Information on dietary supplements, medications, and other xenobiotics in epidemiologic surveys is usually obtained from questionnaires and is subject to recall and reporting biases. The authors used metabolite data obtained from hydrogen-1 (or proton) nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) analysis of human urine specimens from the International Study of Macro-/Micro-Nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP Study) to validate self-reported analgesic use. Metabolic profiling of two 24-hour urine specimens per individual was carried out for 4,630 participants aged 40–59 years from 17 population samples in Japan, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States (data collection, 1996–1999). 1H NMR-detected acetaminophen and ibuprofen use was low (∼4%) among East Asian population samples and higher (>16%) in Western population samples. In a comparison of self-reported acetaminophen and ibuprofen use with 1H NMR-detected acetaminophen and ibuprofen metabolites among 496 participants from Chicago, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, the overall rate of concordance was 81%–84%; the rate of underreporting was 15%–17%; and the rate of underdetection was approximately 1%. Comparison of self-reported unspecified analgesic use with 1H NMR-detected acetaminophen and ibuprofen metabolites among 2,660 Western INTERMAP participants revealed similar levels of concordance and underreporting. Screening for urinary metabolites of acetaminophen and ibuprofen improved the accuracy of exposure information. This approach has the potential to reduce recall bias and other biases in epidemiologic studies for a range of substances, including pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and foods.
analgesics, non-narcotic; anti-inflammatory agents, non-steroidal; epidemiologic studies; metabolomics; pharmacoepidemiology; questionnaires; reproducibility of results
Null mutations in the PCSK1 gene, encoding the proprotein convertase 1/3 (PC1/3), cause recessive monogenic early onset obesity. Frequent coding variants that modestly impair PC1/3 function mildly increase the risk for common obesity. The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of rare functional PCSK1 mutations to obesity. PCSK1 exons were sequenced in 845 nonconsanguineous extremely obese Europeans. Eight novel nonsynonymous PCSK1 mutations were identified, all heterozygous. Seven mutations had a deleterious effect on either the maturation or the enzymatic activity of PC1/3 in cell lines. Of interest, five of these novel mutations, one of the previously described frequent variants (N221D), and the mutation found in an obese mouse model (N222D), affect residues at or near the structural calcium binding site Ca-1. The prevalence of the newly identified mutations was assessed in 6,233 obese and 6,274 lean European adults and children, which showed that carriers of any of these mutations causing partial PCSK1 deficiency had an 8.7-fold higher risk to be obese than wild-type carriers. These results provide the first evidence of an increased risk of obesity in heterozygous carriers of mutations in the PCSK1 gene. Furthermore, mutations causing partial PCSK1 deficiency are present in 0.83% of extreme obesity phenotypes.
Gene-environment interaction studies offer the prospect of robust causal inference through both gene identification and instrumental variable approaches. As such they are a major and much needed development. However, conducting these studies using traditional methods, which require direct participant contact, is resource intensive. The ability to conduct gene-environment interaction studies remotely would reduce costs and increase capacity.
To develop a platform for the remote conduct of gene-environment interaction studies.
A random sample of 15,000 men and women aged 50+ years and living in Cardiff, South Wales, of whom 6,012 were estimated to have internet connectivity, were mailed inviting them to visit a web-site to join a study of successful ageing. Online consent was obtained for questionnaire completion, cognitive testing, re-contact, record linkage and genotyping. Cognitive testing was conducted using the Cardiff Cognitive Battery. Bio-sampling was randomised to blood spot, buccal cell or no request.
A heterogeneous sample of 663 (4.5% of mailed sample and 11% of internet connected sample) men and women (47% female) aged 50–87 years (median = 61 yrs) from diverse backgrounds (representing the full range of deprivation scores) was recruited. Bio-samples were donated by 70% of those agreeing to do so. Self report questionnaires and cognitive tests showed comparable distributions to those collected using face-to-face methods. Record linkage was achieved for 99.9% of participants.
This study has demonstrated that remote methods are suitable for the conduct of gene-environment interaction studies. Up-scaling these methods provides the opportunity to increase capacity for large-scale gene-environment interaction studies.
Background Cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality has more than halved in England since the 1980s, but there are few data on small-area trends. We estimated CVD mortality by ward in 5-year intervals between 1982 and 2006, and examined trends in relation to starting mortality, region and community deprivation.
Methods We analysed CVD death rates using a Bayesian spatial technique for all 7932 English electoral wards in consecutive 5-year intervals between 1982 and 2006, separately for men and women aged 30–64 years and ≥65 years.
Results Age-standardized CVD mortality declined in the majority of wards, but increased in 186 wards for women aged ≥65 years. The decline was larger where starting mortality had been higher. When grouped by deprivation quintile, absolute inequality between most- and least-deprived wards narrowed over time in those aged 30–64 years, but increased in older adults; relative inequalities worsened in all four age–sex groups. Wards with high CVD mortality in 2002–06 fell into two groups: those in and around large metropolitan cities in northern England that started with high mortality in 1982–86 and could not ‘catch up’, despite impressive declines, and those that started with average or low mortality in the 1980s but ‘fell behind’ because of small mortality reductions.
Conclusions Improving population health and reducing health inequalities should be treated as related policy and measurement goals. Ongoing analysis of mortality by small area is essential to monitor local effects on health and health inequalities of the public health and healthcare systems.
Cardiovascular diseases; epidemiology; population health; small-area analysis; Bayesian spatial analysis; health inequality
The cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of wild-type and of an active-site mutant of C. jejuni glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase is reported.
The genome of the enteric pathogen Campylobacter jejuni encodes a single glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase that can utilize either NADP+ or NAD+ as coenzymes for the oxidative phosphorylation of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate to 1,3-diphosphoglycerate. Here, the cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of both the wild type and an active-site mutant of the enzyme are presented. Preliminary X-ray analysis revealed that in both cases the crystals diffracted to beyond 1.9 Å resolution. The space group is shown to be I4122, with unit-cell parameters a = 90.75, b = 90.75, c = 225.48 Å, α = 90.46, β = 90.46, γ = 222.79°; each asymmetric unit contains only one subunit of the tetrameric enzyme.
glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; Campylobacter jejuni
Genome-wide association studies have identified numerous genetic loci for spirometic measures of pulmonary function, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and its ratio to forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC). Given that cigarette smoking adversely affects pulmonary function, we conducted genome-wide joint meta-analyses (JMA) of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and SNP-by-smoking (ever-smoking or pack-years) associations on FEV1 and FEV1/FVC across 19 studies (total N = 50,047). We identified three novel loci not previously associated with pulmonary function. SNPs in or near DNER (smallest PJMA = 5.00×10−11), HLA-DQB1 and HLA-DQA2 (smallest PJMA = 4.35×10−9), and KCNJ2 and SOX9 (smallest PJMA = 1.28×10−8) were associated with FEV1/FVC or FEV1 in meta-analysis models including SNP main effects, smoking main effects, and SNP-by-smoking (ever-smoking or pack-years) interaction. The HLA region has been widely implicated for autoimmune and lung phenotypes, unlike the other novel loci, which have not been widely implicated. We evaluated DNER, KCNJ2, and SOX9 and found them to be expressed in human lung tissue. DNER and SOX9 further showed evidence of differential expression in human airway epithelium in smokers compared to non-smokers. Our findings demonstrated that joint testing of SNP and SNP-by-environment interaction identified novel loci associated with complex traits that are missed when considering only the genetic main effects.
Measures of pulmonary function provide important clinical tools for evaluating lung disease and its progression. Genome-wide association studies have identified numerous genetic risk factors for pulmonary function but have not considered interaction with cigarette smoking, which has consistently been shown to adversely impact pulmonary function. In over 50,000 study participants of European descent, we applied a recently developed joint meta-analysis method to simultaneously test associations of gene and gene-by-smoking interactions in relation to two major clinical measures of pulmonary function. Using this joint method to incorporate genetic main effects plus gene-by-smoking interaction, we identified three novel gene regions not previously related to pulmonary function: (1) DNER, (2) HLA-DQB1 and HLA-DQA2, and (3) KCNJ2 and SOX9. Expression analyses in human lung tissue from ours or prior studies indicate that these regions contain genes that are plausibly involved in pulmonary function. This work highlights the utility of employing novel methods for incorporating environmental interaction in genome-wide association studies to identify novel genetic regions.
To identify previously unknown genetic loci associated with fasting glucose concentrations, we examined the leading association signals in ten genome-wide association scans involving a total of 36,610 individuals of European descent. Variants in the gene encoding melatonin receptor 1B (MTNR1B) were consistently associated with fasting glucose across all ten studies. The strongest signal was observed at rs10830963, where each G allele (frequency 0.30 in HapMap CEU) was associated with an increase of 0.07 (95% CI = 0.06-0.08) mmol/l in fasting glucose levels (P = 3.2 = × 10−50) and reduced beta-cell function as measured by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-B, P = 1.1 × 10−15). The same allele was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (odds ratio = 1.09 (1.05-1.12), per G allele P = 3.3 × 10−7) in a meta-analysis of 13 case-control studies totaling 18,236 cases and 64,453 controls. Our analyses also confirm previous associations of fasting glucose with variants at the G6PC2 (rs560887, P = 1.1 × 10−57) and GCK (rs4607517, P = 1.0 × 10−25) loci.
Prevention of obesity should start as early as possible after birth. We aimed to build clinically useful equations estimating the risk of later obesity in newborns, as a first step towards focused early prevention against the global obesity epidemic.
We analyzed the lifetime Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (NFBC1986) (N = 4,032) to draw predictive equations for childhood and adolescent obesity from traditional risk factors (parental BMI, birth weight, maternal gestational weight gain, behaviour and social indicators), and a genetic score built from 39 BMI/obesity-associated polymorphisms. We performed validation analyses in a retrospective cohort of 1,503 Italian children and in a prospective cohort of 1,032 U.S. children.
In the NFBC1986, the cumulative accuracy of traditional risk factors predicting childhood obesity, adolescent obesity, and childhood obesity persistent into adolescence was good: AUROC = 0·78[0·74–0.82], 0·75[0·71–0·79] and 0·85[0·80–0·90] respectively (all p<0·001). Adding the genetic score produced discrimination improvements ≤1%. The NFBC1986 equation for childhood obesity remained acceptably accurate when applied to the Italian and the U.S. cohort (AUROC = 0·70[0·63–0·77] and 0·73[0·67–0·80] respectively) and the two additional equations for childhood obesity newly drawn from the Italian and the U.S. datasets showed good accuracy in respective cohorts (AUROC = 0·74[0·69–0·79] and 0·79[0·73–0·84]) (all p<0·001). The three equations for childhood obesity were converted into simple Excel risk calculators for potential clinical use.
This study provides the first example of handy tools for predicting childhood obesity in newborns by means of easily recorded information, while it shows that currently known genetic variants have very little usefulness for such prediction.
Onset of alcohol use at an early age increases the risk for later alcohol dependence. We investigated the role of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene (NR3C1) in onset of alcohol use and abuse in 14-year-old adolescents (n = 4534). Several NR3C1 polymorphisms were associated with onset of alcohol drinking or drunkenness at this age. Strongest associations were observed in females, with one marker (rs244465) remaining significant after correction for multiple testing (Padj = 0.0067; odds ratio = 1.7, for drunkenness). Our data provide the first evidence that GR modulates initiation of alcohol abuse and reveal a polymorphism that might contribute to susceptibility to addiction.
Addiction; adolescent; alcohol; glucocorticoid receptor; NR3C1; polymorphism
Data indicate an inverse association between dietary calcium and magnesium intakes and blood pressure (BP); however, much less is known about associations between urinary calcium and magnesium excretion and BP in general populations. The authors assessed the relation of BP to 24-hour excretion of calcium and magnesium in 2 cross-sectional studies. The International Study of Macro- and Micro-Nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) comprised 4,679 persons aged 40–59 years from 17 population samples in China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and the International Cooperative Study on Salt, Other Factors, and Blood Pressure (INTERSALT) comprised 10,067 persons aged 20–59 years from 52 samples around the world. Timed 24-hour urine collections, BP measurements, and nutrient data from four 24-hour dietary recalls (INTERMAP) were collected. In multiple linear regression analyses, urinary calcium excretion was directly associated with BP. After adjustment for multiple confounders (including weight, height, alcohol intake, calcium intake, urinary sodium level, and urinary potassium intake), systolic BP was 1.9 mm Hg higher per each 4.1 mmol per 24 hours (2 standard deviations) of higher urinary calcium excretion (associations were smaller for diastolic BP) in INTERMAP. Qualitatively similar associations were observed in INTERSALT analyses. Associations between magnesium excretion and BP were small and nonsignificant for most of the models examined. The present data suggest that altered calcium homoeostasis, as exhibited by increased calcium excretion, is associated with higher BP levels.
blood pressure; calcium; magnesium
The genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach has discovered hundreds of genetic variants associated with diseases and quantitative traits. However, despite clinical overlap and statistical correlation between many phenotypes, GWAS are generally performed one-phenotype-at-a-time. Here we compare the performance of modelling multiple phenotypes jointly with that of the standard univariate approach. We introduce a new method and software, MultiPhen, that models multiple phenotypes simultaneously in a fast and interpretable way. By performing ordinal regression, MultiPhen tests the linear combination of phenotypes most associated with the genotypes at each SNP, and thus potentially captures effects hidden to single phenotype GWAS. We demonstrate via simulation that this approach provides a dramatic increase in power in many scenarios. There is a boost in power for variants that affect multiple phenotypes and for those that affect only one phenotype. While other multivariate methods have similar power gains, we describe several benefits of MultiPhen over these. In particular, we demonstrate that other multivariate methods that assume the genotypes are normally distributed, such as canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and MANOVA, can have highly inflated type-1 error rates when testing case-control or non-normal continuous phenotypes, while MultiPhen produces no such inflation. To test the performance of MultiPhen on real data we applied it to lipid traits in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC1966). In these data MultiPhen discovers 21% more independent SNPs with known associations than the standard univariate GWAS approach, while applying MultiPhen in addition to the standard approach provides 37% increased discovery. The most associated linear combinations of the lipids estimated by MultiPhen at the leading SNPs accurately reflect the Friedewald Formula, suggesting that MultiPhen could be used to refine the definition of existing phenotypes or uncover novel heritable phenotypes.
Filament assembly of nonmuscle myosin IIA (NMIIA) is selectively regulated by the small Ca2+-binding protein, S100A4, which causes enhanced cell migration and metastasis in certain cancers. Our NMR structure shows that an S100A4 dimer binds to a single myosin heavy chain in an asymmetrical configuration. NMIIA in the complex forms a continuous helix that stretches across the surface of S100A4 and engages the Ca2+-dependent binding sites of each subunit in the dimer. Synergy between these sites leads to a very tight association (KD ∼1 nM) that is unique in the S100 family. Single-residue mutations that remove this synergy weaken binding and ameliorate the effects of S100A4 on NMIIA filament assembly and cell spreading in A431 human epithelial carcinoma cells. We propose a model for NMIIA filament disassembly by S100A4 in which initial binding to the unstructured NMIIA tail initiates unzipping of the coiled coil and disruption of filament packing.
► S100A4 dimer binds single-myosin IIA molecule in an asymmetrical mode ► Synergy between Ca-dependent sites in S100A4 leads to high-affinity interaction ► Electron microscopy shows that two S100A4 dimers bind to the myosin coiled coil ► S100A4 has direct effect on formation of stress fibers and cell migration
The obesity epidemic has focused attention on relationships of sugars and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) to cardiovascular risk factors. Here we report cross-sectional associations of SSB, diet beverages, sugars with blood pressure (BP) for UK and USA participants of the International Study of Macro/Micro-nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP). Data collected includes four 24-h dietary recalls, two 24-h urine collections, eight BP readings, questionnaire data for 2,696 people ages 40-59 from 10 USA/UK population samples. Associations of SSB, diet beverages, and sugars (fructose, glucose, sucrose) with BP were assessed by multiple linear regression. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake related directly to BP, P-values 0.005 to <0.001 (systolic BP), 0.14 to <0.001 (diastolic BP). Sugar-sweetened beverage intake higher by 1 serving/day (355 ml/24-h) was associated with systolic/diastolic BP differences of +1.6/+0.8 mm Hg (both P <0.001); +1.1/+0.4 mm Hg (P <0.001/<0.05) with adjustment for weight, height. Diet beverage intake was inversely associated with BP, P 0.41 to 0.003. Fructose- and glucose-BP associations were direct, with significant sugar-sodium interactions: for individuals with above-median 24-h urinary sodium excretion, fructose intake higher by 2 SD (5.6 %kcal) was associated with systolic/diastolic BP differences of +3.4/+2.2 mm Hg (both P <0.001); 2.5/1.7 mm Hg (both P 0.002) with adjustment for weight, height. Observed independent, direct associations of SSB intake and BP are consistent with recent trial data. These findings, plus adverse nutrient intakes among SSB consumers, and greater sugar-BP differences for persons with higher sodium excretion, lend support to recommendations that intake of SSB, sugars, and salt be substantially reduced.
Sugar-sweetened beverages; sodium; nutrition; blood pressure; epidemiology; population study
CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 and TTC12-ANKK1-DRD2 gene-clusters influence smoking behavior. Our aim was to test developmental changes in their effects as well as the interplays between them and with non-genetic factors.
Participants included 4,762 subjects from a general population based prospective Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort (NFBC 1966). Smoking behavior was collected at age 14 and 31 years(y). Information on maternal smoking, socio-economic status, and novelty seeking were also collected. Structural equation modeling was used to construct an integrative etiological model including genetic and non-genetic factors.
Several SNPs in both gene-clusters were significantly associated with smoking. The most significant were in CHRNA3 (rs1051730, P=1.1×10−5) and in TTC12 (rs10502172, P=9.1×10−6). CHRNA3-rs1051730[A] was more common among heavy/regular smokers than non-smokers with similar effect-sizes at age 14y [OR(95%CI):1.27(1.06–1.52)] and 31y [1.28(1.13–1.44)]. TTC12-rs10502172[G] was more common among smokers than non-smokers with stronger association at 14y [1.33(1.11–1.60)] than 31y [1.14(1.02–1.28)]. In adolescence, carriers of three-four risk alleles at either CHRNA3-rs1051730 or TTC12-rs10502172 had almost 3-fold odds of smoking regularly than subjects with no risk alleles. TTC12-rs10502172 effect on smoking in adulthood was mediated by its effect on smoking in adolescence and via novelty seeking. Effect of CHRNA3-rs1051730 on smoking in adulthood was direct.
TTC12-ANKK1-DRD2s seemed to influence smoking behavior mainly in adolescence and its effect is partially mediated by personality characteristics promoting drug-seeking behavior. In contrast, CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 is involved in the transition towards heavy smoking in mid-adulthood and in smoking persistence. Factors related to familial and social disadvantages were strong independent predictors of smoking.
TTC12; ANKK1; DRD2; CHRNA5; CHRNA3; CHRNB4; nicotine; gene; adolescence; smoking
Haptoglobin is an acute phase inflammatory marker. Its main function is to bind hemoglobin released from erythrocytes to aid its elimination, and thereby haptoglobin prevents the generation of reactive oxygen species in the blood. Haptoglobin levels have been repeatedly associated with a variety of inflammation-linked infectious and non-infectious diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C, diabetes, carotid atherosclerosis, and acute myocardial infarction. However, a comprehensive genetic assessment of the inter-individual variability of circulating haptoglobin levels has not been conducted so far.
We used a genome-wide association study initially conducted in 631 French children followed by a replication in three additional European sample sets and we identified a common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs2000999 located in the Haptoglobin gene (HP) as a strong genetic predictor of circulating Haptoglobin levels (Poverall = 8.1×10−59), explaining 45.4% of its genetic variability (11.8% of Hp global variance). The functional relevance of rs2000999 was further demonstrated by its specific association with HP mRNA levels (β = 0.23±0.08, P = 0.007). Finally, SNP rs2000999 was associated with decreased total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in 8,789 European children (Ptotal cholesterol = 0.002 and PLDL = 0.0008).
Given the central position of haptoglobin in many inflammation-related metabolic pathways, the relevance of rs2000999 genotyping when evaluating haptoglobin concentration should be further investigated in order to improve its diagnostic/therapeutic and/or prevention impact.
A direct relationship of dietary cholesterol to blood pressure of men has been reported in a few observational studies from the United States. It is not clear whether this association prevails consistently, e.g., in populations with varied dietary habits, across ethnic groups, genders. Cross-sectional data from the International Study of Macro/Micro-nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) were used to assess relations of dietary cholesterol intake to blood pressure in men and women from four countries.
Data include 83 nutrients from four multi-pass 24-h dietary recalls and two timed 24-h urine collections; eight blood pressure readings; and questionnaire data, for 4680 participants ages 40–59 years from 17 population samples in Japan, People's Republic of China, United Kingdom, and United States of America.
With sequential models to control for multiple possible confounders (dietary, other), linear regression analyses showed that dietary cholesterol was directly related to systolic blood pressure for all participants and for non-hypertensive individuals, but not to diastolic blood pressure. With adjustment for 12 variables, estimated systolic blood pressure differences with 2 standard deviation higher cholesterol intake (131.0 mg/1,000kcal) were 0.9 mmHg (p<0.05) for all participants, and 1.1 mmHg (p<0.01) for non-hypertensive individuals, findings attenuated with addition of height and weight to the model.
INTERMAP found a low-order, positive relationship of dietary cholesterol intake to SBP with control for multiple possible confounders. Reduction of dietary cholesterol intake may contribute to prevention and control of adverse blood pressure levels in general populations.
Blood pressure; nutrition; dietary cholesterol; population study
Rates of heart disease and stroke vary markedly between north and south China. A 1H NMR spectroscopy-based Metabolome-Wide Association approach was used to identify urinary metabolites that discriminate between southern and northern Chinese population samples, to investigate population biomarkers that might relate to the difference in cardiovascular disease risk. NMR spectra were acquired from two 24-hour urine specimens per person for 523 northern and 244 southern Chinese participants in the INTERMAP Study of macro/micronutrients and BP. Discriminating metabolites were identified using Orthogonal Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis and assessed for statistical significance with conservative Family Wise Error Rate <0.01 to minimise false positive findings. Urinary metabolites significantly (P <1.2×10−16 to 2.9×10−69) higher in northern than southern Chinese populations included dimethylglycine, alanine, lactate, branched-chain amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, valine), N-acetyls of glycoprotein fragments (including uromodulin), N-acetyl neuraminic acid, pentanoic/heptanoic acid, methylguanidine; metabolites significantly (P <1.1×10−12 to 2×10−127) higher in the south were gut microbial co-metabolites (hippurate, 4-cresyl sulphate, phenylacetylglutamine; 2-hydroxyisobutyrate), succinate, creatine, scyllo-inositol, prolinebetaine, trans-aconitate. These findings indicate the importance of environmental influences (e.g., diet), endogenous metabolism and mammalian-gut microbial co-metabolism, that may help explain north-south China differences in cardiovascular disease risk.
1H-NMR; blood pressure; epidemiology; gut microbial co-metabolites; INTERMAP; metabolome wide association; metabonomics; nutrition
Biobanks are diverse in their design and purpose; the idea of fully harmonizing historical and future biobanks is unaffordable and unfeasible. Biobanks should focus their efforts instead on developing and maintaining high-quality collections of samples capable of providing a wide range of biological information using processes that minimize introduced variability. A full data audit trail on sample processing, archiving, and quality control procedures should also be provided. This should enable the data derived from biobanks to contribute as part of wider collaborative efforts with other similar resources.
Genome-wide association studies have identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs560887, located in a G6PC2 intron that is highly correlated with variations in fasting plasma glucose (FPG). G6PC2 encodes an islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit. This study examines the contribution of two G6PC2 promoter SNPs, rs13431652 and rs573225, to the association signal.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We genotyped 9,532 normal FPG participants (FPG <6.1 mmol/l) for three G6PC2 SNPs, rs13431652 (distal promoter), rs573225 (proximal promoter), rs560887 (3rd intron). We used regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, and BMI to assess the association with FPG and haplotype analyses to assess comparative SNP contributions. Fusion gene and gel retardation analyses characterized the effect of rs13431652 and rs573225 on G6PC2 promoter activity and transcription factor binding.
Genetic analyses provide evidence for a strong contribution of the promoter SNPs to FPG variability at the G6PC2 locus (rs13431652: β = 0.075, P = 3.6 × 10−35; rs573225 β = 0.073 P = 3.6 × 10−34), in addition to rs560887 (β = 0.071, P = 1.2 × 10−31). The rs13431652-A and rs573225-A alleles promote increased NF-Y and Foxa2 binding, respectively. The rs13431652-A allele is associated with increased FPG and elevated promoter activity, consistent with the function of G6PC2 in pancreatic islets. In contrast, the rs573225-A allele is associated with elevated FPG but reduced promoter activity.
Genetic and in situ functional data support a potential role for rs13431652, but not rs573225, as a causative SNP linking G6PC2 to variations in FPG, though a causative role for rs573225 in vivo cannot be ruled out.
We carried out a genome-wide association study of hemoglobin levels in 16,001 individuals of European and Indian Asian ancestry. The most closely associated SNP (rs855791) results in nonsynonymous (V736A) change in the serine protease domain of TMPRSS6 and a blood hemoglobin concentration 0.13 (95% CI 0.09–0.17) g/dl lower per copy of allele A (P = 1.6 × 10−13). Our findings suggest that TMPRSS6, a regulator of hepcidin synthesis and iron handling, is crucial in hemoglobin level maintenance.
High throughput metabolic profiling via the metabolome-wide association study (MWAS) is a powerful new approach to identify biomarkers of disease risk, but there are methodological challenges: high dimensionality, high level of collinearity, the existence of peak overlap within metabolic spectral data, multiple testing and selection of a suitable significance threshold.
We define the metabolome-wide significance level (MWSL) as the threshold required to control the family wise error rate through a permutation approach. We used 1H NMR spectroscopic profiles of 24 hour urinary collections from the INTERMAP study. Our results show that the MWSL primarily depends on sample size and spectral resolution. The MWSL estimates can be used to guide selection of discriminatory biomarkers in MWA studies.
In a simulation study, we compare statistical performance of the MWSL approach to two variants of orthogonal partial least squares (OPLS) method with respect to statistical power, false positive rate and correspondence of ranking of the most significant spectral variables. Our results show that the MWSL approach as estimated by the univariate t-test is not outperformed by OPLS and offers a fast and simple method to detect disease-related discriminatory features in human NMR urinary metabolic profiles.
The high prevalence of children's asthma symptoms, worldwide, is unexplained. We examined the relation between maternal pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI), and asthma symptoms in adolescents.
Data from 6945 adolescents born within the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 were used. Prospective antenatal and birth outcome data, including maternal pre-pregnancy weight and BMI, and asthma symptoms in adolescent offspring at age 15–16 years, were employed. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the associations between relevant prenatal factors and asthma symptoms during adolescence.
Current wheeze (within the past year) was reported by 10.6% of adolescents, and physician-diagnosed asthma by 6.0%. High maternal pre-pregnancy BMI was a significant predictor of wheeze in the adolescents (increase per kilogram per square metre unit; 2.7%, 95% CI 0.9 to 4.4 for ever wheeze; 3.5%, 95% CI 1.3 to 5.8 for current wheeze), and adjusting for potential confounders further increased the risk (2.8%, 95% CI 0.5 to 5.1; 4.7%, 95% CI 1.9 to 7.7, respectively). High maternal pre-pregnancy weight, in the top tertile, also significantly increased the odds of current wheeze in the adolescent by 20% (95% CI 4 to 39), and adjusting for potential confounders further increased the risk (OR=1.52, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.95). Results were similar for current asthma. Furthermore, these significant associations were observed only among adolescents without parental history of atopy but not among those with parental history of atopy.
The association demonstrated here between maternal pre-pregnancy overweight and obesity, and asthma symptoms in adolescents suggests that increase in asthma may be partly related to the rapid rise in obesity in recent years.
Asthma; wheeze; prevalence; adolescent; maternal pre-pregnancy weight; BMI; obesity
Recent advances in cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) now allow the accurate and reproducible measurement of many aspects of cardiac and vascular structure and function, with prognostic data emerging for several key imaging biomarkers. These biomarkers are increasingly used in the evaluation of new drugs, devices and lifestyle modifications for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. This review outlines a conceptual framework for the application of imaging biomarkers to clinical trials, highlights several important CMR techniques which are in use in randomised studies, and reviews certain aspects of trial design, conduct and interpretation in relation to the use of CMR.
Clinical trial; randomised clinical trial; cardiovascular magnetic resonance; cardiac magnetic resonance; MRI; clinical trials
Data from the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) show an independent direct association between starch intake and blood pressure (BP) in American men at higher risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Cross-sectional INTERMAP data were used to assess relations of dietary starch intake to BP in men and women from four countries.
Data include 83 nutrients from four multi-pass 24-h dietary recalls and two timed 24-h urine collections; eight BP readings; and questionnaire data, for 4,680 participants ages 40–59 yr from 17 population samples in Japan, People's Republic of China, United Kingdom, and United States of America.
In multiple linear regression analyses – adjusted for urinary sodium, urinary potassium, consumption of alcohol, cholesterol, saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, calcium, and other variables – starch intake higher by two standard deviations (14.1% kJ) was associated with systolic/diastolic BP differences of −1.0/−0.9 mm Hg (p =0.09, p <0.05). Results were similar with additional control for fibre, magnesium, or phosphorus; reduced to −0.5/−0.7 mm Hg (p =0.47, p =0.13) with separate adjustment for vegetable protein. Findings were similar for all INTERMAP men, for American men, and for American men at higher CHD risk.
INTERMAP data indicate that – if any – relations of starch intake to BP are modestly inverse. Current dietary guidelines for hypertension prevention and control remain relevant.
Blood pressure; cross-sectional studies; diet; dietary carbohydrates; dietary starch; epidemiology
Common variation in the FTO gene is associated with BMI and type 2 diabetes. Increased BMI is associated with diabetes risk factors, including raised insulin, glucose, and triglycerides. We aimed to test whether FTO genotype is associated with variation in these metabolic traits.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We tested the association between FTO genotype and 10 metabolic traits using data from 17,037 white European individuals. We compared the observed effect of FTO genotype on each trait to that expected given the FTO-BMI and BMI-trait associations.
Each copy of the FTO rs9939609 A allele was associated with higher fasting insulin (0.039 SD [95% CI 0.013–0.064]; P = 0.003), glucose (0.024 [0.001– 0.048]; P = 0.044), and triglycerides (0.028 [0.003– 0.052]; P = 0.025) and lower HDL cholesterol (0.032 [0.008 – 0.057]; P = 0.009). There was no evidence of these associations when adjusting for BMI. Associations with fasting alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyl-transferase, LDL cholesterol, A1C, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure were in the expected direction but did not reach P < 0.05. For all metabolic traits, effect sizes were consistent with those expected for the per allele change in BMI. FTO genotype was associated with a higher odds of metabolic syndrome (odds ratio 1.17 [95% CI 1.10 –1.25]; P = 3 × 10−6).
FTO genotype is associated with metabolic traits to an extent entirely consistent with its effect on BMI. Sample sizes of >12,000 individuals were needed to detect associations at P < 0.05. Our findings highlight the importance of using appropriately powered studies to assess the effects of a known diabetes or obesity variant on secondary traits correlated with these conditions.