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1.  Body weight and risk of atrial fibrillation in 7,169 patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes; an observational study 
Background
Obesity, type 2 diabetes and atrial fibrillation (AF) are closely associated, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We aimed to explore associations between body mass index (BMI) or weight change with risk of AF in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Methods
A total of 7,169 participations with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes were stratified according to baseline BMI, and after a second BMI measurement within 18 months, further grouped according to relative weight change as “weight gain” (>1 BMI unit), “stable weight” (+/− 1 BMI unit) and “weight loss” (<1 BMI unit). The mean follow-up period was 4.6 years, and the risk of AF was estimated using adjusted Cox regression models.
Results
Average age at diabetes diagnosis was 60 years and the patients were slightly obese (mean BMI 30.2 kg/m2). During follow-up, 287 patients developed incident AF, and those with overweight or obesity at baseline had 1.9-fold and 2.9-fold higher risk of AF, respectively, than those with normal BMI. The 14% of the patients with subsequent weight gain had 1.5-fold risk of AF compared with those with stable weight or weight loss.
Conclusions
In patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, baseline overweight and obesity, as well as modest weight increase during the first 18 months after diagnosis, were associated with a substantially increased risk of incident AF. Patients with type 2 diabetes may benefit from efforts to prevent weight gain in order to reduce the risk of incident AF.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01121315
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0170-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0170-3
PMCID: PMC4299152  PMID: 25589001
Epidemiology; Atrial fibrillation; Type 2 diabetes; Weight control
2.  The Association Between Dietary Flavonoid and Lignan Intakes and Incident Type 2 Diabetes in European Populations 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(12):3961-3970.
OBJECTIVE
To study the association between dietary flavonoid and lignan intakes, and the risk of development of type 2 diabetes among European populations.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-InterAct case-cohort study included 12,403 incident type 2 diabetes cases and a stratified subcohort of 16,154 participants from among 340,234 participants with 3.99 million person-years of follow-up in eight European countries. At baseline, country-specific validated dietary questionnaires were used. A flavonoid and lignan food composition database was developed from the Phenol-Explorer, the U.K. Food Standards Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture databases. Hazard ratios (HRs) from country-specific Prentice-weighted Cox regression models were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis.
RESULTS
In multivariable models, a trend for an inverse association between total flavonoid intake and type 2 diabetes was observed (HR for the highest vs. the lowest quintile, 0.90 [95% CI 0.77–1.04]; P valuetrend = 0.040), but not with lignans (HR 0.88 [95% CI 0.72–1.07]; P valuetrend = 0.119). Among flavonoid subclasses, flavonols (HR 0.81 [95% CI 0.69–0.95]; P valuetrend = 0.020) and flavanols (HR 0.82 [95% CI 0.68–0.99]; P valuetrend = 0.012), including flavan-3-ol monomers (HR 0.73 [95% CI 0.57–0.93]; P valuetrend = 0.029), were associated with a significantly reduced hazard of diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS
Prospective findings in this large European cohort demonstrate inverse associations between flavonoids, particularly flavanols and flavonols, and incident type 2 diabetes. This suggests a potential protective role of eating a diet rich in flavonoids, a dietary pattern based on plant-based foods, in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/dc13-0877
PMCID: PMC3836159  PMID: 24130345
3.  Common genetic variants highlight the role of insulin resistance and body fat distribution in type 2 diabetes, independently of obesity 
Diabetes  2014;63(12):4378-4387.
We aimed to validate genetic variants as instruments for insulin resistance and secretion, to characterise their association with intermediate phenotypes, and to investigate their role in T2D risk among normal-weight, overweight and obese individuals.We investigated the association of genetic scores with euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp- and OGTT-based measures of insulin resistance and secretion, and a range of metabolic measures in up to 18,565 individuals. We also studied their association with T2D risk among normal-weight, overweight and obese individuals in up to 8,124 incident T2D cases. The insulin resistance score was associated with lower insulin sensitivity measured by M/I value (β in SDs-per-allele [95%CI]:−0.03[−0.04,−0.01];p=0.004). This score was associated with lower BMI (−0.01[−0.01,−0.0;p=0.02) and gluteofemoral fat-mass (−0.03[−0.05,−0.02;p=1.4×10−6), and with higher ALT (0.02[0.01,0.03];p=0.002) and gamma-GT (0.02[0.01,0.03];p=0.001). While the secretion score had a stronger association with T2D in leaner individuals (pinteraction=0.001), we saw no difference in the association of the insulin resistance score with T2D among BMI- or waist-strata(pinteraction>0.31). While insulin resistance is often considered secondary to obesity, the association of the insulin resistance score with lower BMI and adiposity and with incident T2D even among individuals of normal weight highlights the role of insulin resistance and ectopic fat distribution in T2D, independently of body size.
doi:10.2337/db14-0319
PMCID: PMC4241116  PMID: 24947364
Genetics; type 2 diabetes; insulin resistance; insulin secretion; adipose expandability
4.  Dietary vitamin D intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition – the EPIC-InterAct study 
Background
Prospective cohort studies have indicated that serum vitamin D levels are inversely related to risk of type 2 diabetes. However, such studies cannot determine the source of vitamin D. Therefore, we examined the association of dietary vitamin D intake with incident type 2 diabetes within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-InterAct study in a heterogeneous European population including 8 countries with large geographical variation.
Methods
Using a case-cohort design, 11,245 incident cases of type 2 diabetes and a representative subcohort (N=15,798) were included in the analyses. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for type 2 diabetes were calculated using a Prentice-weighted Cox regression adjusted for potential confounders. 24-h diet recall data from a subsample (N=2347) were used to calibrate habitual intake data derived from dietary questionnaires.
Results
Median follow-up time was 10.8 years. Dietary vitamin D intake was not significantly associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes. HR and 95 % CIs for the highest compared to the lowest quintile of uncalibrated vitamin D intake was 1.09 (0.97-1.22), (ptrend=0.17). No associations were observed in a sex-specific analysis. The overall pooled effect [HR (95% CI)] using the continuous calibrated variable was 1.00 (0.97-1.03) per increase of 1 μg/day dietary vitamin D.
Conclusion
This observational study does not support an association between higher dietary vitamin D intake and type-2 diabetes incidence. This result has to be interpreted in light of the limited contribution of dietary vitamin D on the overall vitamin D status of a person.
doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.235
PMCID: PMC4234029  PMID: 24253760
vitamin D; type-2 diabetes; dietary intake; observational study; EPIC
5.  Age at Menarche and Type 2 Diabetes Risk 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(11):3526-3534.
OBJECTIVE
Younger age at menarche, a marker of pubertal timing in girls, is associated with higher risk of later type 2 diabetes. We aimed to confirm this association and to examine whether it is explained by adiposity.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The prospective European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-InterAct case-cohort study consists of 12,403 incident type 2 diabetes cases and a stratified subcohort of 16,154 individuals from 26 research centers across eight European countries. We tested the association between age at menarche and incident type 2 diabetes using Prentice-weighted Cox regression in 15,168 women (n = 5,995 cases). Models were adjusted in a sequential manner for potential confounding and mediating factors, including adult BMI.
RESULTS
Mean menarcheal age ranged from 12.6 to 13.6 years across InterAct countries. Each year later menarche was associated with 0.32 kg/m2 lower adult BMI. Women in the earliest menarche quintile (8–11 years, n = 2,418) had 70% higher incidence of type 2 diabetes compared with those in the middle quintile (13 years, n = 3,634), adjusting for age at recruitment, research center, and a range of lifestyle and reproductive factors (hazard ratio [HR], 1.70; 95% CI, 1.49–1.94; P < 0.001). Adjustment for BMI partially attenuated this association (HR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.18–1.71; P < 0.001). Later menarche beyond the median age was not protective against type 2 diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS
Women with history of early menarche have higher risk of type 2 diabetes in adulthood. Less than half of this association appears to be mediated by higher adult BMI, suggesting that early pubertal development also may directly increase type 2 diabetes risk.
doi:10.2337/dc13-0446
PMCID: PMC3816901  PMID: 24159179
6.  Obesity attenuates gender differences in cardiovascular mortality 
Cardiovascular Diabetology  2014;13(1):144.
Background
To estimate cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in relation to obesity and gender.
Methods
Data from 11 prospective cohorts from four European countries including 23 629 men and 21 965 women, aged 24 to 99 years, with a median follow-up of 7.9 years were analyzed. Hazards ratios (HR) for CVD mortality in relation to baseline body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models with age as the timescale.
Results
Men had higher CVD mortality than women in all four BMI categories (<25.0, 25.0-29.9, 30.0-34.9 and ≥35.0 kg/m2). Compared with the lowest BMI category in women, multivariable adjusted HRs (95% confidence intervals) for higher BMI categories are 1.0 (0.8-1.4), 1.6 (1.1-2.1) and 2.8 (2.0-3.8) in women and 2.8 (2.2-3.6), 3.1 (2.5-3.9), 3.8 (2.9-4.9) and 5.4 (3.8-7.7) in men, respectively. Similar findings were observed for abdominal obesity defined by WC, WHR or WHtR. The gender difference was slightly smaller in obese than in non-obese individuals; but the interaction was statistically significant only between gender and WC (p = 0.02), and WHtR (p = 0.01). None of the interaction terms was significant among non-diabetic individuals.
Conclusions
Men had higher CVD mortality than women across categories of anthropometric measures of obesity. The gender difference was attenuated in obese individuals, which warrants further investigation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0144-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12933-014-0144-5
PMCID: PMC4212094
Obesity; Gender; Cardiovascular disease mortality
7.  Differences in the prospective association between individual plasma phospholipid saturated fatty acids and incident type 2 diabetes: the EPIC-InterAct case-cohort study 
Summary
Background
Conflicting evidence exists regarding the association between saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and type 2 diabetes. In this longitudinal case-cohort study, we aimed to investigate the prospective associations between objectively measured individual plasma phospholipid SFAs and incident type 2 diabetes in EPIC-InterAct participants.
Methods
The EPIC-InterAct case-cohort study includes 12 403 people with incident type 2 diabetes and a representative subcohort of 16 154 individuals who were selected from a cohort of 340 234 European participants with 3·99 million person-years of follow-up (the EPIC study). Incident type 2 diabetes was ascertained until Dec 31, 2007, by a review of several sources of evidence. Gas chromatography was used to measure the distribution of fatty acids in plasma phospholipids (mol%); samples from people with type 2 diabetes and subcohort participants were processed in a random order by centre, and laboratory staff were masked to participant characteristics. We estimated country-specific hazard ratios (HRs) for associations per SD of each SFA with incident type 2 diabetes using Prentice-weighted Cox regression, which is weighted for case-cohort sampling, and pooled our findings using random-effects meta-analysis.
Findings
SFAs accounted for 46% of total plasma phospholipid fatty acids. In adjusted analyses, different individual SFAs were associated with incident type 2 diabetes in opposing directions. Even-chain SFAs that were measured (14:0 [myristic acid], 16:0 [palmitic acid], and 18:0 [stearic acid]) were positively associated with incident type 2 diabetes (HR [95% CI] per SD difference: myristic acid 1·15 [95% CI 1·09–1·22], palmitic acid 1·26 [1·15–1·37], and stearic acid 1·06 [1·00–1·13]). By contrast, measured odd-chain SFAs (15:0 [pentadecanoic acid] and 17:0 [heptadecanoic acid]) were inversely associated with incident type 2 diabetes (HR [95% CI] per 1 SD difference: 0·79 [0·73–0·85] for pentadecanoic acid and 0·67 [0·63–0·71] for heptadecanoic acid), as were measured longer-chain SFAs (20:0 [arachidic acid], 22:0 [behenic acid], 23:0 [tricosanoic acid], and 24:0 [lignoceric acid]), with HRs ranging from 0·72 to 0·81 (95% CIs ranging between 0·61 and 0·92). Our findings were robust to a range of sensitivity analyses.
Interpretation
Different individual plasma phospholipid SFAs were associated with incident type 2 diabetes in opposite directions, which suggests that SFAs are not homogeneous in their effects. Our findings emphasise the importance of the recognition of subtypes of these fatty acids. An improved understanding of differences in sources of individual SFAs from dietary intake versus endogenous metabolism is needed.
Funding
EU FP6 programme, Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit, Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research, and Cambridge Lipidomics Biomarker Research Initiative.
doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70146-9
PMCID: PMC4196248  PMID: 25107467
8.  Association of cancer with moderately impaired renal function at baseline in a large, representative, population-based cohort followed for up to 30 years 
Patients with chronic renal failure show a greater incidence of malignancies. We evaluated whether moderately impaired renal function at baseline influenced risk of all cancers during long-term follow in young persons. Our cohort included 33,346 subjects, aged 26–61 years at baseline, in a representative, population-based study enrolling subjects from 1974 to 1992. Median follow-up time was 28 years. Plasma creatinine was analysed as a single measure at baseline. Incident cases of cancer were identified from the Swedish Cancer Registry. We studied 24,552 subjects from the cohort. To account for the unique sampling design, participants were divided by sex and age at baseline into 1,132 older men (age 60), 14,254 younger men (age 40–52), 7,498 older women (age 47–57) and 1,688 younger women (age 35–43). Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was estimated using the CKD-EPI formula. Patients were classified as having either normal to mildly impaired kidney function (eGFR≥60 mL/min/1.73m2), or moderate kidney dysfunction (eGFR<60 mL/min/1.73m2). We calculated the risk of all cancers using competing risks regression. Overall, 6,595 participants were diagnosed with cancer, and 854 subjects (3.5%) had moderately impaired renal dysfunction at baseline. There was a significant association between moderately decreased GFR and subsequent risk of kidney cancer in younger men (hazard ratio, 3.38; 95% CI, 1.48 to 7.71; P=0.004). However, we found no association with overall long-term cancer risk. Our confirmation of an association between moderately impaired renal function and risk of kidney cancer in younger men requires further exploration of high-risk groups and biological mechanisms.
doi:10.1002/ijc.28144
PMCID: PMC3707943  PMID: 23463659
Cancer; chronic kidney disease; kidney cancer; renal function
9.  Low fasting plasma insulin is associated with atrial fibrillation in men from a cohort study - the Malmö preventive project 
Background
Type 2 diabetes has been associated with increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) and cardiovascular disease. Controversy remains regarding the role of insulin in the epidemiology of AF risk. The aim of the present study was to study the association between fasting plasma insulin (FPI) and incidence of AF, as well as any effect modification by fasting blood glucose (FBG) or 2 h post-load blood glucose and body mass index (BMI).
Methods
The study population consisted of 6052 men and 1014 women followed for an average of 26.2 years. There were 983 cases of incident AF. Analysis was performed using Cox regression and competing risks regression approaches. The population was analysed as a whole, and by subgroups according to glucose levels and BMI.
Results
After adjustment for age, height, weight, systolic blood pressure and smoking there was a significant inverse association between FPI and AF (hazard ratio; HR) for 4th vs. 1st quartile: 0.69 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.57-0.83, p < 0.0001) in the cohort as a whole. Among men the corresponding values were HR 0.64 (95% CI 0.52-0.78, p < 0.001) and among women HR 1.16 (95% CI 0.69-1.93, p = 0.58); p-value for interaction 0.06. The protective effects of insulin tended to be weaker in subjects with elevated fasting glucose, implying that the relation between FPI and incident AF could be dependent on the status of individual’s glucose metabolism.
Conclusions
High levels of FPI are associated with lower risk of incident AF in a middle-aged population with a long follow-up.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-107
PMCID: PMC4236524  PMID: 25150967
Atrial fibrillation; Fasting plasma insulin; Hypertension; Population
10.  Developing New Methods to Answer Old and New Questions in Neurodegenerative Diseases 
Proteomics  2014;14(11):1308-1310.
doi:10.1002/pmic.201470083
PMCID: PMC4120949  PMID: 24753468
Alzheimer; Huntington’s diseases; Neurodegeneration; Neuroanatomy; Parkinson; Peptidomics
11.  Diabetes Mellitus, Fasting Glucose, and Risk of Cause-Specific Death 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(9):829-841.
BACKGROUND
The extent to which diabetes mellitus or hyperglycemia is related to risk of death from cancer or other nonvascular conditions is uncertain.
METHODS
We calculated hazard ratios for cause-specific death, according to baseline diabetes status or fasting glucose level, from individual-participant data on 123,205 deaths among 820,900 people in 97 prospective studies.
RESULTS
After adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, and body-mass index, hazard ratios among persons with diabetes as compared with persons without diabetes were as follows: 1.80 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.71 to 1.90) for death from any cause, 1.25 (95% CI, 1.19 to 1.31) for death from cancer, 2.32 (95% CI, 2.11 to 2.56) for death from vascular causes, and 1.73 (95% CI, 1.62 to 1.85) for death from other causes. Diabetes (vs. no diabetes) was moderately associated with death from cancers of the liver, pancreas, ovary, colorectum, lung, bladder, and breast. Aside from cancer and vascular disease, diabetes (vs. no diabetes) was also associated with death from renal disease, liver disease, pneumonia and other infectious diseases, mental disorders, nonhepatic digestive diseases, external causes, intentional self-harm, nervous-system disorders, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Hazard ratios were appreciably reduced after further adjustment for glycemia measures, but not after adjustment for systolic blood pressure, lipid levels, inflammation or renal markers. Fasting glucose levels exceeding 100 mg per deciliter (5.6 mmol per liter), but not levels of 70 to 100 mg per deciliter (3.9 to 5.6 mmol per liter), were associated with death. A 50-year-old with diabetes died, on average, 6 years earlier than a counterpart without diabetes, with about 40% of the difference in survival attributable to excess nonvascular deaths.
CONCLUSIONS
In addition to vascular disease, diabetes is associated with substantial premature death from several cancers, infectious diseases, external causes, intentional self-harm, and degenerative disorders, independent of several major risk factors. (Funded by the British Heart Foundation and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1008862
PMCID: PMC4109980  PMID: 21366474
12.  Plasma profiling reveals three proteins associated to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
Objective
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult motor neuron disease leading to muscular paralysis and death within 3–5 years from onset. Currently, there are no reliable and sensitive markers able to substantially shorten the diagnosis delay. The objective of the study was to analyze a large number of proteins in plasma from patients with various clinical phenotypes of ALS in search for novel proteins or protein profiles that could serve as potential indicators of disease.
Methods
Affinity proteomics in the form of antibody suspension bead arrays were applied to profile plasma samples from 367 ALS patients and 101 controls. The plasma protein content was directly labeled and protein profiles obtained using 352 antibodies from the Human Protein Atlas targeting 278 proteins. A focused bead array was then built to further profile eight selected protein targets in all available samples.
Results
Disease-associated significant differences were observed and replicated for profiles from antibodies targeting the proteins: neurofilament medium polypeptide (NEFM), solute carrier family 25 (SLC25A20), and regulator of G-protein signaling 18 (RGS18).
Interpretation
Upon further validation in several independent cohorts with inclusion of a broad range of other neurological disorders as controls, the alterations of these three protein profiles in plasma could potentially provide new molecular markers of disease that contribute to the quest of understanding ALS pathology.
doi:10.1002/acn3.83
PMCID: PMC4184557  PMID: 25356426
13.  Affinity proteomics within rare diseases: a BIO-NMD study for blood biomarkers of muscular dystrophies 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2014;6(7):918-936.
Despite the recent progress in the broad-scaled analysis of proteins in body fluids, there is still a lack in protein profiling approaches for biomarkers of rare diseases. Scarcity of samples is the main obstacle hindering attempts to apply discovery driven protein profiling in rare diseases. We addressed this challenge by combining samples collected within the BIO-NMD consortium from four geographically dispersed clinical sites to identify protein markers associated with muscular dystrophy using an antibody bead array platform with 384 antibodies. Based on concordance in statistical significance and confirmatory results obtained from analysis of both serum and plasma, we identified eleven proteins associated with muscular dystrophy, among which four proteins were elevated in blood from muscular dystrophy patients: carbonic anhydrase III (CA3) and myosin light chain 3 (MYL3), both specifically expressed in slow-twitch muscle fibers and mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase 2 (MDH2) and electron transfer flavoprotein A (ETFA). Using age-matched sub-cohorts, 9 protein profiles correlating with disease progression and severity were identified, which hold promise for the development of new clinical tools for management of dystrophinopathies.
doi:10.15252/emmm.201303724
PMCID: PMC4119355  PMID: 24920607
antibody-based proteomics; disease severity biomarkers; Duchenne muscular dystrophy; plasma profilling; protein profiling
14.  Genetic Determinants of Long-Term Changes in Blood Lipid Concentrations: 10-Year Follow-Up of the GLACIER Study 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(6):e1004388.
Recent genome-wide meta-analyses identified 157 loci associated with cross-sectional lipid traits. Here we tested whether these loci associate (singly and in trait-specific genetic risk scores [GRS]) with longitudinal changes in total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) levels in a population-based prospective cohort from Northern Sweden (the GLACIER Study). We sought replication in a southern Swedish cohort (the MDC Study; N = 2,943). GLACIER Study participants (N = 6,064) were genotyped with the MetaboChip array. Up to 3,495 participants had 10-yr follow-up data available in the GLACIER Study. The TC- and TG-specific GRSs were strongly associated with change in lipid levels (β = 0.02 mmol/l per effect allele per decade follow-up, P = 2.0×10−11 for TC; β = 0.02 mmol/l per effect allele per decade follow-up, P = 5.0×10−5 for TG). In individual SNP analysis, one TC locus, apolipoprotein E (APOE) rs4420638 (β = 0.12 mmol/l per effect allele per decade follow-up, P = 2.0×10−5), and two TG loci, tribbles pseudokinase 1 (TRIB1) rs2954029 (β = 0.09 mmol/l per effect allele per decade follow-up, P = 5.1×10−4) and apolipoprotein A-I (APOA1) rs6589564 (β = 0.31 mmol/l per effect allele per decade follow-up, P = 1.4×10−8), remained significantly associated with longitudinal changes for the respective traits after correction for multiple testing. An additional 12 loci were nominally associated with TC or TG changes. In replication analyses, the APOE rs4420638, TRIB1 rs2954029, and APOA1 rs6589564 associations were confirmed (P≤0.001). In summary, trait-specific GRSs are robustly associated with 10-yr changes in lipid levels and three individual SNPs were strongly associated with 10-yr changes in lipid levels.
Author Summary
Although large cross-sectional studies have proven highly successful in identifying gene variants related to lipid levels and other cardiometabolic traits, very few examples of well-designed longitudinal studies exist where associations between genotypes and long-term changes in lipids have been assessed. Here we undertook analyses in the GLACIER Study to determine whether the 157 previously identified lipid-associated genes variants associate with changes in blood lipid levels over 10-yr follow-up. We identified a variant in APOE that is robustly associated with total cholesterol change and two variants in TRIB1 and APOA1 respectively that are robustly associated with triglyceride change. We replicated these findings in a second Swedish cohort (the MDC Study). The identified genes had previously been associated with cardiovascular traits such as myocardial infarction or coronary heart disease; hence, these novel lipid associations provide additional insight into the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic heart and large vessel disease. By incorporating all 157 established variants into gene scores, we also observed strong associations with 10-yr lipid changes, illustrating the polygenic nature of blood lipid deterioration.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004388
PMCID: PMC4055682  PMID: 24922540
15.  Gene-Lifestyle Interaction and Type 2 Diabetes: The EPIC InterAct Case-Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(5):e1001647.
In this study, Wareham and colleagues quantified the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on risk of T2D in order to inform strategies for prevention. The authors found that the relative effect of a type 2 diabetes genetic risk score is greater in younger and leaner participants, and the high absolute risk associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Understanding of the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) has progressed rapidly, but the interactions between common genetic variants and lifestyle risk factors have not been systematically investigated in studies with adequate statistical power. Therefore, we aimed to quantify the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on risk of T2D in order to inform strategies for prevention.
Methods and Findings
The InterAct study includes 12,403 incident T2D cases and a representative sub-cohort of 16,154 individuals from a cohort of 340,234 European participants with 3.99 million person-years of follow-up. We studied the combined effects of an additive genetic T2D risk score and modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors using Prentice-weighted Cox regression and random effects meta-analysis methods. The effect of the genetic score was significantly greater in younger individuals (p for interaction  = 1.20×10−4). Relative genetic risk (per standard deviation [4.4 risk alleles]) was also larger in participants who were leaner, both in terms of body mass index (p for interaction  = 1.50×10−3) and waist circumference (p for interaction  = 7.49×10−9). Examination of absolute risks by strata showed the importance of obesity for T2D risk. The 10-y cumulative incidence of T2D rose from 0.25% to 0.89% across extreme quartiles of the genetic score in normal weight individuals, compared to 4.22% to 7.99% in obese individuals. We detected no significant interactions between the genetic score and sex, diabetes family history, physical activity, or dietary habits assessed by a Mediterranean diet score.
Conclusions
The relative effect of a T2D genetic risk score is greater in younger and leaner participants. However, this sub-group is at low absolute risk and would not be a logical target for preventive interventions. The high absolute risk associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, more than 380 million people currently have diabetes, and the condition is becoming increasingly common. Diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are usually controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest type of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin by removing excess sugar from the blood become less responsive to insulin. Type 2 diabetes can often initially be controlled with diet and exercise (lifestyle changes) and with antidiabetic drugs such as metformin and sulfonylureas, but patients may eventually need insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about ten years compared to people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Type 2 diabetes is thought to originate from the interplay between genetic and lifestyle factors. But although rapid progress is being made in understanding the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes, it is not known whether the consequences of adverse lifestyles (for example, being overweight and/or physically inactive) differ according to an individual's underlying genetic risk of diabetes. It is important to investigate this question to inform strategies for prevention. If, for example, obese individuals with a high level of genetic risk have a higher risk of developing diabetes than obese individuals with a low level of genetic risk, then preventative strategies that target lifestyle interventions to obese individuals with a high genetic risk would be more effective than strategies that target all obese individuals. In this case-cohort study, researchers from the InterAct consortium quantify the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on the risk of type 2 diabetes. A case-cohort study measures exposure to potential risk factors in a group (cohort) of people and compares the occurrence of these risk factors in people who later develop the disease with those who remain disease free.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The InterAct study involves 12,403 middle-aged individuals who developed type 2 diabetes after enrollment (incident cases) into the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and a sub-cohort of 16,154 EPIC participants. The researchers calculated a genetic type 2 diabetes risk score for most of these individuals by determining which of 49 gene variants associated with type 2 diabetes each person carried, and collected baseline information about exposure to lifestyle risk factors for type 2 diabetes. They then used various statistical approaches to examine the combined effects of the genetic risk score and lifestyle factors on diabetes development. The effect of the genetic score was greater in younger individuals than in older individuals and greater in leaner participants than in participants with larger amounts of body fat. The absolute risk of type 2 diabetes, expressed as the ten-year cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes (the percentage of participants who developed diabetes over a ten-year period) increased with increasing genetic score in normal weight individuals from 0.25% in people with the lowest genetic risk scores to 0.89% in those with the highest scores; in obese people, the ten-year cumulative incidence rose from 4.22% to 7.99% with increasing genetic risk score.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that in this middle-aged cohort, the relative association with type 2 diabetes of a genetic risk score comprised of a large number of gene variants is greatest in individuals who are younger and leaner at baseline. This finding may in part reflect the methods used to originally identify gene variants associated with type 2 diabetes, and future investigations that include other genetic variants, other lifestyle factors, and individuals living in other settings should be undertaken to confirm this finding. Importantly, however, this study shows that young, lean individuals with a high genetic risk score have a low absolute risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Thus, this sub-group of individuals is not a logical target for preventative interventions. Rather, suggest the researchers, the high absolute risk of type 2 diabetes associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001647.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals and the general public, including detailed information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes and about living with diabetes; it also provides people's stories about diabetes
The charity Diabetes UK provides detailed information for patients and carers in several languages, including information on healthy lifestyles for people with diabetes
The UK-based non-profit organization Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
The Genetic Landscape of Diabetes is published by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information
More information on the InterAct study is available
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001647
PMCID: PMC4028183  PMID: 24845081
16.  eNOS Activation by HDL Is Impaired in Genetic CETP Deficiency 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95925.
Mutations in the CETP gene resulting in defective CETP activity have been shown to cause remarkable elevations of plasma HDL-C levels, with the accumulation in plasma of large, buoyant HDL particles enriched in apolipoprotein E. Genetic CETP deficiency thus represents a unique tool to evaluate how structural alterations of HDL impact on HDL atheroprotective functions. Aim of the present study was to assess the ability of HDL obtained from CETP-deficient subjects to protect endothelial cells from the development of endothelial dysfunction. HDL isolated from one homozygous and seven heterozygous carriers of CETP null mutations were evaluated for their ability to down-regulate cytokine-induced cell adhesion molecule expression and to promote NO production in cultured endothelial cells. When compared at the same protein concentration, HDL and HDL3 from carriers proved to be as effective as control HDL and HDL3 in down-regulating cytokine-induced VCAM-1, while carrier HDL2 were more effective than control HDL2 in inhibiting VCAM-1 expression. On the other hand, HDL and HDL fractions from carriers of CETP deficiency were significantly less effective than control HDL and HDL fractions in stimulating NO production, due to a reduced eNOS activating capacity, likely because of a reduced S1P content. In conclusion, the present findings support the notion that genetic CETP deficiency, by affecting HDL particle structure, impacts on HDL vasculoprotective functions. Understanding of these effects might be important for predicting the outcomes of pharmacological CETP inhibition.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095925
PMCID: PMC4022511  PMID: 24830642
17.  Bead Arrays for Antibody and Complement Profiling Reveal Joint Contribution of Antibody Isotypes to C3 Deposition 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96403.
The development of antigen arrays has provided researchers with great tools to identify reactivities against self or foreign antigens from body fluids. Yet, these approaches mostly do not address antibody isotypes and their effector functions even though these are key points for a more detailed understanding of disease processes. Here, we present a bead array-based assay for a multiplexed determination of antigen-specific antibody levels in parallel with their properties for complement activation. We measured the deposition of C3 fragments from serum samples to reflect the degree of complement activation via all three complement activation pathways. We utilized the assay on a bead array containing native and citrullinated peptide antigens to investigate the levels of IgG, IgM and IgA autoantibodies along with their complement activating properties in serum samples of 41 rheumatoid arthritis patients and 40 controls. Our analysis revealed significantly higher IgG reactivity against the citrullinated fibrinogen β and filaggrin peptides as well as an IgA reactivity that was exclusive for citrullinated fibrinogen β peptide and C3 deposition in rheumatoid arthritis patients. In addition, we characterized the humoral immune response against the viral EBNA-1 antigen to demonstrate the applicability of this assay beyond autoimmune conditions. We observed that particular buffer compositions were demanded for separate measurement of antibody reactivity and complement activation, as detection of antigen-antibody complexes appeared to be masked due to C3 deposition. We also found that rheumatoid factors of IgM isotype altered C3 deposition and introduced false-positive reactivities against EBNA-1 antigen. In conclusion, the presented bead-based assay setup can be utilized to profile antibody reactivities and immune-complex induced complement activation in a high-throughput manner and could facilitate the understanding and diagnosis of several diseases where complement activation plays role in the pathomechanism.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096403
PMCID: PMC4010547  PMID: 24797804
18.  Affinity Proteomics Reveals Elevated Muscle Proteins in Plasma of Children with Cerebral Malaria 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(4):e1004038.
Systemic inflammation and sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes are central processes in the pathophysiology of severe Plasmodium falciparum childhood malaria. However, it is still not understood why some children are more at risks to develop malaria complications than others. To identify human proteins in plasma related to childhood malaria syndromes, multiplex antibody suspension bead arrays were employed. Out of the 1,015 proteins analyzed in plasma from more than 700 children, 41 differed between malaria infected children and community controls, whereas 13 discriminated uncomplicated malaria from severe malaria syndromes. Markers of oxidative stress were found related to severe malaria anemia while markers of endothelial activation, platelet adhesion and muscular damage were identified in relation to children with cerebral malaria. These findings suggest the presence of generalized vascular inflammation, vascular wall modulations, activation of endothelium and unbalanced glucose metabolism in severe malaria. The increased levels of specific muscle proteins in plasma implicate potential muscle damage and microvasculature lesions during the course of cerebral malaria.
Author Summary
Why do some malaria-infected children develop severe and lethal forms of the disease, while others only have mild forms? In order to try to find potential answers or clues to this question, we have here analyzed more than 1,000 different human proteins in the blood of more than 500 malaria-infected children from Ibadan in Nigeria, a holoendemic malaria region. We identified several proteins that were present at higher levels in the blood from the children that developed severe malaria in comparison to those that did not. Some of the most interesting identified proteins were muscle specific proteins, which indicate that damaged muscles could be a discriminatory pathologic event in cerebral malaria compared to other malaria cases. These findings will hopefully lead to an increased understanding of the disease and may contribute to the development of clinical algorithms that could predict which children are more at risks to severe malaria. This in turn will be of high value in the management of these children in already overloaded tertiary-care health facilities in urban large densely-populated sub-Saharan cities with holoendemic malaria such as in the case of Ibadan and Lagos.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004038
PMCID: PMC3990714  PMID: 24743550
19.  A Central Role for GRB10 in Regulation of Islet Function in Man 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(4):e1004235.
Variants in the growth factor receptor-bound protein 10 (GRB10) gene were in a GWAS meta-analysis associated with reduced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) if inherited from the father, but inexplicably reduced fasting glucose when inherited from the mother. GRB10 is a negative regulator of insulin signaling and imprinted in a parent-of-origin fashion in different tissues. GRB10 knock-down in human pancreatic islets showed reduced insulin and glucagon secretion, which together with changes in insulin sensitivity may explain the paradoxical reduction of glucose despite a decrease in insulin secretion. Together, these findings suggest that tissue-specific methylation and possibly imprinting of GRB10 can influence glucose metabolism and contribute to T2D pathogenesis. The data also emphasize the need in genetic studies to consider whether risk alleles are inherited from the mother or the father.
Author Summary
In this paper, we report the first large genome-wide association study in man for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) indices during an oral glucose tolerance test. We identify seven genetic loci and provide effects on GSIS for all previously reported glycemic traits and obesity genetic loci in a large-scale sample. We observe paradoxical effects of genetic variants in the growth factor receptor-bound protein 10 (GRB10) gene yielding both reduced GSIS and reduced fasting plasma glucose concentrations, specifically showing a parent-of-origin effect of GRB10 on lower fasting plasma glucose and enhanced insulin sensitivity for maternal and elevated glucose and decreased insulin sensitivity for paternal transmissions of the risk allele. We also observe tissue-specific differences in DNA methylation and allelic imbalance in expression of GRB10 in human pancreatic islets. We further disrupt GRB10 by shRNA in human islets, showing reduction of both insulin and glucagon expression and secretion. In conclusion, we provide evidence for complex regulation of GRB10 in human islets. Our data suggest that tissue-specific methylation and imprinting of GRB10 can influence glucose metabolism and contribute to T2D pathogenesis. The data also emphasize the need in genetic studies to consider whether risk alleles are inherited from the mother or the father.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004235
PMCID: PMC3974640  PMID: 24699409
20.  Age at Menopause, Reproductive Life Span, and Type 2 Diabetes Risk 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(4):1012-1019.
OBJECTIVE
Age at menopause is an important determinant of future health outcomes, but little is known about its relationship with type 2 diabetes. We examined the associations of menopausal age and reproductive life span (menopausal age minus menarcheal age) with diabetes risk.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Data were obtained from the InterAct study, a prospective case-cohort study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. A total of 3,691 postmenopausal type 2 diabetic case subjects and 4,408 subcohort members were included in the analysis, with a median follow-up of 11 years. Prentice weighted Cox proportional hazards models were adjusted for age, known risk factors for diabetes, and reproductive factors, and effect modification by BMI, waist circumference, and smoking was studied.
RESULTS
Mean (SD) age of the subcohort was 59.2 (5.8) years. After multivariable adjustment, hazard ratios (HRs) of type 2 diabetes were 1.32 (95% CI 1.04–1.69), 1.09 (0.90–1.31), 0.97 (0.86–1.10), and 0.85 (0.70–1.03) for women with menopause at ages <40, 40–44, 45–49, and ≥55 years, respectively, relative to those with menopause at age 50–54 years. The HR per SD younger age at menopause was 1.08 (1.02–1.14). Similarly, a shorter reproductive life span was associated with a higher diabetes risk (HR per SD lower reproductive life span 1.06 [1.01–1.12]). No effect modification by BMI, waist circumference, or smoking was observed (P interaction all > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS
Early menopause is associated with a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/dc12-1020
PMCID: PMC3609516  PMID: 23230098
21.  Hemodynamic Aging as the Consequence of Structural Changes Associated with Early Vascular Aging (EVA) 
Aging and Disease  2014;5(2):109-113.
An increase in peripheral vascular resistance at rest is not routinely observed in healthy older persons, but often associated with increased stiffness of central elastic arteries, as hallmarks of aging effects on the vasculature, referred to as early vascular aging (EVA). In clinical practice, the increased arterial stiffness translates into increased brachial and central systolic blood pressure and corresponding pulse pressure in subjects above 50 years of age, as well as increased carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (c-f PWV), a marker of arterial stiffness. A c-f PWV value ≥ 10 m/s is currently defined as a threshold for increased cardiovascular risk, based on consensus statement from 2012. Prevention and treatment strategies include a healthy lifestyle and the control of risk factors via appropriate drug therapy to achieve vascular protection related to EVA. New drugs are under development for vascular protection, for example the selective Angiotensin II (AT2) receptor agonist called compound 21. One target group for early intervention could be members of risk families including subjects with early onset cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.14336/AD.2014.0500109
PMCID: PMC3966669  PMID: 24729936
aging; arterial stiffness; cardiac; blood pressure; haemodynamic; vasculature
22.  KDOQI US Commentary on the 2012 KDIGO Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Blood Pressure in CKD 
In response to the 2012 KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) guideline for blood pressure management in patients with chronic kidney disease not on dialysis, the National Kidney Foundation organized a group of US experts in hypertension and transplant nephrology to review the recommendations and comment on their relevancy in the context of current US clinical practice and concerns. The overriding message was the dearth of clinical trial evidence to provide strong evidence-based recommendations. For patients with CKD with normal to mildly increased albuminuria, goal blood pressure has been relaxed to ≤140/90 mm Hg for both diabetic and nondiabetic patients. In contrast, KDIGO continues to recommend goal blood pressure ≤130/80 mm Hg for patients with chronic kidney disease with moderately or severely increased albuminuria and for all renal transplant recipients regardless of the presence of proteinuria, without supporting data. The expert panel thought the KDIGO recommendations were generally reasonable but lacking in sufficient evidence support and that additional studies are greatly needed.
doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2013.03.018
PMCID: PMC3929429  PMID: 23684145
Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO); guideline; blood pressure
23.  Atrial Natriuretic Peptide and Type 2 Diabetes Development – Biomarker and Genotype Association Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89201.
Background
We have recently shown that low plasma levels of mid-regional atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-ANP) predict development of diabetes and glucose progression over time, independently of known risk factors for diabetes development. However, since MR-ANP levels might be influenced by unknown factors causing diabetes, we cannot rule out that such relationship might be confounded. Previous studies have shown an association of a single nucleotide polymorphism rs5068 on the natriuretic peptide precursor A (NPPA) locus gene with higher levels of circulating ANP. Since gene variants are inherited randomly and not subject to confounding, we aimed to investigate whether the variant rs5068 within the NPPA locus is associated with incident type 2 diabetes.
Methods
We genotyped the variant rs5068 within the NPPA locus in 27,307 individuals without known diabetes from the Malmö Diet Cancer Study. Incident diabetes was retrieved through national and regional registers (median follow-up time of 14 years, 2,823 incident diabetes cases).
Results
In Cox regression analysis adjusted for age, sex and BMI, we found that the carriers of at least one copy of the G allele of rs5068 had lower likelihood of incident diabetes within 14 years (HR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.78–0.99, p = 0.037).
Conclusion
Our results indicate a role of the ANP system in the etiology of type 2 diabetes and might help provide insight in the metabolic actions of natriuretic peptides and the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089201
PMCID: PMC3929630  PMID: 24586593
24.  Dietary Intakes of Individual Flavanols and Flavonols Are Inversely Associated with Incident Type 2 Diabetes in European Populations123 
The Journal of Nutrition  2013;144(3):335-343.
Dietary flavanols and flavonols, flavonoid subclasses, have been recently associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Europe. Even within the same subclass, flavonoids may differ considerably in bioavailability and bioactivity. We aimed to examine the association between individual flavanol and flavonol intakes and risk of developing T2D across European countries. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)–InterAct case-cohort study was conducted in 8 European countries across 26 study centers with 340,234 participants contributing 3.99 million person-years of follow-up, among whom 12,403 incident T2D cases were ascertained and a center-stratified subcohort of 16,154 individuals was defined. We estimated flavonoid intake at baseline from validated dietary questionnaires using a database developed from Phenol-Explorer and USDA databases. We used country-specific Prentice-weighted Cox regression models and random-effects meta-analysis methods to estimate HRs. Among the flavanol subclass, we observed significant inverse trends between intakes of all individual flavan-3-ol monomers and risk of T2D in multivariable models (all P-trend < 0.05). We also observed significant trends for the intakes of proanthocyanidin dimers (HR for the highest vs. the lowest quintile: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.71, 0.92; P-trend = 0.003) and trimers (HR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.80, 1.04; P-trend = 0.07) but not for proanthocyanidins with a greater polymerization degree. Among the flavonol subclass, myricetin (HR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.64, 0.93; P-trend = 0.001) was associated with a lower incidence of T2D. This large and heterogeneous European study showed inverse associations between all individual flavan-3-ol monomers, proanthocyanidins with a low polymerization degree, and the flavonol myricetin and incident T2D. These results suggest that individual flavonoids have different roles in the etiology of T2D.
doi:10.3945/jn.113.184945
PMCID: PMC3927546  PMID: 24368432
25.  Identification of Candidate Serum Proteins for Classifying Well-Differentiated Small Intestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e81712.
Background
Patients with well-differentiated small intestine neuroendocrine tumors (WD-SI-NETs) are most often diagnosed at a metastatic stage of disease, which reduces possibilities for a curative treatment. Thus new approaches for earlier detection and improved monitoring of the disease are required.
Materials and Methods
Suspension bead arrays targeting 124 unique proteins with antibodies from the Human Protein Atlas were used to profile biotinylated serum samples. Discoveries from a cohort of 77 individuals were followed up in a cohort of 132 individuals both including healthy controls as well as patients with untreated primary WD-SI-NETs, lymph node metastases and liver metastases.
Results
A set of 20 antibodies suggested promising proteins for further verification based on technically verified statistical significance. Proceeding, we assessed the classification performance in an independent cohort of patient serum, achieving, classification accuracy of up to 85% with different subsets of antibodies in respective pairwise group comparisons. The protein profiles of nine targets, namely IGFBP2, IGF1, SHKBP1, ETS1, IL1α, STX2, MAML3, EGR3 and XIAP were verified as significant contributors to tumor classification.
Conclusions
We propose new potential protein biomarker candidates for classifying WD-SI-NETs at different stage of disease. Further evaluation of these proteins in larger sample sets and with alternative approaches is needed in order to further improve our understanding of their functional relation to WD-SI-NETs and their eventual use in diagnostics.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081712
PMCID: PMC3839889  PMID: 24282616

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