Eric B Loucks

Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States

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Publications (44)163.45 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about whether the childhood family psychosocial environment (characterized by cold, unaffectionate interactions, conflict, aggression, neglect and/or low nurturance) affects coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. Objectives were to evaluate associations of childhood family psychosocial environment with carotid intima media thickness (IMT), a subclinical measure of atherosclerosis. The study population included 2659 CARDIA study participants, aged 37-52 years. Childhood family psychosocial environment was measured using a risky family questionnaire via self-report. Carotid IMT was calculated using the average of 20 measurements of mean common carotid, bulb and internal carotid IMT, assessed using high-resolution B-mode ultrasound images. Utilizing linear regression analyses adjusted for age, a 1-unit (range 0-21) increase in risky family score was associated with 0.0036 (95% CI: 0.0006,0.0066 mm) and 0.0020 (95% CI: 0.0002,0.0038) mm increase in mean IMT in white males and females, respectively. Formal mediation analyses and covariate adjustments suggested childhood socioeconomic position and smoking may be important mechanisms in white males and females, as well as education and depressive symptomatology in white males. No associations were found in black participants. Formal statistical tests for interaction between risky family score and sex, and between risky family score and race/ethnicity, demonstrated borderline evidence of interactions for both sex (p = 0.12) and race/ethnicity (p = 0.14) with risky family score for associations with mean IMT. In conclusion, childhood family psychosocial environment was positively associated with IMT in white participants, with little evidence of association in black participants. Mechanisms in white participants may include potential negative impacts of socioeconomic constraints on parenting quality, potentially influencing offspring's cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. smoking), socioeconomic position (e.g. education), and/or psychosocial functioning (e.g. depression), which may in turn lead to atherosclerotic processes. Borderline racial/ethnic differences in findings should be replicated, but add to literature exploring race/ethnicity-specific associations of parenting approaches with health outcomes.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 03/2014; 104:15-22. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is not known whether various forms of emotion regulation are differentially related to cardiovascular disease risk. The purpose of this study is to assess whether antecedent and response-focused emotion regulation would have divergent associations with likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. Two emotion regulation strategies were examined: reappraisal (antecedent-focused) and suppression (response-focused). Cardiovascular disease risk was assessed with a validated Framingham algorithm that estimates the likelihood of developing CVD in 10 years. Associations were assessed among 373 adults via multiple linear regression. Pathways and gender-specific associations were also considered. One standard deviation increases in reappraisal and suppression were associated with 5.9 % lower and 10.0 % higher 10-year cardiovascular disease risk, respectively, in adjusted analyses. Divergent associations of antecedent and response-focused emotion regulation with cardiovascular disease risk were observed. Effective emotion regulation may promote cardiovascular health.
    Annals of Behavioral Medicine 02/2014; · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent work suggests that leukocyte telomere length (LTL), a marker of cellular aging, is sensitive to effects of social stress and may also provide early indication of premature aging. Using data from a birth cohort with LTL information at birth and in middle adulthood we examined a potential source of race-based health disparity by testing the hypothesis that Blacks would demonstrate a faster rate of telomere shortening than Whites. Linear regression analyses were conducted and adjusted for pack years, BMI, education and social factors, diet, exercise, marital status, and age. At birth black individuals had LTLs that were longer, on average, than their White counterparts (b = 3.85, p < 0.01). However, rate of shortening was greater for Blacks, who showed a larger difference in length between birth and adulthood (b = 5.10, p = 0.01) as compared with Whites, resulting in smaller racial differences in absolute adult LTL.
    Biological psychology 01/2014; · 4.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Social and behavioral risk markers (e.g., physical activity, diet, smoking, and socioeconomic position) cluster; however, little is known whether clustering is associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. Objectives were to determine if sociobehavioral clustering is associated with biological CHD risk factors (total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference, and diabetes) and whether associations are independent of individual clustering components. Methods. Participants included 4,305 males and 4,673 females aged ≥20 years from NHANES 2001-2004. Sociobehavioral Risk Marker Index (SRI) included a summary score of physical activity, fruit/vegetable consumption, smoking, and educational attainment. Regression analyses evaluated associations of SRI with aforementioned biological CHD risk factors. Receiver operator curve analyses assessed independent predictive ability of SRI. Results. Healthful clustering (SRI = 0) was associated with improved biological CHD risk factor levels in 5 of 6 risk factors in females and 2 of 6 risk factors in males. Adding SRI to models containing age, race, and individual SRI components did not improve C-statistics. Conclusions. Findings suggest that healthful sociobehavioral risk marker clustering is associated with favorable CHD risk factor levels, particularly in females. These findings should inform social ecological interventions that consider health impacts of addressing social and behavioral risk factors.
    BioMed research international. 01/2014; 2014:389853.
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Studies in adults show associations between the hypofunctional seven-repeat allele (7R) of the dopamine-4 receptor gene (DRD4), increased eating behaviour and/or obesity, particularly in females. We examined whether 7R is associated with total caloric intake and/or food choices in pre-schoolers. Methods: 150 four-year-old children taking part in a birth cohort study in Canada were administered a snack test meal in a laboratory setting. Mothers also filled out a food frequency questionnaire to address childrens' habitual food consumption. Total caloric and individual macronutrient intakes during the snack meal and specific types of foods as reported in the food diaries were compared across 7R allele carriers vs. non-carriers, using current BMI as a co-variate. Results: We found significant sex by genotype interactions for fat and protein intake during the snack test. Post hoc testing revealed that in girls, but not boys, 7R carriers ate more fat and protein than did non-carriers. Based on the food diaries, across both sexes, 7R carriers consumed more portions of ice cream and less vegetables, eggs, nuts and whole bread, suggesting a less healthy pattern of habitual food consumption. Conclusion: The 7R allele of DRD4 influ-ences macronutrient intakes and specific food choices as early as four years of age. The specific pattern of results further suggests that prior associations between the 7R allele and adult overeating/obesity may originate in food choices observable in the preschool years. Longitudinal follow-up of these children will help establish the relevance of these findings for obesity risk and prevention.
    Appetite 11/2013; 73:15-22. · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Recent work suggests effective emotion regulation may protect against risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), but the mechanisms remain unknown. Strategies for regulating emotions vary in how effectively they mitigate potentially toxic effects of stressful life experiences, and therefore may be differentially associated with CHD risk. In this study, we examined the emotion regulation strategies of reappraisal and suppression in relation to inflammation, a biological state associated with both stress and CHD. We hypothesized that suppression would be associated with elevated inflammation and reappraisal would be associated with lower levels of inflammation. Methods: We studied adult offspring (n = 379; mean age = 42.2 years) of Collaborative Perinatal Project participants, a national cohort of pregnant women enrolled in 1959-1966. Validated measures of two emotion regulation strategies were examined: reappraisal and suppression. Inflammation was measured as plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. We fit multiple linear regression models predicting CRP while controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, and health factors, including depressive symptoms, measured across the life course. Results: A 1 standard deviation increase in reappraisal was associated with significantly lower CRP (b = -0.18, SE = 0.06, p < .01) controlling for demographics. This relation was somewhat attenuated in life course models, with adulthood body mass index partially explaining the association. A 1 standard deviation increase in suppression was associated with significantly higher CRP (b = 0.21, SE = 0.05, p < .001), and this association was not substantively attenuated with further covariate adjustment. Conclusion: Adaptive emotion regulation was associated with lower levels of inflammation and maladaptive emotion regulation was associated with higher levels of inflammation. If these associations are confirmed by prospective and experimental studies, such evidence may provide insight into novel targets for interventions to promote health and reduce cardiovascular risk. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Health Psychology 07/2013; 32(7):748-56. · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To determine whether social and behavioral risk factors for coronary heart disease, including education, physical activity, fruit/vegetable intake, and smoking, cluster (i.e., co-occur more than expected as the result of chance) in U.S. adults. METHODS: The study included 4305 male and 4673 female subjects aged ≥20 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Risk factors included: ≤high school diploma/general educational development certificate; <150 minutes of moderate/vigorous physical activity per week; <3 or <2 servings of vegetables and fruit, respectively, per day; and smoking cigarettes. Indicator variables were summed into a sociobehavioral risk index (SRI, range 0 [no risk factors] to 4 [all risk factors]). Ratios of observed-to-expected prevalence (under the assumption of independence) of the SRI were assessed. Statistical significance was evaluated by the use of randomly permuted average observed-to-expected SRI ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). RESULTS: In male subjects, the ratio of observed-to-expected prevalence of SRI = 0 was 1.70 (permuted ratio = 1.00; 95% CI: 0.92-1.08), and SRI = 4 was 2.10 (permuted ratio = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.86-1.14), demonstrating significant clustering. In females, the ratio of observed-to-expected prevalence of SRI = 0 was 1.67 (permuted ratio = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.92-1.08), and SRI = 4 was 1.86 (permuted ratio = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.85-1.15). CONCLUSIONS: Social and behavioral risk factors for coronary heart disease cluster in this sample of U.S. adults.
    Annals of epidemiology 05/2013; · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Long and short sleep duration are associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD); however, evidence is inconsistent. We sought to identify whether self-reported sleep duration and insomnia, based on a validated questionnaire, are associated with increased incident CHD and CVD among postmenopausal women. Methods: Women's Health Initiative Observational Study Participants (N=86,329; 50-79 years) who reported on sleep at baseline were followed for incident CVD events. Associations of sleep duration and insomnia with incident CHD and CVD were evaluated using Cox proportional hazards models over 10.3 years. Results: Women with high insomnia scores had elevated risk of CHD (38%) and CVD (27%) after adjustment for age and race, and in fully adjusted models (hazard ratio [HR]=1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-1.30; 1.11 95% CI 1.03-2.00). Shorter (≤5 hours) and longer (≥10 hours) sleep duration demonstrated significantly higher incident CHD (25%) and CVD (19%) in age- and race-adjusted models, but this was not significant in fully adjusted models. Formal tests for interaction indicated significant interactions between sleep duration and insomnia for risk of CHD (p<0.01) and CVD (p=0.02). Women with high insomnia scores and long sleep demonstrated the greatest risk of incident CHD compared to midrange sleep duration (HR=1.93, 95% CI 1.06-3.51) in fully adjusted models. Conclusions: Sleep duration and insomnia are associated with CHD and CVD risk, and may interact to cause almost double the risk of CHD and CVD. Additional research is needed to understand how sleep quality modifies the association between prolonged sleep and cardiovascular outcomes.
    Journal of Women s Health 05/2013; · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While the association between education and adult health is well documented, it is unclear whether quantity (i.e. years of schooling) or credentials (i.e. degrees) drive this association. Individuals with degrees may have better health than their non-credentialed counterparts given similar years of schooling, the so-called "sheepskin" effect. This paper contributes to this line of inquiry by examining associations of educational degree and years of schooling with the Framingham Risk Score, a measure of 10-year risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), using data from a unique birth cohort (the New England Family Study; participants mean age 42 years) with prospective information on childhood health and intelligence quotient (IQ). According to our results, years of schooling were inversely associated with 10-year CHD risk in the unadjusted model but not in the fully adjusted models that included degree attainment. By contrast, associations between degree attainment and 10-year CHD risk remained significant in the fully adjusted models that included years of schooling. College degree holders had 10-year CHD risk 19% (95% CI: -33%, -2%) lower than individuals with HS degrees or less in the fully adjusted models. Subanalyses evaluating sheepskin effects on the individual components of the 10-year CHD risk algorithm showed the expected education gradient was generally noted for each of the individual components, with decreasing prevalence of "high risk" values associated with higher degree credentials. Our results suggest educational credentials provide an additional benefit to risk of coronary heart disease beyond schooling.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 03/2013; 80:31-6. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The American Heart Association's national goals for cardiovascular health promotion emphasize that cardiovascular risk originates early in life, but little is known about child factors that may increase the likelihood of having favorable cardiovascular risk (FCR) in adulthood. We examined the prospective association between positive child factors and likelihood of midlife FCR. We also considered pathways through which child factors may influence FCR. METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied 415 adults (mean age=42.2 years) of the Collaborative Perinatal Project, a national cohort initiated in 1959-1966. We examined three positive child factors assessed at age 7 years: attention regulation (ability to stay focused), cognitive ability and positive home environment. 10.6% had FCR in midlife. Adjusting for demographics and child cardiovascular health, a one unit increase in child attention regulation, cognitive ability and positive home environment was associated with 2.4 (95%CI: 1.1 to 4.7), 1.8 (95%CI: 1.1 to 2.9), and 1.3 (95%CI: 1.1 to 1.6) higher respective odds of having midlife FCR. The association with child attention regulation was maintained when accounting for adult factors; education and diet partly explained the associations with child cognitive ability and home environment. The effect of each attribute was additive as those with high levels of each child factor had 4.3 higher odds (95%CI: 1.01 to 18.2) of midlife FCR compared to those low in all factors. CONCLUSIONS: Positive child psychosocial factors may promote healthy adult cardiovascular functioning. Primordial prevention efforts aimed at preventing the development of cardiovascular risk should consider building on child psychosocial resources.
    Circulation 01/2013; · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Dysregulated emotional functioning has been linked with higher cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among adults. Early life experiences may influence the development of adulthood CVD, but few studies have examined whether potential damaging effects of dysregulated emotional function begin earlier in life. Therefore, we examined associations of child emotional functioning and the 10-year risk of developing CVD in midlife. METHODS: We studied 377 adult offspring (mean age=42.2) of Collaborative Perinatal Project participants, a US cohort of pregnant women enrolled in 1959-1966. Three measures of child emotional functioning derived from psychologist ratings of behaviour at 7 years of age were examined: distress proneness, attention and inappropriate self-regulation. Adulthood 10-year CVD risk was calculated with the validated Framingham general CVD risk algorithm. Gender-specific multiple regression models assessed associations of childhood emotion and adulthood CVD risk independent of covariates measured across the life course. Potential mediators of the associations were also examined. RESULTS: Women had 31% higher CVD risk per SD increase in childhood distress proneness (p=0.03) and 8% reduced risk per SD increase in attention (p=0.09). For men, each SD increase in childhood distress proneness was associated with 17% higher CVD risk (p=0.02). Associations were partly explained by adulthood body mass index and depressive symptoms in women but not in men. Inappropriate self-regulation was not associated with CVD risk. CONCLUSIONS: Several aspects of childhood emotional functioning was associated with adulthood CVD risk, particularly for women. As such, primary prevention of CVD may be associated with addressing early life emotional functioning.
    Journal of epidemiology and community health 01/2013; · 3.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Habitual snoring may be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD); however, limited evidence exists among women. We investigated whether frequent snoring is a predictor of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke among 42,244 postmenopausal women participating in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Participants provided self-reported information regarding snoring habits at baseline (1993 to 1998) and were followed up for outcomes through August 2009. Physician adjudicators confirmed CHD (defined as myocardial infarction, CHD death, revascularization procedures, or hospitalized angina) and ischemic stroke. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate whether snoring frequency is a significant predictor of the adjudicated outcomes. We observed 2,401 incident cases of CHD during 437,899 person-years of follow-up. After adjusting for age and race, frequent snoring was associated with incident CHD (hazard ratio [HR] 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.39 to 1.70) and stroke (HR 1.41, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.66), and all CVD (HR 1.46, 95% CI 1.34 to 1.60). In fully adjusted models that included CVD risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, frequent snoring was associated with a more modest increase in incident CHD (HR 1.14, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.28), stroke (HR 1.19, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.40), and CVD (HR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.24). In conclusion, snoring is associated with a modest increased risk of incident CHD, stroke, and CVD after adjustment for CVD risk factors. Additional studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms by which snoring might be associated with CVD risk factors and outcomes.
    The American journal of cardiology 12/2012; · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • Stephen E Gilman, Eric B Loucks
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    ABSTRACT: The conditions under which children are raised have a long-term impact on health throughout the life course. Because childhood conditions can have such a strong influence on adult risk factors for disease, failure to account for their influences could distort observed associations between adult risk factors and subsequent health outcomes. In other words, childhood conditions could confound the association between every X and Y when X is measured in adulthood. Comparisons of health outcomes between exposed and unexposed siblings have the potential to eliminate confounding effects due to vulnerability factors shared between siblings (i.e., 50% of their genes and aspects of the childhood environment that affect siblings equally). In a large, population-based study of siblings in Denmark, Søndergaard et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2012;176(8):675-683) found that individuals with higher educational qualifications lived longer than did their siblings with lower educational qualifications. Their results provide evidence for the returns to health resulting from investment in expanded educational opportunities. However, even sibling designs are not conclusive regarding causality; they remain subject to the unmeasured confounding influences of factors that vary within families. Nonetheless, sibling-based approaches should be used more often in studies of adult risk factors to address the long-term influences of the childhood environment on health.
    American journal of epidemiology 09/2012; 176(8):684-8. · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) is a subclinical marker of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies suggest that shorter sleep duration is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but there is limited evidence regarding this association using high-quality, objective assessments of sleep. The aim of this study is to determine whether sleep duration is associated with CIMT. The study used an observational cohort consisting of 617 black and white middle-aged healthy participants (37-52 years; 58% female) in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Multivariable-adjusted linear regression analyses were performed. Sleep duration was measured using wrist actigraphy monitors. CIMT was calculated using the average of 20 measurements of the mean common carotid, bulb, and internal CIMT, which was assessed using ultrasound images. After adjusting for covariates, 1 hour of longer sleep duration was associated with 0.026 mm less CIMT among men (P=0.02; 95% CI, -0.047 to -0.005) and 0.001 mm less CIMT among women (P=0.91; 95% CI, -0.020 to 0.022). Segment-specific analyses indicated that the carotid bulb was a key driver of the observed association. Shorter objectively assessed sleep duration was associated with greater CIMT among men but not women.
    Stroke 08/2012; 43(11):2858-64. · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the socioeconomic impact of school desegregation in the U.S. has been well documented, little is known about the health consequences of this policy. The purpose of this study was to quantify the associations between school desegregation and adolescent births among black and white females. We compared the change in prevalence of adolescent births in areas that implemented school desegregation plans in the 1970s with areas that implemented school desegregation plans in other decades, using difference-in-difference methods with 1970 and 1980 Census microdata. School desegregation policy in the U.S. in the 1970s was associated with a significant reduction of 3.2 percentage points in the prevalence of births among black female adolescents between 1970 and 1980. This association was specific to black female adolescents and was not observed among white adolescents.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 04/2012; 74(7):982-8. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Education is inversely associated with coronary heart disease (CHD); however whether this is attributable to causal effects of schooling rather than potential confounders existing before school entry (eg, childhood intelligence, childhood economic circumstances, childhood chronic illness, parental mental health) remains unknown. We evaluated whether education is associated with 10-year CHD risk independent of 21 prospectively assessed childhood conditions, in participants ages 38-47 years. Using linear regression analyses, we evaluated associations of education with 10-year CHD risk, the latter calculated by use of the validated Framingham risk algorithm incorporating diabetes, blood pressure, total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, smoking, age, and sex. Propensity score matching incorporated 21 early-life potential confounders. Regression analyses demonstrated college graduation was associated with -27.9% lower (95% CI, -36.2, -18.6%) 10-year CHD risk compared with ≤high school after matching on propensity score that included age, sex and race (n = 272); addition of 21 early life potential confounders resulted in effect size of -13.1% (95% CI, -33.4, 13.4; mean n = 110). Participants with college degree had substantially lower risk of CHD (27.9%) after accounting for demographics; the addition of early life potential confounders resulted in a moderate effect size (13.1%), suggesting potential importance of early life factors in explaining observed associations between education and CHD risk.
    Annals of epidemiology 04/2012; 22(4):221-32. · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elongases 2, 4 and 5, encoded by genes ELOVL2, ELOVL4 and ELOVL5, have a key role in the biosynthesis of very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). To date, few studies have investigated the associations between elongase polymorphisms and cardiovascular health. We investigated whether ELOVL polymorphisms are associated with adipose tissue fatty acids, serum lipids, inflammation and ultimately with nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) in a Costa Rican population. MI cases (n=1650) were matched to population-based controls (n=1650) on age, sex and area of residence. Generalized linear and multiple conditional logistic regression models were used to assess the associations between seven common ELOVL polymorphisms and cardiometabolic outcomes. Analyses were replicated in The Nurses' Health Study (n=1200) and The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (n=1295). Variation in ELOVL2, ELOVL4 and ELOVL5 was not associated with adipose tissue fatty acids, intermediate cardiovascular risk factors or MI. In the Costa Rica study, the number of the minor allele copies at rs2294867, located in the ELOVL5 gene, was associated with an increase in total and LDL cholesterol (adjusted P-values=0.001 and <0.0001 respectively). Additionally, the number of the minor allele copies at rs761179, also located in the ELOVL5 gene, was significantly associated with an increase in total cholesterol (adjusted P-value=0.04). However, the observed associations were not replicated in independent populations. Common genetic variants in elongases are not associated with adipose tissue fatty acids, serum lipids, biomarkers of systemic inflammation, or the risk of MI.
    European journal of clinical nutrition 03/2012; 66(3):353-9. · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether racial discrimination is associated with coronary artery calcification (CAC) in African-American participants of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. The study included American Black men (n = 571) and women (n = 791) aged 33 to 45 years in the CARDIA study. Perceived racial discrimination was assessed based on the Experiences of Discrimination scale (range, 1-35). CAC was evaluated using computed tomography. Primary analyses assessed associations between perceived racial discrimination and presence of CAC using multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analysis, adjusted for age, gender, socioeconomic position (SEP), psychosocial variables, and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. In age- and gender-adjusted logistic regression models, odds of CAC decreased as the perceived racial discrimination score increased (odds ratio [OR], 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.90-0.98 per 1-unit increase in Experiences of Discrimination scale). The relationship did not markedly change after further adjustment for SEP, psychosocial variables, or CHD risk factors (OR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.87-0.99). Perceived racial discrimination was negatively associated with CAC in this study. Estimation of more forms of racial discrimination as well as replication of analyses in other samples will help to confirm or refute these findings.
    Annals of epidemiology 03/2012; 22(3):183-90. · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Identifying interrelationships among childhood social disadvantage, emotional functioning and adult health may help illustrate how health disparities may become embedded early in life, yet few have considered how these factors are associated. We examined whether the association of child emotional functioning and adult health risk was modified by child socioeconomic status (CSES), or whether child emotional functioning mediated the association of CSES and adult health risk. We studied 430 adult offspring (mean age 42 years) of Collaborative Perinatal Project participants, a cohort of pregnant women enrolled in 1959-1966 (Broman, Nichols, & Kennedy, 1975; Niswander & Gordon, 1972). Child emotional functioning was assessed by psychologist ratings at age 7 and included inappropriate self regulation (ISR) and distress proneness. CSES measures included parental education, household income, and parental occupation. Adult health risk was measured by the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP). Hypotheses were tested with multiple linear regression. Effect modification was evaluated via interaction terms and stratification of fully adjusted models by CSES. Mediation by child emotional functioning was evaluated via coefficient changes. There was no evidence that child emotional functioning mediated the association of CSES and CRP. Significant interactions were observed for ISR and low income (b = 1.67, SE = 0.70, p < .05), and distress proneness and low (b = 3.14, SE = 1.47, p < .05) and middle (b = 3.52, SE = 1.46, p < .05) income. Stratified models indicated that associations of child emotion with CRP varied significantly by level of parental education, household income and occupation. The highest levels of adult inflammation were observed among those with childhood emotional problems who were also exposed to low socioeconomic status as children. This study suggests adulthood disparities in CRP may have developmental origins in childhood adversity.
    Health Psychology 02/2012; 31(4):413-22. · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic variation in fatty acid desaturases (FADS) has previously been linked to long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in adipose tissue and cardiovascular risk. The goal of our study was to test associations between six common FADS polymorphisms (rs174556, rs3834458, rs174570, rs2524299, rs174589, rs174627), intermediate cardiovascular risk factors, and non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) in a matched population based case-control study of Costa Rican adults (n = 1756). Generalized linear models and multiple conditional logistic regression models were used to assess the associations of interest. Analyses involving intermediate cardiovascular risk factors and MI were also conducted in two replication cohorts, The Nurses' Health Study (n = 1200) and The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (n = 1295). In the Costa Rica Study, genetic variation in the FADS cluster was associated with a robust linear decrease in adipose gamma-linolenic, arachidonic, and eicosapentaenoic fatty acids, and significant or borderline significant increases in the eicosadienoic, eicosatrienoic, and dihomo-gamma-linolenic fatty acids. However, the associations with adipose tissue fatty acids did not translate into changes in inflammatory biomarkers, blood lipids, or the risk of MI in the discovery or the replication cohorts. In conclusion, fatty acid desaturase polymorphisms impact long-chain PUFA biosynthesis, but their overall effect on cardiovascular health likely involves multiple pathways and merits further investigation.
    Frontiers in Genetics 01/2012; 3:72.

Publication Stats

553 Citations
163.45 Total Impact Points


  • 2009–2014
    • Brown University
      • Alpert Medical School
      Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • 2013
    • Dartmouth Medical School
      Hanover, New Hampshire, United States
  • 2005–2013
    • Harvard University
      • • Department of Society, Human Development, and Health
      • • Department of Epidemiology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 2011
    • Peking University
      Peping, Beijing, China
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Alpert Medical School - Brown University
      Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • 2010–2011
    • RAND Corporation
      Santa Monica, California, United States
  • 2007–2010
    • McGill University
      • • Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2006
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      • National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
      Druid Hills, GA, United States
    • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States