To investigate, using a Mendelian randomisation approach, whether heavier smoking is associated with a range of regional adiposity phenotypes, in particular those related to abdominal adiposity.
Mendelian randomisation meta-analyses using a genetic variant (rs16969968/rs1051730 in the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene region) as a proxy for smoking heaviness, of the associations of smoking heaviness with a range of adiposity phenotypes.
148 731 current, former and never-smokers of European ancestry aged ≥16 years from 29 studies in the consortium for Causal Analysis Research in Tobacco and Alcohol (CARTA).
Primary outcome measures
Waist and hip circumferences, and waist-hip ratio.
The data included up to 66 809 never-smokers, 43 009 former smokers and 38 913 current daily cigarette smokers. Among current smokers, for each extra minor allele, the geometric mean was lower for waist circumference by −0.40% (95% CI −0.57% to −0.22%), with effects on hip circumference, waist-hip ratio and body mass index (BMI) being −0.31% (95% CI −0.42% to −0.19), −0.08% (−0.19% to 0.03%) and −0.74% (−0.96% to −0.51%), respectively. In contrast, among never-smokers, these effects were higher by 0.23% (0.09% to 0.36%), 0.17% (0.08% to 0.26%), 0.07% (−0.01% to 0.15%) and 0.35% (0.18% to 0.52%), respectively. When adjusting the three central adiposity measures for BMI, the effects among current smokers changed direction and were higher by 0.14% (0.05% to 0.22%) for waist circumference, 0.02% (−0.05% to 0.08%) for hip circumference and 0.10% (0.02% to 0.19%) for waist-hip ratio, for each extra minor allele.
For a given BMI, a gene variant associated with increased cigarette consumption was associated with increased waist circumference. Smoking in an effort to control weight may lead to accumulation of central adiposity.
People with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have excess cardiovascular disease (CVD). Risk prediction models, validated for the general population, may not accurately estimate cardiovascular risk in this group.
To develop and validate a risk model exclusive to predicting CVD events in people with SMI, using established cardiovascular risk factors and additional variables.
Prospective cohort and risk score development study.
UK Primary care
38,824 people with a diagnosis of SMI (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other non-organic psychosis) aged 30-90 years. Median follow-up 5.6 years with 2,324 CVD events (6%).
Main outcomes and measures
Ten year risk of first cardiovascular event (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, cerebrovascular accidents or major coronary surgery). Predictors included age, gender, height, weight, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, body mass index (BMI), lipid profile, social deprivation, SMI diagnosis, prescriptions of antidepressant , antipsychotics and reports of heavy alcohol use.
We developed two risk models for people with SMI: The PRIMROSE BMI model and a lipid model. These mutually excluded lipids and BMI. From cross-validations, in terms of discrimination, for men, the PRIMROSE lipid model D statistic was 1.92 (1.80-2.03) and C statistic was 0.80 (0.76-0.83) compared to 1.74 (1.54-1.86) and 0.78 (0.75-0.82) for published Framingham risk scores; in women corresponding results were 1.87 (1.76-1.98) and 0.80 (0.76-0.83) for the PRIMROSE lipid model and 1.58 (1.48-1.68) and 0.76 (0.72-0.80) for Framingham. Discrimination statistics for the PRIMROSE BMI model were comparable to those for the PRIMROSE lipid model. Calibration plots suggested that both PRIMROSE models were superior to the Framingham models.
Conclusion and relevance
The PRIMROSE BMI and lipid CVD risk prediction models performed better in SMI than models which only include established CVD risk factors. Further work on their clinical and cost effectiveness is needed to ascertain the best thresholds for offering CVD interventions.
Although population-based studies have shown frailty predicted future falls, their follow-up periods were one year or longer and short-term fall risks associated with frailty are unknown.
A prospective cohort study nested within a randomised controlled trial was conducted to examine associations between frailty and short-term incident future falls among community-dwelling older people. Two hundred forty eight community-dwelling people > =65 years without history of > =three falls and allocated to a usual care arm of exercise intervention trial were prospectively monitored for falls over 24 weeks. Frailty index (FI) was constructed from 40 deficits at baseline. The future fall risks according to frailty status was examined using logistic regression models.
Of 248 participants, 46 were classified as frail and 57 had one or more falls during follow-up. Both each 0.01 increase in FI and frailty defined as FI > =0.25 were significantly associated with higher risks of future falls in multivariate logistic regression models adjusted for age, gender and history of two falls in the previous year (odds ratio (OR) = 1.05, 95 % confidence interval (95 % CI) = 1.02–1.07, p < 0.001; OR = 3.04, 95 % CI = 1.53–6.02, p = 0.001, respectively). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed FI predicted future falls with fair accuracy with area under ROC curve of 0.62 (95 % CI = 0.53–0.71, p < 0.01).
Frailty was a significant and independent predictor of short-term future falls among community-dwelling older people who had volunteered for a physical activity study. It is important for healthcare practitioners to recognise frailty as a risk factor of imminent future falling even in older people who appear to be ageing well.
Frailty; Falls; Older people
Physical activity (PA) levels among older adults are generally low and sedentary behaviour (SB) very common; increasing PA and reducing SB levels could have appreciable health benefits. Quantifying PA and SB patterns through the day could help in defining strategies for change. We examined within day variations in PA and SB and whether these varied by demographic factors and health status.
Men aged 71-91 years participating in an established UK population-based cohort study were invited to wear a GT3x Actigraph accelerometer over the hip for one week in 2010-12. Percentages of time spent in sedentary (SB, <100 counts per minute [CPM]); in light (LIPA, 100-1040 CPM) and in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA, >1040 CPM) were derived. Multilevel models were used to estimate the associations between demographic factors and health status and SB, LIPA and MVPA.
1455 of 3137 men invited (46.4 %) participated and provided adequate data. Men spent 73 % of the day in SB, 23 % in LIPA and 4.5 % in MVPA (619, 197 and 39 min per day respectively). The percentage of time spent in MVPA was highest in the morning, peaking at 10-11 am (8.4 %), and then declining until the evening, with the exception of a small increase at 2-3 pm. LIPA followed a similar pattern. Conversely, SB levels were lowest in the morning and increased throughout the day, peaking at 9 pm (88 %). Men who were older, did not use active transport, had mobility limitations, were obese, depressed, had more chronic health conditions, and were smokers had lower levels of MVPA. The impacts of older age, obesity, mobility limitations and chronic diseases on LIPA, MVPA and SB were more marked in the morning than in the afternoon and evening.
Levels of MVPA and LIPA are highest in the morning (peak at 10-11 am) and decrease during the day. SB increases through the course of the day to peak in the evening. Interventions to encourage older men to be physically active may need to take account of current PA patterns, aiming to prolong active morning bouts of PA and/or reducing SB in the afternoon and evening hours.
Physical activity; Light activity; Sedentary behaviour; Cohort study; Older adults; Accelerometer; Health conditions; Within day variations
Socio-economic gradients in diet quality are well established. However, the influence of
material socio-economic conditions particularly in childhood, and the use of multiple
disaggregated socio-economic measures on diet quality have been little studied in the
elderly. In the present study, we examined childhood and adult socio-economic measures,
and social relationships, as determinants of diet quality cross-sectionally in 4252 older
British men (aged 60–79 years). A FFQ provided data on daily fruit and vegetable
consumption and the Elderly Dietary Index (EDI), with higher scores indicating better diet
quality. Adult and childhood socio-economic measures included occupation/father's
occupation, education and household amenities, which combined to create composite scores.
Social relationships included social contact, living arrangements and marital status. Both
childhood and adult socio-economic factors were independently associated with diet
quality. Compared with non-manual social class, men of childhood manual social class were
less likely to consume fruit and vegetables daily (OR 0·80, 95 % CI 0·66, 0·97), as were
men of adult manual social class (OR 0·65, 95 % CI 0·54, 0·79), and less likely to be in
the top EDI quartile (OR 0·73, 95 % CI 0·61, 0·88), similar to men of adult manual social
class (OR 0·66, 95 % CI 0·55, 0·79). Diet quality decreased with increasing adverse adult
socio-economic scores; however, the association with adverse childhood socio-economic
scores diminished with adult social class adjustment. A combined adverse childhood and
adulthood socio-economic score was associated with poor diet quality. Diet quality was
most favourable in married men and those not living alone, but was not associated with
social contact. Diet quality in older men is influenced by childhood and adulthood
socio-economic factors, marital status and living arrangements.
Diet quality; Diet score; Older adults; Social relationships; Socio-economic factors
Sedentary behaviour is detrimental to health, even in those who achieve recommended levels of physical activity. Efforts to increase physical activity in older people so that they reach beneficial levels have been disappointing. Reducing sedentary behaviour may improve health and be less demanding of older people, but it is not clear how to achieve this. We explored the characteristics of sedentary older people enrolled into an exercise promotion trial to gain insights about those who were sedentary but wanted to increase activity.
Participants in the ProAct65+ trial (2009–2013) were categorised as sedentary or not using a self-report questionnaire. Demographic data, health status, self-rated function and physical test performance were examined for each group. 1104 participants aged 65 & over were included in the secondary analysis of trial data from older people recruited via general practice. Results were analysed using logistic regression with stepwise backward elimination.
Three hundred eighty seven (35 %) of the study sample were characterised as sedentary. The likelihood of being categorised as sedentary increased with an abnormal BMI (<18.5 or >25 kg/m2) (Odds Ratio 1.740, CI 1.248–2.425), ever smoking (OR 1.420, CI 1.042–1.934) and with every additional medication prescribed (OR 1.069, CI 1.016–1.124). Participants reporting better self-rated physical health (SF-12) were less likely to be sedentary; (OR 0.961, 0.936–0.987). Participants’ sedentary behaviour was not associated with gender, age, income, education, falls, functional fitness, quality of life or number of co-morbidities.
Some sedentary older adults will respond positively to an invitation to join an exercise study. Those who did so in this study had poor self-rated health, abnormal BMI, a history of smoking, and multiple medication use, and are therefore likely to benefit from an exercise intervention.
ISRCTN reference: ISRCTN43453770
Older people; Physical activity; Sedentary behaviour; Exercise promotion
The QT interval, an electrocardiographic measure reflecting myocardial repolarization, is a heritable trait. QT prolongation is a risk factor for ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death (SCD) and could indicate the presence of the potentially lethal Mendelian Long QT Syndrome (LQTS). Using a genome-wide association and replication study in up to 100,000 individuals we identified 35 common variant QT interval loci, that collectively explain ∼8-10% of QT variation and highlight the importance of calcium regulation in myocardial repolarization. Rare variant analysis of 6 novel QT loci in 298 unrelated LQTS probands identified coding variants not found in controls but of uncertain causality and therefore requiring validation. Several newly identified loci encode for proteins that physically interact with other recognized repolarization proteins. Our integration of common variant association, expression and orthogonal protein-protein interaction screens provides new insights into cardiac electrophysiology and identifies novel candidate genes for ventricular arrhythmias, LQTS,and SCD.
genome-wide association study; QT interval; Long QT Syndrome; sudden cardiac death; myocardial repolarization; arrhythmias
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.
We previously used a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster associated with heaviness of smoking within smokers to confirm the causal effect of smoking in reducing body mass index (BMI) in a Mendelian randomisation analysis. While seeking to extend these findings in a larger sample we found that this SNP is associated with 0.74% lower body mass index (BMI) per minor allele in current smokers (95% CI -0.97 to -0.51, P = 2.00×10−10), but also unexpectedly found that it was associated with 0.35% higher BMI in never smokers (95% CI +0.18 to +0.52, P = 6.38×10−5). An interaction test confirmed that these estimates differed from each other (P = 4.95×10−13). This difference in effects suggests the variant influences BMI both via pathways unrelated to smoking, and via the weight-reducing effects of smoking. It would therefore be essentially undetectable in an unstratified genome-wide association study of BMI, given the opposite association with BMI in never and current smokers. This demonstrates that novel associations may be obscured by hidden population sub-structure. Stratification on well-characterized environmental factors known to impact on health outcomes may therefore reveal novel genetic associations.
We found that a single nucleotide polymorphism in the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster, which is known to influence smoking heaviness, is associated with lower body mass index (BMI) in current smokers, but higher BMI in never smokers. This difference in effects suggests that the variant influences BMI both via pathways other than smoking, and via the weight-reducing effects of smoking, in opposite directions. The overall effect on BMI would therefore be undetectable in an unstratified genome-wide association study, indicating that novel associations may be obscured by hidden population sub-structure.
Background: Observational studies showed that circulating l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is inversely associated with cardiometabolic traits. However, these studies were susceptible to confounding and reverse causation.
Objectives: We assessed the relation between l-ascorbic acid and 10 cardiometabolic traits by using a single nucleotide polymorphism in the solute carrier family 23 member 1 (SLC23A1) gene (rs33972313) associated with circulating l-ascorbic acid concentrations. The observed association between rs33972313 and cardiometabolic outcomes was compared with that expected given the rs33972313-l-ascorbic acid and l-ascorbic acid–outcome associations.
Design: A meta-analysis was performed in the following 5 independent studies: the British Women's Heart and Health Study (n = 1833), the MIDSPAN study (n = 1138), the Ten Towns study (n = 1324), the British Regional Heart Study (n = 2521), and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (n = 3737).
Results: With the use of a meta-analysis of observational estimates, inverse associations were shown between l-ascorbic acid and systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and the waist-hip ratio [the strongest of which was the waist-hip ratio (−0.13-SD change; 95% CI: −0.20-, −0.07-SD change; P = 0.0001) per SD increase in l-ascorbic acid], and a positive association was shown with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The variation at rs33972313 was associated with a 0.18-SD (95% CI: 0.10-, 0.25-SD; P = 3.34 × 10−6) increase in l-ascorbic acid per effect allele. There was no evidence of a relation between the variation at rs33972313 and any cardiometabolic outcome. Although observed estimates were not statistically different from expected associations between rs33972313 and cardiometabolic outcomes, estimates for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and body mass index were in the opposite direction to those expected.
Conclusions: The nature of the genetic association exploited in this study led to limited statistical application, but despite this, when all cardiometabolic traits were assessed, there was no evidence of any trend supporting a protective role of l-ascorbic acid. In the context of existing work, these results add to the suggestion that observational relations between l-ascorbic acid and cardiometabolic health may be attributable to confounding and reverse causation.
l-ascorbic acid; cardiometabolic traits; confounding; genetic variants; reverse causation
To examine associations between sarcopenia, obesity, and sarcopenic obesity and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality in older men.
Prospective cohort study.
British Regional Heart Study.
Men aged 60–79 years (n = 4,252).
Baseline waist circumference (WC) and midarm muscle circumference (MAMC) measurements were used to classify participants into four groups: sarcopenic, obese, sarcopenic obese, or optimal WC and MAMC. The cohort was followed for a mean of 11.3 years for CVD and all-cause mortality. Cox regression analyses assessed associations between sarcopenic obesity groups and all-cause mortality, CVD mortality, CVD events, and coronary heart disease (CHD) events.
There were 1,314 deaths, 518 CVD deaths, 852 CVD events, and 458 CHD events during follow-up. All-cause mortality risk was significantly greater in sarcopenic (HR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.22–1.63) and obese (HR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.03–1.42) men than in the optimal reference group, with the highest risk in sarcopenic obese (HR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.35–2.18), after adjustment for lifestyle characteristics. Risk of CVD mortality was significantly greater in sarcopenic and obese but not sarcopenic obese men. No association was seen between sarcopenic obesity groups and CHD or CVD events.
Sarcopenia and central adiposity were associated with greater cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality. Sarcopenic obese men had the highest risk of all-cause mortality but not CVD mortality. Efforts to promote healthy aging should focus on preventing obesity and maintaining muscle mass.
cardiovascular disease; mortality; muscle mass; obesity; sarcopenia
Falls affect approximately one third of community-dwelling older adults each year and have serious health and social consequences. Fear of falling (FOF) (lack of confidence in maintaining balance during normal activities) affects many older adults, irrespective of whether they have actually experienced falls. Both falls and fear of falls may result in restrictions of physical activity, which in turn have health consequences. To date the relation between (i) falls and (ii) fear of falling with physical activity have not been investigated using objectively measured activity data which permits examination of different intensities of activity and sedentary behaviour.
Cross-sectional study of 1680 men aged 71–92 years recruited from primary care practices who were part of an on-going population-based cohort. Men reported falls history in previous 12 months, FOF, health status and demographic characteristics. Men wore a GT3x accelerometer over the hip for 7 days.
Among the 12% of men who had recurrent falls, daily activity levels were lower than among non-fallers; 942 (95% CI 503, 1381) fewer steps/day, 12(95% CI 2, 22) minutes less in light activity, 10(95% CI 5, 15) minutes less in moderate to vigorous PA [MVPA] and 22(95% CI 9, 35) minutes more in sedentary behaviour. 16% (n = 254) of men reported FOF, of whom 52% (n = 133) had fallen in the past year. Physical activity deficits were even greater in the men who reported that they were fearful of falling than in men who had fallen. Men who were fearful of falling took 1766(95% CI 1391, 2142) fewer steps/day than men who were not fearful, and spent 27(95% CI 18, 36) minutes less in light PA, 18(95% CI 13, 22) minutes less in MVPA, and 45(95% CI 34, 56) minutes more in sedentary behaviour. The significant differences in activity levels between (i) fallers and non-fallers and (ii) men who were fearful of falling or not fearful, were mediated by similar variables; lower exercise self-efficacy, fewer excursions from home and more mobility difficulties.
Falls and in particular fear of falling are important barriers to older people gaining health benefits of walking and MVPA. Future studies should assess the longitudinal associations between falls and physical activity.
Falls; Fear of falls; Physical activity; Accelerometer; Older adults
To investigate whether associations of smoking with depression and anxiety are likely to be causal, using a Mendelian randomisation approach.
Mendelian randomisation meta-analyses using a genetic variant (rs16969968/rs1051730) as a proxy for smoking heaviness, and observational meta-analyses of the associations of smoking status and smoking heaviness with depression, anxiety and psychological distress.
Current, former and never smokers of European ancestry aged ≥16 years from 25 studies in the Consortium for Causal Analysis Research in Tobacco and Alcohol (CARTA).
Primary outcome measures
Binary definitions of depression, anxiety and psychological distress assessed by clinical interview, symptom scales or self-reported recall of clinician diagnosis.
The analytic sample included up to 58 176 never smokers, 37 428 former smokers and 32 028 current smokers (total N=127 632). In observational analyses, current smokers had 1.85 times greater odds of depression (95% CI 1.65 to 2.07), 1.71 times greater odds of anxiety (95% CI 1.54 to 1.90) and 1.69 times greater odds of psychological distress (95% CI 1.56 to 1.83) than never smokers. Former smokers also had greater odds of depression, anxiety and psychological distress than never smokers. There was evidence for positive associations of smoking heaviness with depression, anxiety and psychological distress (ORs per cigarette per day: 1.03 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.04), 1.03 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.04) and 1.02 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.03) respectively). In Mendelian randomisation analyses, there was no strong evidence that the minor allele of rs16969968/rs1051730 was associated with depression (OR=1.00, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.05), anxiety (OR=1.02, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.07) or psychological distress (OR=1.02, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.06) in current smokers. Results were similar for former smokers.
Findings from Mendelian randomisation analyses do not support a causal role of smoking heaviness in the development of depression and anxiety.
Mendelian randomisation; Smoking; Depression; Anxiety
It is generally assumed that choice between different actions reflects the difference between their action values yet little direct evidence confirming this assumption has been reported. Here we assess whether the brain calculates the absolute difference between action values or their relative advantage, that is, the probability that one action is better than the other alternatives. We use a two-armed bandit task during functional magnetic resonance imaging and modelled responses to determine both the size of the difference between action values (D) and the probability that one action value is better (P). The results show haemodynamic signals corresponding to P in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) together with evidence that these signals modulate motor cortex activity in an action-specific manner. We find no significant activity related to D. These findings demonstrate that a distinct neuronal population mediates action-value comparisons, and reveals how these comparisons are implemented to mediate value-based decision-making.
In humans, choice between actions depends on the ability to compare action–outcome values. Here, the authors show that action–outcome values are compared on the basis of the relative advantage of a particular action over alternative actions, which takes place in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain.
Socioeconomic inequalities in cancer mortality in Britain have been shown to be present in the 1990s and early 2000s. Little is known about on-going patterns in such inequalities in cancer mortality. We examined time trends in socioeconomic inequalities in cancer mortality in Britain between 1978 and 2013.
A socially representative cohort of 7489 British men with data on longest-held occupational social class, followed up for 35 years, in whom 1484 cancer deaths occurred.
The hazard ratio for cancer mortality for manual vs. non-manual social classes remained unchanged; among men aged 50–59 years it was 1.62 (95%CI 1.17–2.24) between 1980–1990 and 1.65 (95%CI 1.14–2.40) between 1990–2000. The absolute difference (non-manual minus manual) in probability of surviving death from cancer to 70 years remained at 3% over the follow-up. The consistency of risks over time was similar for both smoking-related and non-smoking related cancer mortality.
Socioeconomic inequalities in cancer mortality in Britain remain unchanged over the last 35 years and need to be urgently addressed.
Socioeconomic inequalities; Cancer mortality; Trends
To investigate how smoking status is recorded in UK primary care; to evaluate whether appropriate multiple imputation (MI) of smoking status yields results consistent with health surveys.
UK primary care and a population survey conducted in the community.
We identified 354 204 patients aged 16 or over in The Health Improvement Network (THIN) primary care database registered with their general practice 2008–2009 and 15 102 individuals aged 16 or over in the Health Survey for England (HSE).
Age-standardised and age-specific proportions of smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers in THIN and the HSE before and after MI. Using information on time since quitting in the HSE, we estimated when ex-smokers are typically recorded as non-smokers in primary care records.
In THIN, smoking status was recorded for 84% of patients within 1 year of registration. Of these, 28% were smokers (21% in the HSE). After MI of missing smoking data, the proportion of smokers was 25% (missing at random) and 20% (missing not at random). With increasing age, more were identified as ex-smokers in the HSE than THIN. It appears that those who quit before age 30 were less likely to be recorded as an ex-smoker in primary care than people who quit later.
Smoking status was relatively well recorded in primary care. Misclassification of ex-smokers as non-smokers is likely to occur in those quitting smoking at an early age and/or a long time ago. Those with no smoking status information are more likely to be ex-smokers or non-smokers than smokers.
PRIMARY CARE; STATISTICS & RESEARCH METHODS; EPIDEMIOLOGY
Although diet quality is implicated in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, few studies have investigated the relation between diet quality and the risks of CVD and mortality in older adults. This study examined the prospective associations between dietary scores and risk of CVD and all-cause mortality in older British men. A total of 3328 men (aged 60–79 y) from the British Regional Heart Study, free from CVD at baseline, were followed up for 11.3 y for CVD and mortality. Baseline food-frequency questionnaire data were used to generate 2 dietary scores: the Healthy Diet Indicator (HDI), based on WHO dietary guidelines, and the Elderly Dietary Index (EDI), based on a Mediterranean-style dietary intake, with higher scores indicating greater compliance with dietary recommendations. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses assessed associations between quartiles of HDI and EDI and risk of all-cause mortality, CVD mortality, CVD events, and coronary heart disease (CHD) events. During follow-up, 933 deaths, 327 CVD deaths, 582 CVD events, and 307 CHD events occurred. Men in the highest compared with the lowest EDI quartile had significantly lower risks of all-cause mortality (HR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.60, 0.94; P-trend = 0.03), CVD mortality (HR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.42, 0.94; P-trend = 0.03), and CHD events (HR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.45, 0.97; P-trend = 0.05) but not CVD events (HR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.60, 1.05; P-trend = 0.16) after adjustment for sociodemographic, behavioral, and cardiovascular risk factors. The HDI was not significantly associated with any of the outcomes. The EDI appears to be more useful than the HDI for assessing diet quality in relation to CVD and morality risk in older men. Encouraging older adults to adhere to the guidelines inherent in the EDI criteria may have public health benefits.
The ability to learn contingencies between actions and outcomes in a dynamic environment is critical for flexible, adaptive behavior. Goal-directed actions adapt to changes in action-outcome contingencies as well as to changes in the reward-value of the outcome. When networks involved in reward processing and contingency learning are maladaptive, this fundamental ability can be lost, with detrimental consequences for decision-making. Impaired decision-making is a core feature in a number of psychiatric disorders, ranging from depression to schizophrenia. The argument can be developed, therefore, that seemingly disparate symptoms across psychiatric disorders can be explained by dysfunction within common decision-making circuitry. From this perspective, gaining a better understanding of the neural processes involved in goal-directed action, will allow a comparison of deficits observed across traditional diagnostic boundaries within a unified theoretical framework. This review describes the key processes and neural circuits involved in goal-directed decision-making using evidence from animal studies and human neuroimaging. Select studies are discussed to outline what we currently know about causal judgments regarding actions and their consequences, action-related reward evaluation, and, most importantly, how these processes are integrated in goal-directed learning and performance. Finally, we look at how adaptive decision-making is impaired across a range of psychiatric disorders and how deepening our understanding of this circuitry may offer insights into phenotypes and more targeted interventions.
goal-directed action; basal ganglia; amygdala; schizophrenia; ADHD; depression
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
In humans, most drug use is initiated during adolescence and adolescent users are more likely to become drug-dependent than adult users. Repeated, high levels of use are required for the transition from use to addiction. Individual levels of drug use are thought to result from a balance between the pleasant or rewarding and the unpleasant or aversive properties of the drug. Repeated high levels of drug use are required for the transition from drug use to dependence. We hypothesized that diminished aversive effects of drugs of abuse during adolescence might be one reason for higher rates of use and addiction during this phase. We therefore tested adolescent and adult CD rats in single-dose cocaine conditioned taste aversion (CTA) at a range of doses (10–40 mg/kg), and examined whether various behavioral markers of addiction vulnerability were correlated to outcome in cocaine CTA. We found that adolescents are indeed less susceptible to cocaine CTA. In fact, age was the predominant predictor of CTA outcome, predominating over measures of novelty-seeking, anxiety, and stress hormone levels, which are all known to be related to drug intake in other models. Furthermore, we found that adolescent rats are also less susceptible to conditioned taste aversion to a low dose of a non-addictive substance, lithium chloride. These results suggest that one explanation for elevated drug use and addiction among adolescents is reduced aversive or use-limiting effects of the drugs. This contributes to our understanding of why adolescence is a particularly vulnerable period for development of drug abuse.
Cocaine; Conditioned taste aversion; Rat; Adolescent; Linear correlation; Anxiety; Novelty-seeking; Corticosterone; CRF; Vulnerability
This study sought to investigate the role of secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2)-IIA in cardiovascular disease.
Higher circulating levels of sPLA2-IIA mass or sPLA2 enzyme activity have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events. However, it is not clear if this association is causal. A recent phase III clinical trial of an sPLA2 inhibitor (varespladib) was stopped prematurely for lack of efficacy.
We conducted a Mendelian randomization meta-analysis of 19 general population studies (8,021 incident, 7,513 prevalent major vascular events [MVE] in 74,683 individuals) and 10 acute coronary syndrome (ACS) cohorts (2,520 recurrent MVE in 18,355 individuals) using rs11573156, a variant in PLA2G2A encoding the sPLA2-IIA isoenzyme, as an instrumental variable.
PLA2G2A rs11573156 C allele associated with lower circulating sPLA2-IIA mass (38% to 44%) and sPLA2 enzyme activity (3% to 23%) per C allele. The odds ratio (OR) for MVE per rs11573156 C allele was 1.02 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.98 to 1.06) in general populations and 0.96 (95% CI: 0.90 to 1.03) in ACS cohorts. In the general population studies, the OR derived from the genetic instrumental variable analysis for MVE for a 1-log unit lower sPLA2-IIA mass was 1.04 (95% CI: 0.96 to 1.13), and differed from the non-genetic observational estimate (OR: 0.69; 95% CI: 0.61 to 0.79). In the ACS cohorts, both the genetic instrumental variable and observational ORs showed a null association with MVE. Instrumental variable analysis failed to show associations between sPLA2 enzyme activity and MVE.
Reducing sPLA2-IIA mass is unlikely to be a useful therapeutic goal for preventing cardiovascular events.
cardiovascular diseases; drug development; epidemiology; genetics; Mendelian randomization; ACS, acute coronary syndrome(s); CI, confidence interval; LDL-C, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; MI, myocardial infarction; MVE, major vascular events; OR, odds ratio; RCT, randomized clinical trial; SNP, single-nucleotide polymorphism; sPLA2, secretory phospholipase A2
The Caribbean basin is home to some of the most complex interactions in recent history among previously diverged human populations. Here, we investigate the population genetic history of this region by characterizing patterns of genome-wide variation among 330 individuals from three of the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola), two mainland (Honduras, Colombia), and three Native South American (Yukpa, Bari, and Warao) populations. We combine these data with a unique database of genomic variation in over 3,000 individuals from diverse European, African, and Native American populations. We use local ancestry inference and tract length distributions to test different demographic scenarios for the pre- and post-colonial history of the region. We develop a novel ancestry-specific PCA (ASPCA) method to reconstruct the sub-continental origin of Native American, European, and African haplotypes from admixed genomes. We find that the most likely source of the indigenous ancestry in Caribbean islanders is a Native South American component shared among inland Amazonian tribes, Central America, and the Yucatan peninsula, suggesting extensive gene flow across the Caribbean in pre-Columbian times. We find evidence of two pulses of African migration. The first pulse—which today is reflected by shorter, older ancestry tracts—consists of a genetic component more similar to coastal West African regions involved in early stages of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The second pulse—reflected by longer, younger tracts—is more similar to present-day West-Central African populations, supporting historical records of later transatlantic deportation. Surprisingly, we also identify a Latino-specific European component that has significantly diverged from its parental Iberian source populations, presumably as a result of small European founder population size. We demonstrate that the ancestral components in admixed genomes can be traced back to distinct sub-continental source populations with far greater resolution than previously thought, even when limited pre-Columbian Caribbean haplotypes have survived.
Latinos are often regarded as a single heterogeneous group, whose complex variation is not fully appreciated in several social, demographic, and biomedical contexts. By making use of genomic data, we characterize ancestral components of Caribbean populations on a sub-continental level and unveil fine-scale patterns of population structure distinguishing insular from mainland Caribbean populations as well as from other Hispanic/Latino groups. We provide genetic evidence for an inland South American origin of the Native American component in island populations and for extensive pre-Columbian gene flow across the Caribbean basin. The Caribbean-derived European component shows significant differentiation from parental Iberian populations, presumably as a result of founder effects during the colonization of the New World. Based on demographic models, we reconstruct the complex population history of the Caribbean since the onset of continental admixture. We find that insular populations are best modeled as mixtures absorbing two pulses of African migrants, coinciding with the early and maximum activity stages of the transatlantic slave trade. These two pulses appear to have originated in different regions within West Africa, imprinting two distinguishable signatures on present-day Afro-Caribbean genomes and shedding light on the genetic impact of the slave trade in the Caribbean.
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
L-ascorbic acid is an essential part of the human diet and has been associated with a wide-range of chronic complex diseases including cardiovascular outcomes. To date, there are no confirmed genetic correlates of circulating levels of L-ascorbic acid.
We aimed to confirm the existence of association between common variation at the SLC23A1 gene locus and circulating levels of L-ascorbic acid.
We employed a two-stage design which used a discovery cohort (the British Women’s Heart and Health Study) and a series of follow-up cohorts and meta-analysis (totalling 15087 participants) to assess the relationship between variation at SLC23A1 and circulating levels of L-ascorbic acid.
In the discovery cohort, variation at rs33972313 was associated with a reduction in circulating levels of L-ascorbic acid (−4.15μmol/L (95%CI −0.49, −7.81), p=0.03 reduction per minor allele). Pooled analysis of the relationship between rs33972313 and circulating L-ascorbic acid across all studies confirmed this, showing that each additional rare allele was associated with a reduction in circulating levels of L-ascorbic acid of −5.98μmol/L (95%CI −8.23, −3.73), p=2.0×10−7 per minor allele.
Work here has identified a genetic variant (rs33972313) in the SLC23A1 vitamin C active transporter locus that is reliably associated with circulating levels of L-ascorbic acid in the general population. This finding has implications more generally for the epidemiological investigation of relationships between circulating L-ascorbic acid and health outcomes.
Vitamin C; genotype; L-ascorbic acid
Pulmonary function measures reflect respiratory health and predict mortality, and are used in the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We tested genome-wide association with the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and the ratio of FEV1 to forced vital capacity (FVC) in 48,201 individuals of European ancestry, with follow-up of top associations in up to an additional 46,411 individuals. We identified new regions showing association (combined P<5×10−8) with pulmonary function, in or near MFAP2, TGFB2, HDAC4, RARB, MECOM (EVI1), SPATA9, ARMC2, NCR3, ZKSCAN3, CDC123, C10orf11, LRP1, CCDC38, MMP15, CFDP1, and KCNE2. Identification of these 16 new loci may provide insight into the molecular mechanisms regulating pulmonary function and into molecular targets for future therapy to alleviate reduced lung function.