To assess the dose-response relationships between cause-specific mortality and exercise energy expenditure in a prospective epidemiological cohort of walkers.
The sample consisted of the 8,436 male and 33,586 female participants of the National Walkers' Health Study. Walking energy expenditure was calculated in metabolic equivalents (METs, 1 MET = 3.5 ml O2/kg/min), which were used to divide the cohort into four exercise categories: category 1 (≤1.07 MET-hours/d), category 2 (1.07 to 1.8 MET-hours/d), category 3 (1.8 to 3.6 MET-hours/d), and category 4 (≥3.6 MET-hours/d). Competing risk regression analyses were use to calculate the risk of mortality for categories 2, 3 and 4 relative to category 1.
22.9% of the subjects were in category 1, 16.1% in category 2, 33.3% in category 3, and 27.7% in category 4. There were 2,448 deaths during the 9.6 average years of follow-up. Total mortality was 11.2% lower in category 2 (P = 0.04), 32.4% lower in category 3 (P<10−12) and 32.9% lower in category 4 (P = 10−11) than in category 1. For underlying causes of death, the respective risk reductions for categories 2, 3 and 4 were 23.6% (P = 0.008), 35.2% (P<10−5), and 34.9% (P = 0.0001) for cardiovascular disease mortality; 27.8% (P = 0.18), 20.6% (P = 0.07), and 31.4% (P = 0.009) for ischemic heart disease mortality; and 39.4% (P = 0.18), 63.8% (P = 0.005), and 90.6% (P = 0.002) for diabetes mortality when compared to category 1. For all related mortality (i.e., underlying and contributing causes of death combined), the respective risk reductions for categories 2, 3 and 4 were 18.7% (P = 0.22), 42.5% (P = 0.001), and 57.5% (P = 0.0001) for heart failure; 9.4% (P = 0.56), 44.3% (P = 0.0004), and 33.5% (P = 0.02) for hypertensive diseases; 11.5% (P = 0.38), 41.0% (P<10−4), and 35.5% (P = 0.001) for dysrhythmias: and 23.2% (P = 0.13), 45.8% (P = 0.0002), and 41.1% (P = 0.005) for cerebrovascular diseases when compared to category 1.
There are substantial health benefits to exceeding the current exercise guidelines.
Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors are gaining substantial research interest for raising high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. The aim of the research was to estimate the efficacy and safety of cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors as novel lipid modifying drugs. Systematic searches of English literature for randomized controlled trials (RCT) were collected from MEDLINE, EBASE, CENTRAL and references listed in eligible studies. Two independent authors assessed the search results and only included the double-blind RCTs by using cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors as exclusively or co-administrated with statin therapy irrespective of gender in enrolled adult subjects. Two independent authors extracted the data by using predefined data fields. Of 503 studies identified, 14 studies met the inclusion criteria, and 12 studies were included into the final meta-analysis. Our meta-analysis revealed that CETP inhibitors increased the HDL-c levels (n = 2826, p<0.00001, mean difference (MD) = 20.47, 95% CI [19.80 to 21.15]) and total cholesterol (n = 3423, p = 0.0002, MD = 3.57, 95%CI [1.69 to 5.44] to some extent combined with a reduction in triglyceride (n = 3739, p<0.00001, MD = −10.47, 95% CI [−11.91 to −9.03]) and LDL-c (n = 3159, p<0.00001, MD = −17.12, 95% CI [−18.87 to −15.36]) irrespective of mono-therapy or co-administration with statins. Subgroup analysis suggested that the lipid modifying effects varied according to the four currently available CETP inhibitors. CETP inhibitor therapy did not increase the adverse events when compared with control. However, we observed a slight increase in blood pressure (SBP, n = 2384, p<0.00001, MD = 2.73, 95% CI [2.14 to 3.31], DBP, n = 2384, p<0.00001, MD = 1.16, 95% CI [0.73 to 1.60]) after CETP inhibitor treatment, which were mainly ascribed to the torcetrapib treatment subgroup. CETP inhibitors therapy is associated with significant increase in HDL-c and decrease in triglyceride and LDL-c with satisfactory safety and tolerability in patients with dyslipidemia. However, the side-effect on blood pressure deserves more consideration in future studies.
Studies indicate high sodium and low potassium intake can increase blood pressure suggesting the ratio of sodium-to-potassium may be informative. Yet, limited studies examine the association of the sodium-to-potassium ratio with blood pressure and hypertension.
We analyzed data on 10,563 participants aged ≥20 years in the 2005–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who were neither taking anti-hypertensive medication nor on a low sodium diet. We used measurement error models to estimate usual intakes, multivariable linear regression to assess their associations with blood pressure, and logistic regression to assess their associations with hypertension.
The average usual intakes of sodium, potassium and sodium-to-potassium ratio were 3,569 mg/d, 2,745 mg/d, and 1.41, respectively. All three measures were significantly associated with systolic blood pressure, with an increase of 1.04 mmHg (95% CI, 0.27–1.82) and a decrease of 1.24 mmHg (95% CI, 0.31–2.70) per 1,000 mg/d increase in sodium or potassium intake, respectively, and an increase of 1.05 mmHg (95% CI, 0.12–1.98) per 0.5 unit increase in sodium-to-potassium ratio. The adjusted odds ratios for hypertension were 1.40 (95% CI, 1.07–1.83), 0.72 (95% CI, 0.53–0.97) and 1.30 (95% CI, 1.05–1.61), respectively, comparing the highest and lowest quartiles of usual intake of sodium, potassium or sodium-to-potassium ratio.
Our results provide population-based evidence that concurrent higher sodium and lower potassium consumption are associated with hypertension.
Elevated ferritin concentration has been implicated in the etiology of type 2 diabetes. Accumulating evidence, mostly from studies conducted on western populations, has demonstrated a strong association between the elevated ferritin concentrations and incident type 2 diabetes. In Asian populations, however, the longitudinal studies investigating the association of elevated serum ferritin levels and type 2 diabetes are lacking. In present study, we aimed to determine whether elevated serum ferritin levels are related to the incident type 2 diabetes in healthy Korean men.
This 4 year longitudinal observational study was conducted at the Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea. The study population consisted of 2,029 men without type 2 diabetes who underwent routine health examination in 2007 (baseline) and 2011 (follow-up). Baseline serum ferritin concentrations were measured by chemiluminescent two-site sandwich immunoassay. In multiple-adjusted model, the relative risk (RR) for incident type 2 diabetes was significantly higher in highest compared with the lowest ferritin quartile category, even after adjusting for confounding variables including homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (RR = 2.17, 95% confidence interval 1.27–3.72, P for trend = 0.013).
These results demonstrated that elevated level of serum ferritin at baseline was associated with incident type 2 diabetes in an Asian population.
Plasmonic materials that strongly interact with light are ideal candidates for designing subwavelength photonic devices. We report on direct coupling of terahertz waves in metallic nanorods by observing the resonant transmission of surface plasmon polariton waves through lithographically patterned films of silver nanorod (100 nm in diameter) micro-hole arrays. The best enhancement in surface plasmon resonant transmission is obtained when the nanorods are perfectly aligned with the electric field direction of the linearly polarized terahertz wave. This unique polarization-dependent propagation of surface plasmons in structures fabricated from nanorod films offers promising device applications. We conclude that the anisotropy of nanoscale metallic rod arrays imparts a material anisotropy relevant at the microscale that may be utilized for the fabrication of plasmonic and metamaterial based devices for operation at terahertz frequencies.
Spatial modulation of sound velocity below the wavelength scale can introduce strong frequency-dependent acoustic responses in tailored composite materials, regardless the fact that most natural bulk materials have negligible acoustic dispersions. Here, for the first time, we experimentally demonstrate a metamaterial that traps broadband acoustic waves and spatially separates different frequency components, as the result of dispersion and wave velocity control by designed gradient subwavelength structures. The trapping positions can be predicted by the microscopic picture of balanced interplay between the acoustic resonance inside individual apertures and the mutual coupling among them. With the enhanced wave-structure interactions and the tailored frequency responses, such metamaterial allows precise spatial-spectral control of acoustic waves and opens new venue for high performance acoustic wave sensing, filtering, and nondestructive metrology.
This study estimates the risk of stroke within 5 years of newly diagnosed dementia among elderly persons aged 65 and above. We examined the relationship between antipsychotic usage and development of stroke in patients with dementia.
We conducted a nationwide 5-year population-based study using data retrieved from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005 (LHID2005) in Taiwan. The study cohort comprised 2243 patients with dementia aged ≥65 years who had at least one inpatient service claim or at least 2 ambulatory care claims, whereas the comparison cohort consisted of 6714 randomly selected subjects (3 for every dementia patient) and were matched with the study group according to sex, age, and index year. We further classified dementia patients into 2 groups based on their history of antipsychotic usage. A total of 1450 patients were classified into the antipsychotic usage group and the remaining 793 patients were classified into the non-antipsychotic usage group. Cox proportional-hazards regressions were performed to compute the 5-year stroke-free survival rates after adjusting for potentially confounding factors.
The dementia patients have a 2-fold greater risk of developing stroke within 5 years of diagnosis compared to non-dementia age- and sex-matched subjects, after adjusting for other risk factors (95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.58–3.08; P<.001). Antipsychotic usage among patients with dementia increases risk of stroke 1.17-fold compared to patients without antipsychotic treatment (95% CI = 1.01–1.40; P<.05).
Dementia may be an independent risk factor for stroke, and the use of antipsychotics may further increase the risk of stroke in dementia patients.
Previous reports have shown inconsistent results on clinical outcomes between women and men after stroke, and little is known about gender differences on outcomes in Chinese post-stroke patients. The aim of this study was to explore whether there were gender differences on clinical characteristics and outcomes in Chinese patients after ischemic stroke by using the data from the China National Stroke Registry (CNSR).
Methods and Findings
Out of 12,415 consecutively recruited patients with acute ischemic stroke in the CNSR from 2007 to 2008, 11,560 (93.1%) patients were followed up for 12 months. Their clinical characteristics and outcomes on death, recurrence, and dependency were recorded. The multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine whether there were gender differences in these outcomes. Women were older than men at baseline (67.9 vs. 64.0 years, P<0.001). Women had a higher mortality, recurrence rate, and dependency rate at 3, 6, and 12 months than men, but after adjusting for age, history of diabetes, pre-stroke dependency, stroke severity, in-hospital complications, and other confounders, there were no statistically significant differences in gender on mortality and recurrence rate at 3, 6, and 12 months; and dependency rate at 3, and 6 months. However, the dependency rate at 12 months remained significantly higher in women (odds ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.45).
There are many differences in clinical characteristics between women and men after ischemic stroke in China. Compared with men, women are more dependent at 12 months after stroke. This difference still exists after controlling the potential confounders.
Previous studies on the association between migraine and the risk of developing hemorrhagic stroke (HS) have generated inconsistent results. The aim of the present population-based, age- and sex- matched follow-up study was to investigate whether migraine is associated with an increased risk of HS.
A total of 20925 persons with at least two ambulatory visits in 2001 with the principal diagnosis of migraine were enrolled in the migraine group. The non-migraine group consisted of 104625, age- and sex- matched, randomly sampled subjects without migraine. The two-year HS-free survival rates for these 2 groups were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the effect of migraine on the occurrence of HS.
During the 2 year follow-up, 113 subjects in the migraine group (0.54%) and 255 in the non-migraine group (0.24%) developed HS. The crude hazard ratio (HR) for developing HS in the migraine group was 2.22 compared to the non-migraine group (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.78–2.77, p<0.0001) and the adjusted HR was 2.13 (95% CI: 1.71–2.67, p<0.0001) after controlling for demographic characteristics and comorbid medical disorders.
This population-based age- and sex- matched cohort study shows that migraine was linked to an increased risk of HS.
Rho-kinase (ROCK) has been shown to play an important role in cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease (CAD) and hypertension. Recently, common variants of ROCK2 have been reported to influence blood pressure, but the relationship between common ROCK2 variants and cardiovascular disease has not been extensively studied in the Chinese population.
To derive a more precise estimation of their relationship, we screened for the common variants by direct sequencing of all exons of ROCK2, and then we performed genetic association analyses in a CAD case–control study, including a total of 1344 cases and 1267 ethnically and geographically matched controls.
Unconditional logistic regression showed that no significant association between common variants in the coding region of ROCK2 and CAD was observed in our study (for rs978906, OR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.72–1.20 and P = 0.63; for rs2230774, OR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.70–1.16 and P = 0.47; for rs56304104, OR = 0.97, 95% CI 0.70–1.31 and P = 0.83; respectively).
The relationship between the ROCK2 polymorphisms and cardiovascular disease risk cannot be entirely discounted and warrants further evaluation in a large population.
The relationship between dietary glycemic index, glycemic load and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and stroke-related mortality is inconsistent.
We systematically searched the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index Expanded databases using glycemic index, glycemic load, and cardiovascular disease and reference lists of retrieved articles up to April 30, 2012. We included prospective studies with glycemic index and glycemic load as the exposure and incidence of fatal and nonfatal CHD, stroke, and stroke-related mortality as the outcome variable. Pooled relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using random-effects models.
Fifteen prospective studies with a total of 438,073 participants and 9,424 CHD cases, 2,123 stroke cases, and 342 deaths from stroke were included in the meta-analysis. Gender significantly modified the effects of glycemic index and glycemic load on CHD risk, and high glycemic load level was associated with higher risk of CHD in women (RR = 1.49, 95%CI 1.27−1.73), but not in men (RR = 1.08, 95%CI 0.91−1.27). Stratified meta-analysis by body mass index indicated that among overweight and obese subjects, dietary glycemic load level were associated with increased risk of CHD (RR = 1.49, 95%CI 1.27−1.76; P for interaction = 0.003). Higher dietary glycemic load, but not glycemic index, was positively associated with stroke (RR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.00−1.43). There is a linear dose-response relationship between dietary glycemic load and increased risk of CHD, with pooled RR of 1.05 (95%CI 1.02−1.08) per 50-unit increment in glycemic load level.
High dietary glycemic load is associated with a higher risk of CHD and stroke, and there is a linear dose-response relationship between glycemic load and CHD risk. Dietary glycemic index is slightly associated with risk of CHD, but not with stroke and stroke-related death. Further studies are needed to verify the effects of gender and body weight on cardiovascular diseases.
Dyslipidemia is one of the important modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Thus, to know the prevalence of dyslipidemia is the 1st step to make guidelines of screening and management plan. Although, American Academy of Pediatrics updated the guidelines for lipid in childhood, Asian study is rare.
The authors aimed to make a reference of each serum lipid level of Korean children and adolescents (2,363 subjects aged 10 to 18 years) from the data of Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey IV (2007–2009).
The mean serum concentrations for total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TG), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were 158 mg/dL, 90 mg/dL, 90 mg/dL, and 49 mg/dL, respectively. The 95th percentile values for TC, LDL-C, and TG were 203 mg/dL, 129 mg/dL, and 185 mg/dL, respectively. The 5th percentile value for HDL-C was 36 mg/dL. The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, high LDL-C, high TG, and low HDL-C was 6.5%, 4.7%, 10.1%, and 7.1%, respectively. Considering the risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, smoking, and diabetes, approximately 0.41% of the subjects were potentially eligible for pharmacological treatment.
This information may be useful in not only Korean but also Asian planning programs for the prevention of cardiovascular disease through lipid control from childhood.
Transgenic mice with cardiac restricted overexpression of tumor necrosis factor (MHCsTNF mice) develop progressive myocardial fibrosis, diastolic dysfunction and adverse cardiac remodeling. Insofar as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) does not directly stimulate fibroblast collagen synthesis, we asked whether TNF-induced fibrosis was mediated indirectly through interactions between mast cells and cardiac fibroblasts.
Methods and Results
Cardiac mast cell number increased 2–3-fold (p < 0.001) in MHCsTNF mice compared to littermate (LM) controls. Outcrossing MHCsTNF mice with mast cell deficient (c-kit−/−) mice showed that the 11-fold increase (p < 0.001) in collagen volume fraction in MHCsTNF/c-kit+/− mice was abrogated in MHCsTNF/c-kit−/− mice, and that the leftward shifted LV pressure-volume curve in the MHCsTNF/c-kit+/− mice was normalized in the MHCsTNF/c-kit−/− hearts. Furthermore, the increase in TGF-β1 and type I TGF-β receptor (TβR I) mRNA levels was significantly (p = 0.03, p = 0.01 respectively) attenuated in MHCsTNF/c-kit−/− when compared to MHCsTNF/c-kit+/− mice. Co-culture of fibroblasts with mast cells resulted in enhanced α-smooth muscle actin expression, increased proliferation and collagen mRNA expression, and increased contraction of 3-D collagen gels in MHCsTNF fibroblasts compared to LM fibroblasts. The effects of mast cells were abrogated by TβR I antagonist NP-40208.
These results suggest that increased mast cell density with resultant mast cell-cardiac fibroblast cross-talk is required for the development of myocardial fibrosis in inflammatory cardiomyopathy. Cardiac fibroblasts exposed to sustained inflammatory signaling exhibit an increased repertoire of pro-fibrotic phenotypic responses in response to mast cell mediators.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF); Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β); cardiac fibroblasts; mast cells; myocardial fibrosis
The development of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is heterogeneous even in the presence of similar risk factors. Our aim was to determine whether inter-individual differences in leukocyte telomere length contribute to the susceptibility of PAD.
A total of 485 patients with PAD (defined by the ankle-brachial index) and 970 age- and gender-matched controls were recruited from seven rural communities in Henan Province in China. The relative leukocyte telomere length was determined by a quantitative PCR-based method. Two common promoter variants of the hTERT gene were genotyped to assess their effects on telomere length and the risk of PAD. In vivo luciferase assay was performed to study the transcriptional activity.
After adjustment for vascular risk factors and genetic variants in the hTERT gene, individuals in the lowest and middle tertiles of telomere length had a significantly higher risk of PAD than did those in the highest tertile (odds ratio [OR] 1.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29–2.49 in the middle tertile; 3.15, 95%CI 2.31–4.29 in the lowest tertile). Haplotype analysis using the 2 variants (rs2735940 and rs2853669) showed that subjects with the at-risk C-C haplotype had shorter telomere length than those individuals with the T-T haplotype and consistently had 1.30-fold (OR 1.30, 95%CI 1.06–1.58; P = 0.005) increased risk for PAD. The C-C haplotype had 43% lowered transcription activity of hTERT promoter (P<0.001).
The associations between the functional haplotype of hTERT gene and telomere length and the risk of atherosclerotic PAD suggested that mean leukocyte telomere length may independently serve as a potential predictor of PAD.
Recent studies suggest that the heart possesses an intrinsic system that is intended to delimit tissue injury, as well as orchestrate homoeostatic responses within the heart. The extant literature suggests that this intrinsic stress response is mediated, at least in part, by a family of pattern recognition receptors that belong to the innate immune system, including CD14, the soluble pattern recognition receptor for lipopolysaccharide, and Toll like receptors-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9. Although this intrinsic stress response system provides a short-term adaptive response to tissue injury, the beneficial effects of this phylogenetically ancient system may be lost if myocardial expression of these molecules either becomes sustained and/or excessive, in which case the salutary effects of activation of these pathways is contravened by the known deleterious effects of inflammatory signaling. Herein we present new information with regard to activation of innate immune gene expression in the failing human heart, as well as review the novel TLR antagonists that are being developed for other indications outside of heart failure.
This review will discuss the interesting possibility that the TLR pathway may represent a new target for the development of novel heart failure therapeutics.
Recent studies have implicated the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) as a possible pathogen for causing hypertension. We aimed to study the association between HCMV infection and hypertension in the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
We analyzed data on 2979 men and 3324 women in the NHANES 1999–2002. We included participants aged 16–49 years who had valid data on HCMV infection and hypertension.
Of the participants, 54.7% had serologic evidence of HCMV infection and 17.5% had hypertension. There were ethnic differences in the prevalence of HCMV infection (P<0.001) and hypertension (P<0.001). The prevalence of both increased with age (P<0.001). Before adjustment, HCMV seropositivity was significantly associated with hypertension in women (OR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.25–2.13, P = 0.001) but not in men. After adjustment for race/ethnicity, the association between HCMV seropositivity and hypertension in women remained significant (OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.20–2.02, P = 0.002). Further adjustment for body mass index, diabetes status and hypercholesterolemia attenuated the association (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.10–1.90, P = 0.010). However, after adjusting for age, the association was no longer significant (OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 0.91–1.67, P = 0.162).
In this nationally representative population-based survey, HCMV seropositivity is associated with hypertension in women in the NHANES population. This association is largely explained by the association of hypertension with age and the increase in past exposure to HCMV with age.
Predicting candidate genes using gene expression profiles and unbiased protein-protein interactions (PPI) contributes a lot in deciphering the pathogenesis of complex diseases. Recent studies showed that there are significant disparities in network topological features between non-disease and disease genes in protein-protein interaction settings. Integrated methods could consider their characteristics comprehensively in a biological network. In this study, we introduce a novel computational method, based on combined network topological features, to construct a combined classifier and then use it to predict candidate genes for coronary artery diseases (CAD). As a result, 276 novel candidate genes were predicted and were found to share similar functions to known disease genes. The majority of the candidate genes were cross-validated by other three methods. Our method will be useful in the search for candidate genes of other diseases.
To investigate the association between common transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and significant complications of coronary heart disease (CHD).
We performed a meta-analysis of published case-control studies assessing the association of TGF-β SNPs with a range of CHD complications. A random effects model was used to calculate odds ratios and confidence intervals. Analyses were conducted for additive, dominant and recessive modes of inheritance.
Six studies involving 5535 cases and 2970 controls examining the association of common SNPs in TGF-β1 with CHD were identified. Applying a dominant model of inheritance, three TGF-β1 SNPs were significantly associated with CHD complications: The T alleles of rs1800469 (OR = 1.125, 95% CI 1.016–1.247, p = 0.031) and rs1800470 (OR = 1.146, 95% CI 1.026–1.279, p = 0.021); and the C allele of rs1800471 (OR = 1.207, 95% CI 1.037–1.406, p = 0.021).
This meta-analysis suggests that common genetic polymorphisms in TGF-β1 are associated with complications of CHD.
Background and Purpose
Extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) regulates inflammatory cells by activation of the P2X7 receptor. We hypothesized that polymorphisms in P2RX7 influence the risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD), ischemic stroke (IS) and cardiovascular risk factors and tested this hypothesis using genetic association studies.
Two loss-of-function SNPs in P2RX7 were genotyped in 1244 IHD cases and 2488 controls as well as 5969 individuals with cardiovascular risk factors. Eleven SNPs in a 250 kb region on chromosome 12 spanning P2RX7 as well as neighboring genes OASL, P2RX4 and CAMKK2 were genotyped in 4138 individuals with IS and 2528 controls. Association was examined using linear and logistic regression models with an additive genetic model.
The common loss-of-function variant rs3751143 was significantly associated with a decreased risk of IHD in smokers (P = 0.03) as well as decreased risk of IS (OR 0.89; 95% CI = 0.81–0.97; P = 0.012). In addition, an intronic SNP in CAMKK2, rs2686342, were associated with a decreased risk of IS (OR 0.89; 95% CI = 0.82–0.97; P = 0.011). In subgroup analyses, both SNPs were associated with decreased risk of IS in individuals with hypertension (P = 0.045 and 0.015, respectively).
A common loss-of-function missense variant in the gene encoding the P2X7 receptor is associated with reduced risk of IS and with IHD in smokers. These findings might implicate a role of purinergic signaling in atherogenesis or atherothrombosis.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In Taiwan, CVD is dominated by strokes but there is no robust evidence for a causal relationship between CKD and stroke. This study aimed to explore such causal association.
We conducted a nationwide retrospective cohort study based on the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database from 2004 to 2007. Each patient identified was individually tracked for a full three years from the index admission to identify those in whom any type of stroke developed. The study cohort consisted of patients hospitalized with a principal diagnosis of CKD and no traditional cardiovascular risk factors at baseline (n = 1393) and an age-matched control cohort of patients hospitalized for appendectomies (n = 1393, a surrogate for the general population). Cox proportional hazard regression and propensity score model were used to compare the three-year stroke-free survival rate of the two cohorts after adjustment for possible confounding factors.
There were 256 stroke patients, 156 (11.2%) in the study cohort and 100 (7.2%) in the control cohort. After adjusting for covariates, patients with primary CKD had a 1.94-fold greater risk for stroke (95% CI, 1.45–2.60; p<0.001) based on Cox regression and a 1.68-fold greater risk for stroke (95% CI, 1.25–2.25; p = 0.001) based on propensity score. This was still the case for two cohorts younger than 75 years old and without traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
This study of Taiwanese patients indicates that CKD itself is a causal risk factor for stroke beyond the traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Primary CKD patients have higher risk for stroke than the general population and all CKD patients, irrespective of the presence or severity of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, should be made aware of the stroke risk and monitored for stroke prevention.
Nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3) catalyzes production of NO in the endothelium and may play a role in cardiovascular disease (CVD). We assessed the pharmacogenetic associations of three NOS3 polymorphisms and three antihypertensive drugs with CVD outcomes. Hypertensive subjects (n = 30,280) from a multi-center, double-blind clinical trial were randomized to chlorthalidone, amlodipine, or lisinopril treatment (mean follow up, 4.9 years). Outcomes included coronary heart disease (CHD: fatal CHD and nonfatal myocardial infarction); stroke; heart failure (fatal, requiring hospitalization, or outpatient treatment); all-cause mortality; and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Main effects of NOS3 variants on outcome and genotype-treatment interactions were tested. For NOS3 −690 C>T (rs3918226), a higher hazard ratio (HR) was found in minor allele carriers for CHD (CC = 1.00, CT+TT = 1.12 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.00–1.26), P = 0.048). For NOS3 −922 A>G (rs1800779), a higher HR was found in minor allele carriers for heart failure (AA = 1.00, AG+GG = 1.10 (CI = 1.00–1.21), P = 0.046). Significant pharmacogenetic findings were observed for stroke and all-cause mortality. For −690 C>T, a lower HR was observed for stroke in minor allele carriers when treated with amlodipine versus lisinopril (CC = 0.85 (CI = 0.73–0.99), CT+TT = 0.49 (CI = 0.31–0.80), P = 0.04). For glu298asp G>T (rs1799983), a lower HR was observed for all-cause mortality in minor allele carriers when treated with amlodipine versus lisinopril (GG = 1.01 (CI = 0.91–1.13), GT+TT = 0.85 (CI = 0.75–0.97), P = 0.04). We observed significant associations with NOS3 variants and CHD and heart failure and significant pharmacogenetic effects for stroke and all cause mortality. This suggests that NOS3 variants may potentially provide useful clinical information with respect to treatment decisions in the future.
Guidelines for the prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD) recommend use of Framingham-based risk scores that were developed in white middle-aged populations. It remains unclear whether and how CHD risk prediction might be improved among older adults. We aimed to compare the prognostic performance of the Framingham risk score (FRS), directly and after recalibration, with refit functions derived from the present cohort, as well as to assess the utility of adding other routinely available risk parameters to FRS.
Among 2193 black and white older adults (mean age, 73.5 years) without pre-existing cardiovascular disease from the Health ABC cohort, we examined adjudicated CHD events, defined as incident myocardial infarction, CHD death, and hospitalization for angina or coronary revascularization.
During 8-year follow-up, 351 participants experienced CHD events. The FRS poorly discriminated between persons who experienced CHD events vs. not (C-index: 0.577 in women; 0.583 in men) and underestimated absolute risk prediction by 51% in women and 8% in men. Recalibration of the FRS improved absolute risk prediction, particulary for women. For both genders, refitting these functions substantially improved absolute risk prediction, with similar discrimination to the FRS. Results did not differ between whites and blacks. The addition of lifestyle variables, waist circumference and creatinine did not improve risk prediction beyond risk factors of the FRS.
The FRS underestimates CHD risk in older adults, particularly in women, although traditional risk factors remain the best predictors of CHD. Re-estimated risk functions using these factors improve accurate estimation of absolute risk.
Hyperuricemia is associated with an increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. There are pronounced sex differences in the levels of uric acid. It is largely unknown whether or not reproductive parameters which induce hormonal changes are responsible for this. We examined if there are associations between reproductive parameters and uric acid levels in a female population-based sample.
In this cross-sectional analysis, data of 1530 women aged 32 to 81 years participating in the KORA F4 study, conducted between 2006 and 2008 in Southern Germany were used. Reproductive parameters were obtained by standardized interviews. Uric acid levels were tested by the uricase method. The whole study sample and stratified in pre- and postmenopausal women was analyzed.
Menopausal status and earlier age at menarche were associated with higher serum uric acid levels (age-adjusted: p-values 0.003, <0.001 respectively; after multivariable adjustment, including BMI: p-values 0.002, 0.036). A history of oral contraceptive use showed an association with uric acid levels only after multivariable adjustment (p-value 0.009). Hot flushes showed an association with uric acid levels only after age-adjustment (p-value 0.038), but lost significance after adding other confounders. Other reproductive factors, including parity, current or ever use of hormone replacement therapy, current use of oral contraceptives, hysterectomy, bilateral oophorectomy, or depressive mood related to menopausal transition were not associated with uric acid levels.
Postmenopausal status, earlier age at menarche and a history of oral contraceptive use were independently associated with higher serum uric acid concentrations in women from the general population. Further studies, especially longitudinal population-based studies investigating the relationship of female reproductive parameters with uric acid levels are necessary to confirm our findings.
Polymorphisms in and around the Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) gene have been associated with HDL levels, risk for coronary artery disease (CAD), and response to therapy. The mechanism of action of these polymorphisms has yet to be defined. We used mRNA allelic expression and splice isoform measurements in human liver tissues to identify the genetic variants affecting CETP levels. Allelic CETP mRNA expression ratios in 56 human livers were strongly associated with several variants 2.5–7 kb upstream of the transcription start site (e.g., rs247616 p = 6.4×10−5, allele frequency 33%). In addition, a common alternatively spliced CETP isoform lacking exon 9 (Δ9), has been shown to prevent CETP secretion in a dominant-negative manner. The Δ 9 expression ranged from 10 to 48% of total CETP mRNA in 94 livers. Increased formation of this isoform was exclusively associated with an exon 9 polymorphism rs5883-C>T (p = 6.8×10−10) and intron 8 polymorphism rs9930761-T>C (5.6×10−8) (in high linkage disequilibrium with allele frequencies 6–7%). rs9930761 changes a key splicing branch point nucleotide in intron 8, while rs5883 alters an exonic splicing enhancer sequence in exon 9.
The effect of these polymorphisms was evaluated in two clinical studies. In the Whitehall II study of 4745 subjects, both rs247616 and rs5883T/rs9930761C were independently associated with increased HDL-C levels in males with similar effect size (rs247616 p = 9.6×10−28 and rs5883 p = 8.6×10−10, adjusted for rs247616). In an independent multiethnic US cohort of hypertensive subjects with CAD (INVEST-GENE), rs5883T/rs9930761C alone were significantly associated with increased incidence of MI, stroke, and all-cause mortality in males (rs5883: OR 2.36 (CI 1.29–4.30), p = 0.005, n = 866). These variants did not reach significance in females in either study. Similar to earlier results linking low CETP activity with poor outcomes in males, our results suggest genetic, sex-dependent CETP splicing effects on cardiovascular risk by a mechanism independent of circulating HDL-C levels.
First, to investigate and compare associations between alcohol consumption and variants in alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) genes with incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in a large German cohort. Second, to quantitatively summarize available evidence of prospective studies on polymorphisms in ADH1B and ADH1C and CVD-risk.
We conducted a case-cohort study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Potsdam cohort including a randomly drawn subcohort (n = 2175) and incident cases of myocardial infarction (MI; n = 230) or stroke (n = 208). Mean follow-up time was 8.2±2.2 years. The association between alcohol consumption, ADH1B or ADH1C genotypes, and CVD-risk was assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression. Additionally, we report results on associations of variants in ADH1B and ADH1C with ischemic heart disease and stroke in the context of a meta-analysis of previously published prospective studies published up to November 2011.
Compared to individuals who drank >0 to 6 g alcohol/d, we observed a reduced risk of MI among females consuming >12 g alcohol/d (HR = 0.31; 95% CI: 0.10–0.97) and among males consuming >24 to 60 g/d (HR = 0.57; 95% CI: 0.33–0.98) or >60 g alcohol/d (HR = 0.30; 95% CI: 0.12–0.78). Stroke risk was not significantly related to alcohol consumption >6 g/d, but we observed an increased risk of stroke in men reporting no alcohol consumption. Individuals with the slow-coding ADH1B*1/1 genotype reported higher median alcohol consumption. Yet, polymorphisms in ADH1B or ADH1C were not significantly associated with risk of CVD in our data and after pooling results of eligible prospective studies [ADH1B*1/1: RR = 1.35 (95% CI: 0.98–1.88; p for heterogeneity: 0.364); ADH1C*2/2: RR = 1.07 (95% CI: 0.90–1.27; p for heterogeneity: 0.098)].
The well described association between alcohol consumption and CVD-risk is not reflected by ADH polymorphisms, which modify the rate of ethanol oxidation.