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
Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects over 30 million individuals worldwide and is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, and death. AF is highly heritable, yet the genetic basis for the arrhythmia remains incompletely understood.
Methods & Results
To identify new AF-related genes, we utilized a multifaceted approach, combining large-scale genotyping in two ethnically distinct populations, cis-eQTL mapping, and functional validation. Four novel loci were identified in individuals of European descent near the genes NEURL (rs12415501, RR=1.18, 95%CI 1.13 – 1.23, p=6.5×10−16), GJA1 (rs13216675, RR=1.10, 95%CI 1.06 – 1.14, p=2.2×10−8), TBX5 (rs10507248, RR=1.12, 95%CI 1.08 – 1.16, p=5.7×10−11), and CAND2 (rs4642101, RR=1.10, 95%CI 1.06 – 1.14, p=9.8×10−9). In Japanese, novel loci were identified near NEURL (rs6584555, RR=1.32, 95%CI 1.26–1.39, p=2.0×10−25) and CUX2 (rs6490029, RR=1.12, 95%CI 1.08–1.16, p=3.9×10−9). The top SNPs or their proxies were identified as cis-eQTLs for the genes CAND2 (p=2.6×10−19), GJA1 (p=2.66×10−6), and TBX5 (p=1.36×10−05). Knockdown of the zebrafish orthologs of NEURL and CAND2 resulted in prolongation of the atrial action potential duration (17% and 45%, respectively).
We have identified five novel loci for AF. Our results further expand the diversity of genetic pathways implicated in AF and provide novel molecular targets for future biological and pharmacological investigation.
atrial fibrillation; genetics; epidemiology; expression; functional analysis; zebrafish
B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and C-reactive protein (CRP) predict atrial fibrillation (AF) risk. However, their risk stratification abilities in the broad community remain uncertain. We sought to improve risk stratification for AF using biomarker information.
Methods and results
We ascertained AF incidence in 18 556 Whites and African Americans from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC, n=10 675), Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS, n = 5043), and Framingham Heart Study (FHS, n = 2838), followed for 5 years (prediction horizon). We added BNP (ARIC/CHS: N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide; FHS: BNP), CRP, or both to a previously reported AF risk score, and assessed model calibration and predictive ability [C-statistic, integrated discrimination improvement (IDI), and net reclassification improvement (NRI)]. We replicated models in two independent European cohorts: Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility Reykjavik Study (AGES), n = 4467; Rotterdam Study (RS), n = 3203. B-type natriuretic peptide and CRP were significantly associated with AF incidence (n = 1186): hazard ratio per 1-SD ln-transformed biomarker 1.66 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.56–1.76], P < 0.0001 and 1.18 (95% CI, 1.11–1.25), P < 0.0001, respectively. Model calibration was sufficient (BNP, χ2 = 17.0; CRP, χ2 = 10.5; BNP and CRP, χ2 = 13.1). B-type natriuretic peptide improved the C-statistic from 0.765 to 0.790, yielded an IDI of 0.027 (95% CI, 0.022–0.032), a relative IDI of 41.5%, and a continuous NRI of 0.389 (95% CI, 0.322–0.455). The predictive ability of CRP was limited (C-statistic increment 0.003). B-type natriuretic peptide consistently improved prediction in AGES and RS.
B-type natriuretic peptide, not CRP, substantially improved AF risk prediction beyond clinical factors in an independently replicated, heterogeneous population. B-type natriuretic peptide may serve as a benchmark to evaluate novel putative AF risk biomarkers.
Atrial fibrillation; Risk prediction; Epidemiology; Biomarker; B-type natriuretic peptide; C-reactive protein
More than 100 loci have been identified for age at menarche by genome-wide association studies; however, collectively these explain only ∼3% of the trait variance. Here we test two overlooked sources of variation in 192,974 European ancestry women: low-frequency protein-coding variants and X-chromosome variants. Five missense/nonsense variants (in ALMS1/LAMB2/TNRC6A/TACR3/PRKAG1) are associated with age at menarche (minor allele frequencies 0.08–4.6%; effect sizes 0.08–1.25 years per allele; P<5 × 10−8). In addition, we identify common X-chromosome loci at IGSF1 (rs762080, P=9.4 × 10−13) and FAAH2 (rs5914101, P=4.9 × 10−10). Highlighted genes implicate cellular energy homeostasis, post-transcriptional gene silencing and fatty-acid amide signalling. A frequently reported mutation in TACR3 for idiopathic hypogonatrophic hypogonadism (p.W275X) is associated with 1.25-year-later menarche (P=2.8 × 10−11), illustrating the utility of population studies to estimate the penetrance of reportedly pathogenic mutations. Collectively, these novel variants explain ∼0.5% variance, indicating that these overlooked sources of variation do not substantially explain the ‘missing heritability' of this complex trait.
Previous studies have linked over 100 genomic loci to age-at-menarche but that work was restricted to common autosomal variation. Here, Lunetta et al. identify associations with rare protein-coding and X-linked variants, implicating new mechanisms that regulate puberty timing.
The potential human health effects of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure are a public health concern. In order to design adequately powered epidemiological studies to address potential health effects, data on the reproducibility of BPA concentration in serial urine specimens taken during pregnancy are needed. To provide additional data on the reproducibility of maternal urine specimens, 80 women in the Generation R Study (Rotterdam, NL) contributed a spot urine specimen at < 18, 18–25, and > 25 weeks of pregnancy. Reproducibility, estimated by the intraclass correlation coefficient, was 0.32 (95% confidence interval: 0.18, 0.46), and, on a creatinine basis, 0.31 (95% confidence interval: 0.16, 0.47). While the ICC observed in the Generation R Study is slightly higher than previous reproducibility studies of BPA, it nevertheless indicates a high degree of within person variability, which presents challenges for designing well-powered epidemiologic studies.
Endocrine disruptor; epidemiology; environmental exposure; intraclass correlation coefficient; misclassification
Deleterious effects of prenatal tobacco smoking on fetal growth and newborn weight are well-established. One of the proposed mechanisms underlying this relationship is alterations in epigenetic programming. We selected 506 newborns from a population-based prospective birth cohort in the Netherlands. Prenatal parental tobacco smoking was assessed using self-reporting questionnaires. Information on birth outcomes was obtained from medical records. The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation of the growth genes IGF2DMR and H19 was measured in newborn umbilical cord white blood cells. Associations were assessed between parental tobacco smoking and DNA methylation using linear mixed models and adjusted for potential confounders.
The DNA methylation levels of IGF2DMR and H19 in the non-smoking group were median (90 % range), 54.0 % (44.6–62.0), and 30.0 % (25.5–34.0), in the first trimester only smoking group 52.2 % (44.5–61.1) and 30.8 % (27.1–34.1), and in the continued smoking group 51.6 % (43.9–61.3) and 30.2 % (23.7–34.8), respectively. Continued prenatal maternal smoking was inversely associated with IGF2DMR methylation (β = −1.03, 95 % CI −1.76; −0.30) in a dose-dependent manner (P-trend = 0.030). This association seemed to be slightly more profound among newborn girls (β = −1.38, 95 % CI −2.63; −0.14) than boys (β = −0.72, 95 % CI −1.68; 0.24). H19 methylation was also inversely associated continued smoking <5 cigarettes/day (β = −0.96, 95 % CI −1.78; −0.14). Moreover, the association between maternal smoking and newborns small for gestational age seems to be partially explained by IGF2DMR methylation (β = −0.095, 95 % CI −0.249; −0.018). Among non-smoking mothers, paternal tobacco smoking was not associated with IGF2DMR or H19 methylation.
Maternal smoking is inversely associated with IGF2DMR methylation in newborns, which can be one of the underlying mechanisms through which smoking affects fetal growth.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13148-015-0115-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Cigarettes; Cord blood; DNA methylation; Epigenetic epidemiology; H19; IGF2DMR; Maternal tobacco smoking; Paternal tobacco smoking
Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) is a marker of cardiovascular risk. It is unclear whether measurement of mean common CIMT improves 10-year risk prediction of first-time myocardial infarction or stroke in individuals with elevated blood pressure. We performed an analysis among individuals with elevated blood pressure (ie, a systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg and a diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mm Hg) in USE-IMT, a large ongoing individual participant data meta-analysis. We refitted the risk factors of the Framingham Risk Score on asymptomatic individuals (baseline model) and expanded this model with mean common CIMT (CIMT model) measurements. From both models, 10-year risks to develop a myocardial infarction or stroke were estimated. In individuals with elevated blood pressure, we compared discrimination and calibration of the 2 models and calculated the net reclassification improvement (NRI). We included 17 254 individuals with elevated blood pressure from 16 studies. During a median follow-up of 9.9 years, 2014 first-time myocardial infarctions or strokes occurred. The C-statistics of the baseline and CIMT models were similar (0.73). NRI with the addition of mean common CIMT was small and not significant (1.4%; 95% confidence intervals, −1.1 to 3.7). In those at intermediate risk (n=5008, 10-year absolute risk of 10% to 20%), the NRI was 5.6% (95% confidence intervals, 1.6–10.4). There is no added value of measurement of mean common CIMT in individuals with elevated blood pressure for improving cardiovascular risk prediction. For those at intermediate risk, the addition of mean common CIMT to an existing cardiovascular risk score is small but statistically significant.
atherosclerosis; carotid intima-media thickness; primary prevention; prognosis; risk
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) has been shown to elucidate reliable patterns of brain networks in both children and adults. Studies in adults have shown that rs-fMRI acquisition times of ∼5 to 6 min provide adequate sampling to produce stable spatial maps of a number of different brain networks. However, it is unclear whether the acquisition time directly translates to studies of children. While there are many similarities between the brains of children and adults, many differences are also evident. Children have increased metabolism, differences in brain morphology and connectivity strengths, greater brain plasticity, and increased brain noise. Furthermore, there are differences in physiologic parameters, such as heart and respiratory rates, and compliance of the blood vessels. These developmental differences could translate into different acquisition times for rs-fMRI studies in pediatric populations. Longer scan times, however, increase the subject burden and the risk for greater movement, especially in children. Thus, the goal of this study was to assess the optimum acquisition time of rs-fMRI to extract stable brain networks in school-age children. We utilized fuzzy set theory in 84 six-to-eight year-old children and found that eight networks, including the default mode, salience, frontal, left frontoparietal, right frontoparietal, sensorimotor, auditory, and visual networks, all stabilized after ∼5½ min. The sensorimotor network showed the least stability, whereas the salience and auditory networks showed the greatest stability. A secondary analysis using dual regression confirmed these results. In conclusion, in young children with little head motion, rs-fMRI acquisition times of ∼5½ min can extract the full complement of brain networks.
acquisition time; children; independent component analyses; network stability; resting-state fMRI
Background: Fetal growth characteristics are used to identify influences of several maternal characteristics and to identify individuals at increased risk of adverse outcomes. The extent to which fetal growth characteristics track in different trimesters is not known.
Methods: In a population-based prospective cohort study among 8636 pregnant women, we examined the extent to which fetal growth characteristics track, are influenced by maternal socio-demographic and lifestyle related determinants and are associated with birth outcomes. Fetal growth was assessed in each trimester and at birth.
Results: Correlation coefficient between first-trimester crown-rump length and birthweight was r = 0.12 (P-value < 0.05). Correlation coefficients for fetal-head circumference, (femur) length and (estimated) fetal weight ranged from r = 0.16 to r = 0.30 (all P-values < 0.05) between second trimester and birth and from r = 0.36 to r = 0.58 (all P-values < 0.05) between third trimester and birth, and were highest for (estimated) fetal weight. Correlation coefficients for (estimated) fetal weight tended to be lower among overweight mothers, as compared with normal weight mothers, but were not influenced by other maternal characteristics. First, second and third-trimester fetal growth characteristics were associated with risks of preterm birth and small size for gestational age at birth,with the strongest associations present in third trimester.
Conclusion: Fetal growth characteristics track moderately throughout gestation, with stronger tracking coefficients present in later pregnancy. Tracking coefficients were not materially influenced by maternal socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics. First, second and third trimester fetal growth characteristics were associated with the risk of adverse birth outcomes.
Fetal growth; tracking; preterm birth; small size for gestational age; cohort study
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) colonization rates in childhood have declined in Western populations, but it is unknown whether this trend is similar in children of non-Western ethnic backgrounds, born in a Western country. We aimed to identify H. pylori status in children, and determine both mother-to-child transmission and risk factors for colonization.
Antibodies against H. pylori and cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) were measured in children participating in a population-based prospective cohort study in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Information on demographics and characteristics was collected using questionnaires.
We analysed the serum of 4,467 children (mean age 6.2 years ±0.5 SD) and compared the results with the H. pylori status of their mothers (available for 3,185 children). Overall, 438 (10%) children were H. pylori-positive, of whom 142 (32%) were CagA-positive. Independent risk factors for colonization were: maternal H. pylori positivity (OR 2.12; 95%CI 1.62–2.77), non-Dutch ethnicity (OR 2.05; 95%CI 1.54–2.73), female gender (OR 1.47; 95%CI 1.20–1.80), and lower maternal education level (OR 1.38; 95%CI 1.06–1.79). Comparing mothers and children, we found an intergenerational decrease of 76% and 77% for Hp+CagA− and Hp+CagA+-strains, respectively, consistent across all nine ethnic groups studied. Male gender, higher maternal educational level, and no older siblings, were independently associated with loss of H. pylori.
Although the highest H. pylori and CagA prevalence was found in children of non-Dutch ethnicities, the decreased colonization rates were uniform across all ethnic groups, implying the importance of environmental factors in H. pylori transmission in modern cities, independent of ethnicity.
children; epidemiology; H. pylori; transmission
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) has become a health and financial burden worldwide. The MetS definition captures clustering of risk factors that predict higher risk for diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Our study hypothesis is that additional to genes influencing individual MetS risk factors, genetic variants exist that influence MetS and inflammatory markers forming a predisposing MetS genetic network. To test this hypothesis a staged approach was undertaken. (a) We analyzed 17 metabolic and inflammatory traits in more than 85,500 participants from 14 large epidemiological studies within the Cross Consortia Pleiotropy Group. Individuals classified with MetS (NCEP definition), versus those without, showed on average significantly different levels for most inflammatory markers studied. (b) Paired average correlations between 8 metabolic traits and 9 inflammatory markers from the same studies as above, estimated with two methods, and factor analyses on large simulated data, helped in identifying 8 combinations of traits for follow-up in meta-analyses, out of 130,305 possible combinations between metabolic traits and inflammatory markers studied. (c) We performed correlated meta-analyses for 8 metabolic traits and 6 inflammatory markers by using existing GWAS published genetic summary results, with about 2.5 million SNPs from twelve predominantly largest GWAS consortia. These analyses yielded 130 unique SNPs/genes with pleiotropic associations (a SNP/gene associating at least one metabolic trait and one inflammatory marker). Of them twenty-five variants (seven loci newly reported) are proposed as MetS candidates. They map to genes MACF1, KIAA0754, GCKR, GRB14, COBLL1, LOC646736-IRS1, SLC39A8, NELFE, SKIV2L, STK19, TFAP2B, BAZ1B, BCL7B, TBL2, MLXIPL, LPL, TRIB1, ATXN2, HECTD4, PTPN11, ZNF664, PDXDC1, FTO, MC4R and TOMM40. Based on large data evidence, we conclude that inflammation is a feature of MetS and several gene variants show pleiotropic genetic associations across phenotypes and might explain a part of MetS correlated genetic architecture. These findings warrant further functional investigation.
No diet score exists that summarizes the features of a diet that is optimal for bone mineral density (BMD) in the elderly. Our aims were (a) to develop a BMD-Diet Score reflecting a diet that may be beneficial for BMD based on the existing literature, and (b) to examine the association of the BMD-Diet Score and the Healthy Diet Indicator, a score based on guidelines of the World Health Organization, with BMD in Dutch elderly participating in a prospective cohort study, the Rotterdam Study (n = 5144). Baseline dietary intake, assessed using a food frequency questionnaire, was categorized into food groups. Food groups that were consistently associated with BMD in the literature were included in the BMD-Diet Score. BMD was measured repeatedly and was assessed using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. The BMD-Diet Score considered intake of vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grains, legumes/beans and dairy products as “high-BMD” components and meat and confectionary as “low-BMD” components. After adjustment, the BMD-Diet Score was positively associated with BMD (β (95% confidence interval) = 0.009 (0.005, 0.012) g/cm2 per standard deviation). This effect size was approximately three times as large as has been observed for the Healthy Diet Indicator. The food groups included in our BMD-Diet Score could be considered in the development of future dietary guidelines for healthy ageing.
dietary patterns; bone mineral density; BMD-Diet score; healthy diet indicator
Fasting glucose and insulin are intermediate traits for type 2 diabetes. Here we explore the role of coding variation on these traits by analysis of variants on the HumanExome BeadChip in 60,564 non-diabetic individuals and in 16,491 T2D cases and 81,877 controls. We identify a novel association of a low-frequency nonsynonymous SNV in GLP1R (A316T; rs10305492; MAF=1.4%) with lower FG (β=-0.09±0.01 mmol L−1, p=3.4×10−12), T2D risk (OR[95%CI]=0.86[0.76-0.96], p=0.010), early insulin secretion (β=-0.07±0.035 pmolinsulin mmolglucose−1, p=0.048), but higher 2-h glucose (β=0.16±0.05 mmol L−1, p=4.3×10−4). We identify a gene-based association with FG at G6PC2 (pSKAT=6.8×10−6) driven by four rare protein-coding SNVs (H177Y, Y207S, R283X and S324P). We identify rs651007 (MAF=20%) in the first intron of ABO at the putative promoter of an antisense lncRNA, associating with higher FG (β=0.02±0.004 mmol L−1, p=1.3×10−8). Our approach identifies novel coding variant associations and extends the allelic spectrum of variation underlying diabetes-related quantitative traits and T2D susceptibility.
Cardiovascular factors and low education are important risk factors of dementia. We provide contemporary estimates of the proportion of dementia cases that could be prevented if modifiable risk factors were eliminated, i.e., population attributable risk (PAR). Furthermore, we studied whether the PAR has changed across the last two decades.
We included 7,003 participants of the original cohort (starting in 1990) and 2,953 participants of the extended cohort (starting in 2000) of the Rotterdam Study. Both cohorts were followed for dementia until ten years after baseline. We calculated the PAR of overweight, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cholesterol, smoking, and education. Additionally, we assessed the PAR of stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation. We calculated the PAR for each risk factor separately and the combined PAR taking into account the interaction of risk factors.
During 57,996 person-years, 624 participants of the original cohort developed dementia, and during 26,177 person-years, 145 participants of the extended cohort developed dementia. The combined PAR in the original cohort was 0.23 (95 % CI, 0.05–0.62). The PAR in the extended cohort was slightly higher at 0.30 (95 % CI, 0.06–0.76). The combined PAR including cardiovascular diseases was 0.25 (95 % CI, 0.07–0.62) in the original cohort and 0.33 (95 % CI, 0.07–0.77) in the extended cohort.
A substantial part of dementia cases could be prevented if modifiable risk factors would be eliminated. Although prevention and treatment options of cardiovascular risk factors and diseases have improved, the preventive potential for dementia has not declined over the last two decades.
Dementia; Epidemiology; Population attributable risk; Risk factors
Vitamin D deficiency is widely prevalent and has been associated with many diseases. It has been suggested that vitamin D has effects on the immune system and inhibits inflammation. The aim of our study was to investigate whether vitamin D has an inhibitory effect on systemic inflammation by assessing the association between serum levels of vitamin D and C-reactive protein. We studied the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and C-reactive protein through linear regression in 9,649 participants of the Rotterdam Study, an observational, prospective population-based cohort study. We used genetic variants related to vitamin D and CRP to compute a genetic risk score and perform bi-directional Mendelian randomization analysis. In linear regression adjusted for age, sex, cohort and other confounders, natural log-transformed CRP decreased with 0.06 (95% CI: -0.08, -0.03) unit per standard deviation increase in 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Bi-directional Mendelian randomization analyses showed no association between the vitamin D genetic risk score and lnCRP (Beta per SD = -0.018; p = 0.082) or the CRP genetic risk score and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (Beta per SD = 0.001; p = 0.998). In conclusion, higher levels of Vitamin D are associated with lower levels of C-reactive protein. In this study we did not find evidence for this to be the result of a causal relationship.
Substantial clinical, pathological and genetic overlap exists between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). TDP-43 inclusions have been found in both ALS and FTD cases (FTD-TDP). Recently, a repeat expansion in C9orf72 was identified as the causal variant in a proportion of ALS and FTD cases. We sought to identify additional evidence for a common genetic basis for the spectrum of ALS-FTD.
We used published GWAS data of 4,377 ALS patients and 13,017 controls and 435 pathology-proven FTD-TDP cases and 1,414 controls for genotype imputation. Data were analyzed in a joint meta-analysis, by replicating topmost associated hits of one disease in the other, and by using a conservative rank products analysis, allocating equal weight to ALS and FTD-TDP sample sizes.
Meta-analysis identified 19 genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at C9orf72 on chromosome 9p21.2 (lowest p=2.6×10−12) and one SNP in UNC13A on chromosome 19p13.11 (p=1.0×10−11) as shared susceptibility loci for ALS and FTD-TDP. Conditioning on the 9p21.2 genotype increased statistical significance at UNC13A. A third signal, on chromosome 8q24.13 at the SPG8 locus coding for strumpellin, (p=3.91×10−7) was replicated in an independent cohort of 4,056 ALS patients and 3,958 controls (p=0.026; combined analysis p=1.01×10−7).
We identified common genetic variants at C9orf72, but in addition in UNC13A that are shared between ALS and FTD. UNC13A provides a novel link between ALS and FTD-TDP, and identifies changes in neurotransmitter release and synaptic function as a converging mechanism in the pathogenesis of ALS and FTD-TDP.
The fractional concentration of nitric oxide in exhaled air (FeNO) is a biomarker of eosinophilic airway inflammation and associated with childhood asthma. Identification of common genetic variants associated with childhood FeNO may help to define biological mechanisms related to specific asthma phenotypes.
To identify genetic variants associated with childhood FeNO, and their relation with asthma.
FeNO was measured in children aged 5 to 15 years. In 14 genome-wide association (GWA) studies (N = 8,858), we examined the associations of ~2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with FeNO. Subsequently, we assessed whether significant SNPs were expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) in genome-wide expression datasets of lymphoblastoid cell lines (N = 1,830), and were related with asthma in a previously published GWA dataset (cases: n=10,365; controls: n=16,110).
We identified 3 SNPs associated with FeNO: rs3751972 in LYR motif containing 9 (LYRM9) (P = 1.97×10−10) and rs944722 in inducible nitric oxide synthase 2 (NOS2) (P = 1.28×10−9) both located at 17q11.2-q12, and rs8069176 near gasdermin B (GSDMB) (P = 1.88×10−8) at 17q12-q21. We found a cis eQTL for the transcript soluble galactoside-binding lectin 9 (LGALS9) that is in linkage disequilibrium with rs944722. Rs8069176 was associated with GSDMB and ORM1-like 3 (ORMDL3) expression. Rs8069176 at 17q12-q21, and not rs3751972 and rs944722 at 17q11.2-q12, were associated with physician-diagnosed asthma.
This study identified 3 variants associated with FeNO, explaining 0.95% of the variance. Identification of functional SNPs and haplotypes in these regions might provide novel insight in the regulation of FeNO. This study highlights that both shared and distinct genetic factors affect FeNO and childhood asthma.
airway inflammation; asthma phenotypes; biomarker; genetics; genome-wide association study
To investigate whether myopia is becoming more common across Europe and explore whether increasing education levels, an important environmental risk factor for myopia, might explain any temporal trend.
Meta-analysis of population-based, cross-sectional studies from the European Eye Epidemiology (E3) Consortium.
The E3 Consortium is a collaborative network of epidemiological studies of common eye diseases in adults across Europe. Refractive data were available for 61 946 participants from 15 population-based studies performed between 1990 and 2013; participants had a range of median ages from 44 to 78 years.
Noncycloplegic refraction, year of birth, and highest educational level achieved were obtained for all participants. Myopia was defined as a mean spherical equivalent ≤−0.75 diopters. A random-effects meta-analysis of age-specific myopia prevalence was performed, with sequential analyses stratified by year of birth and highest level of educational attainment.
Main Outcome Measures
Variation in age-specific myopia prevalence for differing years of birth and educational level.
There was a significant cohort effect for increasing myopia prevalence across more recent birth decades; age-standardized myopia prevalence increased from 17.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 17.6–18.1) to 23.5% (95% CI, 23.2–23.7) in those born between 1910 and 1939 compared with 1940 and 1979 (P = 0.03). Education was significantly associated with myopia; for those completing primary, secondary, and higher education, the age-standardized prevalences were 25.4% (CI, 25.0–25.8), 29.1% (CI, 28.8–29.5), and 36.6% (CI, 36.1–37.2), respectively. Although more recent birth cohorts were more educated, this did not fully explain the cohort effect. Compared with the reference risk of participants born in the 1920s with only primary education, higher education or being born in the 1960s doubled the myopia prevalence ratio–2.43 (CI, 1.26–4.17) and 2.62 (CI, 1.31–5.00), respectively—whereas individuals born in the 1960s and completing higher education had approximately 4 times the reference risk: a prevalence ratio of 3.76 (CI, 2.21–6.57).
Myopia is becoming more common in Europe; although education levels have increased and are associated with myopia, higher education seems to be an additive rather than explanatory factor. Increasing levels of myopia carry significant clinical and economic implications, with more people at risk of the sight-threatening complications associated with high myopia.
CI, confidence interval; D, diopters; E3, European Eye Epidemiology
Pulmonary hypertension is characterized by increased pulmonary artery pressure and carries an increased mortality. Population-based studies into pulmonary hypertension are scarce and little is known about its prevalence in the general population. We aimed to describe the distribution of echocardiographically-assessed pulmonary artery systolic pressure (ePASP) in the general population, to estimate the prevalence of pulmonary hypertension, and to identify associated factors.
Participants (n = 3381, mean age 76.4 years, 59% women) from the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort, underwent echocardiography. Echocardiographic pulmonary hypertension was defined as ePASP>40 mmHg.
Mean ePASP was 26.3 mmHg (SD 7.0). Prevalence of echocardiographic pulmonary hypertension was 2.6% (95%CI: 2.0; 3.2). Prevalence was higher in older participants compared to younger ones (8.3% in those over 85 years versus 0.8% in those between 65 and 70), and in those with underlying disorders versus those without (5.9% in subjects with COPD versus 2.3%; 9.2% in those with left ventricular systolic dysfunction versus 2.3%; 23.1% in stages 3 or 4 left ventricular diastolic dysfunction versus 1.9% in normal or stage 1). Factors independently associated with higher ePASP were older age, higher BMI, left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, COPD and systemic hypertension.
In this large population-based study, we show that pulmonary hypertension as measured by echocardiography has a low prevalence in the overall general population in the Netherlands, but estimates may be higher in specific subgroups, especially in those with underlying diseases. Increased pulmonary arterial pressure is likely to gain importance in the near future due to population aging and the accompanying prevalences of underlying disorders.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death in low- and middle-income countries. Therefore, the surveillance of risk factors has become an issue of major importance for planning and implementation of preventive measures. Unfortunately, in these countries data on NCDs and their risk factors are limited. This also prevails in Suriname, a middle-income country of the Caribbean, with a multiethnic/multicultural population living in diverse residential areas. For these reasons, “The Suriname Health Study” was designed.
The main objective of this study is to estimate the prevalence of NCD risk factors, including metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and diabetes in Suriname. Differences between specific age groups, sexes, ethnic groups, and geographical areas will be emphasized. In addition, risk groups will be identified and targeted actions will be designed and evaluated.
In this study, several methodologies were combined. A stratified multistage cluster sample was used to select the participants of 6 ethnic groups (Hindustani, Creole, Javanese, Maroon, Chinese, Amerindians, and mixed) divided into 5 age groups (between 15 and 65 years) who live in urban/rural areas or the hinterland. A standardized World Health Organization STEPwise approach to surveillance questionnaire was adapted and used to obtain information about demographic characteristics, lifestyle, and risk factors. Physical examinations were performed to measure blood pressure, height, weight, and waist circumference. Biochemical analysis of collected blood samples evaluated the levels of glucose, high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. Statistical analysis will be used to identify the burden of modifiable and unmodifiable risk factors in the aforementioned subgroups. Subsequently, tailor-made interventions will be prepared and their effects will be evaluated.
The data as collected allow for national inference and valid analysis of the age, sex, and ethnicity subgroups in the Surinamese population. A publication of the basic survey results is anticipated in mid-2015. Secondary results on the effect of targeted lifestyle interventions are anticipated in late 2017.
Using the data collected in this study, the national prevalence of NCD risk factors will be approximated and described in a diverse population. This study is an entry point for formulating the structure of NCD prevention and surveillance.
ethnicity; multistage cluster sample; noncommunicable disease risk factors; STEPwise approach to surveillance; Suriname
The association between metabolic syndrome (MS) and bone health remains unclear. We aimed to study the association between MS and hip bone geometry (HBG), femoral neck bone mineral density (FN-BMD), and the risk of osteoporosis and incident fractures. Data of 2040 women and 1510 men participants in the third visit (1997–1999) of the Rotterdam Study (RSI-3), a prospective population based cohort, were available (mean follow-up 6.7 years). MS was defined according to the recent harmonized definition. HBG parameters were measured at the third round visit whereas FN-BMD was assessed at the third round and 5 years later. Incident fractures were identified from medical registry data. After correcting for age, body mass index (BMI), lifestyle factors and medication use, individuals with MS had lower bone width (β = -0.054, P = 0.003), lower cortical buckling ratio (β = -0.81, P = 0.003) and lower odds of having osteoporosis (odds ratio =0.56, P = 0.007) in women but not in men. Similarly, MS was associated with higher FN-BMD only in women (β = 0.028, P=0.001). In the analyses of MS components, the glucose component (unrelated to diabetes status) was positively associated with FN-BMD in both genders (β = 0.016, P = 0.01 for women and β = 0.022, P = 0.004 for men). In men, waist circumference was inversely associated with FN-BMD (β = -0.03, P = 0.004). No association was observed with fracture risk in either sex. In conclusion, women with MS had higher FN-BMD independent of BMI. The glucose component of MS was associated with high FN-BMD in both genders, highlighting the need to preserve glycemic control to prevent skeletal complications.
Quantitative ultrasound of the heel captures heel bone properties that independently predict fracture risk and, with bone mineral density (BMD) assessed by X-ray (DXA), may be convenient alternatives for evaluating osteoporosis and fracture risk. We performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association (GWA) studies to assess the genetic determinants of heel broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA; n = 14 260), velocity of sound (VOS; n = 15 514) and BMD (n = 4566) in 13 discovery cohorts. Independent replication involved seven cohorts with GWA data (in silico n = 11 452) and new genotyping in 15 cohorts (de novo n = 24 902). In combined random effects, meta-analysis of the discovery and replication cohorts, nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) had genome-wide significant (P < 5 × 10−8) associations with heel bone properties. Alongside SNPs within or near previously identified osteoporosis susceptibility genes including ESR1 (6q25.1: rs4869739, rs3020331, rs2982552), SPTBN1 (2p16.2: rs11898505), RSPO3 (6q22.33: rs7741021), WNT16 (7q31.31: rs2908007), DKK1 (10q21.1: rs7902708) and GPATCH1 (19q13.11: rs10416265), we identified a new locus on chromosome 11q14.2 (rs597319 close to TMEM135, a gene recently linked to osteoblastogenesis and longevity) significantly associated with both BUA and VOS (P < 8.23 × 10−14). In meta-analyses involving 25 cohorts with up to 14 985 fracture cases, six of 10 SNPs associated with heel bone properties at P < 5 × 10−6 also had the expected direction of association with any fracture (P < 0.05), including three SNPs with P < 0.005: 6q22.33 (rs7741021), 7q31.31 (rs2908007) and 10q21.1 (rs7902708). In conclusion, this GWA study reveals the effect of several genes common to central DXA-derived BMD and heel ultrasound/DXA measures and points to a new genetic locus with potential implications for better understanding of osteoporosis pathophysiology.
We determined the glaucoma screening performance of regional optical coherence tomography (OCT) layer thickness measurements in the peripapillary and macular region, in a population-based setting.
Subjects (n = 1224) in the Rotterdam Study underwent visual field testing (Humphrey Field Analyzer) and OCT of the macula and optic nerve head (Topcon 3-D OCT-1000). We determined the mean thicknesses of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), retinal ganglion cell layer (RGCL), and inner plexiform layer for regions-of-interest; thus, defining a series of OCT parameters, using the Iowa Reference Algorithms. Reference standard was the presence of glaucomatous visual field loss (GVFL); controls were subjects without GVFL, an intraocular pressure (IOP) of 21 mm Hg or less, and no positive family history for glaucoma. We calculated the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUCs) and the sensitivity at 97.5% specificity for each parameter.
After excluding 23 subjects with an IOP > 21 mm Hg and 73 subjects with a positive family history for glaucoma, there were 1087 controls and 41 glaucoma cases. Mean RGCL thickness in the inferior half of the macular region showed the highest AUC (0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.77–0.92) and sensitivity (53.7%; 95% CI, 38.7–68.0%). The mean thickness of the peripapillary RNFL had an AUC of 0.77 (95% CI, 0.69–0.85) and a sensitivity of 24.4% (95% CI, 13.7–39.5%).
Macular RGCL loss is at least as common as peripapillary RNFL abnormalities in population-based glaucoma cases. Screening for glaucoma using OCT-derived regional thickness identifies approximately half of those cases of glaucoma as diagnosed by perimetry.
In this population-based study, macular damage was the most common OCT finding in cases with glaucomatous visual field loss. Half of the cases were missed on OCT, reassuring the need of functional testing in glaucoma.
OCT; retinal thickness measurement; Iowa Reference Algorithms; population-based evaluation
Recently, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and Barrett's esophagus (BE) were identified; rs10419226 (CRTC1), rs11789015 (BARX1), rs2687201 (FOXP1), rs2178146 (FOXF1), rs3111601 (FOXF1), and rs9936833 (FOXF1). These findings indicate that genetic susceptibility could play a role in the initiation of EAC in BE patients. The aim of this study was to validate the association between these previously identified SNPs and the risk of EAC in an independent and large case–control study.
Six SNPs found to be associated with EAC and BE were genotyped by a multiplex SNaPshot analysis in 1071 EAC patients diagnosed and treated in the Netherlands. Allele frequencies were compared to a control group derived from the Rotterdam Study, a population-based prospective cohort study (n = 6206). Logistic regression analysis and meta-analysis were performed to calculate odds ratios (OR).
Rs10419226 (CRTC1) showed a significantly increased EAC risk for the minor allele (OR = 1.17, P = 0.001), and rs11789015 (BARX1) showed a significantly decreased risk for the minor allele (OR = 0.85, P = 0.004) in the logistic regression analysis. The meta-analysis of the original GWAS and the current study revealed an improved level of significance for rs10419226 (CRTC1) (OR = 1.18, P = 6.66 × 10–10) and rs11789015 (BARX1) (OR = 0.83, P = 1.13 × 10–8).
This independent and large Dutch case–control study confirms the association of rs10419226 (CRTC1) and rs11789015 (BARX1) with the risk of EAC. These findings suggest a contribution of the patient genetic make-up to the development of EAC and might contribute to gain more insight in the etiology of this cancer.
Barrett's esophagus; esophageal adenocarcinoma; single nucleotide polymorphisms