Low serum concentrations of sex steroids and gonadotropins in men have been associated with increased cardiometabolic risk and mortality, but the clinical correlates of these hormones in men over the late adulthood are less clearly understood.
We analyzed up to five serial measurements of total testosterone (TT), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and total estradiol (EST) in older men in the original cohort of the Framingham Heart Study to determine the short- (2-years; 1,165 person-observations in 528 individuals) and long-term (up to 10-years follow-up; 2,520 person-observations in 835 individuals with mean baseline age: 71.2 years) clinical correlates of these sex steroids and gonadotropins using multilevel modelling and Generalized Estimating Equations.
Age, body mass index, and pre-existing type 2 diabetes were inversely related to long-term TT concentrations, whereas higher systolic blood pressure showed a positive association. Furthermore, age and pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) were inversely and HDL cholesterol concentrations positively associated with long-term DHEAS concentrations. Analyses of short-term changes revealed age was inversely related to DHEAS, but positively related to FSH and LH concentrations.
Our community-based study identified modifiable correlates of decreasing TT and DHEAS concentrations in elderly men, suggesting that maintenance of a low CVD risk factor burden may mitigate the age-related decline of these hormones over the late adulthood.
sex steroids; gonadotropins; testosterone; aging male; Framingham Heart Study
The extent to which select vascular risk factors differentially influence blood pressure (BP) is incompletely understood. Thus, we used multilevel modeling to analyze serial BP measurements using 21,732 person-observations obtained on Framingham Heart Study participants (mean age 38 years, 52% women; 4,993 unique individuals) over a 28-year period. We related longitudinal tracking of each BP measure (systolic BP [SBP], diastolic BP [DBP], mean arterial pressure [MAP], and pulse pressure [PP]) to age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking, diabetes, total/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ratio, and heart rate. In multivariable-adjusted analyses, we observed that older age, male sex, greater BMI, and higher heart rate were positively associated with increase in all BP measures (p<0.0001). Notably, higher total/HDL cholesterol ratio was associated with greater MAP (p<0.01). Conversely, diabetes and smoking were associated with higher PP (p<0.01). We also observed effect modification by sex: the increase in PP with age and BMI was more pronounced in women compared to men (p<0.0001). All BP measures tracked at higher levels in both men and women with multiple vascular risk factors. Taken together, our longitudinal observations of a large community-based sample demonstrate a greater pulsatile load in women than men with increasing age. We also observed a differential impact of select vascular risk factors on the individual components of BP, underscoring distinct regulation of these measures over the life course.
aging; blood pressure; epidemiology; hypertension; risk factors
Accumulating evidence links higher circulating asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) to greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Relatively small differences in ADMA concentrations between healthy individuals and those with disease underscore the need to formulate reference intervals that may aid risk stratification of individuals.
We formulated reference intervals for plasma ADMA concentrations using a community-based reference sample from the Framingham Offspring Study consisting of 1126 nonsmoking individuals [mean (SD) age 56 (9) years; 60% women] who were free of clinical CVD, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity and who attended a routine examination at which ADMA was assayed. ADMA concentrations were determined using a validated tandem mass spectrometry–liquid chromatography assay.
In the study sample, the mean ADMA concentration was 0.52 (0.11) μmol/L, and the reference limits were 0.311 and 0.732 (2.5th and 97.5th percentile). The sex-specific reference limits were 0.310 and 0.745 in men and 0.313 and 0.721 μmol/L in women. In multivariable regression analysis, ADMA plasma concentrations were positively correlated with age and total plasma homocysteine (both P < 0.001).
Reference limits calculated for circulating ADMA in our large community-based healthy reference sample confirm the previous observation of a relatively narrow distribution of concentrations. This suggests a tight physiological control of ADMA plasma concentrations, presumably by dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) metabolism of ADMA.
We sought to examine the relation of galectin-3 (Gal-3), a marker of cardiac fibrosis, with incident heart failure (HF) in the community.
Gal-3 is an emerging prognostic biomarker in HF, and experimental studies suggest that Gal-3 is an important mediator of cardiac fibrosis. Whether elevated Gal-3 concentrations precede the development of HF is unknown.
Gal-3 concentrations were measured in 3,353 participants in the Framingham Offspring Cohort (mean age 59 years, 53% women). The relation of Gal-3 to incident HF was assessed using proportional hazards regression.
Gal-3 was associated with increased left ventricular mass in age- and sex-adjusted analyses (P=0.001); this association was attenuated in multivariable analyses (P=0.06). A total of 166 participants developed incident HF and 468 died during a mean follow-up of 8.1 years. Gal-3 was associated with risk of incident HF (HR 1.28 per 1 standard deviation increase in log-Gal-3, 95% CI 1.14–1.43, P<0.0001), and remained significant after adjustment for clinical variables and B-type natriuretic peptide (HR 1.23, 95% CI 1.04–1.47, P=0.02). Gal-3 was also associated with risk of all-cause mortality (multivariable-adjusted HR 1.15, 95% CI 1.04–1.28, P=0.01). The addition of Gal-3 to clinical factors resulted in negligible changes to the c-statistic and minor improvements in the net reclassification index.
Higher concentration of Gal-3, a marker of cardiac fibrosis, is associated with increased risk of incident HF and mortality. Future studies evaluating the role of Gal-3 in cardiac remodeling may provide further insights into the role of Gal-3 in the pathophysiology of HF.
heart failure; epidemiology; biomarker; prognosis
Elevated blood pressure (BP) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Several studies have noted a consistent maternal effect on BP; consequently, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation has become an additional target of investigation of the missing BP heritability. Analyses of common mtDNA polymorphisms, however, have not found evidence of association with hypertension. To explore associations of relatively rare (frequency < 5%) mtDNA variants with BP, we identified uncommon/rare variants through sequencing the entire mitochondrial genome in 32 unrelated individuals with extreme-high BP in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) and genotyped 40 mtSNPs in 7,219 FHS participants. The nonsynonymous mtSNP 5913G>A (Asp4Asn) in the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 of Complex IV demonstrated significant associations with BP and fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels. Individuals with the rare 5913A allele had, on average, 7 mm Hg higher systolic BP at baseline (Pempirical = 0.05) and 17 mg/dL higher mean FBG over 25 years of follow up (Pempirical = 0.009). Significant associations with FBG levels were also detected for nonsynonymous mtSNP 3316G>A (Ala4Thr) in the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 of Complex I. On average, individuals with rare allele 3316A had 17 and 25 mg/dL higher FBG at baseline (Pempirical = 0.01) and over 25 years of follow up (Pempirical = 0.007). Our findings provide the first evidence of putative association of variants in the mitochondrial genome with SBP and FBG in the general population. Replication in independent samples, however, is needed to confirm these putative associations.
Mitochondrial genome; Association study; Genetics; Hypertension; Diabetes
Cluster analysis is a valuable tool for exploring the health consequences of consuming different dietary patterns. We used this approach to examine the cross-sectional relationship between dietary patterns and insulin resistance phenotypes, including waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), fasting insulin, 2-h post-challenge insulin, insulin sensitivity index (ISI0,120), HDL cholesterol, triacylglycerol and blood pressure, using data from the fifth examination cycle of the Framingham Offspring Study. Among 2,875 participants without diabetes, we identified four dietary patterns based on the predominant sources of energy: “Fruits, Reduced Fat Dairy and Whole Grains”, “Refined Grains and Sweets”, “Beer”, and “Soda”. After adjusting for multiple comparisons and potential confounders, compared with the “Fruits, Reduced Fat Dairy and Whole Grains” pattern, the “Refined Grains and Sweets” pattern had significantly higher mean waist circumference (92.4 versus 90.5 cm, P=0.008) and BMI (27.3 versus 26.6 kg/m2, P=0.02); the “Soda” pattern had significantly higher mean fasting insulin concentration (31.3 versus 28.0 μU/ml, P≤0.001); the “Beer” pattern had significantly higher mean HDL cholesterol concentration (1.46 versus 1.31 mmol/l, P<0.001). No associations were observed between dietary patterns and ISI0,120, triacylglycerol, and systolic or diastolic blood pressure. Our findings suggest that consumption of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and reduced fat dairy protects against insulin resistance phenotypes and displacing these healthy choices with refined grains, high fat dairy, sweet baked foods, candy and sugar sweetened soda promotes insulin resistant phenotypes.
Dietary patterns; cluster analysis; insulin resistance phenotypes; Framingham Offspring Study
Data regarding the familial aggregation of left ventricular (LV) geometry and its relations to parental heart failure (HF) are limited.
Methods and Results
We evaluated concordance of LV geometry within 1093 nuclear families in 5758 participants of the Original (parents; N=2351) and Offspring (N=3407) cohorts of the Framingham Heart Study undergoing routine echocardiography in mid-to-late adulthood. LV geometry was categorized based on cohort- and sex-specific 80th percentile cutoffs of LV mass and relative wall thickness (RWT) into normal (both <80th percentile), concentric remodeling (LV mass<80th percentile, RWT>80th percentile), concentric hypertrophy (both >80th percentile) and eccentric hypertrophy (LV mass>80th percentile, RWT<80th percentile). Within nuclear families, LV geometry was concordant among related pairs (parent-child, sibling-sibling) (P=0.0015), but not among unrelated spousal pairs (P=0.60), a finding that remained unchanged after adjusting for clinical covariates known to influence LV remodeling (age, systolic blood pressure, body mass index), excluding individuals with prevalent HF and myocardial infarction, and varying the thresholds for defining LV geometry. The prevalence of abnormal LV geometry was higher in family members of affected individuals, with recurrence risks of 1.4 for concentric remodeling (95%CI, 1.2–1.7) and eccentric hypertrophy (95%CI, 1.1–1.8), and 3.9 (95%CI, 3.2–4.6) for concentric hypertrophy. In a subset of 1497 offspring, we observed an association between parental HF (N=458) and eccentric hypertrophy in offspring (P<0.0001).
Our investigation of a two-generational community-based sample demonstrates familial aggregation of LV geometry, with the greatest recurrence risk for concentric LV geometry, and establishes an association of eccentric LV geometry with parental HF.
echocardiography; remodeling; risk factors
Biomarkers for predicting cardiovascular events in community-based populations have not consistently added information to standard risk factors. A limitation of many previously studied biomarkers is their lack of cardiovascular specificity.
Methods and Results
To determine the prognostic value of 3 novel biomarkers induced by cardiovascular stress, we measured soluble ST2, growth differentiation factor-15, and high-sensitivity troponin I in 3,428 participants (mean age 59, 53% women) in the Framingham Heart Study. We performed multivariable-adjusted proportional hazards models to assess the individual and combined ability of the biomarkers to predict adverse outcomes. We also constructed a “multimarker” score composed of the 3 biomarkers, in addition to B-type natriuretic peptide and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. During a mean follow-up of 11.3 years, there were 488 deaths, 336 major cardiovascular events, 162 heart failure events, and 142 coronary events. In multivariable-adjusted models, the 3 new biomarkers were associated with each endpoint (p<0.001) except for coronary events. Individuals with multimarker scores in the highest quartile had a 3-fold risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.2, 95% CI, 2.2–4.7; p<0.001), 6-fold risk of heart failure (6.2, 95% CI, 2.6–14.8; p<0.001), and 2-fold risk of cardiovascular events (1.9, 95% CI, 1.3–2.7; p=0.001). Addition of the multimarker score to clinical variables led to significant increases in the c-statistic (p=0.007 or lower) and net reclassification improvement (p=0.001 or lower).
Multiple biomarkers of cardiovascular stress are detectable in ambulatory individuals, and add prognostic value to standard risk factors for predicting death, overall cardiovascular events, and heart failure.
biomarkers; risk assessment; risk prediction
Improvements in metabolite-profiling techniques are providing increased breadth of coverage of the human metabolome and may highlight biomarkers and pathways in common diseases such as diabetes. Using a metabolomics platform that analyzes intermediary organic acids, purines, pyrimidines, and other compounds, we performed a nested case-control study of 188 individuals who developed diabetes and 188 propensity-matched controls from 2,422 normoglycemic participants followed for 12 years in the Framingham Heart Study. The metabolite 2-aminoadipic acid (2-AAA) was most strongly associated with the risk of developing diabetes. Individuals with 2-AAA concentrations in the top quartile had greater than a 4-fold risk of developing diabetes. Levels of 2-AAA were not well correlated with other metabolite biomarkers of diabetes, such as branched chain amino acids and aromatic amino acids, suggesting they report on a distinct pathophysiological pathway. In experimental studies, administration of 2-AAA lowered fasting plasma glucose levels in mice fed both standard chow and high-fat diets. Further, 2-AAA treatment enhanced insulin secretion from a pancreatic β cell line as well as murine and human islets. These data highlight a metabolite not previously associated with diabetes risk that is increased up to 12 years before the onset of overt disease. Our findings suggest that 2-AAA is a marker of diabetes risk and a potential modulator of glucose homeostasis in humans.
The suppression of tumorigenicity 2/IL-33 (ST2/IL-33) pathway has been implicated in several immune and inflammatory diseases. ST2 is produced as 2 isoforms. The membrane-bound isoform (ST2L) induces an immune response when bound to its ligand, IL-33. The other isoform is a soluble protein (sST2) that is thought to be a decoy receptor for IL-33 signaling. Elevated sST2 levels in serum are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. We investigated the determinants of sST2 plasma concentrations in 2,991 Framingham Offspring Cohort participants. While clinical and environmental factors explained some variation in sST2 levels, much of the variation in sST2 production was driven by genetic factors. In a genome-wide association study (GWAS), multiple SNPs within IL1RL1 (the gene encoding ST2) demonstrated associations with sST2 concentrations. Five missense variants of IL1RL1 correlated with higher sST2 levels in the GWAS and mapped to the intracellular domain of ST2, which is absent in sST2. In a cell culture model, IL1RL1 missense variants increased sST2 expression by inducing IL-33 expression and enhancing IL-33 responsiveness (via ST2L). Our data suggest that genetic variation in IL1RL1 can result in increased levels of sST2 and alter immune and inflammatory signaling through the ST2/IL-33 pathway.
Obesity is associated with pathological cardiac remodeling and risk of heart failure (HF). Adipocytokines (ADKs) may mediate the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with excess adiposity. Yet data relating ADKs to cardiac remodeling phenotypes are sparse. We related two circulating ADKs, resistin and adiponectin, to three important echocardiographic markers of cardiac remodeling, left ventricular mass (LVM), left atrial diameter (LAD), and LV fractional shortening (LVFS) in 2,615 participants (mean age 61 years, 55% women) in the Framingham Offspring Study. Adiponectin concentrations were inversely related to LVM in multivariable linear regression models adjusting for key clinical correlates including BMI (regression coefficient per s.d.-increment in ln-adiponectin = −3.37, P = 0.02; P for trend across quartiles = 0.02). Adiponectin was not associated with LAD or LVFS (P > 0.56). Resistin concentrations were inversely related to LVFS (regression coefficient per s.d.-increment in ln-resistin = −0.01, P = 0.03; P for trend across quartiles = 0.04). Resistin was not associated with LVM or LAD (P > 0.05). In our moderate-sized, community-based sample, higher circulating concentrations of adiponectin and resistin were associated with lower LVM and lower LVFS, respectively. In conclusion, these associations identify potential mechanisms by which excess adiposity may mediate adverse cardiac remodeling and HF risk.
Elevated triglycerides (TG) and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) are key metabolic abnormalities in insulin resistance (IR) states, including diabetes mellitus. The TG/HDL-C ratio has been advocated as a simple clinical indicator of IR, but studies have yielded inconsistent results. The total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio is widely used to assess lipid atherogenesis but its utility for assessing IR or its associated coronary heart disease (CHD) risk is unknown. We related the TG/HDL-C and total cholesterol/HDL-C ratios to IR (top quartile of the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) in 3014 individuals (mean age 54 years; 55% women). Logistic regression was used to construct receiver-operating-characteristic curves for predicting IR, with lipid ratios as predictors. Multivariable Cox regression was used to evaluate if adjusting for lipid ratios attenuated the association of IR with CHD. Cross-sectionally, the age- and sex-adjusted correlations of IR were: 0.46 with TG/HDL-C, and 0.38 with total cholesterol/HDL-C. IR Prevalence increased across tertiles of lipid ratios (p<0.0001). The area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curves for predicting IR with TG/HDL-C ratio was 0.745, which was slightly higher than that for total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio (0.707; p<0.001 for comparison). On follow-up (mean 6.4 years), 112 individuals experienced initial CHD events. IR was associated with CHD risk (multivariable-adjusted hazards ratio 2.71, 95% CI 1.79–4.11), which remained significant even after adjustment for the lipid ratios. In conclusion, our observations suggest that the TG/HDL-C ratio is an imperfect surrogate for IR and its associated CHD risk, and it is only slightly better than the total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio for this purpose.
insulin resistance; epidemiology; lipids; coronary risk
It is often claimed that only 50% of the incidence of coronary heart disease in the population can be attributed to the standard major risk factors. A careful review of the literature demonstrates that 75–90% of coronary heart disease incidence within in a variety of populations is explained by the standard modifiable risk factors. In conclusion, these data suggest that a more rigorous focus on these conventional risk factors and the lifestyle behaviors that promote them has great potential to reduce the burden of coronary heart disease worldwide.
The burden of cardiovascular risk associated with obesity disproportionately affects African Americans and little is known about ethnic/racial differences in the relationship of obesity to cardiometabolic risk. This report assesses whether obesity is similarly associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in African Americans and whites of European ancestry. Cross-sectional observational data from the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) and the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) were compared. This analysis uses participants aged 35–74 years with BMI >18.5 kg/m2, and free of prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD), from the initial JHS clinical examination (2000–2004) and the FHS Offspring (1998–2001) and Third Generation (2002–2005) cohorts. Participants were evaluated for the presence of lipid abnormalities, hypertension, and diabetes. Overall, 4,030 JHS (mean age 54 years, 64% women) and 5,245 FHS (mean age 51 years, 54% women) participants were available for analysis. The prevalence of all risk factors except high triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) was substantially higher in JHS (all P < 0.001) and BMI was associated with increasing prevalence of most CVD risk factors within each race. For diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and low HDL, steeper relationships to BMI were observed in FHS than in JHS (P values <0.001–0.016). There were larger proportional increases in risk factor prevalence with increasing BMI in whites than in African Americans. The higher prevalence rates of cardiometabolic risk factors at nearly all levels of BMI in African Americans, however, suggest that additional factors contribute to the burden of CVD risk in African Americans.
Heart failure (HF) is a major public health burden worldwide. Of patients presenting with HF, 30–55% have a preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) rather than a reduced ejection fraction (HFREF). Our objective was to examine discriminating clinical features in new-onset HFPEF vs. HFREF.
Methods and results
Of 712 participants in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) hospitalized for new-onset HF between 1981 and 2008 (median age 81 years, 53% female), 46% had HFPEF (EF >45%) and 54% had HFREF (EF ≤45%). In multivariable logistic regression, coronary heart disease (CHD), higher heart rate, higher potassium, left bundle branch block, and ischaemic electrocardiographic changes increased the odds of HFREF; female sex and atrial fibrillation increased the odds of HFPEF. In aggregate, these clinical features predicted HF subtype with good discrimination (c-statistic 0.78). Predictors were examined in the Enhanced Feedback for Effective Cardiac Treatment (EFFECT) study. Of 4436 HF patients (median age 75 years, 47% female), 32% had HFPEF and 68% had HFREF. Distinguishing clinical features were consistent between FHS and EFFECT, with comparable discrimination in EFFECT (c-statistic 0.75). In exploratory analyses examining the traits of the intermediate EF group (EF 35–55%), CHD predisposed to a decrease in EF, whereas other clinical traits showed an overlapping spectrum between HFPEF and HFREF.
Multiple clinical characteristics at the time of initial HF presentation differed in participants with HFPEF vs. HFREF. While CHD was clearly associated with a lower EF, overlapping characteristics were observed in the middle of the left ventricular EF range spectrum.
Heart failure; Epidemiology; Risk factors; Ejection fraction
Exercise blood pressure (BP) is an important marker of left ventricular hypertrophy, incident hypertension and future cardiovascular events. Although impaired vascular function is hypothesized to influence the BP response during exercise, limited data exist on the association of vascular function with exercise BP in the community.
Methods and Results
Framingham Offspring cohort participants (n=2115, 53% women, mean age 59 years) underwent a submaximal exercise test (first 2 stages of the Bruce protocol), applanation tonometry and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) testing. We related exercise systolic and diastolic BP at second stage of the Bruce protocol to standard cardiovascular risk factors and to vascular function measures. In multivariable linear regression models, exercise systolic BP was positively related to age, standing BP, standing heart rate, smoking, body mass index, and the total cholesterol-to-high-density cholesterol (HDL) ratio (p≤0.01 for all). Similar associations were observed for exercise diastolic BP. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (p=0.02), central pulse pressure (p<0.0001), mean arterial pressure (p=0.04) and baseline brachial flow (p=0.002) were positively associated with exercise systolic BP, whereas FMD was negatively associated (P<0.001). For exercise diastolic BP, forward pressure wave amplitude was negatively related (p<0.0001) whereas mean arterial pressure was positively related (p<0.0001).
Increased arterial stiffness and impaired endothelial function are significant correlates of a higher exercise systolic BP response. Our findings suggest that impaired vascular function may contribute to exaggerated BP responses during daily living, resulting in repetitive increments in load on the heart and vessels and increased cardiovascular disease risk.
blood pressure; endothelial function; exercise; vascular function; vascular stiffness
Current data suggest that increases in hemoglobin may decrease nitric oxide and adversely affect vascular function. In the preclinical setting, these changes could precipitate the development of heart failure (HF). We hypothesized that higher hematocrit (HCT) would be associated with an increased incidence of new-onset HF in the community. We evaluated 3,523 participants (59% women) from the Framingham Heart Study who were 50 to 65 years old and free of HF. Participants were followed prospectively until an HF event, death, or the end of 20 years of follow up. HCT was subdivided into 4 gender-specific categories (women: HCT 36.0 to 40.0, 40.1 to 42.0, 42.1 to 45.0, >45.0; men: 39.0 to 44.0, 44.1 to 45.0, 45.1 to 49.0, >49.0). Gender-pooled multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the association of HCT with incident HF, adjusting for clinical risk factors. During the follow-up period (61,417 person-years), 217 participants developed HF (100 events in women). There was a linear increase in risk of HF across the 4 HCT categories (p for trend = 0.002). Hazards ratios for HF in the low–normal, normal, and high HCT categories were 1.27 (95% confidence interval 0.82 to 1.97), 1.47 (1.01 to 2.15), and 1.78 (1.15 to 2.75), respectively, compared to the lowest HCT category (p for trend <0.0001). Adjustment for interim development of other cardiovascular diseases and restriction of the sample to nonsmokers did not alter the results. In conclusion, higher levels of HCT, even within the normal range, were associated with an increased risk of developing HF in this long-term follow-up study.
Several biomarkers have been individually associated with vascular brain injury but no prior study has explored the simultaneous association of a biologically plausible panel of biomarkers with the incidence of stroke/TIA, and the prevalence of subclinical brain injury.
Methods and Results
In 3127 stroke-free Framingham Offspring (59±10 yrs, 54%F), we related a panel of 8 biomarkers assessing inflammation(C-reactive protein[CRP]), hemostasis(D-dimer and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1), neurohormonal activity(aldosterone-to renin ratio, B-type natriuretic peptide[BNP] and N-terminal pro-atrial natriuretic peptides) and endothelial function (homocysteine and urinary albumin/creatinine ratio[UACR]) measured at the 6th examination(1995–98) to risk of incident stroke/TIA. In a subset of 1901 participants with available brain MRI (1999–2005), we further related these biomarkers to total cerebral brain volume (TCBV), covert brain infarcts (CBI), and large white matter hyperintensity volume(LWMHV).
During a median follow-up of 9.2 years, 130 participants experienced incident stroke/TIA. In multivariable analyses adjusted for stroke risk factors, the biomarker panel was associated with incident stroke/TIA and with TCBV (p<0.05 for both), but not with CBI or LWMHV (p >0.05). In backwards elimination analyses higher log-BNP (hazards ratio [HR] 1.39/SD, p=0.002) and log-UACR (HR1.31/SD, p=0.004) were associated with increased risk of stroke/TIA and improved risk prediction over using the Framingham stroke risk profile alone; using <5%, 5–15% or >15% 10-year risk categories the net reclassification index was 0.109;p=0.037). Higher CRP (β=−0.21/SD,p=0.008), D-dimer(β==−0.18/SD,p=0.041), tHcy(β=−0.21/SD,p=0.005), and UACR(β=−0.15/SD,p=0.042) were associated with lower TCBV.
In a middle-aged community sample, we identified multiple biomarkers that were associated with clinical and subclinical vascular brain injury and could improve risk stratification.
biomarkers; epidemiology; magnetic resonance imaging; risk stratification; stroke prevention
Mean and pulsatile components of hemodynamic load are related to cardiovascular disease. Vascular growth factors play a fundamental role in vascular remodeling. The links between growth factors and hemodynamic load components are not well described.
In 3496 participants from the Framingham Heart Study Third Generation cohort (mean age 40±9 years, 52% women) we related 4 tonometry derived measures of central arterial load (carotid femoral pulse wave velocity and forward pressure wave, mean arterial pressure, and the global reflection coefficient) to circulating concentrations of angiopoietin 2, its soluble receptor; vascular endothelial growth factor, its soluble receptor; hepatocyte growth factor; insulin-like growth factor-1, and its binding protein3. Using multivariable linear regression models, adjusted for standard cardiovascular risk factors, serum insulin-like growth factor-1concentrations were negatively associated with carotid femoral pulse wave velocity, mean arterial pressure, and reflection coefficient (p≤0.01 for all), whereas serum vascular endothelial growth factor levels were positively associated with carotid femoral pulse wave velocity and mean arterial pressure (p≤0.02). Serum insulin-like growth factor binding protein −3 and soluble angiopoietin-2 receptor levels were positively related to mean arterial pressure and to forward pressure wave, respectively (p<0.05).
In our cross-sectional study of a large community-based sample, circulating vascular growth factor levels were related to measures of mean and pulsatile hemodynamic load in a pattern consistent with the known physiological effects of insulin-like growth factor-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor.
Vasculature; Growth substances; angiogenesis; arteriosclerosis; elasticity
The relations of lipid concentrations to heart failure (HF) risk have not been comprehensively elucidated.
Methods and Results
In 6860 Framingham Heart Study participants (mean age 44 years; 54% women) free of baseline coronary heart disease, we related high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and non-HDL-C to HF incidence during long-term follow-up, adjusting for clinical covariates and myocardial infarction (MI) at baseline and updating these at follow-up examinations. We evaluated dyslipidemia-specific population burden of HF by calculating population attributable risks (PAR).
During follow-up (mean of 26 years), 680 participants (49% women) developed HF. Unadjusted HF incidence in the low (<160mg/dl) vs. high (≥190mg/dl) non-HDL-C groups was 7.9% and 13.8%, respectively, whereas incidence in the high (≥55 [men], ≥65 [women]mg/dl) vs. low (003C 40 [men], <50 [women]mg/dl) HDL-C groups was 6.1% and 12.8%, respectively. In multivariable models, baseline non-HDL-C and HDL-C, modeled as continuous measures, carried HF hazards (confidence interval-CI) of 1.19 (1.11–1.27) and 0.82 (0.75–0.90) respectively per standard deviation (SD) increment. In models updating lipid concentrations every 8 years, the corresponding hazards (CI) were 1.23 (1.16–1.31) and 0.77 (0.70–0.85). Participants with high baseline non-HDL-C and those with low HDL-C experienced a 29% and 40% higher HF risk respectively, compared to those in the desirable categories; the PARs for high non-HDL-C and low HDL-C were 7.5% and 15% respectively. Hazards associated with non-HDL-C and HDL-C remained statistically significant after additional adjustment for interim MI.
Dyslipidemia carries HF risk independent of its association with MI, suggesting that lipid modification may be a means for reducing HF risk.
Heart failure; dyslipidemia; total cholesterol; HDL-C; non-HDL-C
Vascular stiffness increases with advancing age and is a major risk factor for age-related morbidity and mortality. Vascular stiffness and blood pressure pulsatility are related; however, temporal relationships between vascular stiffening and blood pressure elevation have not been fully delineated.
To examine temporal relationships among vascular stiffness, central hemodynamics, microvascular function, and blood pressure progression.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Longitudinal community-based cohort study conducted in Framingham, Massachusetts. The present investigation is based on the 2 latest examination cycles (cycle 7: 1998–2001; cycle 8: 2005–2008 [last visit: January 25, 2008]) of the Framingham Offspring study (recruited: 1971–1975). Temporal relationships among blood pressure and 3 measures of vascular stiffness and pressure pulsatility derived from arterial tonometry (carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity [CFPWV], forward wave amplitude [FWA], and augmentation index) were examined over a 7-year period in 1759 participants (mean [SD] age: 60  years; 974 women).
Main Outcome Measures
The primary outcomes were blood pressure and incident hypertension during examination cycle 8. The secondary outcomes were CFPWV, FWA, and augmentation index during examination cycle 8.
In a multivariable-adjusted regression model, higher FWA (β, 1.3 [95% CI, 0.5–2.1] mm Hg per 1 SD; P=.002) and higher CFPWV (β, 1.5 [95% CI, 0.5–2.6] mm Hg per 1 SD; P=.006) during examination cycle 7 were jointly associated with systolic blood pressure during examination cycle 8. Similarly, in a model that included systolic and diastolic blood pressure and additional risk factors during examination cycle 7, higher FWA (odds ratio [OR], 1.6 [95% CI, 1.3–2.0] per 1 SD; P < .001), augmentation index (OR, 1.7 [95% CI, 1.4–2.0] per 1 SD; P < .001), and CFPWV (OR, 1.3 [95% CI, 1.0–1.6] per 1 SD; P=.04) were associated with incident hypertension during examination cycle 8 (338 cases [32%] in 1048 participants without hypertension during examination cycle 7). Conversely, blood pressure during examination cycle 7 was not associated with CFPWV during examination cycle 8. Higher resting brachial artery flow (OR, 1.23 [95% CI, 1.04–1.46]) and lower flow-mediated dilation (OR, 0.80 [95% CI, 0.67–0.96]) during examination cycle 7 were associated with incident hypertension (in models that included blood pressure and tonometry measures collected during examination cycle 7).
In this cohort, higher aortic stiffness, FWA, and augmentation index were associated with higher risk of incident hypertension; however, initial blood pressure was not independently associated with risk of progressive aortic stiffening.
Red blood cell (RBC) levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, the omega-3 index, expressed as a percent of total fatty acids) are inversely related to risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although several mechanisms underlying this relationship have been proposed, understanding the associations between the omega-3 index and markers of CVD in the community can shed additional light on this question. The objectives of this study were to define the relations between the omega-3 index and clinical factors and to determine the heritability of the omega-3 index.
RBC samples (n = 3196) drawn between 2005 and 2008 from participants in the Framingham Study [Examination 8 of the Offspring cohort plus Examination 3 of the Omni (minorities) cohort] were analyzed for fatty acid composition by gas chromatography.
The mean (SD) omega-3 index was 5.6% (1.7%). In multivariable regression models, the factors significantly and directly associated with the omega-3 index were age, female sex, higher education, fish oil supplementation, dietary intake of EPA + DHA, aspirin use, lipid pharmacotherapy, and LDL-cholesterol. Factors inversely associated were Offspring cohort, heart rate, waist girth, triglycerides and smoking. The total explained variability in the omega-3 index for the fully adjusted model was 73%, which included major components due to heritability (24%), EPA + DHA intake (25%), and fish oil supplementation (15%).
The variability in the omega-3 index is determined primarily by dietary and genetic factors. An increased omega-3 index is associated with a generally cardioprotective risk factor milieu.
Epidemiology; Cardiovascular disease; Risk factors; Omega-3 fatty acids; Erythrocytes; Heritability