As statin therapy increases risks of diabetes, the balance of benefit and risk in primary prevention for these agents has become controversial. We undertook an analysis of participants from the JUPITER trial to address the balance of vascular benefits and diabetes hazard of statin use.
In the randomized, double-blind JUPITER trial, 17,603 men and women without prior cardiovascular disease or diabetes were randomly allocated to rosuvastatin 20 mg or placebo and followed for up to 5 years for the trial primary endpoint (myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, arterial revascularization, or cardiovascular death) and the protocol pre-specified secondary endpoints of venous thromboembolism (VTE), all-cause mortality, and incident diabetes. To address balance of vascular benefits and diabetes hazard, participants were stratified on the basis of having none or at least one of the following major risk factors for developing diabetes: metabolic syndrome, impaired fasting glucose, body mass index >30 kg/m2, or HbA1c > 6 percent.
Trial participants with one or more major diabetes risk factor (N=11,508) were at higher risk of developing diabetes; for such individuals, statin allocation was associated with a 39 percent reduction in the primary endpoint (P=0.0001), a 36 percent reduction in VTE (P=0.08), a 17 percent reduction in total mortality (P=0.15) and a 28 percent increase in diabetes (P=0.01). Thus, for those with diabetes risk factors, 93 vascular events or deaths were avoided for every 54 new cases of diabetes diagnosed. For trial participants with no major diabetes risk factor (N=6,095), statin allocation was associated with a 52 percent reduction in the primary endpoint (P=0.0001), a 53 percent reduction in VTE (P=0.05), a 22 percent reduction in total mortality (P=0.08) and no increase in diabetes (HR 0.99, P= 0.99). For such individuals, a total of 86 vascular events or deaths were avoided with no new cases of diabetes diagnosed. In analysis limited to the 486 participants who developed diabetes during follow-up (270 on rosuvastatin vs. 216 on placebo group, P=0.01), the point estimate of cardiovascular risk reduction associated with statin therapy (hazard ratio 0.63) was consistent with that observed for the trial as a whole (hazard ratio 0.56). As compared to placebo, statin allocation accelerated the average time to diagnosis of diabetes by 5.4 weeks.
In the JUPITER primary prevention trial, the cardiovascular and mortality benefits of statin therapy exceed the diabetes hazard, including among those at higher risk for developing diabetes
Adiponectin may have a protective role in the development of obesity-related metabolic and vascular disorders including hypertension. We conducted a prospective, nested case-control study to investigate the relationship between baseline plasma adiponectin, measures of adiposity, and subsequent risk of hypertension.
We selected 400 White and 400 Black postmenopausal women, aged <70 years, who have developed incident hypertension during 5.9-year follow-up and an equal number of age and race matched controls in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. We measured plasma concentrations of total adiponectin in their baseline bloods.
In crude matched models, plasma adiponectin was inversely associated with risk of hypertension among both White and Black women. The association appeared to be non-linear in White women but dose-related in Black women. Adjustment for lifestyle factors, measures of obesity, and obesity-related clinical factors attenuated these associations. The multivariable relative risks (95% confidence interval) of hypertension across increasing quartiles of plasma adiponectin were 1.00, 0.98 (0.66-1.46), 0.63 (0.41-0.97), and 0.92 (0.60-1.42) in White women (p, trend: 0.38) and 1.00, 0.96 (0.64-1.46), 0.83 (0.53-1.29), and 0.58 (0.36-0.94) in Black women (p, trend: 0.02). Further adjustment for inflammatory markers and endothelial markers eliminated the association in White, but not Black, women.
In this prospective, nested case-control study, we found an inverse association between plasma adiponectin and risk of hypertension in White and Black postmenopausal women. The reduced risk of hypertension was limited to intermediate levels of adiponectin in White women while was graded across quartiles of adiponectin in Black women.
adiponectin; hypertension; epidemiology; prospective study; postmenopausal women
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
Overweight and obesity are associated with increased high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels. The purpose of this study was to determine if weight loss diets differing in fat, protein, or carbohydrate composition differentially reduce hsCRP. POUNDS (Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies) LOST was a two-year trial of overweight and obese adults randomly allocated to one of four weight loss diets with targeted percentages of energy derived from fat, protein, and carbohydrates (20,15,65%;20,25,55%;40,15,45%;40,25,35%, respectively). hsCRP was measured at baseline, 6, and 24 months among 710 participants, and adiposity as measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (N=340) or abdominal computed tomography (N=126) was correlated with hsCRP change. At 6 months, hsCRP was reduced in all trial participants by −24.7% (IQR +7%,−50%), weight by −6.7% (IQR −3%,−11%), and waist circumference by −6.0% (IQR −3%,−10%) (all P<.002), with no significant differences according to dietary composition. The percent change in hsCRP at 6 and 24 months correlated modestly with change in weight, waist circumference, fasting insulin, fasting glucose, HOMA, and most lipid levels. Reductions in hsCRP persisted despite an approximate 50% regain of weight by 24 months. The percent change in hsCRP at 24 months significantly correlated with changes in total body fat (r=0.42), total abdominal adiposity (r=0.52), subcutaneous abdominal adiposity (r=0.52), visceral adiposity (r=0.47), and hepatic tissue density (r=−0.34) (all P<0.0006). In conclusion, weight loss decreased hsCRP by similar magnitude, irrespective of dietary composition. Clinicians concerned about inflammation and cardiovascular risk should recommend weight loss diets most likely to succeed for their patients.
Findings regarding the association of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) activity and mass with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) have been inconsistent, and their role in risk prediction is uncertain.
A case-cohort sample from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS) comprised 1,821 CVD cases and a subcohort of 1,992. Cox regression models with inverse sampling weights assessed the association of Lp-PLA2 mass and activity with CVD (myocardial infarction [MI], stroke, and CVD mortality).
Subcohort means were 184.3 mmol/min/mL for Lp-PLA2 activity and 499.2 ng/mL for Lp-PLA2 mass, with 99% having mass above 200 ng/mL, the clinically recommended cut-point. Both activity and mass were positively associated with incident CVD in age- and race/ethnicity-adjusted analyses. Following adjustment by CVD risk factors, the association with activity became null (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.02 for top vs. bottom quartile, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.79-1.33, p-trend=0.65), but the association with mass remained (HR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.45-2.34, p-trend <0.0001). In contrast to blood pressure, HDL, and hsCRP, reclassification statistics for Lp-PLA2 mass did not suggest improvement for overall CVD after full adjustment.
In the WHI-OS Lp-PLA2 mass, but not activity, was independently associated with CVD. However, model fit did not significantly improve with Lp-PLA2, and assay calibration remains a clinical concern.
CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genotypes predict therapeutic warfarin dose at initiation of therapy; however, the predictive ability of genetic information after a week or longer is unknown. Experts have hypothesized that genotype becomes irrelevant once International Normalized Ratio (INR) values are available because INR response reflects warfarin sensitivity.
We genotyped the participants in the Prevention of Recurrent Venous Thromboembolism (PREVENT) trial, who had idiopathic venous thromboemboli and began low-intensity warfarin (therapeutic INR 1.5-2.0) using a standard dosing protocol. To develop pharmacogenetic models, we quantified the effect of genotypes, clinical factors, previous doses, and INR on therapeutic warfarin dose in the 223 PREVENT participants who were randomized to warfarin and achieved stable therapeutic INRs.
A pharmacogenetic model using data from day 0 (before therapy initiation) explained 54% of the variability in therapeutic dose (R2). The R2 increased to 68% at day 7, 75% at day 14, and 77% at day 21, because of increasing contributions from prior doses and INR response. Although CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genotypes were significant independent predictors of therapeutic dose at each weekly interval, the magnitude of their predictive ability diminished over time: partial R2 of genotype was 43% at day 0, 12% at day 7, 4% at day 14, and 1% at day 21.
Over the first weeks of warfarin therapy, INR and prior dose become increasingly predictive of therapeutic dose, and genotype becomes less relevant. However, at day 7, genotype remains clinically relevant, accounting for 12% of therapeutic dose variability.
Temporal increases in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages have paralleled the rise in obesity prevalence, but whether the intake of such beverages interacts with the genetic predisposition to adiposity is unknown.
We analyzed the interaction between genetic predisposition and the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages in relation to body-mass index (BMI; the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) and obesity risk in 6934 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and in 4423 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) and also in a replication cohort of 21,740 women from the Women’s Genome Health Study (WGHS). The genetic-predisposition score was calculated on the basis of 32 BMI-associated loci. The intake of sugar-sweetened beverages was examined prospectively in relation to BMI.
In the NHS and HPFS cohorts, the genetic association with BMI was stronger among participants with higher intake of sugar-sweetened beverages than among those with lower intake. In the combined cohorts, the increases in BMI per increment of 10 risk alleles were 1.00 for an intake of less than one serving per month, 1.12 for one to four servings per month, 1.38 for two to six servings per week, and 1.78 for one or more servings per day (P<0.001 for interaction). For the same categories of intake, the relative risks of incident obesity per increment of 10 risk alleles were 1.19 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.90 to 1.59), 1.67 (95% CI, 1.28 to 2.16), 1.58 (95% CI, 1.01 to 2.47), and 5.06 (95% CI, 1.66 to 15.5) (P = 0.02 for interaction). In the WGHS cohort, the increases in BMI per increment of 10 risk alleles were 1.39, 1.64, 1.90, and 2.53 across the four categories of intake (P = 0.001 for interaction); the relative risks for incident obesity were 1.40 (95% CI, 1.19 to 1.64), 1.50 (95% CI, 1.16 to 1.93), 1.54 (95% CI, 1.21 to 1.94), and 3.16 (95% CI, 2.03 to 4.92), respectively (P = 0.007 for interaction).
The genetic association with adiposity appeared to be more pronounced with greater intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.
To determine whether residual risk after high-dose statin therapy for primary prevention individuals with low LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) is related to on-treatment apolipoprotein B, non-HDL cholesterol (non-HDL-C), or lipid ratios, and how they compare with on-treatment LDL cholesterol (LDL-C).
Guidelines focus on LDL-C as the primary target of therapy, yet residual risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among statin-treated individuals remains high and not fully explained.
Participants in the randomized placebo-controlled JUPITER trial were adults without diabetes or CVD, with baseline LDL-C<130 mg/dL, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein ≥2 mg/L, and triglycerides <500 mg/dL. Individuals allocated to rosuvastatin 20 mg daily with baseline and on-treatment lipids and lipoproteins were examined in relation to the primary endpoint of incident CVD (non-fatal myocardial infarction or stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, arterial revascularization, or cardiovascular death).
Using separate multivariate Cox models, statistically significant associations of a similar magnitude with residual risk of CVD were found for on-treatment LDL-C, non-HDL-C, apolipoprotein B, total/HDL-C, LDL-C/HDL-C, and apolipoprotein B/A-1. The respective adjusted standardized hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for each of these measures were 1.31 (1.09–1.56), 1.25 (1.04–1.50), 1.27 (1.06–1.53), 1.22 (1.03–1.44), 1.29 (1.09–1.52), and 1.27 (1.09–1.49). The overall residual risk and the risk associated with these measures decreased among participants achieving on-treatment LDL-C ≤70 mg/dL, on-treatment non-HDL-C ≤100 mg/dL, or on-treatment apolipoprotein B ≤80 mg/dL. By contrast, on-treatment triglycerides showed no association with CVD.
In this primary prevention trial of non-diabetic individuals with low LDL-C, on-treatment LDL-C was as valuable as non-HDL-C, apolipoprotein B, or ratios in predicting residual risk.
apolipoproteins; lipids; lipoproteins; primary prevention; trials
Framingham-based and Reynolds risk scores for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prediction have not been directly compared in an independent validation cohort.
Methods and Results
We selected a case-cohort sample of the multi-ethnic Women’s Health Initiative Observational Cohort, comprising 1722 cases of major CVD (752 MIs, 754 ischemic strokes, and 216 other CVD deaths) and a random subcohort of 1994 women without prior CVD. We estimated risk using the ATP-III score, the Reynolds risk score, and the Framingham CVD model, reweighting to reflect cohort frequencies. Predicted 10-year risk varied widely between models, with 10% or higher risk in 6%, 10%, and 41% of women using the ATP-III, Reynolds, and Framingham CVD models, respectively. Calibration was adequate for the Reynolds model, but the ATP-III and Framingham CVD models over-estimated risk for CHD and major CVD, respectively. After recalibration, the Reynolds model demonstrated improved discrimination over the ATP-III model through a higher c-statistic (0.765 vs. 0.757, p=0.03), positive net reclassification improvement (NRI) (4.9%, p=0.02) and positive integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) (4.1%, p<0.0001) overall, excluding diabetics (NRI=4.2%, p=0.01), and in white (NRI=4.3%, p=0.04) and black (NRI=11.4, p=0.13) women. The Reynolds (NRI=12.9, p<0.0001) and ATP-III (NRI=5.9%, p=0.0001) models demonstrated better discrimination than the Framingham CVD model.
The Reynolds Risk Score was better calibrated than the Framingham-based models in this large external validation cohort. The Reynolds score also showed improved discrimination overall and in black and white women. Large differences in risk estimates exist between models, with clinical implications for statin therapy.
cardiovascular disease risk factors; models; prediction; risk score; statins
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with adverse outcome. Whether recently discovered genetic risk markers improve AF risk prediction is unknown.
Methods and results
We derived and validated a novel AF risk prediction model from 32 possible predictors in the Women's Health Study (WHS), a cohort of 20 822 women without cardiovascular disease (CVD) at baseline followed prospectively for incident AF (median: 14.5 years). We then created a genetic risk score (GRS) comprised of 12 risk alleles in nine loci and assessed model performance in the validation cohort with and without the GRS. The newly derived WHS AF risk algorithm included terms for age, weight, height, systolic blood pressure, alcohol use, and smoking (current and past). In the validation cohort, this model was well calibrated with good discrimination [C-index (95% CI) = 0.718 (0.684–0.753)] and improved all reclassification indices when compared with age alone. The addition of the genetic score to the WHS AF risk algorithm model improved the C-index [0.741 (0.709–0.774); P = 0.001], the category-less net reclassification [0.490 (0.301–0.670); P < 0.0001], and the integrated discrimination improvement [0.00526 (0.0033–0.0076); P < 0.0001]. However, there was no improvement in net reclassification into 10-year risk categories of <1, 1–5, and 5+% [0.041 (−0.044–0.12); P = 0.33].
Among women without CVD, a simple risk prediction model utilizing readily available risk markers identified women at higher risk for AF. The addition of genetic information resulted in modest improvements in predictive accuracy that did not translate into improved reclassification into discrete AF risk categories.
Women; Atrial fibrillation; Genetics; Risk prediction; Epidemiology
Few prospective studies have explored the association between renal function and risk of incident atrial fibrillation (AF) in apparently healthy populations. A total of 24,746 women participating in the Women’s Health Study who were free of cardiovascular disease (CVD), AF and provided a blood sample at baseline were prospectively followed for incident AF from 1993 to 2010. AF events were confirmed by medical chart review. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated from baseline creatinine using the Chronic Kidney Disease – Epidemiology equation. Cox models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% CI for incident AF across eGFR categories controlling for AF risk factors. During 15.4 years (median) of follow-up, 786 incident AF events occurred. The multivariable-adjusted HR for incident AF across eGFR categories (<60, 60–74.9, 75–89, and ≥ 90 ml/min/1.73 m2) were:1.36 (1.00–1.84), 0.90 (0.71–1.14), 0.99 (0.84–1.18) and 1.00, respectively, without evidence of a linear association (P for trend, 0.48). Similarly, there was no significant curvilinear association (P quadratic, 0.10) in multivariable analysis across categories. As compared to women with an eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2, the 1008 women with an eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 had a multivariable adjusted HR for AF of 1.39 (1.04–1.86, p value 0.03). In conclusion, no significant linear or curvilinear relationship was observed between incident AF and less severe impairment of renal function in this large prospective cohort of women. However, a significant elevation in AF risk was observed at a threshold eGFR of < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2.
atrial fibrillation; renal function
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) share some risk factors, including obesity, yet it is unclear how dietary patterns associated with reduced risk of CVD relate to risk of VTE.
To compare relationships of adherence to a DASH-style diet with risks of CVD and VTE.
We confirmed by medical record review 1094 incident cases of CVD and 675 incident VTEs during mean follow-up of 14.6 years in 34,827 initially healthy participants in the Women’s Health Study who completed at baseline a 133-item food frequency questionnaire scored for adherence to a DASH diet. We compared estimated associations of dietary patterns with CVD and VTE from proportional hazards models in a competing risk framework.
Initial analyses adjusted for age, energy intake, and randomized treatments found 36–41% reduced hazards of CVD among women in the top two quintiles of DASH score relative to those in the bottom quintile (Ptrend<0.001). In multivariate analysis, women in the top two quintiles had 12–23% reduced hazards of CVD relative to women in the bottom quintile (Ptrend=0.04). Analyses restricted to coronary events found more variable 10–33% reduced hazards in the top two quintiles (Ptrend=0.09). In contrast, higher DASH scores were unrelated to risk of VTE with a 1% reduced hazard for the top vs. bottom quintile (Ptrend=0.95).
An apparently strong association of adherence to the DASH diet with incidence of CVD was attenuated upon control for confounding variables. Adherence to the DASH diet was not associated with risk of VTE in women.
Increasing evidence supports a role for inflammation in promoting atrial fibrillation (AF) and statins have anti-inflammatory effects that may be relevant for the prevention of AF. However, studies of statin therapy and incident AF have yielded mixed results and not focused on individuals with an underlying pro-inflammatory response. We studied whether high-sensitivity C-reactive protein is associated with incident AF and whether treatment with rosuvastatin is associated with a lower incidence of AF compared with placebo.
Methods and results
We randomized men and women with LDL cholesterol <130 mg/dL and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein ≥2 mg/L to receive either rosuvastatin 20 mg daily or placebo. Atrial fibrillation was determined from treatment-blind adverse event reports. Among 17 120 participants without prior history of arrhythmia, each increasing tertile of baseline high-sensitivity C-reactive protein was associated with a 36% increase in the risk of developing AF (95% CI: 1.16–1.60; P-trend < 0.01). Allocation to rosuvastatin when compared with placebo was associated with a 27% reduction in the relative risk of developing AF during the trial period; specifically, AF was reported among 138 participants in the placebo group and 100 in the rosuvastatin group (incidence rate 0.78 vs. 0.56/100 person-years, HR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.56–0.94, P = 0.01). The exclusion of participants who developed a major cardiovascular event prior to the report of AF yielded similar results.
Within the JUPITER trial cohort of individuals selected for underlying inflammation, increasing levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein were associated with an increased risk of incident AF and random allocation to rosuvastatin significantly reduced that risk.
C-reactive protein; Atrial fibrillation; Statins
Prior studies found inverse associations between high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) or apolipoprotein A-1 with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Whether this is consistent across levels of low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) or total atherogenic particle burden (apolipoprotein B100) is less well studied, particularly in women.
To determine the association between HDL-C or apolipoprotein A-1 with CVD across a range of LDL-C or apolipoprotein B100.
Prospective cohort study.
The Women’s Healthy Study, a cohort of US female health professionals.
26,861 initially healthy women, age ≥ 45 years at study entry (1992–1995), followed for a mean of approximately 11 years.
Baseline lipids were measured directly, and apolipoproteins with immunoassays. Outcomes were incident total CVD (N=929), coronary events (N=602), and stroke (N=319).
In multivariable analyses, HDL-C and apolipoprotein A-1 were inversely associated with CVD and coronary events but not stroke. Adjusted coronary hazard ratios (HRs) for decreasing quintiles of HDL-C were 1.00, 1.23 (95% CI, 0.85–1.78), 1.42 (CI, 0.98–2.06), 1.90 (CI, 1.33–2.71), and 2.19 (CI, 1.51–3.19), P for linear trend<0.001; and for apolipoprotein A-1 1.00, 0.98 (CI, 0.71–1.35), 1.02 (CI, 0.72–1.44), 1.37 (CI, 0.98–1.90), and 1.58 (CI, 1.14–2.20), P for linear trend=0.005. Consistent inverse associations were found for HDL-C with coronary events across a range of LDL-C, including among women with low LDL-C. No associations were noted for HDL-C or apolipoprotein A-1 among women with low apolipoprotein B100 (<90 mg/dL).
Population of low risk women, small numbers of events in the lowest apolipoprotein B100 stratum, single baseline measurements, and potential residual confounding.
Consistent inverse associations were found for HDL-C with incident coronary events among women with a range of LDL-C. Among women with low total atherogenic particle burden (apolipoprotein B100<90 mg/dL), few events occurred and no associations were seen.
To identify women who benefit from aspirin 100 mg on alternate days for primary prevention of vascular events by using treatment effect prediction based on individual patient characteristics.
Methods and results
Randomized controlled trial data from the Women's Health Study were used to predict treatment effects for individual women in terms of absolute risk reduction for major cardiovascular events (i.e. myocardial infarction, stroke, or cardiovascular death). Predictions were based on existing risk scores, i.e. Framingham (FRS), and Reynolds (RRS), and on a newly developed prediction model. The net benefit of different aspirin treatment-strategies was compared: (i) treat no one, (ii) treat everyone, (iii) treatment according to the current guidelines (i.e. selective treatment of women >65 years of age or having >10% FRS), and (iv) prediction-based treatment (i.e. selective treatment of patients whose predicted treatment effect exceeds a given decision threshold). The predicted reduction in 10-year absolute risk for major cardiovascular events was <1% in 97.8% of 27 939 study subjects when based on the refitted FRS, in 97.0% when based on the refitted RRS, and in 90.0% when based on the newly developed model. Of the treatment strategies considered, only prediction-based treatment using the newly developed model and selective treatment of women >65 years of age yielded more net benefit than treating no one, provided that the 10-year number-willing-to-treat (NWT) to prevent one cardiovascular event was above 50.
Aspirin was ineffective or even harmful in the majority of patients. Age was positively related to treatment effect, whereas current smoking and baseline risk for cardiovascular events were not. When the NWT is 50 or lower, the aspirin treatment strategy that is associated with optimal net benefit in primary prevention of vascular events in women is to treat none.
Trial registration information: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier number: NCT00000479.
Aspirin; Primary prevention; Treatment effect prediction; Net benefit
Adiponectin is linked to reduced diabetes risk and may be anti-atherogenic, yet clinical data show no consistent relationship with incident cardiovascular events, especially among women. To our knowledge, no prior prospective studies have evaluated adiponectin, including high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin, and incident peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Methods & Results
We evaluated the relationship of total, HMW and the HMW-to-total adiponectin ratio with incident symptomatic PAD in a prospective, nested case-control study conducted within the Women’s Health Study (n=110 cases, n=230 controls, frequency matched in strata defined by five-year age categories, smoking, fasting status and follow-up time; median cohort follow-up=13.2 yrs). Baseline median levels of HMW and total adiponectin were significantly lower in women developing PAD than those remaining event-free(HMW: 3.3 vs. 3.8 μg/mL, P=0.0005; total: 5.6 vs. 7.4 μg/mL, P<0.0001). The ratio did not differ significantly between groups. Age-adjusted PAD odds ratios (95% CI) across tertiles were 1.0, 0.66 (0.39–1.13) and 0.40 (0.22–0.74)for HMW and 1.0, 0.74 (0.43–1.25) and 0.35 (0.18–0.65) for total adiponectin (P-trend=0.004 and 0.001, respectively). Results were similar after adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, use of post-menopausal hormone therapy, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, leptin, hemoglobin A1c and fasting insulin [adjusted OR and 95% CI for HMW: 1.0, 0.62 (0.29–1.34), 0.30 (0.12–0.74); total: 1.0, 0.46 (0.22–1.00), 0.30 (0.12–0.76 );Ptrend=0.01 for both].
Total and HMW adiponectin are inversely associated with incident PAD among initially healthy women. These prospective data support a protective role for this adipokine in peripheral atherosclerosis development.
adiponectin; biomarker; epidemiology; peripheral artery disease; women
Inflammatory markers such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and with the severity of peripheral arterial disease. The effects of inflammation on the development of vein graft disease remain speculative. We hypothesized that high levels of inflammatory markers would identify patients at increased risk for adverse events (graft failure, major cardiovascular events) after lower extremity bypass surgery.
Patients (n = 91) scheduled to undergo lower extremity bypass using autogenous vein were enrolled into a prospective study at two institutions. Exclusion criteria included the presence of major infection. A baseline plasma sample was obtained on the morning of lower extremity bypass. Biomarkers for inflammation included hsCRP, fibrinogen, and serum amyloid A (SAA). Values between patients with and without critical limb ischemia were compared. Proportions of events among dichotomized populations (upper limit of normal of each laboratory assay) were compared by log-rank test.
Of the patients undergoing lower extremity bypass, 69% were men, 53% were diabetic, 81% were smokers, and their mean ankle-brachial index was 0.51 ± 0.19. The indication for lower extremity bypass was critical limb ischemia in 55%. There were no perioperative deaths and two early graft occlusions. During a mean follow-up of 342 days (range, 36–694 days) there were four deaths, 27 graft-related events, and 10 other cardiovascular events. No relationships were found between events and demographics, comorbidities, baseline ankle-brachial index, or statin use. High-sensitivity CRP (P = .005), fibrinogen (P < .001), and SAA (P = .0001) levels were associated with critical limb ischemia at presentation. Among patients with an elevated hsCRP (>5 mg/L) immediately before surgery, major postoperative vascular events occurred in 60% (21/35), compared with a 32% (18/56) rate in those with a baseline CRP <5 mg/L (P = .004, log-rank test). On multivariable analysis, only elevated hsCRP correlated with adverse graft-related or cardiovascular events (P = .018).
The inflammatory biomarkers of hsCRP, fibrinogen, and SAA correlate with peripheral arterial disease severity at presentation in patients undergoing lower extremity bypass. Patients with elevated hsCRP are at increased risk for postoperative vascular events, most of which are related to the vein graft. These findings suggest a potential relationship between inflammation and outcomes after lower extremity vein bypass surgery.
Inflammation predicts risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, but the relation of drugs that directly target inflammation with CVD risk is not established. Methotrexate is a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug broadly used for treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of evidence for relationships of methotrexate with CVD occurrence. Cohorts, case-control studies or randomized trials were included if they reported an association between methotrexate and CVD risk. Inclusions/exclusions were independently adjudicated, and all data were extracted in duplicate. Pooled effects were calculated using inverse-variance-weighted meta-analysis. Of 694 identified publications, 10 observational studies, in which methotrexate was administered among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or polyarthritis met inclusion criteria. Methotrexate was associated with 21% lower risk of total CVD (n=10 studies, 95% CI=0.73-0.87, p<0.001), and 18% lower risk of myocardial infarction (n=5, 95% CI=0.71-0.96, p=0.01), without evidence for statistical between-study heterogeneity (p=0.30, p=0.33, respectively). Among prespecified sources of heterogeneity explored, stronger associations were observed in studies that adjusted for underlying disease severity (RR=0.64, 95% CI=0.43-0.96, p<0.01), and for other concomitant medication (RR=0.73, 95% CI=0.63-0.84, p<0.001). Publication bias was potentially evident (funnel plot, Begg’s test, p=0.06); excluding studies with extreme risk estimates did not, however, alter results (RR=0.81, 95% CI=0.74-0.89). In conclusion, methotrexate use is associated with lower risk of CVD among patients with chronic inflammation. These findings suggest that a direct treatment of inflammation may reduce CVD risk.
systematic review; meta-analysis; methotrexate; inflammation; cardiovascular disease
It is unclear whether models which include hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels only for diabetic patients improve ability to predict cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk when compared to the currently recommended classification of diabetes as a cardiovascular risk equivalent.
24,674 women (including 685 diabetic participants at baseline) and 11,280 men (including 563 diabetic participants at baseline) were followed prospectively for CVD. 125 CVD events occurred in diabetic women (666 in non-diabetic women) and 170 events occurred in diabetic men (1382 in non-diabetic men). Models for CVD risk were generated separately for men and women using the traditional CVD risk factors with the addition of a term for HbA1c levels only for diabetic individuals. In diabetic participants, the resulting predicted risks were compared to classification of diabetes as a cardiovascular risk equivalent (10-year CVD-risk of at least 20%).
In women, the models including HbA1c levels in diabetic participants improved the c-statistic by 0.177 (p <0.001) over the risk equivalence model and showed improved reclassification (NRI of 26.7%, p = 0.001). In men, the improvements were more modest but still statistically significant (c-statistic change of 0.039, p=0.015; NRI of 9.2%, p= 0.042). Including HbA1c levels also improved prediction over a dichotomous term for diabetes in women (NRI of 11.8%, p = 0.033) but not in men.
In both women and men with baseline diabetes, we observed significant improvements in predictive ability of CVD risk using models incorporating HbA1c levels compared to classification of diabetes as a cardiovascular risk equivalent.
Leukocyte telomere length shortening has recently been associated with type 2 diabetes Mellitus (T2D). Whether this observation was modulated by genetic variation within the telomere-pathway genes remains elusive. To date, no prospective epidemiological data on the relationship of telomere-pathway gene variation with T2D are available.
The association between 150 tagging-SNPs (tSNPs) of 11 telomere-pathway genes (TERC, UCP1, TERT, POT1, TNKS, TERF1, TNKS2, TEP1, ACD, TERF2 and TERF2IP) and incident T2D was investigated in 22,715 Caucasian female participants of the prospective Women’s Genome Health Study. All were free of known cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes at baseline. During a 13-year follow-up period, 1,445 participants developed an incident T2D. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between genotypes and T2D risk assuming an additive genetic model. Haplotype block analysis was also performed.
A total of eleven tSNPs within TERF1, TNKS, TEP1, ACD, and TERF2 were associated with T2D risk (all p-uncorrected <0.050). Further investigation using the haplotype-block analysis again revealed an association of several prespecified haplotypes of TERF1, and TEP1 with T2D risk (all p-uncorrected <0.040).
If corroborated in other prospective studies, the present findings suggest that genetic variation within the telomere-pathway gene loci examined may be useful predictor for T2D risk assessment.
Inflammation, as measured by the circulating inflammatory marker high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), has been associated with cardiovascular disease. However, data regarding CRP and risk of colorectal cancer have been conflicting. The Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib (APC) trial demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib prevents recurrence of colorectal adenoma but increases risk of cardiovascular events. We examined if serum hsCRP modified these results.
We measured hsCRP from serum specimens provided at study entry by patients enrolled in the APC trial. Patients were stratified according to use of low-dose aspirin, randomized to receive three years of treatment with placebo, 200-mg-bid celecoxib, or 400-mg-bid celecoxib, and underwent follow-up colonoscopies at Year 1 and 3.
Among 1,680 patients, the estimated three-year cumulative incidence of adenoma was 42% for patients with hsCRP <1mg/L, compared with 43% (RR=1.02; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.85–1.22) for hsCRP 1–3mg/L, and 41% (RR=1.1; CI=0.90–1.34) for hsCRP >3mg/L. The effect of celecoxib on adenoma recurrence did not vary among patients with high (>3mg/L) compared with low (≦3mg/L) hsCRP. However, among patients with high hsCRP, the RR of cardiovascular events compared with placebo was 2.27 (95%CI=0.72–7.14) for those randomized to celecoxib 200-mg-bid and 3.28 (CI=1.09–9.91) for 400-mg-bid. In contrast, among patients with low hsCRP, the corresponding RRs were 0.99 (CI=0.53–1.83) and 1.11 (CI=0.61–2.02).
HsCRP may predict risk of celecoxib-associated cardiovascular toxicity, but not adenoma recurrence or celecoxib treatment efficacy. Patients with low hsCRP may be a subgroup with a favorable risk-benefit profile for celecoxib chemoprevention.
Adenoma; celecoxib; c-reactive protein; inflammation; chemoprevention
Prospective data regarding risk factors for peripheral artery disease (PAD) are sparse, especially among women; the relative contribution of systolic versus diastolic blood pressure control for incident PAD has not been well-studied. We evaluated the association of self-reported blood pressure control with incident symptomatic PAD in middle-aged and older women.
We examined the relationship between reported hypertension and incident confirmed symptomatic PAD (n=178) in 39,260 female health professionals aged ≥45 years without known vascular disease at baseline. Median follow-up was 13.3 years. Women were grouped according to presence of reported isolated diastolic (IDH), isolated systolic (ISH), or combined systolic-diastolic hypertension (SDH) using cut-points of 90 and 140 mmHg for diastolic and systolic blood pressure, respectively. SBP and DBP were modeled as continuous and categorical exposures. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs), including adjustment for CV risk factors, were derived from Cox proportional hazards models.
Adjusted HRs compared to women without reported hypertension were 1.0 (0.4–2.8) for IDH, 2.0 (1.3–3.1) for ISH, and 2.8 (1.8–4.5) for SDH. There was a 43% increased adjusted risk per 10 mmHg of reported SBP (95% CI 27–62%) and a gradient in risk according to SBP category (<120, 120–139, 140–159, and ≥160 mmHg); HRs were 1.0, 2.3, 4.3, and 6.6 (p-trend<0.001), respectively. Reported DBP, while individually predictive in models excluding SBP, was not predictive after adjustment for SBP.
These prospective data suggest a strong prognostic role for uncontrolled blood pressure and, particularly, uncontrolled systolic blood pressure in the development of peripheral atherosclerosis in women.
hypertension; peripheral artery disease; women
Very low levels of cardiac troponin T associate with increased risk of cardiovascular death in patients with stable chronic coronary disease. Whether high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hsTnT) levels associate with adverse cardiovascular outcomes in individuals without cardiovascular disease (CVD) has not been well studied.
Methods and Results
Utilizing two complementary study designs, we evaluated the relationship between baseline cardiac troponin and incident CVD events among diabetic and non-diabetic participants in the Women’s Health Study (median follow-up 12.3 years). All diabetic women with blood specimens were included in a cohort study (n=512 diabetic women, n=65 events) and non-diabetic women were sampled for inclusion in a case-cohort analysis (n=564 comprising the subcohort, n=479 events). HsTnT was detectable (≥0.003 μg/L) in 45.5% of diabetic women and 30.3% of non-diabetic women (P<0.0001). In models adjusted for traditional risk factors and hemoglobin A1c, detectable hsTnT was associated with subsequent CVD (myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular death) in diabetic women (adjusted HR 1.79, 95% CI 1.04-3.07, P=0.036), but not non-diabetic women (adjusted HR 1.13, 95% CI 0.82-1.55, P=0.46). Further adjustment for NT-proBNP and estimated renal function did not substantially alter this relationship among diabetic women (HR 1.76, 95% CI 1.00-3.08, P=0.0499), which appeared to be driven by a threefold increase in CVD death that was not observed in non-diabetic women.
Very low but detectable levels of cardiac troponin T associate with total CVD and CVD death in women with diabetes. Among healthy non-diabetic women, detectable compared to undetectable troponin was not associated with CVD events.
Primary prevention; cardiovascular disease risk factors; troponin; diabetes mellitus type 2; women
High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and family history independently associate with future cardiovascular events and have been incorporated into risk prediction models for women (the Reynolds Risk Score for women). However, no cardiovascular risk prediction algorithm incorporating these variables currently exists for men.
Methods and Results
Among 10,724 initially healthy American non-diabetic men who were followed prospectively over a median period of 10.8 years, we compared the test characteristics of global model fit, discrimination, calibration, and reclassification in two prediction models for incident cardiovascular events, one based on age, blood pressure, smoking status, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (traditional model), and the other based on these risk factors as well as hsCRP and parental history of myocardial infarction before age 60 years (Reynolds Risk Score for men). 1,294 cardiovascular events accrued during study follow-up. Compared to the traditional model, the Reynolds Risk Score had better global fit (likelihood ratio test P<0.001), a superior (lower) Bayes Information Criterion, and a larger C-index (P<0.001). For the endpoint of all cardiovascular events, the Reynolds Risk Score for men reclassified 17.8 percent [1,904/10,724] of the study population (and 20.2 percent [1,342/6,884] of those at 5 to 20 percent 10-year risk) into higher- or lower-risk categories with markedly improved accuracy among those reclassified. For this model comparison, the net reclassification index (NRI) was 5.3 percent and the clinical net reclassification index (CNRI) was 14.2 percent (both P-values<0.001). In models based on the ATP-III preferred endpoint of coronary heart disease and limited to men not taking lipid-lowering therapy, 16.7 percent of the study population (and 20.1 percent of those at 5 to 20 percent 10-year risk) were reclassified to higher- or lower-risk groups, again with significantly improved global fit, larger C-index (P<0.001), and markedly improved accuracy among those reclassified. For this model, NRI was 8.4 percent and CNRI 15.8 percent (both P-values <0.001).
As previously shown in women, a prediction model in men that incorporates hsCRP and parental history significantly improves global cardiovascular risk prediction.
prediction; prevention; inflammation; C-reactive protein; family history
The detrimental effects of smoking on risk of myocardial infarction and stroke are well documented, but less information is available regarding peripheral artery disease (PAD), particularly among women.
To prospectively assess the association of current smoking status, cumulative smoking exposure and smoking cessation with incident symptomatic PAD in women
Prospective cohort study
U.S. female health care professionals in the Women's Health Study
39825 women free of cardiovascular disease were prospectively followed for a median of 12.7 years.
Incident symptomatic PAD (n=178). Cox proportional hazards models were used to compare PAD risk among never (n=20336) and former smoking (n=14263) women, women who smoked <15 cigarettes/day (n=1967) and women who smoked ≥15 cigarettes/day (n=3259).
Age-adjusted incidences across smoking categories were 0.12, 0.34, 0.95 and 1.63 per 1000 person-years of follow-up. Multivariable adjustment had little impact on this risk gradient; adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) (95% confidence intervals (CIs)) were 3.14 (2.01–4.90), 8.93 (5.02–15.89) and 16.95 (10.77–26.67) compared with never-smokers. Additional adjustment for high sensitivity C-reactive protein and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 among women with available blood samples (n=28314, 117 events) attenuated risk estimates with HRs of 5.58 (2.61–11.93) and 9.52 (5.17–7.53) for women smoking <15 and ≥15 cigarettes/day, respectively. We found a strong dose-response relationship for lifetime exposure such that the fully adjusted HR’s for 0 (reference), <10, 10–30 and ≥30 pack years were 2.52 (1.49–4.25), 6.75 (4.33–10.52) and 11.09 (6.94–17.72). Compared to current smokers, the adjusted HRs (95% CIs) for smoking abstinence of <10 years, 10–20 years, >20 years and lifelong abstinence were 0.39 (0.24–0.66), 0.28 (0.17–0.46), 0.16 (0.10–0.26) and 0.08 (0.05–0.12).
The use of symptomatic PAD as the primary a priori end point excludes asymptomatic disease.
Among initially healthy women, smoking is a potent risk factor for symptomatic PAD, an effect partially explained by subclinical inflammation. Smoking cessation substantially reduces PAD risk, but an increased occurrence of PAD persists even among former smokers who maintain abstinence.
Primary Funding Source
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and National Cancer Institute
Peripheral artery disease; cardiovascular disease; smoking; inflammation; women