etiologic heterogeneity between obesity subgroups.
doi:10.1038/ng.2606
PMCID: PMC3973018  PMID: 23563607
21.  Association between anemia and falls in community-dwelling older people: cross-sectional results from the KORA-Age study 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14:29.
Background
Falls and fractures are among the principal causes of disability, and mortality of older people. Therefore, identifying treatable risk factors for falls in this population is very important. Here we evaluate the association between anemia and falls in community-dwelling people aged 65 years and older.
Methods
In 2009 967 community-dwelling people aged 65 years and older were included as part of the KORA-Age study. History of falls was assessed via questions derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey questionnaire. A non-fasting venous blood sample was obtained from all study participants. Anemia was defined as a hemoglobin level below 12 g/dL in women and below 13 g/dL in men according to the WHO criteria. Different logistic regression models were computed including relevant confounders such as sex, age, and disability to estimate Odds Ratios (OR) for falls.
Results
In the total sample there was no significant association between anemia and falls neither in the unadjusted (OR 1.35; 95% CI 0.87-2.09) nor in the multivariable-adjusted models (OR 1.06; 95% CI 0.66-1.70). The association between continuous hemoglobin levels and falls was significant in the unadjusted model (OR per 1 SD decrease 1.36; 95% CI 1.14-1.64), but after adjustment for age and sex the association was attenuated and lost its significance (OR 1.13; 95% CI 0.92-1.38). In age- and sex-stratified analyses, no significant associations between anemia or hemoglobin levels and falls could be found. However, in joint analysis in the total sample a significantly, more than two-fold increased risk was observed after multivariable adjustment in persons with anemia and disability (OR 2.10; 95% CI 1.12-3.93) in comparison to persons without anemia and disability.
Conclusions
In the present study we have not found an independent association between hemoglobin levels or anemia and falls in older people from the general population. Because there was an additive effect of anemia and disability on the occurrence of falls, blood count should be measured in disabled older men and women to identify persons, who are at particular high risk for falls.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-29
PMCID: PMC3973957  PMID: 24602338
22.  Mendelian randomization of blood lipids for coronary heart disease 
European Heart Journal  2014;36(9):539-550.
Aims
To investigate the causal role of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides in coronary heart disease (CHD) using multiple instrumental variables for Mendelian randomization.
Methods and results
We developed weighted allele scores based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with established associations with HDL-C, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). For each trait, we constructed two scores. The first was unrestricted, including all independent SNPs associated with the lipid trait identified from a prior meta-analysis (threshold P < 2 × 10−6); and the second a restricted score, filtered to remove any SNPs also associated with either of the other two lipid traits at P ≤ 0.01. Mendelian randomization meta-analyses were conducted in 17 studies including 62,199 participants and 12,099 CHD events. Both the unrestricted and restricted allele scores for LDL-C (42 and 19 SNPs, respectively) associated with CHD. For HDL-C, the unrestricted allele score (48 SNPs) was associated with CHD (OR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.40, 0.70), per 1 mmol/L higher HDL-C, but neither the restricted allele score (19 SNPs; OR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.42, 1.98) nor the unrestricted HDL-C allele score adjusted for triglycerides, LDL-C, or statin use (OR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.44, 1.46) showed a robust association. For triglycerides, the unrestricted allele score (67 SNPs) and the restricted allele score (27 SNPs) were both associated with CHD (OR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.24, 2.11 and 1.61; 95% CI: 1.00, 2.59, respectively) per 1-log unit increment. However, the unrestricted triglyceride score adjusted for HDL-C, LDL-C, and statin use gave an OR for CHD of 1.01 (95% CI: 0.59, 1.75).
Conclusion
The genetic findings support a causal effect of triglycerides on CHD risk, but a causal role for HDL-C, though possible, remains less certain.
doi:10.1093/eurheartj/eht571
PMCID: PMC4344957  PMID: 24474739
Lipids; Heart disease; Mendelian randomization; Aetiology; Epidemiology
23.  Reproductive factors, intima media thickness and carotid plaques in a cross-sectional study of postmenopausal women enrolled in the population-based KORA F4 study 
BMC Women's Health  2014;14:17.
Background
Reproductive events may affect the onset of chronic diseases. We examined the possible association between reproductive parameters and intima media thickness (IMT) or carotid plaques in the common carotid artery in a population-based sample.
Methods
This cross-sectional study analysed data of 800 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 81 years of the population-based KORA F4 study, conducted between 2006 and 2008 in Southern Germany. Reproductive parameters were obtained by standardised interviews.
Results
Age at menarche below 12 years compared to 12-15 years was significantly associated with carotid plaques (age-adjusted OR 2.23, 95% CI 1.13-4.43, p-value 0.018, multivariable adjusted 2.11, 1.05-4.26, 0.037), but not with IMT. Ever use of hormone replacement therapy was inversely associated with carotid plaques (age-adjusted 0.60, 0.44-0.81, p = 0.001, multivariable-adjusted 0.62, 0.45-0.86, 0.003) and IMT in the age-adjusted model (mean 0.89, 95% CI 0.88-0.90, p = 0.033) but not in the multivariable-adjusted model (mean 0.89, 95% CI 0.88-0.90, p = 0.075). Parity, age at menopause, time since menopause, duration of fertile period, current use of hormone replacement therapy, ever use of oral contraceptives, hysterectomy, bilateral oophorectomy, hot flashes and depressive mood in relation to the menopausal transition were not associated with carotid plaques or IMT.
Conclusion
Our study showed, that there may be an independent association between the reproductive parameters age at menarche and ever use of hormone replacement therapy with carotid plaques in the common carotid artery, but not with IMT. Further research, especially in studies with prospective population-based study design, is necessary to assess in detail what events in women’s life lead to increased IMT or CP.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-17
PMCID: PMC3904933  PMID: 24456930
Intima media thickness; Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular disease; Women; Reproductive factors; Gender studies
24.  Fasting time and lipid parameters: association with hepatic steatosis — data from a random population sample 
Background
Current guidelines recommend measuring plasma lipids in fasting patients. Recent studies, however, suggest that variation in plasma lipid concentrations secondary to fasting time may be minimal. Objective of the present study was to investigate the impact of fasting time on plasma lipid concentrations (total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides). A second objective was to determine the effect of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease exerted on the above-mentioned lipid levels.
Method
Subjects participating in a population-based cross-sectional study (2,445 subjects; 51.7% females) were questioned at time of phlebotomy regarding duration of pre-phlebotomy fasting. Total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides were determined and correlated with length of fasting. An upper abdominal ultrasonographic examination was performed and body-mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were calculated. Subjects were divided into three groups based on their reported fasting periods of 1–4 h, 4–8 h and > 8 h. After application of the exclusion criteria, a total of 1,195 subjects (52.4% females) were included in the study collective. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used for continuous variables and the chi-square test for categorical variables. The effects of age, BMI, WHR, alcohol consumption, fasting time and hepatic steatosis on the respective lipid variables were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression.
Results
At multivariate analysis, fasting time was associated with elevated triglycerides (p = 0.0047 for 1–4 h and p = 0.0147 for 4–8 h among females; p < 0.0001 for 1–4 h and p = 0.0002 for 4–8 h among males) and reduced LDL cholesterol levels (p = 0.0003 for 1–4 h and p = 0.0327 for 4–8 h among males). Among males, hepatic steatosis represents an independent factor affecting elevated total cholesterol (p = 0.0278) and triglyceride concentrations (p = 0.0002).
Conclusion
Total and HDL cholesterol concentrations are subject to slight variations in relation to the duration of the pre-phlebotomy fasting period. LDL cholesterol and triglycerides exhibit highly significant variability; the greatest impact is seen with the triglycerides. Fasting time represents an independent factor for reduced LDL cholesterol and elevated triglyceride concentrations. There is a close association between elevated lipids and hepatic steatosis.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-18
PMCID: PMC3903037  PMID: 24447492
Lipids; Total cholesterol; LDL cholesterol; HDL cholesterol; Triglycerides; Fasting time; Population-based; Cross-sectional; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
25.  Integration of genome-wide association studies with biological knowledge identifies six novel genes related to kidney function 
Chasman, Daniel I. | Fuchsberger, Christian | Pattaro, Cristian | Teumer, Alexander | Böger, Carsten A. | Endlich, Karlhans | Olden, Matthias | Chen, Ming-Huei | Tin, Adrienne | Taliun, Daniel | Li, Man | Gao, Xiaoyi | Gorski, Mathias | Yang, Qiong | Hundertmark, Claudia | Foster, Meredith C. | O'Seaghdha, Conall M. | Glazer, Nicole | Isaacs, Aaron | Liu, Ching-Ti | Smith, Albert V. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Struchalin, Maksim | Tanaka, Toshiko | Li, Guo | Johnson, Andrew D. | Gierman, Hinco J. | Feitosa, Mary F. | Hwang, Shih-Jen | Atkinson, Elizabeth J. | Lohman, Kurt | Cornelis, Marilyn C. | Johansson, Åsa | Tönjes, Anke | Dehghan, Abbas | Lambert, Jean-Charles | Holliday, Elizabeth G. | Sorice, Rossella | Kutalik, Zoltan | Lehtimäki, Terho | Esko, Tõnu | Deshmukh, Harshal | Ulivi, Sheila | Chu, Audrey Y. | Murgia, Federico | Trompet, Stella | Imboden, Medea | Coassin, Stefan | Pistis, Giorgio | Harris, Tamara B. | Launer, Lenore J. | Aspelund, Thor | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Schmidt, Helena | Cavalieri, Margherita | Rao, Madhumathi | Hu, Frank | Demirkan, Ayse | Oostra, Ben A. | de Andrade, Mariza | Turner, Stephen T. | Ding, Jingzhong | Andrews, Jeanette S. | Freedman, Barry I. | Giulianini, Franco | Koenig, Wolfgang | Illig, Thomas | Meisinger, Christa | Gieger, Christian | Zgaga, Lina | Zemunik, Tatijana | Boban, Mladen | Minelli, Cosetta | Wheeler, Heather E. | Igl, Wilmar | Zaboli, Ghazal | Wild, Sarah H. | Wright, Alan F. | Campbell, Harry | Ellinghaus, David | Nöthlings, Ute | Jacobs, Gunnar | Biffar, Reiner | Ernst, Florian | Homuth, Georg | Kroemer, Heyo K. | Nauck, Matthias | Stracke, Sylvia | Völker, Uwe | Völzke, Henry | Kovacs, Peter | Stumvoll, Michael | Mägi, Reedik | Hofman, Albert | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Aulchenko, Yurii S. | Polasek, Ozren | Hastie, Nick | Vitart, Veronique | Helmer, Catherine | Wang, Jie Jin | Stengel, Bénédicte | Ruggiero, Daniela | Bergmann, Sven | Kähönen, Mika | Viikari, Jorma | Nikopensius, Tiit | Province, Michael | Ketkar, Shamika | Colhoun, Helen | Doney, Alex | Robino, Antonietta | Krämer, Bernhard K. | Portas, Laura | Ford, Ian | Buckley, Brendan M. | Adam, Martin | Thun, Gian-Andri | Paulweber, Bernhard | Haun, Margot | Sala, Cinzia | Mitchell, Paul | Ciullo, Marina | Kim, Stuart K. | Vollenweider, Peter | Raitakari, Olli | Metspalu, Andres | Palmer, Colin | Gasparini, Paolo | Pirastu, Mario | Jukema, J. Wouter | Probst-Hensch, Nicole M. | Kronenberg, Florian | Toniolo, Daniela | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Coresh, Josef | Schmidt, Reinhold | Ferrucci, Luigi | Siscovick, David S. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Kardia, Sharon L.R. | Liu, Yongmei | Curhan, Gary C. | Rudan, Igor | Gyllensten, Ulf | Wilson, James F. | Franke, Andre | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Rettig, Rainer | Prokopenko, Inga | Witteman, Jacqueline | Hayward, Caroline | Ridker, Paul M | Parsa, Afshin | Bochud, Murielle | Heid, Iris M. | Kao, W.H. Linda | Fox, Caroline S. | Köttgen, Anna
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(24):5329-5343.
In conducting genome-wide association studies (GWAS), analytical approaches leveraging biological information may further understanding of the pathophysiology of clinical traits. To discover novel associations with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a measure of kidney function, we developed a strategy for integrating prior biological knowledge into the existing GWAS data for eGFR from the CKDGen Consortium. Our strategy focuses on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in genes that are connected by functional evidence, determined by literature mining and gene ontology (GO) hierarchies, to genes near previously validated eGFR associations. It then requires association thresholds consistent with multiple testing, and finally evaluates novel candidates by independent replication. Among the samples of European ancestry, we identified a genome-wide significant SNP in FBXL20 (P = 5.6 × 10−9) in meta-analysis of all available data, and additional SNPs at the INHBC, LRP2, PLEKHA1, SLC3A2 and SLC7A6 genes meeting multiple-testing corrected significance for replication and overall P-values of 4.5 × 10−4–2.2 × 10−7. Neither the novel PLEKHA1 nor FBXL20 associations, both further supported by association with eGFR among African Americans and with transcript abundance, would have been implicated by eGFR candidate gene approaches. LRP2, encoding the megalin receptor, was identified through connection with the previously known eGFR gene DAB2 and extends understanding of the megalin system in kidney function. These findings highlight integration of existing genome-wide association data with independent biological knowledge to uncover novel candidate eGFR associations, including candidates lacking known connections to kidney-specific pathways. The strategy may also be applicable to other clinical phenotypes, although more testing will be needed to assess its potential for discovery in general.
doi:10.1093/hmg/dds369
PMCID: PMC3607468  PMID: 22962313

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