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1.  Dietary Factors and Higher Blood Pressure in African-Americans 
Adverse blood pressure (BP) is a major independent risk factor for epidemic cardiovascular diseases affecting almost one third of the US adult population. This review synthesizes results from studies published over the past few years on BP differences and prevalent hypertension between US blacks and whites and their different intakes of foods (e.g., fruits, vegetables, and dairy products) and micronutrients (e.g., vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus). Studies have consistently reported higher prevalence of adverse BP levels and hypertension and less favorable dietary intakes in blacks than in whites, but the influence of specific dietary factors on high BP risk for blacks remains unclear.
doi:10.1007/s11906-014-0517-x
PMCID: PMC4315875  PMID: 25648747
African-Americans; Blacks; Blood pressure; DASH; Diet; Hypertension
2.  Dietary Sources of Sodium in China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Women and Men Aged 40 to 59 Years: The INTERMAP Study 
Public health campaigns in several countries encourage population-wide reduced sodium (salt) intake, but excessive intake remains a major problem. Excessive sodium intake is independently related to adverse blood pressure and is a key factor in the epidemic of prehypertension/ hypertension. Identification of food sources of sodium in modern diets is critical to effective reduction of sodium intake worldwide. We used data from the INTERMAP Study to define major food sources of sodium in diverse East Asian and Western population samples. INTERMAP is an international, cross-sectional, epidemiologic study of 4, 680 individuals ages 40 to 59 years from Japan (four samples), People’s Republic of China (three rural samples), the United Kingdom (two samples), and the United States (eight samples); four in-depth, multipass 24-hour dietary recalls/person were used to identify foods accounting for most dietary sodium intake. In the People’s Republic of China sample, most (76%) dietary sodium was from salt added in home cooking, about 50% less in southern than northern samples. In Japan, most (63%) dietary sodium came from soy sauce (20%), commercially processed fish/seafood (15%), salted soups (15%), and preserved vegetables (13%). Processed foods, including breads/cereals/grains, contributed heavily to sodium intake in the United Kingdom (95%) and the United States (for methodological reasons, underestimated at 71%). To prevent and control prehypertension/hypertension and improve health, efforts to remove excess sodium from diets in rural China should focus on reducing salt in home cooking. To avoid excess sodium intake in Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, salt must be reduced in commercially processed foods.
doi:10.1016/j.jada.2010.02.007
PMCID: PMC4308093  PMID: 20430135
3.  Metabolic Signatures of Adiposity in Young Adults: Mendelian Randomization Analysis and Effects of Weight Change 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(12):e1001765.
In this study, Wurtz and colleagues investigated to what extent elevated body mass index (BMI) within the normal weight range has causal influences on the detailed systemic metabolite profile in early adulthood using Mendelian randomization analysis.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Increased adiposity is linked with higher risk for cardiometabolic diseases. We aimed to determine to what extent elevated body mass index (BMI) within the normal weight range has causal effects on the detailed systemic metabolite profile in early adulthood.
Methods and Findings
We used Mendelian randomization to estimate causal effects of BMI on 82 metabolic measures in 12,664 adolescents and young adults from four population-based cohorts in Finland (mean age 26 y, range 16–39 y; 51% women; mean ± standard deviation BMI 24±4 kg/m2). Circulating metabolites were quantified by high-throughput nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics and biochemical assays. In cross-sectional analyses, elevated BMI was adversely associated with cardiometabolic risk markers throughout the systemic metabolite profile, including lipoprotein subclasses, fatty acid composition, amino acids, inflammatory markers, and various hormones (p<0.0005 for 68 measures). Metabolite associations with BMI were generally stronger for men than for women (median 136%, interquartile range 125%–183%). A gene score for predisposition to elevated BMI, composed of 32 established genetic correlates, was used as the instrument to assess causality. Causal effects of elevated BMI closely matched observational estimates (correspondence 87%±3%; R2 = 0.89), suggesting causative influences of adiposity on the levels of numerous metabolites (p<0.0005 for 24 measures), including lipoprotein lipid subclasses and particle size, branched-chain and aromatic amino acids, and inflammation-related glycoprotein acetyls. Causal analyses of certain metabolites and potential sex differences warrant stronger statistical power. Metabolite changes associated with change in BMI during 6 y of follow-up were examined for 1,488 individuals. Change in BMI was accompanied by widespread metabolite changes, which had an association pattern similar to that of the cross-sectional observations, yet with greater metabolic effects (correspondence 160%±2%; R2 = 0.92).
Conclusions
Mendelian randomization indicates causal adverse effects of increased adiposity with multiple cardiometabolic risk markers across the metabolite profile in adolescents and young adults within the non-obese weight range. Consistent with the causal influences of adiposity, weight changes were paralleled by extensive metabolic changes, suggesting a broadly modifiable systemic metabolite profile in early adulthood.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Adiposity—having excessive body fat—is a growing global threat to public health. Body mass index (BMI, calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared) is a coarse indicator of excess body weight, but the measure is useful in large population studies. Compared to people with a lean body weight (a BMI of 18.5–24.9 kg/m2), individuals with higher BMI have an elevated risk of developing life-shortening cardiometabolic diseases—cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart and/or the blood vessels (for example, heart failure and stroke) and metabolic diseases that affect the cellular chemical reactions that sustain life (for example, diabetes). People become unhealthily fat by consuming food and drink that contains more energy (calories) than they need for their daily activities. So adiposity can be prevented and reversed by eating less and exercising more.
Why Was This Study Done?
Epidemiological studies, which record the patterns of risk factors and disease in populations, suggest that the illness and death associated with excess body weight is partly attributable to abnormalities in how individuals with high adiposity metabolize carbohydrates and fats, leading to higher blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Further, adiposity is also associated with many other deviations in the metabolic profile than these commonly measured risk factors. However, epidemiological studies cannot prove that adiposity causes specific changes in a person's systemic (overall) metabolic profile because individuals with high BMI may share other characteristics (confounding factors) that are the actual causes of both adiposity and metabolic abnormalities. Moreover, having a change in some aspect of metabolism could also lead to adiposity, rather than vice versa (reverse causation). Importantly, if there is a causal effect of adiposity on cardiometabolic risk factor levels, it might be possible to prevent the progression towards cardiometabolic diseases by weight loss. Here, the researchers use “Mendelian randomization” to examine whether increased BMI within the normal and overweight range is causally influencing the metabolic risk factors from many biological pathways during early adulthood. Because gene variants are inherited randomly, they are not prone to confounding and are free from reverse causation. Several gene variants are known to lead to modestly increased BMI. Thus, an investigation of the associations between these gene variants and risk factors across the systemic metabolite profile in a population of healthy individuals can indicate whether higher BMI is causally related to known and novel metabolic risk factors and higher cardiometabolic disease risk.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers measured the BMI of 12,664 adolescents and young adults (average BMI 24.7 kg/m2) living in Finland and the blood levels of 82 metabolites in these young individuals at a single time point. Statistical analysis of these data indicated that elevated BMI was adversely associated with numerous cardiometabolic risk factors. For example, elevated BMI was associated with raised levels of low-density lipoprotein, “bad” cholesterol that increases cardiovascular disease risk. Next, the researchers used a gene score for predisposition to increased BMI, composed of 32 gene variants correlated with increased BMI, as an “instrumental variable” to assess whether adiposity causes metabolite abnormalities. The effects on the systemic metabolite profile of a 1-kg/m2 increment in BMI due to genetic predisposition closely matched the effects of an observed 1-kg/m2 increment in adulthood BMI on the metabolic profile. That is, higher levels of adiposity had causal effects on the levels of numerous blood-based metabolic risk factors, including higher levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride-carrying lipoproteins, protein markers of chronic inflammation and adverse liver function, impaired insulin sensitivity, and elevated concentrations of several amino acids that have recently been linked with the risk for developing diabetes. Elevated BMI also causally led to lower levels of certain high-density lipoprotein lipids in the blood, a marker for the risk of future cardiovascular disease. Finally, an examination of the metabolic changes associated with changes in BMI in 1,488 young adults after a period of six years showed that those metabolic measures that were most strongly associated with BMI at a single time point likewise displayed the highest responsiveness to weight change over time.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that increased adiposity has causal adverse effects on multiple cardiometabolic risk markers in non-obese young adults beyond the effects on cholesterol and blood sugar. Like all Mendelian randomization studies, the reliability of the causal association reported here depends on several assumptions made by the researchers. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that increased adiposity has causal adverse effects on multiple cardiometabolic risk markers in non-obese young adults. Importantly, the results of both the causal effect analyses and the longitudinal study suggest that there is no threshold below which a BMI increase does not adversely affect the metabolic profile, and that a systemic metabolic profile linked with high cardiometabolic disease risk that becomes established during early adulthood can be reversed. Overall, these findings therefore highlight the importance of weight reduction as a key target for metabolic risk factor control among young adults.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001765.
The Computational Medicine Research Team of the University of Oulu has a webpage that provides further information on metabolite profiling by high-throughput NMR metabolomics
The World Health Organization provides information on obesity (in several languages)
The Global Burden of Disease Study website provides the latest details about global obesity trends
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes (including some personal stories)
The American Heart Association provides information on all aspects of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and on keeping healthy; its website includes personal stories about heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on all aspects of overweight and obesity and information about heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information on heart disease, vascular disease, and obesity (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has a page on Mendelian randomization (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001765
PMCID: PMC4260795  PMID: 25490400
4.  Dietary and Urinary Metabonomic Factors Possibly Accounting for Higher Blood Pressure of African-Americans Compared to White Americans – – The INTERMAP Study RR 
Hypertension  2013;62(6):1074-1080.
African-Americans compared to non-Hispanic-White-Americans have higher systolic, diastolic blood pressure and rates of prehypertension/hypertension. Reasons for these adverse findings remain obscure. Analyses here focused on relations of foods/nutrients/urinary metabolites to higher African-American blood pressure for 369 African-Americans compared to 1,190 non-Hispanic-White-Americans ages 40-59 from 8 population samples. Standardized data were from four 24-hour dietary recalls/person, two 24-h urine collections, 8 blood pressure measurements; multiple linear regression quantitating role of foods, nutrients, metabolites in higher African-American blood pressure. Compared to non-Hispanic-White-Americans, African-Americans average systolic/diastolic pressure was higher by 4.7/3.4 mm Hg (men) and 9.0/4.8 mm Hg (women). Control for higher body mass index of African-American women reduced excess African-American systolic/diastolic pressure to 6.8/3.8 mm Hg. African American intake of multiple foods, nutrients related to blood pressure was less favorable - - less vegetables, fruits, grains, vegetable protein, glutamic acid, starch, fiber, minerals, potassium; more processed meats, pork, eggs, sugar-sweetened beverages, cholesterol, higher sodium to potassium ratio. Control for 11 nutrient and 10 non-nutrient correlates reduced higher African-American systolic/diastolic pressure to 2.3/2.3 mm Hg (52% and 33% reduction) (men) and to 5.3/2.8 mm Hg (21% and 27% reduction) (women). Control also for foods/urinary metabolites had little further influence on higher African-American blood pressure. Multiple nutrients with less favorable intakes by African-Americans than non-Hispanic-White-Americans account at least in part for higher African-American blood pressure. Improved dietary patterns can contribute to prevention/control of more adverse African-American blood pressure levels.
doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.01810
PMCID: PMC3912568  PMID: 24101663
African-American; blood pressure; nutrient; food intake; urinary metabolites
5.  Relations of raw and cooked vegetable consumption to blood pressure: The INTERMAP Study 
Journal of human hypertension  2013;28(6):353-359.
Inverse associations have been reported of overall vegetable intake to blood pressure (BP); whether such relations prevail for both raw and cooked vegetables has not been examined. Here we report cross-sectional associations of vegetable intakes with BP for 2,195 Americans ages 40–59 in the International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) using four standardized multi-pass 24-hour dietary recalls and eight BP measurements. Relations to BP of raw and cooked vegetables consumption, and main individual constituents were assessed by multiple linear regression. Intakes of both total raw and total cooked vegetables considered separately were inversely related to BP in multivariate-adjusted models. Estimated average systolic BP differences associated with 2 SD differences in raw vegetable intake (68 g/1,000 kcal) and cooked vegetable intake (92 g/1,000 kcal) were −1.9 mm Hg (95% CI: −3.1, −0.8; P=0.001) and −1.3 mm Hg (95% CI: −2.5, −0.2; P=0.03) without body mass index (BMI) in the full model; −1.3 mm Hg (95% CI: −2.4, −0.2; P=0.02) and −0.9 mm Hg (95% CI: −2.0, 0.2; P=0.1) with additional adjustment for BMI. Among commonly consumed individual raw vegetables, tomatoes, carrots, and scallions related significantly inversely to BP. Among commonly eaten cooked vegetables, tomatoes, peas, celery, and scallions related significantly inversely to BP.
doi:10.1038/jhh.2013.115
PMCID: PMC4013197  PMID: 24257514
cooked vegetables; raw vegetables; blood pressure; population study
6.  A LARGE-SCALE CLUSTER RANDOMIZED TRIAL TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTS OF COMMUNITY-BASED DIETARY SODIUM REDUCTION – THE CHINA RURAL HEALTH INITIATIVE SODIUM REDUCTION STUDY 
American heart journal  2013;166(5):815-822.
Background
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in China. High blood pressure caused by excess intake of dietary sodium is widespread and an effective sodium reduction program has potential to improve cardiovascular health.
Design
This study is a large-scale, cluster-randomized, trial done in five Northern Chinese provinces. Two counties have been selected from each province and 12 townships in each county making a total of 120 clusters. Within each township one village has been selected for participation with 1:1 randomization stratified by county. The sodium reduction intervention comprises community health education and a food supply strategy based upon providing access to salt substitute. Subsidization of the price of salt substitute was done in 30 intervention villages selected at random. Control villages continued usual practices. The primary outcome for the study is dietary sodium intake level estimated from assays of 24 hour urine.
Trial status
The trial recruited and randomized 120 townships in April 2011. The sodium reduction program was commenced in the 60 intervention villages between May and June of that year with outcome surveys scheduled for October to December 2012. Baseline data collection shows that randomisation achieved good balance across groups.
Discussion
The establishment of the China Rural Health Initiative has enabled the launch of this large-scale trial designed to identify a novel, scalable strategy for reduction of dietary sodium and control of blood pressure. If proved effective, the intervention could plausibly be implemented at low cost in large parts of China and other countries worldwide.
doi:10.1016/j.ahj.2013.07.009
PMCID: PMC3919684  PMID: 24176436
7.  Assessing U.S. Sodium Intake through Dietary Data and Urine Biomarkers123 
Advances in Nutrition  2013;4(5):560-562.
Sodium intake is related to blood pressure, an established risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Reducing intake may save billions in United States health care dollars annually. Efforts targeting sodium reductions make accurate monitoring vital, yet limited information exists on the accuracy of the current data to assess sodium intake in the United States population. In this symposium, new findings were presented on the accuracy of estimating population 24-h urinary excretion of sodium from spot urine specimens or sodium intake from 24-h dietary recalls. Differences in accuracy by sex, BMI, and race were apparent as well as by timing of spot urine collections. Although some published equations appear promising for estimating group means, others are biased. Individual estimates of sodium intake were highly variable and adjustment for within-individual variation in intake is required for estimating population prevalence or percentiles. Estimates indicated United States sodium intake remains high.
doi:10.3945/an.113.004309
PMCID: PMC3771149  PMID: 24038257
8.  The South Asian Genome 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e102645.
The genetic sequence variation of people from the Indian subcontinent who comprise one-quarter of the world's population, is not well described. We carried out whole genome sequencing of 168 South Asians, along with whole-exome sequencing of 147 South Asians to provide deeper characterisation of coding regions. We identify 12,962,155 autosomal sequence variants, including 2,946,861 new SNPs and 312,738 novel indels. This catalogue of SNPs and indels amongst South Asians provides the first comprehensive map of genetic variation in this major human population, and reveals evidence for selective pressures on genes involved in skin biology, metabolism, infection and immunity. Our results will accelerate the search for the genetic variants underlying susceptibility to disorders such as type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease which are highly prevalent amongst South Asians.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102645
PMCID: PMC4130493  PMID: 25115870
9.  Relationship of dietary monounsaturated fatty acids to blood pressure: the international study of macro/micronutrients and blood pressure 
Journal of hypertension  2013;31(6):1144-1150.
Objective
In short-term feeding trials, replacement of other macronutrients with monounsaturated fatty acid reduces blood pressure. However, observational studies have not clearly demonstrated a relationship between monounsaturated fatty acid intake and blood pressure. We report associations of monounsaturated fatty acid intake of individuals with blood pressure in a cross-sectional study.
Methods
The International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure is a cross-sectional epidemiologic study of 4680 men and women ages 40–59 years from 17 population samples in China, Japan, UK and USA. Nutrient intake data were based on four in-depth multipass 24-h dietary recalls/person and two-timed 24-h urine collections/person. Blood pressure was measured eight times at four visits.
Results
Mean monounsaturated fatty acid intake ranged from 8.1%kcal (China) to 12.2%kcal (USA). With sequential models to control for possible confounders (dietary, other), linear regression analyses showed significant inverse relationship of total monounsaturated fatty acid intake with DBP for all participants; for 2238 ‘nonintervened’ individuals, the relationship was stronger. Estimated DBP differences with 2-SD higher monounsaturated fatty acids (5.35%kcal) were −0.82mmHg (P<0.05) for all participants and −1.70mmHg (P<0.01) for nonintervened individuals. Inverse associations of dietary total oleic acid (main monounsaturated) with blood pressure in nonintervened individuals were not significant, but those of oleic acid from vegetable sources were stronger and significant (P<0.05).
Conclusion
Dietary monounsaturated fatty acid intake, especially oleic acid from vegetable sources, may contribute to prevention and control of adverse blood pressure levels in general populations.
doi:10.1097/HJH.0b013e3283604016
PMCID: PMC4109685  PMID: 23572200
blood pressure; monounsaturated fatty acids; nutrition; oleic acid; population study
10.  A Nutrient-Wide Association Study on Blood Pressure 
Circulation  2012;126(21):2456-2464.
Background
A nutrient-wide approach may be useful comprehensively to test and validate associations between nutrients (derived from foods and supplements) and blood pressure (BP) in an unbiased manner.
Methods and Results
Data from 4,680 participants ages 40–59 in the cross-sectional International Study of Macro/Micro-nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) were stratified randomly into training and testing sets. NHANES cross-sectional cohorts of 1999–2000 to 2005–2006 were used for external validation. We performed multiple linear regression analyses associating each of 82 nutrients and 3 urine electrolytes with systolic and diastolic BP in the INTERMAP training set. Significant findings were validated in the INTERMAP testing set and further in the NHANES cohorts (False Discovery Rate <5% in training, p<0.05 for internal and external validation). Among the validated nutrients, alcohol and urinary sodium-to-potassium ratio were directly associated with systolic BP, and dietary phosphorus, magnesium, iron, thiamin, folacin, and riboflavin were inversely associated with systolic BP. In addition, dietary folacin, and riboflavin were inversely associated with diastolic BP. The absolute effect sizes in the validation data (NHANES) ranged from 0.97 mmHg lower systolic BP (phosphorus) to 0.39 mmHg lower systolic BP (thiamin) per 1SD difference in nutrient variable. Inclusion of nutrient intake from supplements in addition to foods gave similar results for some nutrients, though it attenuated the associations of folacin, thiamin and riboflavin intake with BP.
Conclusions
We identified significant inverse associations between B vitamins and BP, relationships hitherto poorly investigated. Our analyses represent a systematic unbiased approach to the evaluation and validation of nutrient-BP associations.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.114058
PMCID: PMC4105584  PMID: 23093587
lood pressure; diet; epidemiology; nutrition
11.  Metabolic phenotyping in epidemiology and metabolome-wide association studies 
Journal of clinical epidemiology  2010;63(9):970-979.
Metabolic phenotyping of humans allows information to be captured on the interactions between dietary, xenobiotic and other lifestyle and environmental exposures, and genetic variation, which together influence the balance between health and disease risks at both individual and population levels. With recent developments in high-throughput technologies using advanced spectroscopic methods, metabolic profiling is now being applied to large-scale epidemiologic sample collections, including metabolome-wide association (MWA) studies for biomarker discovery and identification. Metabolic profiling at epidemiologic scale requires optimisation of experimental protocol to maximise reproducibility, sensitivity, and quantitative reliability, and to reduce analytic drift. Customised multivariate statistical modelling approaches are essential for effective data visualisation and biomarker discovery (controlled for false positive associations) when hundreds or thousands of complex metabolic spectra are being processed. We describe here the main procedures in large scale metabolic phenotyping and its application to MWA studies, for the discovery of new disease risk biomarkers, diagnostics, and to provide novel insights into etiology, biologic mechanisms and pathways.
doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2009.10.001
PMCID: PMC4048926  PMID: 20056386
biomarkers; metabolic phenotyping; metabonomics
12.  Glutamic Acid – the Main Dietary Amino Acid – and Blood Pressure: The INTERMAP Study 
Circulation  2009;120(3):221-228.
Background
Data are available indicating an independent inverse relationship of dietary vegetable protein to the blood pressure (BP) of individuals. Here we assess whether BP is associated with glutamic acid intake (the predominant dietary amino acid, especially in vegetable protein) and with each of four other amino acids higher relatively in vegetable than animal protein (proline, phenylalanine, serine, cystine).
Methods and Results
Cross-sectional epidemiological study; 4,680 persons ages 40–59 -- 17 random population samples in China, Japan, U.K., U.S.A.; BP measurement 8 times at 4 visits; dietary data (83 nutrients, 18 amino acids) from 4 standardized multi-pass 24-hour dietary recalls and 2 timed 24-hour urine collections. Dietary glutamic acid (percent of total protein intake) was inversely related to BP. Across multivariate regression models (Model 1 controlled for age, gender, sample, through Model 5 controlled for 16 non-nutrient and nutrient possible confounders) estimated average BP differences associated with glutamic acid intake higher by 4.72% total dietary protein (2 s.d.) were −1.5 to −3.0 mm Hg systolic and −1.0 to −1.6 mm Hg diastolic (Z-values −2.15 to −5.11). Results were similar for the glutamic acid-BP relationship with each other amino acid also in the model, e.g., with control for 15 variables plus proline, systolic/diastolic pressure differences −2.7/−2.0 (Z −2.51, −2.82). In these 2-amino acid models, higher intake (2 s.d.) of each other amino acid was associated with small BP differences and Z-values.
Conclusions
Dietary glutamic acid may have independent BP lowering effects, possibly contributing to the inverse relation of vegetable protein to BP.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.839241
PMCID: PMC4048930  PMID: 19581495
dietary amino acids; glutamic acid; blood pressure; population study
13.  Identification of heart rate–associated loci and their effects on cardiac conduction and rhythm disorders 
den Hoed, Marcel | Eijgelsheim, Mark | Esko, Tõnu | Brundel, Bianca J J M | Peal, David S | Evans, David M | Nolte, Ilja M | Segrè, Ayellet V | Holm, Hilma | Handsaker, Robert E | Westra, Harm-Jan | Johnson, Toby | Isaacs, Aaron | Yang, Jian | Lundby, Alicia | Zhao, Jing Hua | Kim, Young Jin | Go, Min Jin | Almgren, Peter | Bochud, Murielle | Boucher, Gabrielle | Cornelis, Marilyn C | Gudbjartsson, Daniel | Hadley, David | Van Der Harst, Pim | Hayward, Caroline | Heijer, Martin Den | Igl, Wilmar | Jackson, Anne U | Kutalik, Zoltán | Luan, Jian’an | Kemp, John P | Kristiansson, Kati | Ladenvall, Claes | Lorentzon, Mattias | Montasser, May E | Njajou, Omer T | O’Reilly, Paul F | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Pourcain, Beate St. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Salo, Perttu | Tanaka, Toshiko | Timpson, Nicholas J | Vitart, Veronique | Waite, Lindsay | Wheeler, William | Zhang, Weihua | Draisma, Harmen H M | Feitosa, Mary F | Kerr, Kathleen F | Lind, Penelope A | Mihailov, Evelin | Onland-Moret, N Charlotte | Song, Ci | Weedon, Michael N | Xie, Weijia | Yengo, Loic | Absher, Devin | Albert, Christine M | Alonso, Alvaro | Arking, Dan E | de Bakker, Paul I W | Balkau, Beverley | Barlassina, Cristina | Benaglio, Paola | Bis, Joshua C | Bouatia-Naji, Nabila | Brage, Søren | Chanock, Stephen J | Chines, Peter S | Chung, Mina | Darbar, Dawood | Dina, Christian | Dörr, Marcus | Elliott, Paul | Felix, Stephan B | Fischer, Krista | Fuchsberger, Christian | de Geus, Eco J C | Goyette, Philippe | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Harris, Tamara B | Hartikainen, Anna-liisa | Havulinna, Aki S | Heckbert, Susan R | Hicks, Andrew A | Hofman, Albert | Holewijn, Suzanne | Hoogstra-Berends, Femke | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Jensen, Majken K | Johansson, Åsa | Junttila, Juhani | Kääb, Stefan | Kanon, Bart | Ketkar, Shamika | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Knowles, Joshua W | Kooner, Angrad S | Kors, Jan A | Kumari, Meena | Milani, Lili | Laiho, Päivi | Lakatta, Edward G | Langenberg, Claudia | Leusink, Maarten | Liu, Yongmei | Luben, Robert N | Lunetta, Kathryn L | Lynch, Stacey N | Markus, Marcello R P | Marques-Vidal, Pedro | Leach, Irene Mateo | McArdle, Wendy L | McCarroll, Steven A | Medland, Sarah E | Miller, Kathryn A | Montgomery, Grant W | Morrison, Alanna C | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Navarro, Pau | Nelis, Mari | O’Connell, Jeffrey R | O’Donnell, Christopher J | Ong, Ken K | Newman, Anne B | Peters, Annette | Polasek, Ozren | Pouta, Anneli | Pramstaller, Peter P | Psaty, Bruce M | Rao, Dabeeru C | Ring, Susan M | Rossin, Elizabeth J | Rudan, Diana | Sanna, Serena | Scott, Robert A | Sehmi, Jaban S | Sharp, Stephen | Shin, Jordan T | Singleton, Andrew B | Smith, Albert V | Soranzo, Nicole | Spector, Tim D | Stewart, Chip | Stringham, Heather M | Tarasov, Kirill V | Uitterlinden, André G | Vandenput, Liesbeth | Hwang, Shih-Jen | Whitfield, John B | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilson, James F | Witteman, Jacqueline C M | Wong, Andrew | Wong, Quenna | Jamshidi, Yalda | Zitting, Paavo | Boer, Jolanda M A | Boomsma, Dorret I | Borecki, Ingrid B | Van Duijn, Cornelia M | Ekelund, Ulf | Forouhi, Nita G | Froguel, Philippe | Hingorani, Aroon | Ingelsson, Erik | Kivimaki, Mika | Kronmal, Richard A | Kuh, Diana | Lind, Lars | Martin, Nicholas G | Oostra, Ben A | Pedersen, Nancy L | Quertermous, Thomas | Rotter, Jerome I | van der Schouw, Yvonne T | Verschuren, W M Monique | Walker, Mark | Albanes, Demetrius | Arnar, David O | Assimes, Themistocles L | Bandinelli, Stefania | Boehnke, Michael | de Boer, Rudolf A | Bouchard, Claude | Caulfield, W L Mark | Chambers, John C | Curhan, Gary | Cusi, Daniele | Eriksson, Johan | Ferrucci, Luigi | van Gilst, Wiek H | Glorioso, Nicola | de Graaf, Jacqueline | Groop, Leif | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hsueh, Wen-Chi | Hu, Frank B | Huikuri, Heikki V | Hunter, David J | Iribarren, Carlos | Isomaa, Bo | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kiemeney, Lambertus A | van der Klauw, Melanie M | Kooner, Jaspal S | Kraft, Peter | Iacoviello, Licia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lokki, Marja-Liisa L | Mitchell, Braxton D | Navis, Gerjan | Nieminen, Markku S | Ohlsson, Claes | Poulter, Neil R | Qi, Lu | Raitakari, Olli T | Rimm, Eric B | Rioux, John D | Rizzi, Federica | Rudan, Igor | Salomaa, Veikko | Sever, Peter S | Shields, Denis C | Shuldiner, Alan R | Sinisalo, Juha | Stanton, Alice V | Stolk, Ronald P | Strachan, David P | Tardif, Jean-Claude | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Tuomilehto, Jaako | van Veldhuisen, Dirk J | Virtamo, Jarmo | Viikari, Jorma | Vollenweider, Peter | Waeber, Gérard | Widen, Elisabeth | Cho, Yoon Shin | Olsen, Jesper V | Visscher, Peter M | Willer, Cristen | Franke, Lude | Erdmann, Jeanette | Thompson, John R | Pfeufer, Arne | Sotoodehnia, Nona | Newton-Cheh, Christopher | Ellinor, Patrick T | Stricker, Bruno H Ch | Metspalu, Andres | Perola, Markus | Beckmann, Jacques S | Smith, George Davey | Stefansson, Kari | Wareham, Nicholas J | Munroe, Patricia B | Sibon, Ody C M | Milan, David J | Snieder, Harold | Samani, Nilesh J | Loos, Ruth J F
Nature genetics  2013;45(6):621-631.
Elevated resting heart rate is associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in up to 181,171 individuals, we identified 14 new loci associated with heart rate and confirmed associations with all 7 previously established loci. Experimental downregulation of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster and Danio rerio identified 20 genes at 11 loci that are relevant for heart rate regulation and highlight a role for genes involved in signal transmission, embryonic cardiac development and the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart failure and/or sudden cardiac death. In addition, genetic susceptibility to increased heart rate is associated with altered cardiac conduction and reduced risk of sick sinus syndrome, and both heart rate–increasing and heart rate–decreasing variants associate with risk of atrial fibrillation. Our findings provide fresh insights into the mechanisms regulating heart rate and identify new therapeutic targets.
doi:10.1038/ng.2610
PMCID: PMC3696959  PMID: 23583979
15.  Estimating 24-Hour Urinary Sodium Excretion From Casual Urinary Sodium Concentrations in Western Populations 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;177(11):1180-1192.
High intakes of dietary sodium are associated with elevated blood pressure levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. National and international guidelines recommend reduced sodium intake in the general population, which necessitates population-wide surveillance. We assessed the utility of casual (spot) urine specimens in estimating 24-hour urinary sodium excretion as a marker of sodium intake in the International Cooperative Study on Salt, Other Factors, and Blood Pressure. There were 5,693 participants recruited in 1984–1987 at the ages of 20–59 years from 29 North American and European samples. Participants were randomly assigned to test or validation data sets. Equations derived from casual urinary sodium concentration and other variables in the test data were applied to the validation data set. Correlations between observed and estimated 24-hour sodium excretion were 0.50 for individual men and 0.51 for individual women; the values were 0.79 and 0.71, respectively, for population samples. Bias in mean values (observed minus estimated) was small; for men and women, the values were −1.6 mmol per 24 hours and 2.3 mmol per 24 hours, respectively, at the individual level and −1.8 mmol per 24 hours and 2.2 mmol per 24 hours, respectively, at the population level. Proportions of individuals with urinary 24-hour sodium excretion above the recommended levels were slightly overestimated by the models. Casual urine specimens may be a useful, low-burden, low-cost alternative to 24-hour urine collections for estimation of population sodium intakes; ongoing calibration with study-specific 24-hour urinary collections is recommended to increase validity.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwt066
PMCID: PMC3664342  PMID: 23673246
nutrition assessment; population surveillance; sodium intake
16.  Urinary metabolic phenotyping the slc26a6 (chloride-oxalate exchanger) null mouse model 
Journal of proteome research  2012;11(9):4425-4435.
The prevalence of renal stone disease is increasing, although it remains higher in men than in women when matched for age. While still somewhat controversial, several studies have reported an association between renal stone disease and hypertension, but this may be confounded by a shared link with obesity. However, independent of obesity, hyperoxaluria has been shown to be associated with hypertension in stone-formers and the most common type of renal stone is composed of calcium oxalate. The chloride-oxalate exchanger slc26a6 (also known as CFEX or PAT-1), located in the renal proximal tubule, was originally thought to have an important role in sodium homeostasis and thereby blood pressure control, but it has recently been shown to have a key function in oxalate balance by mediating oxalate secretion in the gut.
We have applied two orthogonal analytical platforms (NMR spectroscopy and capillary-electrophoresis with UV detection) in parallel to characterize the urinary metabolic signatures related to the loss of the renal chloride-oxalate exchanger in slc26a6 null mice. Clear metabolic differentiation between the urinary profiles of the slc26a6 null and the wild type mice were observed using both methods, with the combination of NMR and CE-UV providing extensive coverage of the urinary metabolome. Key discriminating metabolites included oxalate, m-hydroxyphenylpropionylsulfate (m-HPPS), trimethylamine-N-oxide, glycolate and scyllo-inositol (higher in SLC26A6 null mice) and hippurate, taurine, trimethylamine, and citrate (lower in slc26a6 null mice). In addition to the reduced efficiency of anion transport, several of these metabolites (hippurate, m-HPPS, methylamines) reflect alteration in gut microbial co-metabolic activities. Gender-related metabotypes were also observed in both wild type and slc26a6 null groups. Other urinary chemicals that showed a gender-specific pattern included trimethylamine, trimethylamine-N-oxide, citrate, spermidine, guanidinoacetate, and 2-oxoisocaproate. The gender-dependent metabolic expression of the consequences of slc26a6 deletion might have relevance to the difference in prevalence of renal stone formation in men and women. The modification of the microbial metabolites is consistent with the fact that the slc26a6 transporter is found in a range of tissues, including the kidney and intestine, and provides further evidence for the ‘long reach’ of the microbiota in physiological and pathological processes.
doi:10.1021/pr2012544
PMCID: PMC4028149  PMID: 22594923
oxalate; slc26a6; CFEX; NMR spectroscopy; Metabolic Profiling; Capillary Electrophoresis
17.  Molecular Basis and Regulation of OTULIN-LUBAC Interaction 
Molecular Cell  2014;54(3):335-348.
Summary
The linear ubiquitin (Ub) chain assembly complex (LUBAC) generates Met1-linked “linear” Ub chains that regulate the activation of the nuclear factor κB (NFκB) transcription factor and other processes. We recently discovered OTULIN as a deubiquitinase that specifically cleaves Met1-linked polyUb. Now, we show that OTULIN binds via a conserved PUB-interacting motif (PIM) to the PUB domain of the LUBAC component HOIP. Crystal structures and nuclear magnetic resonance experiments reveal the molecular basis for the high-affinity interaction and explain why OTULIN binds the HOIP PUB domain specifically. Analysis of LUBAC-induced NFκB signaling suggests that OTULIN needs to be present on LUBAC in order to restrict Met1-polyUb signaling. Moreover, LUBAC-OTULIN complex formation is regulated by OTULIN phosphorylation in the PIM. Phosphorylation of OTULIN prevents HOIP binding, whereas unphosphorylated OTULIN is part of the endogenous LUBAC complex. Our work exemplifies how coordination of ubiquitin assembly and disassembly activities in protein complexes regulates individual Ub linkage types.
Graphical Abstract
Highlights
•OTULIN binds the HOIP PUB domain via a conserved N-terminal PUB-interacting motif•Structural studies reveal specificity determinants for the binary interaction•Loss of HOIP-OTULIN interaction causes deregulated accumulation of Met1-polyUb•OTULIN binding to LUBAC is regulated by phosphorylation
Elliott et al. show how the linear polyubiquitin-specific deubiquitinase OTULIN binds the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC). The highly specific nanomolar interaction is mediated by the PUB domain of HOIP and an internal PUB-interacting motif (PIM) in OTULIN. Phosphorylation of the Tyr in the PIM regulates endogenous complex formation.
doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2014.03.018
PMCID: PMC4017264  PMID: 24726323
18.  Discovery and Refinement of Loci Associated with Lipid Levels 
Willer, Cristen J. | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Sengupta, Sebanti | Peloso, Gina M. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kanoni, Stavroula | Ganna, Andrea | Chen, Jin | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Mora, Samia | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Chang, Hsing-Yi | Demirkan, Ayşe | Den Hertog, Heleen M. | Do, Ron | Donnelly, Louise A. | Ehret, Georg B. | Esko, Tõnu | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ferreira, Teresa | Fischer, Krista | Fontanillas, Pierre | Fraser, Ross M. | Freitag, Daniel F. | Gurdasani, Deepti | Heikkilä, Kauko | Hyppönen, Elina | Isaacs, Aaron | Jackson, Anne U. | Johansson, Åsa | Johnson, Toby | Kaakinen, Marika | Kettunen, Johannes | Kleber, Marcus E. | Li, Xiaohui | Luan, Jian’an | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Mangino, Massimo | Mihailov, Evelin | Montasser, May E. | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nolte, Ilja M. | O’Connell, Jeffrey R. | Palmer, Cameron D. | Perola, Markus | Petersen, Ann-Kristin | Sanna, Serena | Saxena, Richa | Service, Susan K. | Shah, Sonia | Shungin, Dmitry | Sidore, Carlo | Song, Ci | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Surakka, Ida | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Van den Herik, Evita G. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Volcik, Kelly A. | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wong, Andrew | Wu, Ying | Zhang, Weihua | Absher, Devin | Asiki, Gershim | Barroso, Inês | Been, Latonya F. | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Bonnycastle, Lori L | Brambilla, Paolo | Burnett, Mary S. | Cesana, Giancarlo | Dimitriou, Maria | Doney, Alex S.F. | Döring, Angela | Elliott, Paul | Epstein, Stephen E. | Ingi Eyjolfsson, Gudmundur | Gigante, Bruna | Goodarzi, Mark O. | Grallert, Harald | Gravito, Martha L. | Groves, Christopher J. | Hallmans, Göran | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hayward, Caroline | Hernandez, Dena | Hicks, Andrew A. | Holm, Hilma | Hung, Yi-Jen | Illig, Thomas | Jones, Michelle R. | Kaleebu, Pontiano | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Eric | Klopp, Norman | Komulainen, Pirjo | Kumari, Meena | Langenberg, Claudia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lin, Shih-Yi | Lindström, Jaana | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Mach, François | McArdle, Wendy L | Meisinger, Christa | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Müller, Gabrielle | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Narisu, Narisu | Nieminen, Tuomo V.M. | Nsubuga, Rebecca N. | Olafsson, Isleifur | Ong, Ken K. | Palotie, Aarno | Papamarkou, Theodore | Pomilla, Cristina | Pouta, Anneli | Rader, Daniel J. | Reilly, Muredach P. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Ruokonen, Aimo | Samani, Nilesh | Scharnagl, Hubert | Seeley, Janet | Silander, Kaisa | Stančáková, Alena | Stirrups, Kathleen | Swift, Amy J. | Tiret, Laurence | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Pelt, L. Joost | Vedantam, Sailaja | Wainwright, Nicholas | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wilson, James F. | Young, Elizabeth H. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Adair, Linda S. | Arveiler, Dominique | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Bennett, Franklyn | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bovet, Pascal | Burnier, Michel | Campbell, Harry | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chambers, John C. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Collins, Francis S. | Cooper, Richard S. | Danesh, John | Dedoussis, George | de Faire, Ulf | Feranil, Alan B. | Ferrières, Jean | Ferrucci, Luigi | Freimer, Nelson B. | Gieger, Christian | Groop, Leif C. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hamsten, Anders | Harris, Tamara B. | Hingorani, Aroon | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Hofman, Albert | Hovingh, G. Kees | Hsiung, Chao Agnes | Humphries, Steve E. | Hunt, Steven C. | Hveem, Kristian | Iribarren, Carlos | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kesäniemi, Antero | Kivimaki, Mika | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Koudstaal, Peter J. | Krauss, Ronald M. | Kuh, Diana | Kuusisto, Johanna | Kyvik, Kirsten O. | Laakso, Markku | Lakka, Timo A. | Lind, Lars | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Martin, Nicholas G. | März, Winfried | McCarthy, Mark I. | McKenzie, Colin A. | Meneton, Pierre | Metspalu, Andres | Moilanen, Leena | Morris, Andrew D. | Munroe, Patricia B. | Njølstad, Inger | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Power, Chris | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Price, Jackie F. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Quertermous, Thomas | Rauramaa, Rainer | Saleheen, Danish | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanghera, Dharambir K. | Saramies, Jouko | Schwarz, Peter E.H. | Sheu, Wayne H-H | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Siegbahn, Agneta | Spector, Tim D. | Stefansson, Kari | Strachan, David P. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Tremoli, Elena | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uusitupa, Matti | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Vollenweider, Peter | Wallentin, Lars | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Whitfield, John B. | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H.R. | Ordovas, Jose M. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Chasman, Daniel I. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Franks, Paul W. | Ripatti, Samuli | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Sandhu, Manjinder S. | Rich, Stephen S. | Boehnke, Michael | Deloukas, Panos | Kathiresan, Sekar | Mohlke, Karen L. | Ingelsson, Erik | Abecasis, Gonçalo R.
Nature genetics  2013;45(11):10.1038/ng.2797.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol are heritable, modifiable, risk factors for coronary artery disease. To identify new loci and refine known loci influencing these lipids, we examined 188,578 individuals using genome-wide and custom genotyping arrays. We identify and annotate 157 loci associated with lipid levels at P < 5×10−8, including 62 loci not previously associated with lipid levels in humans. Using dense genotyping in individuals of European, East Asian, South Asian, and African ancestry, we narrow association signals in 12 loci. We find that loci associated with blood lipids are often associated with cardiovascular and metabolic traits including coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, waist-hip ratio, and body mass index. Our results illustrate the value of genetic data from individuals of diverse ancestries and provide insights into biological mechanisms regulating blood lipids to guide future genetic, biological, and therapeutic research.
doi:10.1038/ng.2797
PMCID: PMC3838666  PMID: 24097068
19.  Common variants associated with plasma triglycerides and risk for coronary artery disease 
Do, Ron | Willer, Cristen J. | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Sengupta, Sebanti | Gao, Chi | Peloso, Gina M. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kanoni, Stavroula | Ganna, Andrea | Chen, Jin | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Mora, Samia | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Chang, Hsing-Yi | Demirkan, Ayşe | Den Hertog, Heleen M. | Donnelly, Louise A. | Ehret, Georg B. | Esko, Tõnu | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ferreira, Teresa | Fischer, Krista | Fontanillas, Pierre | Fraser, Ross M. | Freitag, Daniel F. | Gurdasani, Deepti | Heikkilä, Kauko | Hyppönen, Elina | Isaacs, Aaron | Jackson, Anne U. | Johansson, Åsa | Johnson, Toby | Kaakinen, Marika | Kettunen, Johannes | Kleber, Marcus E. | Li, Xiaohui | Luan, Jian'an | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Mangino, Massimo | Mihailov, Evelin | Montasser, May E. | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nolte, Ilja M. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Palmer, Cameron D. | Perola, Markus | Petersen, Ann-Kristin | Sanna, Serena | Saxena, Richa | Service, Susan K. | Shah, Sonia | Shungin, Dmitry | Sidore, Carlo | Song, Ci | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Surakka, Ida | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Van den Herik, Evita G. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Volcik, Kelly A. | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wong, Andrew | Wu, Ying | Zhang, Weihua | Absher, Devin | Asiki, Gershim | Barroso, Inês | Been, Latonya F. | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Bonnycastle, Lori L | Brambilla, Paolo | Burnett, Mary S. | Cesana, Giancarlo | Dimitriou, Maria | Doney, Alex S.F. | Döring, Angela | Elliott, Paul | Epstein, Stephen E. | Eyjolfsson, Gudmundur Ingi | Gigante, Bruna | Goodarzi, Mark O. | Grallert, Harald | Gravito, Martha L. | Groves, Christopher J. | Hallmans, Göran | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hayward, Caroline | Hernandez, Dena | Hicks, Andrew A. | Holm, Hilma | Hung, Yi-Jen | Illig, Thomas | Jones, Michelle R. | Kaleebu, Pontiano | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Eric | Klopp, Norman | Komulainen, Pirjo | Kumari, Meena | Langenberg, Claudia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lin, Shih-Yi | Lindström, Jaana | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Mach, François | McArdle, Wendy L | Meisinger, Christa | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Müller, Gabrielle | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Narisu, Narisu | Nieminen, Tuomo V.M. | Nsubuga, Rebecca N. | Olafsson, Isleifur | Ong, Ken K. | Palotie, Aarno | Papamarkou, Theodore | Pomilla, Cristina | Pouta, Anneli | Rader, Daniel J. | Reilly, Muredach P. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Ruokonen, Aimo | Samani, Nilesh | Scharnagl, Hubert | Seeley, Janet | Silander, Kaisa | Stančáková, Alena | Stirrups, Kathleen | Swift, Amy J. | Tiret, Laurence | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Pelt, L. Joost | Vedantam, Sailaja | Wainwright, Nicholas | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wilson, James F. | Young, Elizabeth H. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Adair, Linda S. | Arveiler, Dominique | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Bennett, Franklyn | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bovet, Pascal | Burnier, Michel | Campbell, Harry | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chambers, John C. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Collins, Francis S. | Cooper, Richard S. | Danesh, John | Dedoussis, George | de Faire, Ulf | Feranil, Alan B. | Ferrières, Jean | Ferrucci, Luigi | Freimer, Nelson B. | Gieger, Christian | Groop, Leif C. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hamsten, Anders | Harris, Tamara B. | Hingorani, Aroon | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Hofman, Albert | Hovingh, G. Kees | Hsiung, Chao Agnes | Humphries, Steve E. | Hunt, Steven C. | Hveem, Kristian | Iribarren, Carlos | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kesäniemi, Antero | Kivimaki, Mika | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Koudstaal, Peter J. | Krauss, Ronald M. | Kuh, Diana | Kuusisto, Johanna | Kyvik, Kirsten O. | Laakso, Markku | Lakka, Timo A. | Lind, Lars | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Martin, Nicholas G. | März, Winfried | McCarthy, Mark I. | McKenzie, Colin A. | Meneton, Pierre | Metspalu, Andres | Moilanen, Leena | Morris, Andrew D. | Munroe, Patricia B. | Njølstad, Inger | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Power, Chris | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Price, Jackie F. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Quertermous, Thomas | Rauramaa, Rainer | Saleheen, Danish | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanghera, Dharambir K. | Saramies, Jouko | Schwarz, Peter E.H. | Sheu, Wayne H-H | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Siegbahn, Agneta | Spector, Tim D. | Stefansson, Kari | Strachan, David P. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Tremoli, Elena | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uusitupa, Matti | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Vollenweider, Peter | Wallentin, Lars | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Whitfield, John B. | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H.R. | Altshuler, David | Ordovas, Jose M. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Chasman, Daniel I. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Franks, Paul W. | Ripatti, Samuli | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Sandhu, Manjinder S. | Rich, Stephen S. | Boehnke, Michael | Deloukas, Panos | Mohlke, Karen L. | Ingelsson, Erik | Abecasis, Goncalo R. | Daly, Mark J. | Neale, Benjamin M. | Kathiresan, Sekar
Nature genetics  2013;45(11):1345-1352.
Triglycerides are transported in plasma by specific triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; in epidemiologic studies, increased triglyceride levels correlate with higher risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, it is unclear whether this association reflects causal processes. We used 185 common variants recently mapped for plasma lipids (P<5×10−8 for each) to examine the role of triglycerides on risk for CAD. First, we highlight loci associated with both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides, and show that the direction and magnitude of both are factors in determining CAD risk. Second, we consider loci with only a strong magnitude of association with triglycerides and show that these loci are also associated with CAD. Finally, in a model accounting for effects on LDL-C and/or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a polymorphism's strength of effect on triglycerides is correlated with the magnitude of its effect on CAD risk. These results suggest that triglyceride-rich lipoproteins causally influence risk for CAD.
doi:10.1038/ng.2795
PMCID: PMC3904346  PMID: 24097064
20.  Nutrient and food intakes of middle-aged adults at low risk of cardiovascular disease: the international study of macro-/micronutrients and blood pressure (INTERMAP) 
European journal of nutrition  2011;51(8):917-926.
Purpose
Individuals with favorable levels of readily measured cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors (low risk, LR) experience low long-term rates of CVD mortality and greater longevity. The purpose of the current study was to compare nutrient/food intakes of LR participants with participants not LR in the INTERMAP study.
Methods
Men and women (40–59 years) from 17 population samples in four countries (China, Japan, UK, US) provided four 24-h dietary recalls and two timed 24-h urine collections. LR was defined as meeting all of the following CVD risk criteria: systolic/diastolic blood pressure (BP) ≤120/≤80 mmHg; no drug treatment for high BP, hyperlipidemia, or CVD; non-smoking; BMI <25.0 kg/m2 (US, UK) or <23.0 kg/m2 (China, Japan); alcohol consumption <26.0 g/day (men)/<13.0 g/day (women); and no history of diabetes or CVD. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine associations of nutrient/food intakes with LR.
Results
LR individuals reported higher intake of vegetable protein, fiber, magnesium, non-heme iron, potassium; lower energy intake; lower intake of cholesterol, saturated fatty acids, animal protein; and lower 24-h urinary sodium compared with individuals not LR. With regard to foods, LR individuals reported higher intake of fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta/rice, fish; lower intakes of meats, processed meats, high-fat dairy, and sugar-sweetened beverages than individuals not LR.
Conclusions
Lower energy intake and differential intake of multiple specific nutrients and foods are characteristic of individuals at low risk for developing CVD. Identification of dietary habits associated with LR is important for further development of public health efforts aimed at reduction/prevention of CVD.
doi:10.1007/s00394-011-0268-2
PMCID: PMC3939781  PMID: 22057680
Cardiovascular disease; Diet; Foods; Low cardiovascular risk; Nutrients; Risk factors
21.  Re-sequencing Expands Our Understanding of the Phenotypic Impact of Variants at GWAS Loci 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(1):e1004147.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified >500 common variants associated with quantitative metabolic traits, but in aggregate such variants explain at most 20–30% of the heritable component of population variation in these traits. To further investigate the impact of genotypic variation on metabolic traits, we conducted re-sequencing studies in >6,000 members of a Finnish population cohort (The Northern Finland Birth Cohort of 1966 [NFBC]) and a type 2 diabetes case-control sample (The Finland-United States Investigation of NIDDM Genetics [FUSION] study). By sequencing the coding sequence and 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions of 78 genes at 17 GWAS loci associated with one or more of six metabolic traits (serum levels of fasting HDL-C, LDL-C, total cholesterol, triglycerides, plasma glucose, and insulin), and conducting both single-variant and gene-level association tests, we obtained a more complete understanding of phenotype-genotype associations at eight of these loci. At all eight of these loci, the identification of new associations provides significant evidence for multiple genetic signals to one or more phenotypes, and at two loci, in the genes ABCA1 and CETP, we found significant gene-level evidence of association to non-synonymous variants with MAF<1%. Additionally, two potentially deleterious variants that demonstrated significant associations (rs138726309, a missense variant in G6PC2, and rs28933094, a missense variant in LIPC) were considerably more common in these Finnish samples than in European reference populations, supporting our prior hypothesis that deleterious variants could attain high frequencies in this isolated population, likely due to the effects of population bottlenecks. Our results highlight the value of large, well-phenotyped samples for rare-variant association analysis, and the challenge of evaluating the phenotypic impact of such variants.
Author Summary
Abnormal serum levels of various metabolites, including measures relevant to cholesterol, other fats, and sugars, are known to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Identification of the genes that play a role in generating such abnormalities could advance the development of new treatment and prevention strategies for these disorders. Investigations of common genetic variants carried out in large sets of research subjects have successfully pinpointed such genes within many regions of the human genome. However, these studies often have not led to the identification of the specific genetic variations affecting metabolic traits. To attempt to detect such causal variations, we sequenced genes in 17 genomic regions implicated in metabolic traits in >6,000 people from Finland. By conducting statistical analyses relating specific variations (individually and grouped by gene) to the measures for these metabolic traits observed in the study subjects, we added to our understanding of how genotypes affect these traits. Our findings support a long-held hypothesis that the unique history of the Finnish population provides important advantages for analyzing the relationship between genetic variations and biomedically important traits.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004147
PMCID: PMC3907339  PMID: 24497850
22.  Coronary heart disease in Indian Asians 
The Indian Asian population accounts for a fifth of all global deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD deaths on the Indian subcontinent have doubled since 1990, and are predicted to rise a further 50% by 2030. Reasons underlying the increased CHD mortality among Indian Asians remain unknown. Although conventional cardiovascular risk factors contribute to CHD in Indian Asians as in other populations, these do not account for their increased risk. Type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance and related metabolic disturbances are more prevalent amongst Indian Asians than Europeans, and have been proposed as major determinants of higher CHD risk among Indian Asians. However, this view is not supported by prospective data. Genome-wide association studies have not identified differences in allele frequencies or effect sizes in known loci to explain the increased CHD risk in Indian Asians. Limited knowledge of mechanisms underlying higher CHD risk amongst Indian Asians presents a major obstacle to reducing the burden of CHD in this population. Systems biology approaches such as genomics, epigenomics, metabolomics and transcriptomics, provide a non-biased approach for discovery of novel biomarkers and disease pathways underlying CHD. Incorporation of these ‘omic’ approaches in prospective Indian Asian cohorts such as the London Life Sciences Population Study (LOLIPOP) provide an exciting opportunity for the identification of new risk factors underlying CHD in this high risk population.
doi:10.5339/gcsp.2014.4
PMCID: PMC4104373  PMID: 25054115
Coronary heart disease; Indian Asian; LOLIPOP; genome; epigenome; metabolome; GWAS
23.  Genetic variants influencing circulating lipid levels and risk of coronary artery disease 
Objectives
Genetic studies might provide new insights into the biological mechanisms underlying lipid metabolism and risk of CAD. We therefore conducted a genome-wide association study to identify novel genetic determinants of LDL-c, HDL-c and triglycerides.
Methods and results
We combined genome-wide association data from eight studies, comprising up to 17,723 participants with information on circulating lipid concentrations. We did independent replication studies in up to 37,774 participants from eight populations and also in a population of Indian Asian descent. We also assessed the association between SNPs at lipid loci and risk of CAD in up to 9,633 cases and 38,684 controls.
We identified four novel genetic loci that showed reproducible associations with lipids (P values 1.6 × 10−8 to 3.1 × 10−10). These include a potentially functional SNP in the SLC39A8 gene for HDL-c, a SNP near the MYLIP/GMPR and PPP1R3B genes for LDL-c and at the AFF1 gene for triglycerides. SNPs showing strong statistical association with one or more lipid traits at the CELSR2, APOB, APOE-C1-C4-C2 cluster, LPL, ZNF259-APOA5-A4-C3-A1 cluster and TRIB1 loci were also associated with CAD risk (P values 1.1 × 10−3 to 1.2 × 10−9).
Conclusions
We have identified four novel loci associated with circulating lipids. We also show that in addition to those that are largely associated with LDL-c, genetic loci mainly associated with circulating triglycerides and HDL-c are also associated with risk of CAD. These findings potentially provide new insights into the biological mechanisms underlying lipid metabolism and CAD risk.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.201020
PMCID: PMC3891568  PMID: 20864672
lipids; lipoproteins; genetics; epidemiology
24.  Diet composition and activity level of at risk and metabolically healthy obese American adults 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2013;21(3):10.1002/oby.20257.
Obesity often clusters with other major cardiovascular disease risk factors, yet a subset of the obese appears to be protected from these risks. Two obesity phenotypes are described, 1) “metabolically healthy” obese, broadly defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2 and favorable levels of blood pressure, lipids, and glucose; and 2) “at risk” obese, BMI ≥ 30 with unfavorable levels of these risk factors. More than 30% of obese American adults are metabolically healthy. Diet and activity determinants of obesity phenotypes are unclear. We hypothesized that metabolically healthy obese have more favorable behavioral factors, including less adverse diet composition and higher activity levels than at risk obese in the multi-ethnic group of 775 obese American adults ages 40–59 years from the International Population Study on Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) cohort. In gender stratified analyses, mean values for diet composition and activity behavior variables, adjusted for age, race, and education, were compared between metabolically healthy and at risk obese. Nearly 1 in 5 (149/775, or 19%) of obese American INTERMAP participants were classified as metabolically healthy obese. Diet composition and most activity behaviors were similar between obesity phenotypes, although metabolically healthy obese women reported higher sleep duration than at risk obese women. These results do not support hypotheses that diet composition and/or physical activity account for the absence of cardiometabolic abnormalities in metabolically healthy obese.
doi:10.1002/oby.20257
PMCID: PMC3416914  PMID: 23592673
25.  Genome-wide association study in people of South Asian ancestry identifies six novel susceptibility loci for type 2 diabetes 
Nature genetics  2011;43(10):984-989.
We carried out a genome wide association study of type-2 diabetes (T2D) amongst 20,119 people of South Asian ancestry (5,561 with T2D); we identified 20 independent SNPs associated with T2D at P<10−4 for testing amongst a further 38,568 South Asians (13,170 with T2D). In combined analysis, common genetic variants at six novel loci (GRB14, ST6GAL1, VPS26A, HMG20A, AP3S2 and HNF4A) were associated with T2D (P=4.1×10−8 to P=1.9×10−11); SNPs at GRB14 were also associated with insulin sensitivity, and at ST6GAL1 and HNF4A with pancreatic beta-cell function respectively. Our findings provide additional insight into mechanisms underlying T2D, and demonstrate the potential for new discovery from genetic association studies in South Asians who have increased susceptibility to T2D.
doi:10.1038/ng.921
PMCID: PMC3773920  PMID: 21874001

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