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
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified thousands of loci associated wtih complex traits, but it is challenging to pinpoint causal genes in these loci and to exploit subtle association signals. We used tissue-specific quantitative interaction proteomics to map a network of five genes involved in the Mendelian disorder long QT syndrome (LQTS). We integrated the LQTS network with GWAS loci from the corresponding common complex trait, QT interval variation, to identify candidate genes that were subsequently confirmed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and zebrafish. We used the LQTS protein network to filter weak GWAS signals by identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in proximity to genes in the network supported by strong proteomic evidence. Three SNPs passing this filter reached genome-wide significance after replication genotyping. Overall, we present a general strategy to propose candidates in GWAS loci for functional studies and to systematically filter subtle association signals using tissue-specific quantitative interaction proteomics.
Statins increase the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus. We aimed to assess whether this increase in risk is a consequence of inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR), the intended drug target.
We used single nucleotide polymorphisms in the HMGCR gene, rs17238484 (for the main analysis) and rs12916 (for a subsidiary analysis) as proxies for HMGCR inhibition by statins. We examined associations of these variants with plasma lipid, glucose, and insulin concentrations; bodyweight; waist circumference; and prevalent and incident type 2 diabetes. Study-specific effect estimates per copy of each LDL-lowering allele were pooled by meta-analysis. These findings were compared with a meta-analysis of new-onset type 2 diabetes and bodyweight change data from randomised trials of statin drugs. The effects of statins in each randomised trial were assessed using meta-analysis.
Data were available for up to 223 463 individuals from 43 genetic studies. Each additional rs17238484-G allele was associated with a mean 0·06 mmol/L (95% CI 0·05–0·07) lower LDL cholesterol and higher body weight (0·30 kg, 0·18–0·43), waist circumference (0·32 cm, 0·16–0·47), plasma insulin concentration (1·62%, 0·53–2·72), and plasma glucose concentration (0·23%, 0·02–0·44). The rs12916 SNP had similar effects on LDL cholesterol, bodyweight, and waist circumference. The rs17238484-G allele seemed to be associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes (odds ratio [OR] per allele 1·02, 95% CI 1·00–1·05); the rs12916-T allele association was consistent (1·06, 1·03–1·09). In 129 170 individuals in randomised trials, statins lowered LDL cholesterol by 0·92 mmol/L (95% CI 0·18–1·67) at 1-year of follow-up, increased bodyweight by 0·24 kg (95% CI 0·10–0·38 in all trials; 0·33 kg, 95% CI 0·24–0·42 in placebo or standard care controlled trials and −0·15 kg, 95% CI −0·39 to 0·08 in intensive-dose vs moderate-dose trials) at a mean of 4·2 years (range 1·9–6·7) of follow-up, and increased the odds of new-onset type 2 diabetes (OR 1·12, 95% CI 1·06–1·18 in all trials; 1·11, 95% CI 1·03–1·20 in placebo or standard care controlled trials and 1·12, 95% CI 1·04–1·22 in intensive-dose vs moderate dose trials).
The increased risk of type 2 diabetes noted with statins is at least partially explained by HMGCR inhibition.
The funding sources are cited at the end of the paper.
Central to the design of a randomised controlled trial is the calculation of the number of participants needed. This is typically achieved by specifying a target difference and calculating the corresponding sample size, which provides reassurance that the trial will have the required statistical power (at the planned statistical significance level) to identify whether a difference of a particular magnitude exists. Beyond pure statistical or scientific concerns, it is ethically imperative that an appropriate number of participants should be recruited. Despite the critical role of the target difference for the primary outcome in the design of randomised controlled trials, its determination has received surprisingly little attention. This article provides guidance on the specification of the target difference for the primary outcome in a sample size calculation for a two parallel group randomised controlled trial with a superiority question.
This work was part of the DELTA (Difference ELicitation in TriAls) project. Draft guidance was developed by the project steering and advisory groups utilising the results of the systematic review and surveys. Findings were circulated and presented to members of the combined group at a face-to-face meeting, along with a proposed outline of the guidance document structure, containing recommendations and reporting items for a trial protocol and report. The guidance and was subsequently drafted and circulated for further comment before finalisation.
Guidance on specification of a target difference in the primary outcome for a two group parallel randomised controlled trial was produced. Additionally, a list of reporting items for protocols and trial reports was generated.
Specification of the target difference for the primary outcome is a key component of a randomized controlled trial sample size calculation. There is a need for better justification of the target difference and reporting of its specification.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13063-014-0526-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Target difference; clinically important difference; sample size; randomised controlled trial; guidance
Plasma fibrinogen is an acute phase protein playing an important role in the blood coagulation cascade having strong associations with smoking, alcohol consumption and body mass index (BMI). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a variety of gene regions associated with elevated plasma fibrinogen concentrations. However, little is yet known about how associations between environmental factors and fibrinogen might be modified by genetic variation. Therefore, we conducted large-scale meta-analyses of genome-wide interaction studies to identify possible interactions of genetic variants and smoking status, alcohol consumption or BMI on fibrinogen concentration. The present study included 80,607 subjects of European ancestry from 22 studies. Genome-wide interaction analyses were performed separately in each study for about 2.6 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the 22 autosomal chromosomes. For each SNP and risk factor, we performed a linear regression under an additive genetic model including an interaction term between SNP and risk factor. Interaction estimates were meta-analysed using a fixed-effects model. No genome-wide significant interaction with smoking status, alcohol consumption or BMI was observed in the meta-analyses. The most suggestive interaction was found for smoking and rs10519203, located in the LOC123688 region on chromosome 15, with a p value of 6.2×10−8. This large genome-wide interaction study including 80,607 participants found no strong evidence of interaction between genetic variants and smoking status, alcohol consumption or BMI on fibrinogen concentrations. Further studies are needed to yield deeper insight in the interplay between environmental factors and gene variants on the regulation of fibrinogen concentrations.
A rigorous and focused systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of individualised homeopathic treatment has not previously been undertaken. We tested the hypothesis that the outcome of an individualised homeopathic treatment approach using homeopathic medicines is distinguishable from that of placebos.
The review’s methods, including literature search strategy, data extraction, assessment of risk of bias and statistical analysis, were strictly protocol-based. Judgment in seven assessment domains enabled a trial’s risk of bias to be designated as low, unclear or high. A trial was judged to comprise ‘reliable evidence’ if its risk of bias was low or was unclear in one specified domain. ‘Effect size’ was reported as odds ratio (OR), with arithmetic transformation for continuous data carried out as required; OR > 1 signified an effect favouring homeopathy.
Thirty-two eligible RCTs studied 24 different medical conditions in total. Twelve trials were classed ‘uncertain risk of bias’, three of which displayed relatively minor uncertainty and were designated reliable evidence; 20 trials were classed ‘high risk of bias’. Twenty-two trials had extractable data and were subjected to meta-analysis; OR = 1.53 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22 to 1.91). For the three trials with reliable evidence, sensitivity analysis revealed OR = 1.98 (95% CI 1.16 to 3.38).
Medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects. Findings are consistent with sub-group data available in a previous ‘global’ systematic review. The low or unclear overall quality of the evidence prompts caution in interpreting the findings. New high-quality RCT research is necessary to enable more decisive interpretation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2046-4053-3-142) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Individualised homeopathy; Meta-analysis; Randomised controlled trials; Systematic review
We previously used a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster associated with heaviness of smoking within smokers to confirm the causal effect of smoking in reducing body mass index (BMI) in a Mendelian randomisation analysis. While seeking to extend these findings in a larger sample we found that this SNP is associated with 0.74% lower body mass index (BMI) per minor allele in current smokers (95% CI -0.97 to -0.51, P = 2.00×10−10), but also unexpectedly found that it was associated with 0.35% higher BMI in never smokers (95% CI +0.18 to +0.52, P = 6.38×10−5). An interaction test confirmed that these estimates differed from each other (P = 4.95×10−13). This difference in effects suggests the variant influences BMI both via pathways unrelated to smoking, and via the weight-reducing effects of smoking. It would therefore be essentially undetectable in an unstratified genome-wide association study of BMI, given the opposite association with BMI in never and current smokers. This demonstrates that novel associations may be obscured by hidden population sub-structure. Stratification on well-characterized environmental factors known to impact on health outcomes may therefore reveal novel genetic associations.
We found that a single nucleotide polymorphism in the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster, which is known to influence smoking heaviness, is associated with lower body mass index (BMI) in current smokers, but higher BMI in never smokers. This difference in effects suggests that the variant influences BMI both via pathways other than smoking, and via the weight-reducing effects of smoking, in opposite directions. The overall effect on BMI would therefore be undetectable in an unstratified genome-wide association study, indicating that novel associations may be obscured by hidden population sub-structure.
To assess the effect of preventive pravastatin treatment on coronary heart disease (CHD) morbidity and mortality in older persons at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), stratified according to plasma levels of homocysteine.
A post hoc subanalysis in the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER), started in 1997, which is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with a mean follow-up of 3.2 years.
Primary care setting in two of the three PROSPER study sites (Netherlands and Scotland).
Individuals (n = 3,522, aged 70–82, 1,765 male) with a history of or risk factors for CVD were ranked in three groups depending on baseline homocysteine level, sex, and study site.
Pravastatin (40 mg) versus placebo.
Fatal and nonfatal CHD and mortality.
In the placebo group, participants with a high homocysteine level (n = 588) had a 1.8 higher risk (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.2–2.5, P = .001) of fatal and nonfatal CHD than those with a low homocysteine level (n = 597). The absolute risk reduction in fatal and nonfatal CHD with pravastatin treatment was 1.6% (95% CI = −1.6 to 4.7%) in the low homocysteine group and 6.7% (95% CI = 2.7–10.7%) in the high homocysteine group (difference 5.2%, 95% CI = 0.11–10.3, P = .046). Therefore, the number needed to treat (NNT) with pravastatin for 3.2 years for benefit related to fatal and nonfatal CHD events was 14.8 (95% CI = 9.3–36.6) for high homocysteine and 64.5 (95% CI = 21.4–∞) for low homocysteine.
In older persons at risk of CVD, those with high homocysteine are at highest risk for fatal and nonfatal CHD. With pravastatin treatment, this group has the highest absolute risk reduction and the lowest NNT to prevent fatal and nonfatal CHD.
homocysteine; older persons; cardiovascular risk; statins; prevention
Statins effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels in large studies and the observed interindividual response variability may be partially explained by genetic variation. Here we perform a pharmacogenetic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in studies addressing the LDL cholesterol response to statins, including up to 18,596 statin-treated subjects. We validate the most promising signals in a further 22,318 statin recipients and identify two loci, SORT1/CELSR2/PSRC1 and SLCO1B1, not previously identified in GWAS. Moreover, we confirm the previously described associations with APOE and LPA. Our findings advance the understanding of the pharmacogenetic architecture of statin response.
Statins are effectively used to prevent and manage cardiovascular disease, but patient response to these drugs is highly variable. Here, the authors identify two new genes associated with the response of LDL cholesterol to statins and advance our understanding of the genetic basis of drug response.
The evidence base for fasting plasma glucose (FPG) in the non-diabetic range as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is inconclusive. We investigated this question in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS).
Methods and Results
In WOSCOPS, we related FPG in 6447 men (mean age 55 years) with hypercholesterolaemia, but no history of CVD or diabetes, to risk of cardiovascular events and mortality over 14.7 years follow-up; 2381 non-fatal/fatal cardiovascular events and 1244 deaths occurred. Participants were divided into fifths of baseline FPG, Q1 (≤4.3mmol/L) to Q5 (>5.1-6.9mmol/L). Q2 was designated the referent based on previous studies which have suggested a J-shaped relationship between FPG and CVD. Compared to Q2 (>4.3-4.6mmol/L), men in Q5 had no elevated risk for cardiovascular events (HR 0.95 [0.83-1.08]), or all cause mortality (HR 0.96 [0.80-1.15]) in fully adjusted analyses despite a significant risk for incident diabetes (HR 22.05 [10.75-45.22]). After further dividing Q5 into fifths, Q5a-e, individuals in Q5e (FPG 5.8-6.9mmol/L) were also not at increased risk of cardiovascular events (HR 1.05 [0.82-1.35]) or other endpoints compared to Q2. All results were similar using Q1 as referent.
Elevations in FPG in the non-diabetic range were not associated with long-term risk of cardiovascular events in middle-aged men in WOSCOPS. These data suggest that the current FPG cutoff for diagnosing diabetes also appropriately identifies western men at risk of CVD.
cardiovascular disease; impaired fasting glycaemia; diabetes mellitus; glucose
Variability in response to drug use is common and heritable, suggesting that genome-wide pharmacogenomics studies may help explain the “missing heritability” of complex traits. Here, we describe four independent analyses in 33,781 participants of European ancestry from ten cohorts that were designed to identify genetic variants modifying the effects of drugs on QT interval duration (QT). Each analysis cross-sectionally examined four therapeutic classes: thiazide diuretics (prevalence of use=13.0%), tri/tetracyclic antidepressants (2.6%), sulfonylurea hypoglycemic agents (2.9%), and QT prolonging drugs as classified by the University of Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (4.4%). Drug-gene interactions were estimated using covariable adjusted linear regression and results were combined with fixed-effects meta-analysis. Although drug-SNP interactions were biologically plausible and variables were well-measured, findings from the four cross-sectional meta-analyses were null (Pinteraction>5.0×10−8). Simulations suggested that additional efforts, including longitudinal modeling to increase statistical power, are likely needed to identify potentially important pharmacogenomic effects.
QT interval; pharmacogenomics; gene-environment interaction
To assess the frequency of chronic kidney disease (CKD), define the associated demographics, and evaluate its association with use of evidence-based drug therapy in a contemporary global study of patients with stable coronary artery disease.
22,272 patients from the ProspeCtive observational LongitudinAl RegIstry oF patients with stable coronary arterY disease (CLARIFY) were included. Baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated (CKD-Epidemiology Collaboration formula) and patients categorised according to CKD stage: >89, 60–89, 45–59 and <45 mL/min/1.73 m2.
Mean (SD) age was 63.9±10.4 years, 77.3% were male, 61.8% had a history of myocardial infarction, 71.9% hypertension, 30.4% diabetes and 75.4% dyslipidaemia. Chronic kidney disease (eGFR<60 mL/min/1.73 m2) was seen in 22.1% of the cohort (6.9% with eGFR<45 mL/min/1.73 m2); lower eGFR was associated with increasing age, female sex, cardiovascular risk factors, overt vascular disease, other comorbidities and higher systolic but lower diastolic blood pressure. High use of secondary prevention was seen across all CKD stages (overall 93.4% lipid-lowering drugs, 95.3% antiplatelets, 75.9% beta-blockers). The proportion of patients taking statins was lower in patients with CKD. Antiplatelet use was significantly lower in patients with CKD whereas oral anticoagulant use was higher. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor use was lower (52.0% overall) and inversely related to declining eGFR, whereas angiotensin-receptor blockers were more frequently prescribed in patients with reduced eGFR.
Chronic kidney disease is common in patients with stable coronary artery disease and is associated with comorbidities. Whilst use of individual evidence-based medications for secondary prevention was high across all CKD categories, there remains an opportunity to improve the proportion who take all three classes of preventive therapies. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were used less frequently in lower eGRF categories. Surprisingly the reverse was seen for angiotensin-receptor blockers. Further evaluation is required to fully understand these associations. The CLARIFY (ProspeCtive observational LongitudinAl RegIstry oF patients with stable coronary arterY disease) Registry is registered in the ISRCTN registry of clinical trials with the number ISRCTN43070564. http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN43070564.
Gout affects 2.5% of the UK's adult population and is now the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. The long-term management of gout requires reduction of serum urate levels and this is most often achieved with use of xanthine oxidase inhibitors, such as allopurinol. Febuxostat is the first new xanthine oxidase inhibitor since allopurinol and was licensed for use in 2008. The European Medicines Agency requested a postlicensing cardiovascular safety study of febuxostat versus allopurinol, which has been named the Febuxostat versus Allopurinol Streamlined trial (FAST).
Methods and analysis
FAST is a cardiovascular safety study using the prospective, randomised, open, blinded endpoint design. FAST is recruiting in the UK and Denmark. Recruited patients are aged over 60 years, prescribed allopurinol for symptomatic hyperuricaemia and have at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor. After an allopurinol lead-in phase where the dose of allopurinol is optimised to achieve European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) urate targets (serum urate <357 µmol/L), patients are randomised to either continue optimal dose allopurinol or to use febuxostat. Patients are followed-up for an average of 3 years. The primary endpoint is first occurrence of the Anti-Platelet Trialists’ Collaboration (APTC) cardiovascular endpoint of non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke or cardiovascular death. Secondary endpoints are all cause mortality and hospitalisations for heart failure, unstable, new or worsening angina, coronary or cerebral revascularisation, transient ischaemic attack, non-fatal cardiac arrest, venous and peripheral arterial vascular thrombotic event and arrhythmia with no evidence of ischaemia. The primary analysis is a non-inferiority analysis with a non-inferiority upper limit for the HR for the primary outcome of 1.3.
Ethics and dissemination
FAST (ISRCTN72443728) has ethical approval in the UK and Denmark, and results will be published in a peer reviewed journal.
Trial Registration number
FAST is registered in the EU Clinical Trials Register (EUDRACT No: 2011-001883-23) and International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register (ISRCTN No: ISRCTN72443728).
Cardiovascular Safety; Clinical Trial; Allopurinol; Febuxostat
The aim of this study was to assess whether deferred stenting might reduce no-reflow and salvage myocardium in primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
No-reflow is associated with adverse outcomes in STEMI.
This was a prospective, single-center, randomized, controlled, proof-of-concept trial in reperfused STEMI patients with ≥1 risk factors for no-reflow. Randomization was to deferred stenting with an intention-to-stent 4 to 16 h later or conventional treatment with immediate stenting. The primary outcome was the incidence of no-/slow-reflow (Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction ≤2). Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was performed 2 days and 6 months after myocardial infarction. Myocardial salvage was the final infarct size indexed to the initial area at risk.
Of 411 STEMI patients (March 11, 2012 to November 21, 2012), 101 patients (mean age, 60 years; 69% male) were randomized (52 to the deferred stenting group, 49 to the immediate stenting). The median (interquartile range [IQR]) time to the second procedure in the deferred stenting group was 9 h (IQR: 6 to 12 h). Fewer patients in the deferred stenting group had no-/slow-reflow (14 [29%] vs. 3 [6%]; p = 0.006), no reflow (7 [14%] vs. 1 [2%]; p = 0.052) and intraprocedural thrombotic events (16 [33%] vs. 5 [10%]; p = 0.010). Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction coronary flow grades at the end of PCI were higher in the deferred stenting group (p = 0.018). Recurrent STEMI occurred in 2 patients in the deferred stenting group before the second procedure. Myocardial salvage index at 6 months was greater in the deferred stenting group (68 [IQR: 54% to 82%] vs. 56 [IQR: 31% to 72%]; p = 0.031].
In high-risk STEMI patients, deferred stenting in primary PCI reduced no-reflow and increased myocardial salvage. (Deferred Stent Trial in STEMI; NCT01717573)
deferred stenting; myocardial infarction; myocardial salvage; no-reflow; primary percutaneous coronary intervention; ECG, electrocardiogram; IQR, interquartile range; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; PCI, percutaneous coronary intervention; STEMI, ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; TIMI, Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction
To examine the association of total cerebral blood flow (CBF) with all-cause, noncardiovascular, and cardiovascular mortality in older subjects at risk of cardiovascular disease.
We included 411 subjects with a mean age of 74.5 years from the MRI substudy of the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk. Total CBF was measured at baseline, and occurrence of death was recorded in an average follow-up period of 11.8 years. For each participant, total CBF was standardized for brain parenchymal volume. Cox regression models were used to estimate risk of all-cause, noncardiovascular, and cardiovascular mortality in relation to CBF.
Mortality rates among participants in low, middle, and high thirds of total CBF were 52.1, 41.5, and 28.7 per 1,000 person-years, respectively. Compared with participants in the high third of CBF, participants in the low third had 1.88-fold (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.30–2.72) higher risk of all-cause mortality, 1.66-fold (95% CI: 1.06–2.59) higher risk of noncardiovascular mortality, and 2.50-fold (95% CI: 1.28–4.91) higher risk of cardiovascular mortality. Likewise, compared with participants in the high third of CBF, participants in the middle third had 1.44-fold (95% CI: 0.98–2.11) higher risk of all-cause mortality, 1.29-fold (95% CI: 0.82–2.04) higher risk of noncardiovascular mortality, and 1.86-fold (95% CI: 0.93–3.74) higher risk of cardiovascular mortality. These associations were independent of prevalent vascular status and risk factors.
Low total CBF is linked with higher risk of all-cause, noncardiovascular, and cardiovascular mortality in older people independent of clinical cardiovascular status.
The genetic contribution to the variation in human lifespan is ∼25%. Despite the large number of identified disease-susceptibility loci, it is not known which loci influence population mortality. We performed a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 7729 long-lived individuals of European descent (≥85 years) and 16 121 younger controls (<65 years) followed by replication in an additional set of 13 060 long-lived individuals and 61 156 controls. In addition, we performed a subset analysis in cases aged ≥90 years. We observed genome-wide significant association with longevity, as reflected by survival to ages beyond 90 years, at a novel locus, rs2149954, on chromosome 5q33.3 (OR = 1.10, P = 1.74 × 10−8). We also confirmed association of rs4420638 on chromosome 19q13.32 (OR = 0.72, P = 3.40 × 10−36), representing the TOMM40/APOE/APOC1 locus. In a prospective meta-analysis (n = 34 103), the minor allele of rs2149954 (T) on chromosome 5q33.3 associates with increased survival (HR = 0.95, P = 0.003). This allele has previously been reported to associate with low blood pressure in middle age. Interestingly, the minor allele (T) associates with decreased cardiovascular mortality risk, independent of blood pressure. We report on the first GWAS-identified longevity locus on chromosome 5q33.3 influencing survival in the general European population. The minor allele of this locus associates with low blood pressure in middle age, although the contribution of this allele to survival may be less dependent on blood pressure. Hence, the pleiotropic mechanisms by which this intragenic variation contributes to lifespan regulation have to be elucidated.
Individual participant time-to-event data from multiple prospective epidemiologic studies enable detailed investigation into the predictive ability of risk models. Here we address the challenges in appropriately combining such information across studies. Methods are exemplified by analyses of log C-reactive protein and conventional risk factors for coronary heart disease in the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, a collation of individual data from multiple prospective studies with an average follow-up duration of 9.8 years (dates varied). We derive risk prediction models using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis stratified by study and obtain estimates of risk discrimination, Harrell's concordance index, and Royston's discrimination measure within each study; we then combine the estimates across studies using a weighted meta-analysis. Various weighting approaches are compared and lead us to recommend using the number of events in each study. We also discuss the calculation of measures of reclassification for multiple studies. We further show that comparison of differences in predictive ability across subgroups should be based only on within-study information and that combining measures of risk discrimination from case-control studies and prospective studies is problematic. The concordance index and discrimination measure gave qualitatively similar results throughout. While the concordance index was very heterogeneous between studies, principally because of differing age ranges, the increments in the concordance index from adding log C-reactive protein to conventional risk factors were more homogeneous.
C index; coronary heart disease; D measure; individual participant data; inverse variance; meta-analysis; risk prediction; weighting
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.
In conducting genome-wide association studies (GWAS), analytical approaches leveraging biological information may further understanding of the pathophysiology of clinical traits. To discover novel associations with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a measure of kidney function, we developed a strategy for integrating prior biological knowledge into the existing GWAS data for eGFR from the CKDGen Consortium. Our strategy focuses on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in genes that are connected by functional evidence, determined by literature mining and gene ontology (GO) hierarchies, to genes near previously validated eGFR associations. It then requires association thresholds consistent with multiple testing, and finally evaluates novel candidates by independent replication. Among the samples of European ancestry, we identified a genome-wide significant SNP in FBXL20 (P = 5.6 × 10−9) in meta-analysis of all available data, and additional SNPs at the INHBC, LRP2, PLEKHA1, SLC3A2 and SLC7A6 genes meeting multiple-testing corrected significance for replication and overall P-values of 4.5 × 10−4–2.2 × 10−7. Neither the novel PLEKHA1 nor FBXL20 associations, both further supported by association with eGFR among African Americans and with transcript abundance, would have been implicated by eGFR candidate gene approaches. LRP2, encoding the megalin receptor, was identified through connection with the previously known eGFR gene DAB2 and extends understanding of the megalin system in kidney function. These findings highlight integration of existing genome-wide association data with independent biological knowledge to uncover novel candidate eGFR associations, including candidates lacking known connections to kidney-specific pathways. The strategy may also be applicable to other clinical phenotypes, although more testing will be needed to assess its potential for discovery in general.