Aortic stenosis (AS) is the commonest valve disorder in the developed world requiring surgery. Surgery in patients with severe asymptomatic AS remains controversial. Exercise testing can identify asymptomatic patients at increased risk of death and symptom development, but with limited specificity, especially in older adults. Cardiac MRI (CMR), including myocardial perfusion reserve (MPR) may be a novel imaging biomarker in AS.
(1) To improve risk stratification in asymptomatic patients with AS and (2) to determine whether MPR is a better predictor of outcome than exercise testing and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).
Multicentre, prospective observational study in the UK, comparing MPR with exercise testing and BNP (with blinded CMR analysis) for predicting outcome.
170 asymptomatic patients with moderate-to-severe AS, who would be considered for aortic valve replacement (AVR).
Composite of: typical symptoms necessitating referral for AVR and major adverse cardiovascular events. Follow-up: 12–30 months (minimum 12 months).
MPR will be a better predictor of outcome than exercise testing and BNP.
The study has full ethical approval and is actively recruiting patients. Data collection will be completed in November 2014 and the study results will be submitted for publication within 6 months of completion.
Background The extent to which adult height, a biomarker of the interplay of genetic endowment and early-life experiences, is related to risk of chronic diseases in adulthood is uncertain.
Methods We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for height, assessed in increments of 6.5 cm, using individual–participant data on 174 374 deaths or major non-fatal vascular outcomes recorded among 1 085 949 people in 121 prospective studies.
Results For people born between 1900 and 1960, mean adult height increased 0.5–1 cm with each successive decade of birth. After adjustment for age, sex, smoking and year of birth, HRs per 6.5 cm greater height were 0.97 (95% confidence interval: 0.96–0.99) for death from any cause, 0.94 (0.93–0.96) for death from vascular causes, 1.04 (1.03–1.06) for death from cancer and 0.92 (0.90–0.94) for death from other causes. Height was negatively associated with death from coronary disease, stroke subtypes, heart failure, stomach and oral cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mental disorders, liver disease and external causes. In contrast, height was positively associated with death from ruptured aortic aneurysm, pulmonary embolism, melanoma and cancers of the pancreas, endocrine and nervous systems, ovary, breast, prostate, colorectum, blood and lung. HRs per 6.5 cm greater height ranged from 1.26 (1.12–1.42) for risk of melanoma death to 0.84 (0.80–0.89) for risk of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. HRs were not appreciably altered after further adjustment for adiposity, blood pressure, lipids, inflammation biomarkers, diabetes mellitus, alcohol consumption or socio-economic indicators.
Conclusion Adult height has directionally opposing relationships with risk of death from several different major causes of chronic diseases.
Height; cardiovascular disease; cancer; cause-specific mortality; epidemiological study; meta-analysis
In patients with acute non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), coronary arteriography is usually recommended; but visual interpretation of the angiogram is subjective. We hypothesized that functional assessment of coronary stenosis severity with a pressure-sensitive guide wire (fractional flow reserve [FFR]) would have additive diagnostic, clinical, and health economic utility as compared with angiography-guided standard care.
Methods and design
A prospective multicenter parallel-group 1:1 randomized controlled superiority trial in 350 NSTEMI patients with ≥1 coronary stenosis ≥30% severity (threshold for FFR measurement) will be conducted. Patients will be randomized immediately after coronary angiography to the FFR-guided group or angiography-guided group. All patients will then undergo FFR measurement in all vessels with a coronary stenosis ≥30% severity including culprit and nonculprit lesions. Fractional flow reserve will be disclosed to guide treatment in the FFR-guided group but not disclosed in the “angiography-guided” group. In the FFR-guided group, an FFR ≤0.80 will be an indication for revascularization by percutaneous coronary intervention or coronary artery bypass surgery, as appropriate. The primary outcome is the between-group difference in the proportion of patients allocated to medical management only compared with revascularization. Secondary outcomes include the occurrence of cardiac death or hospitalization for myocardial infarction or heart failure, quality of life, and health care costs. The minimum and average follow-up periods for the primary analysis are 6 and 18 months, respectively.
Our developmental clinical trial will address the feasibility of FFR measurement in NSTEMI and the influence of FFR disclosure on treatment decisions and health and economic outcomes.
Routinely collected electronic patient records are already widely used in epidemiological research. In this work we investigated the potential for using them to identify endpoints in clinical trials.
The events recorded in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS), a large clinical trial of pravastatin in middle-aged hypercholesterolaemic men in the 1990s, were compared with those in the record-linked deaths and hospitalisations records routinely collected in Scotland.
We matched 99% of fatal study events by date. We showed excellent matching (97%) of the causes of fatal endpoint events and good matching (>80% for first events) of the causes of nonfatal endpoint events with a slightly lower rate of mismatching of record linkage than study events (19% of first study myocardial infarctions (MI) and 4% of first record linkage MIs not matched as MI). We also investigated the matching of non-endpoint events and showed a good level of matching, with >78% of first stroke/TIA events being matched as stroke/TIA. The primary reasons for mismatches were record linkage data recording readmissions for procedures or previous events, differences between the diagnoses in the routinely collected data and the conclusions of the clinical trial expert adjudication committee, events occurring outside Scotland and therefore being missed by record linkage data, miscoding of cardiac events in hospitalisations data as ‘unspecified chest pain’, some general miscoding in the record linkage data and some record linkage errors.
We conclude that routinely collected data could be used for recording cardiovascular endpoints in clinical trials and would give very similar results to rigorously collected clinical trial data, in countries with unified health systems such as Scotland. The endpoint types would need to be carefully thought through and an expert endpoint adjudication committee should be involved.
The PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER), a placebo-controlled trial of pravastatin, demonstrated a 19% reduction in coronary outcomes (p = 0.006) after a mean of 3.2 years, with no impact on stroke outcomes or all-cause mortality. However, there was a suggestion of increased cancer risk. Our aim is to determine the long-term benefits and safety of pravastatin treatment in older people using post-trial follow-up of the PROSPER participants.
5,804 (2,520 Scottish) men and women aged 70–82 years with either pre-existing vascular disease or increased risk of such disease because of smoking, hypertension or diabetes, were randomised to 40 mg pravastatin or matching placebo. Using record linkage to routinely collected health records, all participants (full cohort) were linked to death and cancer registries, and the Scottish cohort additionally to hospital admissions, to provide composite fatal/non-fatal cardiovascular outcomes (total mean follow-up 8.6 years).
Pravastatin treatment for 3.2 years reduced CHD death in the full cohort, hazard ratio (HR) 0.80, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.68–0.95, p = 0.0091 and fatal coronary events or coronary hospitalisations in the Scottish cohort (HR 0.81, 95% CI 0.69–0.95, p = 0.0081) over 8.6 years. There was no reduction in stroke or all-cause mortality. Cancer risk was not increased in the full cohort (HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.96–1.21, p = 0.22).
Pravastatin treatment of elderly high-risk subjects for 3.2 years provided long-term protection against CHD events and CHD mortality. However, this was not associated with any increase in life expectancy, possibly due to competing mortality with deaths from other causes. There was no evidence of long-term increased risk of cancer.
To assess the impact on healthcare resource utilization, costs, and quality of life over 15 years from 5 years of statin use in men without a history of myocardial infarction in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS).
Six thousand five hundred and ninety-five participants aged 45–54 years were randomized to 5 years treatment with pravastatin (40 mg) or placebo. Linkage to routinely collected health records extended follow-up for secondary healthcare resource utilization to 15 years. The following new results are reported: cause-specific first and recurrent cardiovascular hospital admissions including myocardial infarction, heart failure, stroke, coronary revascularization and angiography; non-cardiovascular hospitalization; days in hospital; quality-adjusted life years (QALYs); costs of pravastatin treatment, treatment safety monitoring, and hospital admissions.
Five years treatment of 1000 patients with pravastatin (40 mg/day) saved the NHS £710 000 (P < 0.001), including the cost of pravastatin and lipid and safety monitoring, and gained 136 QALYs (P = 0.017) over the 15-year period. Benefits per 1000 subjects, attributable to prevention of cardiovascular events, included 163 fewer admissions and a saving of 1836 days in hospital, with fewer admissions for myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure and coronary revascularization. There was no excess in non-cardiovascular admissions or costs (or in admissions associated with diabetes or its complications) and no evidence of heterogeneity of effect over sub-groups defined by baseline cardiovascular risk.
Five years' primary prevention treatment of middle-aged men with a statin significantly reduces healthcare resource utilization, is cost saving, and increases QALYs. Treatment of even younger, lower risk individuals is likely to be cost-effective.
Pravastatin; Cardiovascular outcomes; Record linkage; Cost effectiveness; Primary prevention
Therapy with i.v. iron in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and iron deficiency (ID) improves symptoms, functional capacity, and quality of life. We sought to investigate whether these beneficial outcomes are independent of anaemia.
Methods and results
FAIR-HF randomized 459 patients with CHF [NYHA class II or III, LVEF ≤40% (NYHA II) or ≤45% (NYHA III)] and ID to i.v. iron as ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) or placebo in a 2:1 ratio. We analysed the efficacy and safety according to the presence or absence of anaemia (haemoglobin ≤120 g/L) at baseline. Of 459 patients, 232 had anaemia at baseline (51%). The effect of FCM on the primary endpoints of self-reported Patient Global Assessment (PGA) and NYHA class at week 24 was similar in patients with and without anaemia [odds ratio (OR) for improvement, 2.48 vs. 2.60, P = 0.97 for PGA and 1.90 vs. 3.39, P = 0.51 for NYHA). Results were also similar for the secondary endpoints, including PGA and NYHA at weeks 4 and 12, 6 min walk test distance, Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire overall score, and European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions Visual Analogue Scale at most time points. Regarding safety, no differences were noticed in the rates of death or first hospitalization between FCM and placebo both in anaemic and in non-anaemic patients.
Treatment of ID with FCM in patients with CHF is equally efficacious and shows a similar favourable safety profile irrespective of anaemia. Iron status should be assessed in symptomatic CHF patients both with and without anaemia and treatment of ID should be considered.
Anaemia; Iron deficiency; Heart failure; Intravenous iron; Ferric carboxymaltose
We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of LDL-c response to statin
using data from participants in the Collaborative Atorvastatin Diabetes Study (CARDS;
n = 1,156), the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT; n =
895), and the observational phase of ASCOT (n = 651), all of whom were
prescribed atorvastatin 10 mg. Following genome-wide imputation, we combined data
from the three studies in a meta-analysis. We found associations of LDL-c response to
atorvastatin that reached genome-wide significance at rs10455872 (P
= 6.13 × 10−9) within the LPA gene and
at two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) within the APOE region
(rs445925; P = 2.22 × 10−16 and
rs4420638; P = 1.01 × 10−11) that are
proxies for the ϵ2 and ϵ4 variants, respectively, in APOE. The novel
association with the LPA SNP was replicated in the PROspective Study
of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER) trial (P =
0.009). Using CARDS data, we further showed that atorvastatin therapy did not alter
lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] and that Lp(a) levels accounted for all of the associations of
SNPs in the LPA gene and the apparent LDL-c response levels. However, statin therapy
had a similar effect in reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients in the top
quartile for serum Lp(a) levels (HR = 0.60) compared with those in the lower
three quartiles (HR = 0.66; P = 0.8 for interaction).
The data emphasize that high Lp(a) levels affect the measurement of LDL-c and the
clinical estimation of LDL-c response. Therefore, an apparently lower LDL-c response
to statin therapy may indicate a need for measurement of Lp(a). However, statin
therapy seems beneficial even in those with high Lp(a).
genetics; low density lipoprotein; LDL/metabolism; lipoprotein(a); statins
Cardio-metabolic risk factors have been associated with poor physical and mental health. Epidemiological studies have shown peripheral risk markers to be associated with poor cognitive functioning in normal healthy population and in disease. The aim of the study was to explore the relationship between cardio-metabolic risk factors and cortical thickness in a neurologically healthy middle aged population-based sample.
T1-weighted MRI was used to create models of the cortex for calculation of regional cortical thickness in 40 adult males (average age = 50.96 years), selected from the pSoBid study. The relationship between cardio-vascular risk markers and cortical thickness across the whole brain, was examined using the general linear model. The relationship with various covariates of interest was explored.
Lipid fractions with greater triglyceride content (TAG, VLDL and LDL) were associated with greater cortical thickness pertaining to a number of regions in the brain. Greater C reactive protein (CRP) and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) levels were associated with cortical thinning pertaining to perisylvian regions in the left hemisphere. Smoking status and education status were significant covariates in the model.
This exploratory study adds to a small body of existing literature increasingly showing a relationship between cardio-metabolic risk markers and regional cortical thickness involving a number of regions in the brain in a neurologically normal middle aged sample. A focused investigation of factors determining the inter-individual variations in regional cortical thickness in the adult brain could provide further clarity in our understanding of the relationship between cardio-metabolic factors and cortical structures.
•The relationship between coronary risk factors and cortical thickness is unclear.•We examine this relationship in neurologically healthy middle aged adults.•Greater lipid fractions were associated with greater regional cortical thickness.•Greater CRP and ICAM-1 were associated with regional cortical thinning.
pSoBid, psychological, social and biological determinants of ill health; BMI, body mass index; CIMT, carotid intima-media thickness; SIMD, Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation; CRP, high sensitivity C-reactive protein; IL-6, interleukin-6; ICAM, intercellular adhesion molecule-1; ELISA, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay; vWF, von Willebrand factor; tPA, tissue plasminogen activator; TAG, triglycerides; LDL, low-density lipoprotein; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; Apo, apolipoprotien; PCA, principal component analysis; Cardiovascular risk; Metabolic risk; Cortical thickness; Inflammation; Cholesterol
There is evidence that induction of labour (IOL) around term reduces perinatal mortality and caesarean delivery rates when compared to expectant management of pregnancy (allowing the pregnancy to continue to await spontaneous labour or definitive indication for delivery). However, it is not clear whether IOL in women with a previous caesarean section confers the same benefits. The aim of this study was to describe outcomes of IOL at 39–41 weeks in women with one previous caesarean delivery and to compare outcomes of IOL or planned caesarean delivery to those of expectant management.
Methods and Findings
We performed a population-based retrospective cohort study of singleton births greater than 39 weeks gestation, in women with one previous caesarean delivery, in Scotland, UK 1981–2007 (n = 46,176). Outcomes included mode of delivery, perinatal mortality, neonatal unit admission, postpartum hemorrhage and uterine rupture. 40.1% (2,969/7,401) of women who underwent IOL 39–41 weeks were ultimately delivered by caesarean. When compared to expectant management IOL was associated with lower odds of caesarean delivery (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] after IOL at 39 weeks of 0.81 [95% CI 0.71–0.91]). There was no significant effect on the odds of perinatal mortality but greater odds of neonatal unit admission (AOR after IOL at 39 weeks of 1.29 [95% CI 1.08–1.55]). In contrast, when compared with expectant management, elective repeat caesarean delivery was associated with lower perinatal mortality (AOR after planned caesarean at 39 weeks of 0.23 [95% CI 0.07–0.75]) and, depending on gestation, the same or lower neonatal unit admission (AOR after planned caesarean at 39 weeks of 0.98 [0.90–1.07] at 40 weeks of 1.08 [0.94–1.23] and at 41 weeks of 0.77 [0.60–1.00]).
A more liberal policy of IOL in women with previous caesarean delivery may reduce repeat caesarean delivery, but increases the risks of neonatal complications.
Associations between socio-economic status (SES), personality and inflammation were examined to determine whether low SES subjects scoring high on neuroticism or hostility might suffer relatively higher levels of inflammation than affluent subjects.
In a cross-sectional design, 666 subjects were recruited from areas of high (most deprived – “MD”) and low (least deprived – “LD”) deprivation. IL-6, ICAM-1, CRP and fibrinogen were measured along with demographic and health-behaviour variables, and personality traits of neuroticism, extraversion and psychoticism (hostility). Regression models assessed the prediction of inflammation as a function of personality, deprivation and their interaction.
Levels of CRP and IL-6 were an increasing function of neuroticism and extraversion only in LD subjects opposite trends were seen in MD subjects. The result was ascribed parsimoniously to an inflammatory ceiling effect or, more speculatively, to SES-related health-behaviour differences. Psychoticism was strongly associated with ICAM-1 in both MD and LD subjects.
The association between neuroticism, CRP and IL-6 may be reduced in MD subjects confirming speculation that the association differs across population sub-groups. The association between psychoticism and ICAM-1 supports evidence that hostility has adverse effects upon the endothelium, with consequences for cardiovascular health. Health interventions may be more effective by accounting for personality-related effects upon biological processes.
DNA repair deficiencies have been postulated to play a role in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The hypothesis is that DNA damage accumulating with age may induce cell death, which promotes formation of unstable plaques. Defects in DNA repair mechanisms may therefore increase the risk of CVD events. We examined whether the joints effect of common genetic variants in 5 DNA repair pathways may influence the risk of CVD events.
The PLINK set-based test was used to examine the association to myocardial infarction (MI) of the DNA repair pathway in GWAS data of 866 subjects of the GENetic DEterminants of Restenosis (GENDER) study and 5,244 subjects of the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER) study. We included the main DNA repair pathways (base excision repair, nucleotide excision repair, mismatch repair, homologous recombination and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ)) in the analysis.
The NHEJ pathway was associated with the occurrence of MI in both GENDER (P = 0.0083) and PROSPER (P = 0.014). This association was mainly driven by genetic variation in the MRE11A gene (PGENDER = 0.0001 and PPROSPER = 0.002). The homologous recombination pathway was associated with MI in GENDER only (P = 0.011), for the other pathways no associations were observed.
This is the first study analyzing the joint effect of common genetic variation in DNA repair pathways and the risk of CVD events, demonstrating an association between the NHEJ pathway and MI in 2 different cohorts.
Thyroid hormone is essential for normal metabolism and development, and overt abnormalities in thyroid function lead to common endocrine disorders affecting approximately 10% of individuals over their life span. In addition, even mild alterations in thyroid function are associated with weight changes, atrial fibrillation, osteoporosis, and psychiatric disorders. To identify novel variants underlying thyroid function, we performed a large meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for serum levels of the highly heritable thyroid function markers TSH and FT4, in up to 26,420 and 17,520 euthyroid subjects, respectively. Here we report 26 independent associations, including several novel loci for TSH (PDE10A, VEGFA, IGFBP5, NFIA, SOX9, PRDM11, FGF7, INSR, ABO, MIR1179, NRG1, MBIP, ITPK1, SASH1, GLIS3) and FT4 (LHX3, FOXE1, AADAT, NETO1/FBXO15, LPCAT2/CAPNS2). Notably, only limited overlap was detected between TSH and FT4 associated signals, in spite of the feedback regulation of their circulating levels by the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. Five of the reported loci (PDE8B, PDE10A, MAF/LOC440389, NETO1/FBXO15, and LPCAT2/CAPNS2) show strong gender-specific differences, which offer clues for the known sexual dimorphism in thyroid function and related pathologies. Importantly, the TSH-associated loci contribute not only to variation within the normal range, but also to TSH values outside the reference range, suggesting that they may be involved in thyroid dysfunction. Overall, our findings explain, respectively, 5.64% and 2.30% of total TSH and FT4 trait variance, and they improve the current knowledge of the regulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis function and the consequences of genetic variation for hypo- or hyperthyroidism.
Levels of thyroid hormones are tightly regulated by TSH produced in the pituitary, and even mild alterations in their concentrations are strong indicators of thyroid pathologies, which are very common worldwide. To identify common genetic variants associated with the highly heritable markers of thyroid function, TSH and FT4, we conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in 26,420 and 17,520 individuals, respectively, of European ancestry with normal thyroid function. Our analysis identified 26 independent genetic variants regulating these traits, several of which are new, and confirmed previously detected polymorphisms affecting TSH (within the PDE8B gene and near CAPZB, MAF/LOC440389, and NR3C2) and FT4 (within DIO1) levels. Gender-specific differences in the genetic effects of several variants for TSH and FT4 levels were identified at several loci, which offer clues to understand the known sexual dimorphism in thyroid function and pathology. Of particular clinical interest, we show that TSH-associated loci contribute not only to normal variation, but also to TSH values outside reference range, suggesting that they may be involved in thyroid dysfunction. Overall, our findings add to the developing landscape of the regulation of thyroid homeostasis and the consequences of genetic variation for thyroid related diseases.
Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors have less upper gastrointestinal toxicity than traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, both COX-2 inhibitors and traditional NSAIDs may be associated with adverse cardiovascular side effects. Data from randomised and observational studies suggest that celecoxib has similar cardiovascular toxicity to traditional NSAIDs. The overall safety balance of a strategy of celecoxib therapy versus traditional NSAID therapy is unknown. The European Medicines Agency requested studies of the cardiovascular safety of celecoxib within Europe. The Standard care versus Celecoxib Outcome Trial (SCOT) compares the cardiovascular safety of celecoxib with traditional NSAID therapy in the setting of the European Union healthcare system.
Methods and analysis
SCOT is a large streamlined safety study conducted in Scotland, England, Denmark and the Netherlands using the Prospective Randomised Open Blinded Endpoint design. Patients aged over 60 years with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, free from established cardiovascular disease and requiring chronic NSAID therapy, are randomised to celecoxib or their previous traditional NSAID. They are then followed up for events by record-linkage within their normal healthcare setting. The hypothesis is non-inferiority with a confidence limit of 1.4. The primary endpoint is the first occurrence of hospitalisation or death for the Anti-Platelet Trialists’ Collaboration (APTC) cardiovascular endpoint of non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke or cardiovascular death. Secondary endpoints are (1) first hospitalisation or death for upper gastrointestinal ulcer complications (bleeding, perforation or obstruction); (2) first occurrence of hospitalised upper gastrointestinal ulcer complications or APTC endpoint; (3) first hospitalisation for heart failure; (4) first hospitalisation for APTC endpoint plus heart failure; (5) all-cause mortality and (6) first hospitalisation for new or worsening renal failure.
Ethics and dissemination
SCOT has been approved by the relevant ethics committees. The trial results will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Clinical trials registration number
Variability in blood pressure predicts cardiovascular disease in young- and middle-aged subjects, but relevant data for older individuals are sparse. We analysed data from the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER) study of 5804 participants aged 70–82 years with a history of, or risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Visit-to-visit variability in blood pressure (standard deviation) was determined using a minimum of five measurements over 1 year; an inception cohort of 4819 subjects had subsequent in-trial 3 years follow-up; longer-term follow-up (mean 7.1 years) was available for 1808 subjects. Higher systolic blood pressure variability independently predicted long-term follow-up vascular and total mortality (hazard ratio per 5 mmHg increase in standard deviation of systolic blood pressure = 1.2, 95% confidence interval 1.1–1.4; hazard ratio 1.1, 95% confidence interval 1.1–1.2, respectively). Variability in diastolic blood pressure associated with increased risk for coronary events (hazard ratio 1.5, 95% confidence interval 1.2–1.8 for each 5 mmHg increase), heart failure hospitalisation (hazard ratio 1.4, 95% confidence interval 1.1–1.8) and vascular (hazard ratio 1.4, 95% confidence interval 1.1–1.7) and total mortality (hazard ratio 1.3, 95% confidence interval 1.1–1.5), all in long-term follow-up. Pulse pressure variability was associated with increased stroke risk (hazard ratio 1.2, 95% confidence interval 1.0–1.4 for each 5 mmHg increase), vascular mortality (hazard ratio 1.2, 95% confidence interval 1.0–1.3) and total mortality (hazard ratio 1.1, 95% confidence interval 1.0–1.2), all in long-term follow-up. All associations were independent of respective mean blood pressure levels, age, gender, in-trial treatment group (pravastatin or placebo) and prior vascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Our observations suggest variability in diastolic blood pressure is more strongly associated with vascular or total mortality than is systolic pressure variability in older high-risk subjects.
Preliminary data mostly from animal models suggest the sST2/IL-33 pathway may have causal relevance for vascular disease and diabetes and thus point to a potential novel inflammatory link to cardiometabolic disease. However, the characterisation of sST2 levels in terms of metabolic or vascular risk in man is completely lacking. We sought to address this gap via a comprehensive analysis of risk factor and vascular correlates of sST2 in a cross-sectional study (pSoBid). We measured sST2 in plasma in 639 subjects and comprehensively related it to cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors and imaged atherosclerosis measures. Circulating sST2 levels increased with age, were lower in women and in highest earners. After adjusting for age and gender, sST2 levels associated strongly with markers of diabetes, including triglycerides [effect estimate (EE) per 1 standard deviation increase in sST2∶1.05 [95%CI 1.01,1.10]), liver function (alanine aminotransaminase [ALT] and γ-glutamyl transferase [GGT]: EE 1.05 [1.01,1.09] and 1.13 [1.07,1.19] respectively), glucose (1.02 [1.00,1.03]) and sICAM-1 (1.05 [1.02,1.07]). However, sST2 levels were not related to smoking, cholesterol, blood pressure, or atheroma (carotid intima media thickness, plaque presence). These results suggest that sST2 levels, in individuals largely without vascular disease, are related principally to markers associated with diabetes and ectopic fat and add support for a role of sST2 in diabetes. Further mechanistic studies determining how sST2 is linked to diabetes pathways may offer new insights into the inflammatory paradigm for type 2 diabetes.
To test whether N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) was independently associated with, and improved the prediction of, cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a primary prevention cohort.
Methods and results
In the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS), a cohort of middle-aged men with hypercholesterolaemia at a moderate risk of CVD, we related the baseline NT-proBNP (geometric mean 28 pg/mL) in 4801 men to the risk of CVD over 15 years during which 1690 experienced CVD events. Taking into account the competing risk of non-CVD death, NT-proBNP was associated with an increased risk of all CVD [HR: 1.17 (95% CI: 1.11–1.23) per standard deviation increase in log NT-proBNP] after adjustment for classical and clinical cardiovascular risk factors plus C-reactive protein. N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide was more strongly related to the risk of fatal [HR: 1.34 (95% CI: 1.19–1.52)] than non-fatal CVD [HR: 1.17 (95% CI: 1.10–1.24)] (P= 0.022). The addition of NT-proBNP to traditional risk factors improved the C-index (+0.013; P < 0.001). The continuous net reclassification index improved with the addition of NT-proBNP by 19.8% (95% CI: 13.6–25.9%) compared with 9.8% (95% CI: 4.2–15.6%) with the addition of C-reactive protein. N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide correctly reclassified 14.7% of events, whereas C-reactive protein correctly reclassified 3.4% of events. Results were similar in the 4128 men without evidence of angina, nitrate prescription, minor ECG abnormalities, or prior cerebrovascular disease.
N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide predicts CVD events in men without clinical evidence of CHD, angina, or history of stroke, and appears related more strongly to the risk for fatal events. N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide also provides moderate risk discrimination, in excess of that provided by the measurement of C-reactive protein.
Clinical trial registration
WOSCOPS was carried out and completed prior to the requirement for clinical trial registration.
NT-proBNP; Natriuretic peptides; Risk factors; Epidemiology
We explored the effect of treatment with ivabradine, a pure heart rate-slowing agent, on recurrent hospitalizations for worsening heart failure (HF) in the SHIFT trial.
Methods and results
SHIFT was a double-blind clinical trial in which 6505 patients with moderate-to-severe HF and left ventricular systolic dysfunction, all of whom had been hospitalized for HF during the preceding year, were randomized to ivabradine or to placebo on a background of guideline-recommended HF therapy (including maximized β-blockade). In total, 1186 patients experienced at least one additional HF hospitalization during the study, 472 suffered at least two, and 218 suffered at least 3. Patients with additional HF hospitalizations had more severe disease than those without. Ivabradine was associated with fewer total HF hospitalizations [902 vs. 1211 events with placebo; incidence rate ratio, 0.75, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.65–0.87, P = 0.0002] during the 22.9-month median follow-up. Ivabradine-treated patients evidenced lower risk for a second or third additional HF hospitalization [hazard ratio (HR): 0.66, 95% CI, 0.55–0.79, P < 0.001 and HR: 0.71, 95% CI, 0.54–0.93, P = 0.012, respectively]. Similar observations were made for all-cause and cardiovascular hospitalizations.
Treatment with ivabradine, on a background of guidelines-based HF therapy, is associated with a substantial reduction in the likelihood of recurrent hospitalizations for worsening HF. This benefit can be expected to improve the quality of life and to substantially reduce health-care costs.
Heart failure; Hospitalization; Ivabradine; Left ventricular systolic dysfunction; Heart rate
Men and women differ in terms of presentation and management in coronary artery disease (CAD). Whether these differences translate into different clinical outcomes in stable CAD is unclear. We analysed data from the international prospective CLARIFY registry to compare cardiovascular clinical outcomes in men and women with stable CAD.
Methods and results
We analysed 1-year outcomes in 30 977 outpatients with stable CAD [23 975 (77.4%) men; 7002 (22.6%) women]. Women were older than men, more likely to have hypertension and diabetes, and less likely to exercise or smoke. They had more frequent angina, but were less likely to have undergone diagnostic non-invasive testing or coronary angiography. Women received less optimized treatment for stable CAD. One-year outcomes were similar for men and women for the composite of cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or stroke [adjusted rates 1.7 vs. 1.8%, respectively, odds ratio (OR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.75–1.15]; all-cause death (adjusted 1.5 vs. 1.6%, OR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.72–1.13); fatal or non-fatal myocardial infarction (adjusted 1.0 vs. 0.9%, OR: 0.81, 95 CI: 0.60–1.08); and cardiovascular death or non-fatal myocardial infarction (adjusted 1.4 vs. 1.4%, OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.70–1.12). Fewer women underwent revascularization (2.6 vs. 2.2%, OR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.64–0.93), although appropriateness was not analysed.
The risk profiles of women and men with stable CAD differ substantially. However, 1-year outcomes were similar. Fewer women underwent revascularization. Further research is needed to better understand gender determinants of outcome and devise strategies to minimize bias in the management and treatment of women.
CAD; CLARIFY; Gender; Prognosis; Registry; Women
The pathophysiology of myocardial injury and repair in patients with ST‐elevation myocardial infarction is incompletely understood. We investigated the relationships among culprit artery microvascular resistance, myocardial salvage, and ventricular function.
Methods and Results
The index of microvascular resistance (IMR) was measured by means of a pressure‐ and temperature‐sensitive coronary guidewire in 108 patients with ST‐elevation myocardial infarction (83% male) at the end of primary percutaneous coronary intervention. Paired cardiac MRI (cardiac magnetic resonance) scans were performed early (2 days; n=108) and late (3 months; n=96) after myocardial infarction. T2‐weighted‐ and late gadolinium–enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance delineated the ischemic area at risk and infarct size, respectively. Myocardial salvage was calculated by subtracting infarct size from area at risk. Univariable and multivariable models were constructed to determine the impact of IMR on cardiac magnetic resonance–derived surrogate outcomes. The median (interquartile range) IMR was 28 (17–42) mm Hg/s. The median (interquartile range) area at risk was 32% (24%–41%) of left ventricular mass, and the myocardial salvage index was 21% (11%–43%). IMR was a significant multivariable predictor of early myocardial salvage, with a multiplicative effect of 0.87 (95% confidence interval 0.82 to 0.92) per 20% increase in IMR; P<0.001. In patients with anterior myocardial infarction, IMR was a multivariable predictor of early and late myocardial salvage, with multiplicative effects of 0.82 (95% confidence interval 0.75 to 0.90; P<0.001) and 0.92 (95% confidence interval 0.88 to 0.96; P<0.001), respectively. IMR also predicted the presence and extent of microvascular obstruction and myocardial hemorrhage.
Microvascular resistance measured during primary percutaneous coronary intervention significantly predicts myocardial salvage, infarct characteristics, and left ventricular ejection fraction in patients with ST‐elevation myocardial infarction. (J Am Heart Assoc. 2012;1:e002246 doi: 10.1161/JAHA.112.002246)
microcirculation; primary percutaneous coronary intervention; magnetic resonance imaging; myocardial infarction; ventricular remodeling
Statin therapy reduces the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), however, the person-to-person variability in response to statin therapy is not well understood. We have investigated the effect of genetic variation on the reduction of CHD events by pravastatin. First, we conducted a genome-wide association study of 682 CHD cases from the Cholesterol and Recurrent Events (CARE) trial and 383 CHD cases from the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS), two randomized, placebo-controlled studies of pravastatin. In a combined case-only analysis, 79 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were associated with differential CHD event reduction by pravastatin according to genotype (P<0.0001), and these SNPs were analyzed in a second stage that included cases as well as non-cases from CARE and WOSCOPS and patients from the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk/PHArmacogenomic study of Statins in the Elderly at risk for cardiovascular disease (PROSPER/PHASE), a randomized placebo controlled study of pravastatin in the elderly. We found that one of these SNPs (rs13279522) was associated with differential CHD event reduction by pravastatin therapy in all 3 studies: P = 0.002 in CARE, P = 0.01 in WOSCOPS, P = 0.002 in PROSPER/PHASE. In a combined analysis of CARE, WOSCOPS, and PROSPER/PHASE, the hazard ratio for CHD when comparing pravastatin with placebo decreased by a factor of 0.63 (95% CI: 0.52 to 0.75) for each extra copy of the minor allele (P = 4.8×10−7). This SNP is located in DnaJ homolog subfamily C member 5B (DNAJC5B) and merits investigation in additional randomized studies of pravastatin and other statins.
Heart rate (HR) is an emerging risk factor in coronary artery disease (CAD). However, there is little contemporary data regarding HR and the use of HR-lowering medications, particularly beta-blockers, among patients with stable CAD in routine clinical practice. The goal of the present analysis was to describe HR in such patients, overall and in relation to beta-blocker use, and to describe the determinants of HR.
Methods and Findings
CLARIFY is an international, prospective, observational, longitudinal registry of outpatients with stable CAD, defined as prior myocardial infarction or revascularization procedure, evidence of coronary stenosis of >50%, or chest pain associated with proven myocardial ischemia. A total of 33,438 patients from 45 countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Middle East, and Asia/Pacific were enrolled between November 2009 and July 2010. Most of the 33,177 patients included in this analysis were men (77.5%). Mean (SD) age was 64.2 (10.5) years, HR by pulse was 68.3 (10.6) bpm, and by electrocardiogram was 67.2 (11.4) bpm. Overall, 44.0% had HR≥70 bpm. Beta-blockers were used in 75.1% of patients and another 14.4% had intolerance or contraindications to beta-blocker therapy. Among 24,910 patients on beta-blockers, 41.1% had HR≥70 bpm. HR≥70 bpm was independently associated with higher prevalence and severity of angina, more frequent evidence of myocardial ischemia, and lack of use of HR-lowering agents.
Despite a high rate of use of beta-blockers, stable CAD patients often have resting HR≥70 bpm, which was associated with an overall worse health status, more frequent angina and ischemia. Further HR lowering is possible in many patients with CAD. Whether it will improve symptoms and outcomes is being tested.
A sexual dimorphism exists in the incidence and prevalence of coronary artery disease—men are more commonly affected than are age-matched women. We explored the role of the Y chromosome in coronary artery disease in the context of this sexual inequity.
We genotyped 11 markers of the male-specific region of the Y chromosome in 3233 biologically unrelated British men from three cohorts: the British Heart Foundation Family Heart Study (BHF-FHS), West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS), and Cardiogenics Study. On the basis of this information, each Y chromosome was tracked back into one of 13 ancient lineages defined as haplogroups. We then examined associations between common Y chromosome haplogroups and the risk of coronary artery disease in cross-sectional BHF-FHS and prospective WOSCOPS. Finally, we undertook functional analysis of Y chromosome effects on monocyte and macrophage transcriptome in British men from the Cardiogenics Study.
Of nine haplogroups identified, two (R1b1b2 and I) accounted for roughly 90% of the Y chromosome variants among British men. Carriers of haplogroup I had about a 50% higher age-adjusted risk of coronary artery disease than did men with other Y chromosome lineages in BHF-FHS (odds ratio 1·75, 95% CI 1·20–2·54, p=0·004), WOSCOPS (1·45, 1·08–1·95, p=0·012), and joint analysis of both populations (1·56, 1·24–1·97, p=0·0002). The association between haplogroup I and increased risk of coronary artery disease was independent of traditional cardiovascular and socioeconomic risk factors. Analysis of macrophage transcriptome in the Cardiogenics Study revealed that 19 molecular pathways showing strong differential expression between men with haplogroup I and other lineages of the Y chromosome were interconnected by common genes related to inflammation and immunity, and that some of them have a strong relevance to atherosclerosis.
The human Y chromosome is associated with risk of coronary artery disease in men of European ancestry, possibly through interactions of immunity and inflammation.
British Heart Foundation; UK National Institute for Health Research; LEW Carty Charitable Fund; National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; European Union 6th Framework Programme; Wellcome Trust.
Fibrin fragment D-dimer is one of several peptides produced when cross-linked fibrin is degraded by plasmin, and is the most widely-used clinical marker of activated blood coagulation. To identity genetic loci influencing D-dimer levels, we performed the first large-scale, genome-wide association search.
Methods and Results
A genome-wide investigation of the genomic correlates of plasma D-dimer levels was conducted among 21,052 European-ancestry adults. Plasma levels of D-dimer were measured independently in each of 13 cohorts. Each study analyzed the association between ~2.6 million genotyped and imputed variants across the 22 autosomal chromosomes and natural-log transformed D-dimer levels using linear regression in additive genetic models adjusted for age and sex. Among all variants, 74 exceeded the genome-wide significance threshold and marked 3 regions. At 1p22, rs12029080 (p-value 6.4×10−52) was 46.0 kb upstream from F3, coagulation factor III (tissue factor). At 1q24, rs6687813 (p-value 2.4×10−14) was 79.7 kb downstream of F5, coagulation factor V. At 4q32, rs13109457 (p-value 2.9×10−18) was located between 2 fibrinogen genes: 10.4 kb downstream from FGG and 3.0 kb upstream from FGA. Variants were associated with a 0.099, 0.096, and 0.061 unit difference, respectively, in natural-log transformed D-dimer and together accounted for 1.8% of the total variance. When adjusted for non-synonymous substitutions in F5 and FGA loci known to be associated with D-dimer levels, there was no evidence of an additional association at either locus.
Three genes were associated with fibrin D-dimer levels, of which the F3 association was the strongest and has not been previously reported.
genome-wide variation; D-dimer; epidemiology; meta-analysis; thrombosis; hemostasis