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1.  HDL cholesterol subclasses, myocardial infarction, and mortality in secondary prevention: the lipoprotein investigators collaborative 
European Heart Journal  2014;36(1):22-30.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is highly heterogeneous and the link of its subclasses to prognosis remains controversial. We aimed to rigorously examine the associations of HDL subclasses with prognosis in secondary prevention.
Methods and results
We collaboratively analysed data from two, complementary prospective cohorts: the TRIUMPH study of 2465 acute myocardial infarction patients, and the IHCS study of 2414 patients who underwent coronary angiography. All patients had baseline HDL subclassification by vertical-spin density gradient ultracentrifugation. Given non-linearity, we stratified by tertiles of HDL-C and its two major subclasses (HDL2-C, HDL3-C), then compared multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for mortality and mortality/myocardial infarction. Patients were middle-aged to elderly (TRIUMPH: 58.2 ± 12.2 years; IHCS: 62.6 ± 12.6 years), and the majority were men (TRIUMPH: 68.0%; IHCS: 65.5%). IHCS had lower mean HDL-C levels (34.6 ± 10.1 mg/dL) compared with TRIUMPH (40 ± 10.6 mg/dL). HDL3-C accounted for >3/4 of HDL-C (mean HDL3-C/HDL-C 0.78 ± 0.05 in both cohorts). During 2 years of follow-up in TRIUMPH, 226 (9.2%) deaths occurred, while death/myocardial infarction occurred in 401 (16.6%) IHCS patients over 5 years. No independent associations with outcomes were observed for HDL-C or HDL2-C. In contrast, the lowest tertile of HDL3-C was independently associated with >50% higher risk in each cohort (TRIUMPH: with middle tertile as reference, fully adjusted HR for mortality of HDL3-C, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.13–2.18; IHCS: fully adjusted HR for mortality/myocardial infarction, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.20–2.00).
In secondary prevention, increased risk for long-term hard clinical events is associated with low HDL3-C, but not HDL2-C or HDL-C, highlighting the potential value of subclassifying HDL-C.
PMCID: PMC4286318  PMID: 24980493
Acute myocardial infarction; Coronary heart disease; Secondary prevention; Lipids; High-density lipoprotein cholesterol; HDL subclasses; HDL2; HDL3; Mortality
2.  2014 AHA/ACC/HRS Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation 
Circulation  2014;130(23):e199-e267.
PMCID: PMC4676081  PMID: 24682347
ACC/AHA Practice Guidelines; atrial fibrillation; cardio-renal physiology/pathophysiology; cardiovascular surgery: transplantation; ventricular assistance; cardiomyopathy; epidemiology; full revision; health policy and outcome research; other atrial fibrillation
3.  Coronary Artery Plaque Volume and Obesity in Patients with Diabetes: The Factor-64 Study 
Radiology  2014;272(3):690-699.
The extent of coronary plaque in asymptomatic diabetic patients is related to body mass index and duration of diabetes.
To determine the relationship between coronary plaque detected with coronary computed tomographic (CT) angiography and clinical parameters and cardiovascular risk factors in asymptomatic patients with diabetes.
Materials and Methods
All patients signed institutional review board–approved informed consent forms before enrollment. Two hundred twenty-four asymptomatic diabetic patients (121 men; mean patient age, 61.8 years; mean duration of diabetes, 10.4 years) underwent coronary CT angiography. Total coronary artery wall volume in all three vessels was measured by using semiautomated software. The coronary plaque volume index (PVI) was determined by dividing the wall volume by the coronary length. The relationship between the PVI and cardiovascular risk factors was determined with multivariable analysis.
The mean PVI (±standard deviation) was 11.2 mm2 ± 2.7. The mean coronary artery calcium (CAC) score (determined with the Agatston method) was 382; 67% of total plaque was noncalcified. The PVI was related to age (standardized β = 0.32, P < .001), male sex (standardized β = 0.36, P < .001), body mass index (BMI) (standardized β = 0.26, P < .001), and duration of diabetes (standardized β = 0.14, P = .03). A greater percentage of soft plaque was present in younger individuals with a shorter disease duration (P = .02). The soft plaque percentage was directly related to BMI (P = .002). Patients with discrepancies between CAC score and PVI rank quartiles had a higher percentage of soft and fibrous plaque (18.7% ± 3.3 vs 17.4% ± 3.5 [P = .008] and 52.2% ± 7.2 vs 47.2% ± 8.8 [P < .0001], respectively).
In asymptomatic diabetic patients, BMI was the primary modifiable risk factor that was associated with total and soft coronary plaque as assessed with coronary CT angiography.
© RSNA, 2014
Clinical trial registration no. NCT00488033
Online supplemental material is available for this article.
PMCID: PMC4263628  PMID: 24754493
4.  Rationale and design of the Clarification of Optimal Anticoagulation through Genetics trial 
American heart journal  2013;166(3):435-441.
Current dosing practices for warfarin are empiric and result in the need for frequent dose changes as the international normalized ratio gets too high or too low. As a result, patients are put at increased risk for thromboembolism, bleeding, and premature discontinuation of anticoagulation therapy. Prior research has identified clinical and genetic factors that can alter warfarin dose requirements, but few randomized clinical trials have examined the utility of using clinical and genetic information to improve anticoagulation control or clinical outcomes among a large, diverse group of patients initiating warfarin.
The COAG trial is a multicenter, double-blind, randomized trial comparing 2 approaches to guiding warfarin therapy initiation: initiation of warfarin therapy based on algorithms using clinical information plus an individual's genotype using genes known to influence warfarin response (“genotype-guided dosing”) versus only clinical information (“clinical-guided dosing”) ( Identifier: NCT00839657).
The COAG trial design is described. The study hypothesis is that, among 1,022 enrolled patients, genotype-guided dosing relative to clinical-guided dosing during the initial dosing period will increase the percentage of time that patients spend in the therapeutic international normalized ratio range in the first 4 weeks of therapy.
The COAG will determine if genetic information provides added benefit above and beyond clinical information alone. (Am Heart J 2013;166:435-441.e2.)
PMCID: PMC4415273  PMID: 24016491
5.  Joint Effects of Common Genetic Variants from Multiple Genes and Pathways On the Risk of Premature Coronary Artery Disease 
American heart journal  2010;160(2):250-256.e3.
To discover common variants in 6 lipid metabolic genes and construct and validate a genetic risk score (GRS) based on the joint effects of genetic variants in multiple genes from lipid and other pathobiologic pathways.
Explaining the genetic basis of coronary artery disease (CAD) is incomplete. Discovery and aggregation of genetic variants from multiple pathways may advance this objective.
Premature CAD cases (N=1,918) and CAD-free controls (N=1,032) were selected from our angiographic registry. In a discovery phase, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 56 loci from internal discovery and external reports were tested for associations with biomarkers and CAD: 28 promising SNPs were then tested jointly for CAD associations, and a genetic risk score (GRS) consisting of SNPs contributing independently was constructed and validated in a replication set of familial cases and population-based controls (N=1,320).
Five variants contributed jointly to CAD prediction in a multigenic GRS model: odds ratio (OR) =1.24 (95% CI 1.16–1.33) per risk allele, p=8.2×10−11, adjusted OR=2.03 (1.53–2.70), 4th vs. 1st quartile. GRS5 had minor impact on area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (p>0.05) but resulted in substantial net reclassification improvement: 0.16 overall, 0.28 in intermediate risk patients (both p<0.0001). GRS5 predicted familial CAD with similar magnitude in the validation set.
CorGen demonstrates the ability of a multigenic, multipathway GRS to improve discrimination of angiographic CAD. Genetic risk scores promise to increase understanding of the genetic basis of CAD and improve identification of individuals at increased CAD risk.
PMCID: PMC2919893  PMID: 20691829
Coronary artery disease; genetics; risk; risk score
6.  Effect of Genetic Variants, Especially CYP2C9 and VKORC1, on the Pharmacology of Warfarin 
The genes encoding the cytochrome P450 2C9 enzyme (CYP2C9) and vitamin K-epoxide reductase complex unit 1 (VKORC1) are major determinants of anticoagulant response to warfarin. Together with patient demographics and clinical information, they account for approximately one-half of the warfarin dose variance in individuals of European descent. Recent prospective and randomized controlled trial data support pharmacogenetic guidance with their use in warfarin dose initiation and titration. Benefits from pharmacogenetics-guided warfarin dosing have been reported to extend beyond the period of initial dosing, with supportive data indicating benefits to at least 3 months. The genetic effects of VKORC1 and CYP2C9 in African and Asian populations are concordant with those in individuals of European ancestry; however, frequency distribution of allelic variants can vary considerably between major populations. Future randomized controlled trials in multiethnic settings using population-specific dosing algorithms will allow us to further ascertain the generalizability and cost-effectiveness of pharmacogenetics-guided warfarin therapy. Additional genome-wide association studies may help us to improve and refine dosing algorithms and potentially identify novel biological pathways.
PMCID: PMC4134937  PMID: 23041981
Warfarin; pharmacogenetics; polymorphisms; personalized medicine
7.  A Pharmacogenetic versus a Clinical Algorithm for Warfarin Dosing 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(24):2283-2293.
The clinical utility of genotype-guided (pharmacogenetically based) dosing of warfarin has been tested only in small clinical trials or observational studies, with equivocal results.
We randomly assigned 1015 patients to receive doses of warfarin during the first 5 days of therapy that were determined according to a dosing algorithm that included both clinical variables and genotype data or to one that included clinical variables only. All patients and clinicians were unaware of the dose of warfarin during the first 4 weeks of therapy. The primary outcome was the percentage of time that the international normalized ratio (INR) was in the therapeutic range from day 4 or 5 through day 28 of therapy.
At 4 weeks, the mean percentage of time in the therapeutic range was 45.2% in the genotype-guided group and 45.4% in the clinically guided group (adjusted mean difference, [genotype-guided group minus clinically guided group], −0.2; 95% confidence interval, −3.4 to 3.1; P=0.91). There also was no significant between-group difference among patients with a predicted dose difference between the two algorithms of 1 mg per day or more. There was, however, a significant interaction between dosing strategy and race (P=0.003). Among black patients, the mean percentage of time in the therapeutic range was less in the genotype-guided group than in the clinically guided group. The rates of the combined outcome of any INR of 4 or more, major bleeding, or thromboembolism did not differ significantly according to dosing strategy.
Genotype-guided dosing of warfarin did not improve anticoagulation control during the first 4 weeks of therapy. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; COAG number, NCT00839657.)
PMCID: PMC3942158  PMID: 24251361
8.  Antibiotic Trials for Coronary Heart Disease 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2004;31(1):33-38.
The possibility has been raised in recent years that infection might contribute as an inflammatory stimulus to chronic “noninfectious” degenerative diseases. Within the past decade, serious attention has been given to the possibility of bacterial vectors as causal factors of atherosclerosis. To date, the greatest amount of information has related to the intracellular organism Chlamydia pneumoniae. This interest has been stimulated by the frequent finding of bacterial antigens and, occasionally, recoverable organisms, within human atherosclerotic plaque. Indirect evidence for and against the benefit of anti-Chlamydia antibiotic agents comes from epidemiologic studies.
Given the potential for confounding in observational studies, prospective, randomized intervention trials are required. These antibiotic trials have generated enthusiastic expectations for proving (or disproving) the infectious-disease hypothesis of atherosclerosis and establishing new therapies. However, these expectations have been tempered by important limitations and uncertainties. Negative outcomes can be explained not only by an incorrect hypothesis but also by inadequate study size or design or by an ineffective antibiotic regimen. In contrast, if studies are positive, the hypothesis still is not entirely proved, because a nonspecific anti-inflammatory effect or an anti-infective action against other organisms might be operative.
The clinical trial data to date have not provided adequate support for the clinical use of antibiotics in primary or secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. New and innovative experimental approaches, in addition to traditionally designed antibiotic trials, should be welcome in our attempts to gain adequate insight into the role of infection in atherosclerosis and its therapy.
PMCID: PMC387430  PMID: 15061624
Antibiotic prophylaxis; antibiotics, macrolide; antibiotics/therapeutic use; arteriosclerosis/etiology/pathology/prevention & control; azithromycin/therapeutic use; inflammation; Chlamydia infections; Chlamydia pneumoniae; chronic disease; myocardial infarction/epidemiology; coronary disease/mortality; risk factors
10.  Secretory Phospholipase A2-IIA and Cardiovascular Disease 
Holmes, Michael V. | Simon, Tabassome | Exeter, Holly J. | Folkersen, Lasse | Asselbergs, Folkert W. | Guardiola, Montse | Cooper, Jackie A. | Palmen, Jutta | Hubacek, Jaroslav A. | Carruthers, Kathryn F. | Horne, Benjamin D. | Brunisholz, Kimberly D. | Mega, Jessica L. | van Iperen, Erik P.A. | Li, Mingyao | Leusink, Maarten | Trompet, Stella | Verschuren, Jeffrey J.W. | Hovingh, G. Kees | Dehghan, Abbas | Nelson, Christopher P. | Kotti, Salma | Danchin, Nicolas | Scholz, Markus | Haase, Christiane L. | Rothenbacher, Dietrich | Swerdlow, Daniel I. | Kuchenbaecker, Karoline B. | Staines-Urias, Eleonora | Goel, Anuj | van 't Hooft, Ferdinand | Gertow, Karl | de Faire, Ulf | Panayiotou, Andrie G. | Tremoli, Elena | Baldassarre, Damiano | Veglia, Fabrizio | Holdt, Lesca M. | Beutner, Frank | Gansevoort, Ron T. | Navis, Gerjan J. | Mateo Leach, Irene | Breitling, Lutz P. | Brenner, Hermann | Thiery, Joachim | Dallmeier, Dhayana | Franco-Cereceda, Anders | Boer, Jolanda M.A. | Stephens, Jeffrey W. | Hofker, Marten H. | Tedgui, Alain | Hofman, Albert | Uitterlinden, André G. | Adamkova, Vera | Pitha, Jan | Onland-Moret, N. Charlotte | Cramer, Maarten J. | Nathoe, Hendrik M. | Spiering, Wilko | Klungel, Olaf H. | Kumari, Meena | Whincup, Peter H. | Morrow, David A. | Braund, Peter S. | Hall, Alistair S. | Olsson, Anders G. | Doevendans, Pieter A. | Trip, Mieke D. | Tobin, Martin D. | Hamsten, Anders | Watkins, Hugh | Koenig, Wolfgang | Nicolaides, Andrew N. | Teupser, Daniel | Day, Ian N.M. | Carlquist, John F. | Gaunt, Tom R. | Ford, Ian | Sattar, Naveed | Tsimikas, Sotirios | Schwartz, Gregory G. | Lawlor, Debbie A. | Morris, Richard W. | Sandhu, Manjinder S. | Poledne, Rudolf | Maitland-van der Zee, Anke H. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Keating, Brendan J. | van der Harst, Pim | Price, Jackie F. | Mehta, Shamir R. | Yusuf, Salim | Witteman, Jaqueline C.M. | Franco, Oscar H. | Jukema, J. Wouter | de Knijff, Peter | Tybjaerg-Hansen, Anne | Rader, Daniel J. | Farrall, Martin | Samani, Nilesh J. | Kivimaki, Mika | Fox, Keith A.A. | Humphries, Steve E. | Anderson, Jeffrey L. | Boekholdt, S. Matthijs | Palmer, Tom M. | Eriksson, Per | Paré, Guillaume | Hingorani, Aroon D. | Sabatine, Marc S. | Mallat, Ziad | Casas, Juan P. | Talmud, Philippa J.
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.
PMCID: PMC3826105  PMID: 23916927
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
11.  Circulating Levels of 25Hydroxy-Vitamin D and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies 
Vitamin D status has been linked to the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the optimal 25hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)-vitamin D) levels for potential cardiovascular health benefits remain unclear.
Methods and Results
We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE from 1966 through February 2012 for prospective studies that assessed the association of 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations with CVD risk. A total of 24 articles met our inclusion criteria, from which 19 independent studies with 6,123 CVD cases in 65,994 participants were included for a meta-analysis. Comparing the lowest to the highest 25(OH)-vitamin D categories, the pooled relative risks (RR) was 1.52 (95% CI: 1.30-1.77) for total CVD, 1.42 (95% CI: 1.19-1.71) for CVD mortality, 1.38 (95% CI: 1.21-1.57) for coronary heart disease, and 1.64 (95% CI: 1.27-2.10) for stroke. These associations remained strong and significant when analyses were limited to studies that excluded participants with baseline CVD and had better controlled for season and confounding. We used a fractional polynomial spline regression analysis to assess the linearity of dose-response association between continuous 25(OH)-vitamin D and CVD risk. The CVD risk increased monotonically across decreasing 25(OH)-vitamin D below approximately 60 nmol/L, with a RR of 1.03 (95% CI: 1.00-1.06) per 25 nmol/L decrement in 25(OH)-vitamin D.
This meta-analysis demonstrated a generally linear, inverse association between circulating 25(OH)-vitamin D in the range of 20-60 nmol/L and risk of CVD. Further research is needed to clarify the association of 25(OH)-vitamin D higher than 60 nmol/L with CVD risk and assess causality of the observed associations.
PMCID: PMC3510675  PMID: 23149428
25hydroxy-vitamin D; cardiovascular disease; meta-analysis; prospective study
12.  Repeated Measurement of the Intermountain Risk Score Enhances Prognostication for Mortality 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69160.
The Intermountain Risk Score (IMRS), composed of the complete blood count (CBC) and basic metabolic profile (BMP), predicts mortality and morbidity in medical and general populations. Whether longitudinal repeated measurement of IMRS is useful for prognostication is an important question for its clinical applicability.
Females (N = 5,698) and males (N = 5,437) with CBC and BMP panels measured 6 months to 2.0 years apart (mean 1.0 year) had baseline and follow-up IMRS computed. Survival analysis during 4.0±2.5 years (maximum 10 years) evaluated mortality (females: n = 1,255 deaths; males: n = 1,164 deaths) and incident major events (myocardial infarction, heart failure [HF], and stroke).
Both baseline and follow-up IMRS (categorized as high-risk vs. low-risk) were independently associated with mortality (all p<0.001) in bivariable models. For females, follow-up IMRS had hazard ratio (HR) = 5.23 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.11, 6.64) and baseline IMRS had HR = 3.66 (CI = 2.94, 4.55). Among males, follow-up IMRS had HR = 4.28 (CI = 3.51, 5.22) and baseline IMRS had HR = 2.32 (CI = 1.91, 2.82). IMRS components such as RDW, measured at both time points, also predicted mortality. Baseline and follow-up IMRS strongly predicted incident HF in both genders.
Repeated measurement of IMRS at baseline and at about one year of follow-up were independently prognostic for mortality and incident HF among initially hospitalized patients. RDW and other CBC and BMP values were also predictive of outcomes. Further research should evaluate the utility of IMRS as a tool for clinical risk adjustment.
PMCID: PMC3714235  PMID: 23874899
13.  Familial Automaticity-Conduction Disorder With Associated Cardiomyopathy 
Western Journal of Medicine  1986;144(1):33-41.
An unusually large family of European descent was afflicted over four generations by an automaticity and conduction disorder with an associated dilated cardiomyopathy of variable expression. Ten living members affected with the disorder and three presumed affected but dead members were identified. Typically, the disorder presented as a sinoatrial bradyarrhythmia/tachyarrhythmia syndrome, followed by atrial enlargement and, variably, ventricular enlargement and dysfunction. Three family members required pacemaker implantation. Longevity did not seem to be greatly affected, but the demonstrated potential for embolic cerebrovascular events stresses an associated morbidity. The familial incidence was best explained by autosomal dominant inheritance with incomplete penetrance (greater in males and usually occurring first in adolescence) and variable expressivity. The large size of the family, frequency and profile of disease manifestations and disease tracking through at least four generations are unusual features of the familial disease described.
PMCID: PMC1306503  PMID: 3953067
14.  Association Between the Chromosome 9p21 Locus and Angiographic Coronary Artery Disease Burden 
This study sought to ascertain the relationship of 9p21 locus with: 1) angiographic coronary artery disease (CAD) burden; and 2) myocardial infarction (MI) in individuals with underlying CAD.
Chromosome 9p21 variants have been robustly associated with coronary heart disease, but questions remain on the mechanism of risk, specifically whether the locus contributes to coronary atheroma burden or plaque instability.
We established a collaboration of 21 studies consisting of 33,673 subjects with information on both CAD (clinical or angiographic) and MI status along with 9p21 genotype. Tabular data are provided for each cohort on the presence and burden of angiographic CAD, MI cases with underlying CAD, and the diabetic status of all subjects.
We first confirmed an association between 9p21 and CAD with angiographically defined cases and control subjects (pooled odds ratio [OR]: 1.31, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.20 to 1.43). Among subjects with angiographic CAD (n = 20,987), random-effects model identified an association with multivessel CAD, compared with those with single-vessel disease (OR: 1.10, 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.17)/copy of risk allele). Genotypic models showed an OR of 1.15, 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.26 for heterozygous carrier and OR: 1.23, 95% CI: 1.08 to 1.39 for homozygous carrier. Finally, there was no significant association between 9p21 and prevalent MI when both cases (n = 17,791) and control subjects (n = 15,882) had underlying CAD (OR: 0.99, 95% CI: 0.95 to 1.03)/risk allele.
The 9p21 locus shows convincing association with greater burden of CAD but not with MI in the presence of underlying CAD. This adds further weight to the hypothesis that 9p21 locus primarily mediates an atherosclerotic phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3653306  PMID: 23352782
9p21; angiography; coronary artery disease; meta-analysis; myocardial infarction; single nucleotide polymorphism
15.  Vitamin D dependent effects of APOA5 polymorphisms on HDL cholesterol 
Atherosclerosis  2012;222(1):167-174.
Vitamin D and serum lipid levels are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. We sought to determine if vitamin D (25OHD) interacts at established lipid loci potentially explaining additional variance in lipids.
1060 individuals from Utah families were used to screen 14 loci for SNPs potentially interacting with dietary 25OHD on lipid levels. Identified putative interactions were evaluated for 1) greater effect size in subsamples with winter measures, 2) replication in an independent sample, and 3) lack of gene-environment interaction for other correlated dietary factors. Maximum likelihood models were used to evaluate interactions. The replicate sample consisted of 2890 individuals from the Family Heart Study. Putative 25OHD receptor binding site modifying SNPs were identified and allele-specific, 25OHD-dependent APOA5 promoter activity examined using luciferase expression assays. An additional sample with serum 25OHD measures was analyzed.
An rs3135506-25OHD interaction influencing HDL-C was identified. The rs3135506 minor allele was more strongly associated with low HDL-C in individuals with low winter dietary 25OHD in initial and replicate samples (p=0.0003 Utah, p=0.002 Family Heart); correlated dietary factors did not explain the interaction. SNP rs10750097 was identified as a putative causative polymorphism, was associated with 25OHD-dependent changes in APOA5 promoter activity in HEP3B and HEK293 cells (p<0.01), and showed similar interactions to rs3135506 in family cohorts. Linear interactions were not significant in samples with serum 25OHD measures; however, genotype-specific differences were seen at deficient 25OHD levels.
A 25OHD receptor binding site modifying APOA5 promoter polymorphism is associated with lower HDL-C in 25OHD deficient individuals.
PMCID: PMC3334480  PMID: 22425169
16.  A new ratio for better predicting future death/myocardial infarction than standard lipid measurements in women >50 years undergoing coronary angiography: the apolipoprotein A1 remnant ratio (Apo A1/ [VLDL3+IDL]) 
Women often lag behind men in their risk of cardiovascular events. However, with age and the onset of menopause, women’s cardiovascular risk eventually becomes similar to that of men. This change in risk may, in part, be attributable to a shift to a more atherogenic lipid profile. Our objective was to evaluate standard- and sub-lipid parameters and the apo A1 remnant ratio: (apo A1/[VLDL3-C+IDL-C]) for their associations with death/myocardial infarction among peri- and post-menopausal women.
Women (N=711) >50 years of age undergoing coronary angiography were evaluated. Baseline clinical and angiographic characteristics, lipids, and sub-lipid levels (Vertical Auto Profile method) were collected. Cox regression analysis, adjusted by standard cardiovascular risk factors, was utilized to determine associations of lipid and sub-lipid tertiles(T) with death/myocardial infarction at 1 and 3 years.
Patients averaged 67.7±9.4 years and 53.6% had underlying severe (≥70% stenosis) coronary artery disease. The apo A1 remnant ratio was found to have stronger associations for 1 year (T1 vs. T3: HR=2.13, p=0.03, T2 vs. T3: HR=1.57, p=0.21) and 3 year (T1 vs. T3: HR=2.32, p=0.002, T2 vs. T3: HR=1.97, p=0.01) death/myocardial infarction than any individual lipid (LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, non-HDL-C) or sub-lipid (apo A1, apo B, VLDL3-C+IDL-C) measure, or any other well-known ratio (triglyercies/HDL-C, apo B/A1, TChol/HDL-C, HDL-C/[VLDL3-C+IDL-C]).
The apo A1 remnant ratio was a significant predictor of short and intermediate-term death/myocardial infarction risk among women >50 years of age. Furthermore, this ratio was found to have greater predictive ability than traditional lipid and sub-lipid parameters and represents a potential new risk marker.
PMCID: PMC3653758  PMID: 23621905
Lipid; Lipoprotein; Risk; Women; Outcomes; Apolipoprotein A1; Remnant lipoproteins
17.  Genetics InFormatics Trial (GIFT) of Warfarin to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Rationale and Study Design 
The pharmacogenomics journal  2011;12(5):417-424.
The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is higher after total hip or knee replacement surgery than after almost any other surgical procedure; warfarin sodium is commonly prescribed to reduce this peri-operative risk. Warfarin has a narrow therapeutic window with high inter-individual dose variability and can cause hemorrhage. The Genetics-InFormatics Trial (GIFT) of Warfarin to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a 2×2 factorial-design, randomized controlled trial designed to compare the safety and effectiveness of warfarin-dosing strategies. GIFT will answer two questions: (1) Does pharmacogenetic (PGx) dosing reduce the rate of adverse events in orthopedic patients; and (2) Is a lower target International Normalized Ratio (INR) non-inferior to a higher target INR in orthopedic participants? The composite primary endpoint of the trial is symptomatic and asymptomatic VTE (identified on screening ultrasonography), major hemorrhage, INR ≥ 4, and death.
PMCID: PMC3175019  PMID: 21606949
pharmacogenetics; warfarin; randomized controlled trial; dosing algorithm
18.  Identification of ADAMTS7 as a novel locus for coronary atherosclerosis and association of ABO with myocardial infarction in the presence of coronary atherosclerosis: two genome-wide association studies 
Lancet  2011;377(9763):383-392.
We tested whether genetic factors distinctly contribute to either development of coronary atherosclerosis or, specifically, to myocardial infarction in existing coronary atherosclerosis.
We did two genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with coronary angiographic phenotyping in participants of European ancestry. To identify loci that predispose to angiographic coronary artery disease (CAD), we compared individuals who had this disorder (n=12 393) with those who did not (controls, n=7383). To identify loci that predispose to myocardial infarction, we compared patients who had angiographic CAD and myocardial infarction (n=5783) with those who had angiographic CAD but no myocardial infarction (n=3644).
In the comparison of patients with angiographic CAD versus controls, we identified a novel locus, ADAMTS7 (p=4·98×10−13). In the comparison of patients with angiographic CAD who had myocardial infarction versus those with angiographic CAD but no myocardial infarction, we identified a novel association at the ABO locus (p=7·62×10−9). The ABO association was attributable to the glycotransferase-deficient enzyme that encodes the ABO blood group O phenotype previously proposed to protect against myocardial infarction.
Our findings indicate that specific genetic predispositions promote the development of coronary atherosclerosis whereas others lead to myocardial infarction in the presence of coronary atherosclerosis. The relation to specific CAD phenotypes might modify how novel loci are applied in personalised risk assessment and used in the development of novel therapies for CAD.
The PennCath and MedStar studies were supported by the Cardiovascular Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, by the MedStar Health Research Institute at Washington Hospital Center and by a research grant from GlaxoSmithKline. The funding and support for the other cohorts contributing to the paper are described in the webappendix.
PMCID: PMC3297116  PMID: 21239051
19.  Pharmacogenetic Warfarin Dose Refinements Remain Significantly Influenced by Genetic Factors after One Week of Therapy 
Thrombosis and Haemostasis  2011;107(2):232-240.
By guiding initial warfarin dose, pharmacogenetic (PGx) algorithms may improve the safety of warfarin initiation. However, once INR response is known, the contribution of PGx to dose refinements is uncertain. This study sought to develop and validate clinical and PGx dosing algorithms for warfarin dose refinement on days 6–11 after therapy initiation.
Materials and Methods
An international sample of 2,022 patients at 13 medical centers on 3 continents provided clinical, INR, and genetic data at treatment days 6–11 to predict therapeutic warfarin dose. Independent derivation and retrospective validation samples were composed by randomly dividing the population (80%/20%). Prior warfarin doses were weighted by their expected effect on S-warfarin concentrations using an exponential-decay pharmacokinetic model. The INR divided by that “effective” dose constituted a treatment response index.
Treatment response index, age, amiodarone, body surface area, warfarin indication, and target INR were associated with dose in the derivation sample. A clinical algorithm based on these factors was remarkably accurate: in the retrospective validation cohort its R2 was 61.2% and median absolute error (MAE) was 5.0 mg/week. Accuracy and safety was confirmed in a prospective cohort (N=43). CYP2C9 variants and VKORC1-1639 G→A were significant dose predictors in both the derivation and validation samples. In the retrospective validation cohort, the PGx algorithm had: R2= 69.1% (P<0.05 vs. clinical algorithm), MAE= 4.7 mg/week.
A pharmacogenetic warfarin dose-refinement algorithm based on clinical, INR, and genetic factors can explain at least 69.1% of therapeutic warfarin dose variability after about one week of therapy.
PMCID: PMC3292349  PMID: 22186998
warfarin; VKORC1; CYP2C9; pharmacogenetic
20.  Common Variants in 6 Lipid-Related Genes Discovered by High-Resolution DNA Melting Analysis and Their Association with Plasma Lipids 
Journal of clinical & experimental cardiology  2011;2(138):2155-9880-2-138.
Total cholesterol was among the earliest identified risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). We sought to identify genetic variants in six genes associated with lipid metabolism and estimate their respective contribution to risk for CHD.
For 6 lipid-associated genes (LCAT, CETP, LIPC, LPL, SCARB1, and ApoF) we scanned exons, 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions, and donor and acceptor splice sites for variants using Hi-Res Melting® curve analysis (HRMCA) with confirmation by cycle sequencing. Healthy subjects were used for SNP discovery (n=64), haplotype determination/tagging SNP discovery (n=339), and lipid association testing (n=786).
In 17,840 bases of interrogated sequence, 90 variant SNPs were identified; 19 (21.1%) previously unreported. Thirty-four variants (37.8%) were exonic(16 non-synonymous), 28 (31.1%) in intron-exon boundaries, and 28 (31.1%) in the 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions. Compared to cycle sequencing, HRMCA had sensitivity of 99.4% and specificity of 97.7%. Tagging SNPs (n=38) explained >90% of the variation in the 6 genes and identified linkage disequilibrium (LD) groups. Significant beneficial lipid profiles were observed for CETP LD group 2, LIPC LD groups 1 and 7, and SCARB1 LD groups 1, 3 and 4. Risk profiles worsened for CETP LD group 3, LPL LD group 4.
These findings demonstrate the feasibility, sensitivity, and specificity of HRMCA for SNP discovery. Variants identified in these genes may be used to predict lipid-associated risk and reclassification of clinical CHD risk.
PMCID: PMC3251308  PMID: 22229114
Lipids; Genetic variants; Coronary heart disease; High resolution melting curve analysis
21.  Soluble CD40 Ligand as a Predictor of Coronary Artery Disease and Long-Term Clinical Outcomes in Stable Patients Undergoing Coronary Angiography 
Cardiology  2007;109(3):196-201.
In patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), elevated levels of soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events. We evaluated sCD40L levels and future cardiovascular events in patients not experiencing ACS.
Serum sCD40L levels were measured in 909 patients undergoing angiography. A three-way matching scheme (age, gender and catheterization time period) identified 303 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) who experienced a cardiac event within 1 year (CAD/event), 303 patients with CAD free of events (CAD/no event) and 303 patients without CAD and free of events (no CAD).
Average age was 64 ± 11 years; 74% were males. Median (± SE) sCD40L levels were higher for no CAD patients (335 ± 60 pg/ml) compared to CAD (248 ± 65 pg/ml, p = 0.01) and to CAD/event (233 ± 63 pg/ml, p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in median sCD40L levels between CAD/no event and CAD/event patients. Higher sCD40L quartiles were associated with a significant decrease in the risk of CAD/event versus no CAD (quartile 4 versus quartile 1: odds ratio = 0.59, p = 0.03). There was a nonsignificant trend towards a decreased risk of CAD as compared to no CAD, and for CAD/event versus CAD.
In non-ACS patients, higher sCD40L levels were associated with a decreased risk of CAD. This novel interaction of sCD40L raises interesting questions for CAD pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3245966  PMID: 17726321
Soluble CD40 ligand; Coronary artery disease; Inflammation; C-reactive protein; Cardiovascular risk
22.  Reduced-Function CYP2C19 Genotype and Risk of Adverse Clinical Outcomes Among Patients Treated With Clopidogrel Predominantly for PCI: A Meta-Analysis 
Clopidogrel, one of the most commonly prescribed medications, is a pro-drug requiring CYP450 biotransformation. Data suggest its pharmacologic effect varies based on CYP2C19 genotype, but there is uncertainty regarding the clinical risk imparted by specific genotypes.
In patients treated with clopidogrel, to define the risk of major adverse cardiovascular outcomes among carriers of one (∼26% prevalence in whites) and carriers of two (∼2% prevalence in whites) reduced-function CYP2C19 variants.
Data Sources and Study Selection
A literature search was conducted (January 2000-August 2010) of the MEDLINE, Cochrane, and EMBASE databases. Genetic studies were included where clopidogrel was initiated in predominantly invasively managed patients in a manner consistent with the current guideline recommendations and where clinical outcomes were ascertained.
Data Extraction
Investigators from nine studies evaluating CYP2C19 genotype and clinical outcomes in patients treated with clopidogrel contributed the relevant hazard ratios (HRs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for specific cardiovascular outcomes by genotype.
Among 9685 patients [91.3% of whom underwent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and 54.5% of whom had an acute coronary syndrome (ACS)], 863 experienced the composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke; 84 patients had stent thrombosis among the 5894 evaluated for such. Overall, 71.5% were non-carriers, 26.3% had one, and 2.2% had two CYP2C19 reduced-function alleles. A significantly increased risk of the composite endpoint was evident in both carriers of one (HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.11-2.27, P=0.01) and two (HR 1.76, 95% CI 1.24-2.50, P=0.002) CYP2C19 reduced-function alleles. Similarly, there was a significantly increased risk of stent thrombosis in both carriers of one (HR 2.67, 95% CI 1.69-4.22, P<0.0001) and two (HR 3.97, 95% CI 1.75-9.02, P=0.001) CYP2C19 reduced-function alleles.
Among patients treated with clopidogrel for PCI, carriage of even one reduced-function CYP2C19 allele appears to be associated with a significantly increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, particularly stent thrombosis.
PMCID: PMC3048820  PMID: 20978260
23.  Large-scale association analyses identifies 13 new susceptibility loci for coronary artery disease 
Schunkert, Heribert | König, Inke R. | Kathiresan, Sekar | Reilly, Muredach P. | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Holm, Hilma | Preuss, Michael | Stewart, Alexandre F. R. | Barbalic, Maja | Gieger, Christian | Absher, Devin | Aherrahrou, Zouhair | Allayee, Hooman | Altshuler, David | Anand, Sonia S. | Andersen, Karl | Anderson, Jeffrey L. | Ardissino, Diego | Ball, Stephen G. | Balmforth, Anthony J. | Barnes, Timothy A. | Becker, Diane M. | Becker, Lewis C. | Berger, Klaus | Bis, Joshua C. | Boekholdt, S. Matthijs | Boerwinkle, Eric | Braund, Peter S. | Brown, Morris J. | Burnett, Mary Susan | Buysschaert, Ian | Carlquist, Cardiogenics, John F. | Chen, Li | Cichon, Sven | Codd, Veryan | Davies, Robert W. | Dedoussis, George | Dehghan, Abbas | Demissie, Serkalem | Devaney, Joseph M. | Do, Ron | Doering, Angela | Eifert, Sandra | El Mokhtari, Nour Eddine | Ellis, Stephen G. | Elosua, Roberto | Engert, James C. | Epstein, Stephen E. | Faire, Ulf de | Fischer, Marcus | Folsom, Aaron R. | Freyer, Jennifer | Gigante, Bruna | Girelli, Domenico | Gretarsdottir, Solveig | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gulcher, Jeffrey R. | Halperin, Eran | Hammond, Naomi | Hazen, Stanley L. | Hofman, Albert | Horne, Benjamin D. | Illig, Thomas | Iribarren, Carlos | Jones, Gregory T. | Jukema, J.Wouter | Kaiser, Michael A. | Kaplan, Lee M. | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Knowles, Joshua W. | Kolovou, Genovefa | Kong, Augustine | Laaksonen, Reijo | Lambrechts, Diether | Leander, Karin | Lettre, Guillaume | Li, Mingyao | Lieb, Wolfgang | Linsel-Nitschke, Patrick | Loley, Christina | Lotery, Andrew J. | Mannucci, Pier M. | Maouche, Seraya | Martinelli, Nicola | McKeown, Pascal P. | Meisinger, Christa | Meitinger, Thomas | Melander, Olle | Merlini, Pier Angelica | Mooser, Vincent | Morgan, Thomas | Mühleisen, Thomas W. | Muhlestein, Joseph B. | Münzel, Thomas | Musunuru, Kiran | Nahrstaedt, Janja | Nelson, Christopher P. | Nöthen, Markus M. | Olivieri, Oliviero | Patel, Riyaz S. | Patterson, Chris C. | Peters, Annette | Peyvandi, Flora | Qu, Liming | Quyyumi, Arshed A. | Rader, Daniel J. | Rallidis, Loukianos S. | Rice, Catherine | Rosendaal, Frits R. | Rubin, Diana | Salomaa, Veikko | Sampietro, M. Lourdes | Sandhu, Manj S. | Schadt, Eric | Schäfer, Arne | Schillert, Arne | Schreiber, Stefan | Schrezenmeir, Jürgen | Schwartz, Stephen M. | Siscovick, David S. | Sivananthan, Mohan | Sivapalaratnam, Suthesh | Smith, Albert | Smith, Tamara B. | Snoep, Jaapjan D. | Soranzo, Nicole | Spertus, John A. | Stark, Klaus | Stirrups, Kathy | Stoll, Monika | Tang, W. H. Wilson | Tennstedt, Stephanie | Thorgeirsson, Gudmundur | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Tomaszewski, Maciej | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Rij, Andre M. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Wareham, Nick J. | Wells, George A. | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Wild, Philipp S. | Willenborg, Christina | Witteman, Jaqueline C. M. | Wright, Benjamin J. | Ye, Shu | Zeller, Tanja | Ziegler, Andreas | Cambien, Francois | Goodall, Alison H. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Quertermous, Thomas | März, Winfried | Hengstenberg, Christian | Blankenberg, Stefan | Ouwehand, Willem H. | Hall, Alistair S. | Deloukas, Panos | Thompson, John R. | Stefansson, Kari | Roberts, Robert | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | O’Donnell, Christopher J. | McPherson, Ruth | Erdmann, Jeanette | Samani, Nilesh J.
Nature genetics  2011;43(4):333-338.
We performed a meta-analysis of 14 genome-wide association studies of coronary artery disease (CAD) comprising 22,233 cases and 64,762 controls of European descent, followed by genotyping of top association signals in 60,738 additional individuals. This genomic analysis identified 13 novel loci harboring one or more SNPs that were associated with CAD at P<5×10−8 and confirmed the association of 10 of 12 previously reported CAD loci. The 13 novel loci displayed risk allele frequencies ranging from 0.13 to 0.91 and were associated with a 6 to 17 percent increase in the risk of CAD per allele. Notably, only three of the novel loci displayed significant association with traditional CAD risk factors, while the majority lie in gene regions not previously implicated in the pathogenesis of CAD. Finally, five of the novel CAD risk loci appear to have pleiotropic effects, showing strong association with various other human diseases or traits.
PMCID: PMC3119261  PMID: 21378990
24.  Altered Composition of Triglyceride-Rich Lipoproteins and Coronary Artery Disease in A Large Case-Control Study 
Atherosclerosis  2009;207(2):559-566.
Traditional beta-quantification of plasma lipoproteins by ultracentrifugation separates triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRL) from higher density lipoproteins. The cholesterol in the TGRL fraction is referred to as measured very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) recognizing that other TGRL may be present. The measured VLDL-C to total plasma triglyceride (VLDL-C/TG) has long been considered an index of average TGRL composition with abnormally high VLDL-C/TG ratios (≥0.30 with TG > 150 mg/dL) indicative of atherogenic remnant accumulation (type III hyperlipidemia). However, virtually no reports are available which examine potential associations between CAD and VLDL-C/TG at the lower end of the spectrum.
Methods and Results
We performed ultracentrifugation in 1170 cases with premature-onset, familial CAD and 1759 population-based controls and examined the VLDL-C/TG ratio as an index of TGRL composition. As expected, we found very high CAD risk associated with severe type III hyperlipidemia (OR 10.5, p = 0.02). Unexpectedly, however, we found a robust, graded, and independent association between CAD risk and lower than average VLDL-C/TG ratios (p <0.0001 as ordered categories or as a continuous variable). Among those in the lowest VLDL-C/TG category (a ratio <0.12), CAD risk was clearly increased (OR 4.5, 95% CI 2.9-6.9) and remained significantly elevated in various subgroups including those with triglycerides below 200 mg/dl, in males and females separately, as well as among those with no traditional CAD risk factors (OR 5.8, 95% CI 1.5- 22). Significant compositional differences by case status were confirmed in a subset whose samples were re-spun with measurement of lipids and apolipoprotein B (apo B) in each subfraction.
We found a strong, graded, independent, and robust association between CAD and lower VLDL-C/TG ratios. We consider this a novel, hypothesis-generating observation which will hopefully generate additional future studies to provide confirmation and further insight into potential mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC2787968  PMID: 19524242
plasma triglycerides; VLDL; lipids; ultracentrifugation; type III hyperlipidemia; dysbetalipoproteinemia; coronary artery disease; HDL cholesterol
25.  Statistical design of personalized medicine interventions: The Clarification of Optimal Anticoagulation through Genetics (COAG) trial 
Trials  2010;11:108.
There is currently much interest in pharmacogenetics: determining variation in genes that regulate drug effects, with a particular emphasis on improving drug safety and efficacy. The ability to determine such variation motivates the application of personalized drug therapies that utilize a patient's genetic makeup to determine a safe and effective drug at the correct dose. To ascertain whether a genotype-guided drug therapy improves patient care, a personalized medicine intervention may be evaluated within the framework of a randomized controlled trial. The statistical design of this type of personalized medicine intervention requires special considerations: the distribution of relevant allelic variants in the study population; and whether the pharmacogenetic intervention is equally effective across subpopulations defined by allelic variants.
The statistical design of the Clarification of Optimal Anticoagulation through Genetics (COAG) trial serves as an illustrative example of a personalized medicine intervention that uses each subject's genotype information. The COAG trial is a multicenter, double blind, randomized clinical trial that will compare two approaches to initiation of warfarin therapy: genotype-guided dosing, the initiation of warfarin therapy based on algorithms using clinical information and genotypes for polymorphisms in CYP2C9 and VKORC1; and clinical-guided dosing, the initiation of warfarin therapy based on algorithms using only clinical information.
We determine an absolute minimum detectable difference of 5.49% based on an assumed 60% population prevalence of zero or multiple genetic variants in either CYP2C9 or VKORC1 and an assumed 15% relative effectiveness of genotype-guided warfarin initiation for those with zero or multiple genetic variants. Thus we calculate a sample size of 1238 to achieve a power level of 80% for the primary outcome. We show that reasonable departures from these assumptions may decrease statistical power to 65%.
In a personalized medicine intervention, the minimum detectable difference used in sample size calculations is not a known quantity, but rather an unknown quantity that depends on the genetic makeup of the subjects enrolled. Given the possible sensitivity of sample size and power calculations to these key assumptions, we recommend that they be monitored during the conduct of a personalized medicine intervention.
Trial Registration NCT00839657
PMCID: PMC3000386  PMID: 21083927

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