[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been associated with broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and speed of sound (SOS) as measured by quantitative ultrasound (QUS) at the calcaneus in the Framingham 100K genome-wide association study (GWAS) but have not been validated in independent studies. The aim of this analysis was to determine if these SNPs are associated with QUS measurements assessed in a large independent population of European middle-aged and elderly men. The association between these SNPs and bone mineral density (BMD) measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was also tested.
Men aged 40-79 years (N = 2960) were recruited from population registers in seven European centres for participation in an observational study of male ageing, the European Male Ageing Study (EMAS). QUS at the calcaneus was measured in all subjects and blood was taken for genetic analysis. Lumbar spine (LS), femoral neck (FN) and total hip (TH) BMD were measured by DXA in a subsample of 620 men in two centres. SNPs associated with BUA or SOS in the Framingham study with p < 10-4 were selected and genotyped using SEQUENOM technology. Linear regression was used to test for the association between SNPs and standardised (SD) bone outcomes under an additive genetic model adjusting for centre. The same direction of effect and p < 0.05 indicated replication.
Thirty-four of 38 selected SNPs were successfully genotyped in 2377 men. Suggestive evidence of replication was observed for a single SNP, rs3754032, which was associated with a higher SOS (β(SD) = 0.07, p = 0.032) but not BUA (β(SD) = 0.02, p = 0.505) and is located in the 3'UTR of WDR77 (WD repeat domain 77) also known as androgen receptor cofactor p44. A single SNP, rs238358, was associated with BMD at the LS (β(SD) = -0.22, p = 0.014), FN (β(SD) = -0.31,p = 0.001) and TH (β(SD) = -0.36, p = 0.002) in a locus previously associated with LS BMD in large-scale GWAS, incorporating AKAP11 and RANKL.
We found suggestive evidence of association between a single SNP located in the 3'UTR of WDR77 with calcaneal ultrasound parameters. The majority of SNPs, associated with QUS parameters in the Framingham Study, were not replicated in an independent population sample of European men.
BMC Medical Genetics 01/2011; 12:19. · 2.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 6q25, which incorporates the oestrogen receptor α gene (ESR1), as a quantitative trait locus for areal bone mineral density (BMD(a)) of the hip and lumbar spine. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of this locus on other bone health outcomes; calcaneal ultrasound (QUS) parameters, radial peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) parameters and markers of bone turnover in a population sample of European men.
Eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the 6q25 locus were genotyped in men aged 40-79 years from 7 European countries, participating in the European Male Ageing Study (EMAS). The associations between SNPs and measured bone parameters were tested under an additive genetic model adjusting for centre using linear regression.
2468 men, mean (SD) aged 59.9 (11.1) years had QUS measurements performed and bone turnover marker levels measured. A subset of 628 men had DXA and pQCT measurements. Multiple independent SNPs showed significant associations with BMD using all three measurement techniques. Most notably, rs1999805 was associated with a 0.10 SD (95%CI 0.05, 0.16; p = 0.0001) lower estimated BMD at the calcaneus, a 0.14 SD (95%CI 0.05, 0.24; p = 0.004) lower total hip BMD(a), a 0.12 SD (95%CI 0.02, 0.23; p = 0.026) lower lumbar spine BMD(a) and a 0.18 SD (95%CI 0.06, 0.29; p = 0.003) lower trabecular BMD at the distal radius for each copy of the minor allele. There was no association with serum levels of bone turnover markers and a single SNP which was associated with cortical density was also associated with cortical BMC and thickness.
Our data replicate previous associations found between SNPs in the 6q25 locus and BMD(a) at the hip and extend these data to include associations with calcaneal ultrasound parameters and radial volumetric BMD.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(7):e22037. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) 'pain sensitivity' haplotypes and chronic widespread pain (CWP) in two distinct cohorts.
Cases of CWP and controls free of pain were selected from two population-based studies: the Epidemiology of Functional Disorders study (EPIFUND) (UK) and the European Male Ageing Study (European). The number of cases and controls were 164 and 172, and 204 and 935, respectively. Identical American College of Rheumatology criteria were used in both studies to ascertain CWP status. The EPIFUND study had three time points and cases were classified as subjects with CWP at two or three time points and controls as those free of pain at all three time points. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP): rs6269, rs4633, rs4818 and rs4680 (V158M) were genotyped using Sequenom technology. Allele and genotype frequencies were compared and haplotype analysis was conducted using PLINK software.
No differences in allele or genotype frequencies for any of the four SNP were observed between cases and controls for either cohort. Haplotype analysis also showed no difference in the frequency of haplotypes between cases and controls.
There was no evidence of association between the COMT 'pain sensitivity' haplotypes and CWP in two population-based cohorts.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 11/2010; 69(11):2009-12. · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that musculoskeletal pain is associated with low vitamin D levels but the relationship is explained by physical inactivity and/or other putative confounding factors.
Men aged 40-79 years completed a postal questionnaire including a pain assessment and attended a clinical assessment (lifestyle questionnaire, physical performance tests, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25-(OH)D) levels from fasting blood sample). Subjects were classified according to 25-(OH)D levels as 'normal' (> or = 15 ng/ml) or 'low' (< 15 ng/ml). The relationship between pain status and 25-(OH)D levels was assessed using logistic regression. Results are expressed as ORs and 95% CIs.
3075 men of mean (SD) age 60 (11) years were included in the analysis. 1262 (41.0%) subjects were pain-free, 1550 (50.4%) reported 'other pain' that did not satisfy criteria for chronic widespread pain (CWP) and 263 (8.6%) reported CWP. Compared with patients who were pain-free, those with 'other pain' and CWP had lower 25-(OH)D levels (n=239 (18.9%), n=361 (23.3) and n=67 (24.1%), respectively, p<0.05). After adjusting for age, having 'other pain' was associated with a 30% increase in the odds of having low 25-(OH)D while CWP was associated with a 50% increase. These relationships persisted after adjusting for physical activity levels. Adjusting for additional lifestyle factors (body mass index, smoking and alcohol use) and depression attenuated these relationships, although pain remained moderately associated with increased odds of 20% of having low vitamin D levels.
These findings have implications at a population level for the long-term health of individuals with musculoskeletal pain.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 05/2010; 69(8):1448-52. · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine if single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in RANKL, RANK, and OPG influence bone turnover and bone mineral density (BMD) in men. Pairwise tag SNPs (r(2) > or = 0.8) were selected for RANKL, RANK, and OPG and their 10-kb flanking regions. Selected tag SNPs plus five SNPs near RANKL and OPG, associated with BMD in published genome-wide association studies (GWAS), were genotyped in 2653 men aged 40 to 79 years of age recruited for participation in a population-based study of male aging, the European Male Ageing Study (EMAS). N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PINP) and C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX-I) serum levels were measured in all men. BMD at the calcaneus was estimated by quantitative ultrasound (QUS) in all men. Lumbar spine and total-hip areal BMD (BMD(a)) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in a subsample of 620 men. Multiple OPG, RANK, and RANKL SNPs were associated with bone turnover markers. We also identified a number of SNPs associated with BMD, including rs2073618 in OPG and rs9594759 near RANKL. The minor allele of rs2073618 (C) was associated with higher levels of both PINP (beta = 1.83, p = .004) and CTX-I (beta = 17.59, p = 4.74 x 10(-4)), and lower lumbar spine BMD(a) (beta = -0.02, p = .026). The minor allele of rs9594759 (C) was associated with lower PINP (beta = -1.84, p = .003) and CTX-I (beta = -27.02, p = 6.06 x 10(-8)) and higher ultrasound BMD at the calcaneus (beta = 0.01, p = .037). Our findings suggest that genetic variation in the RANKL/RANK/OPG signaling pathway influences bone turnover and BMD in European men.
Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 03/2010; 25(8):1830-8. · 6.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data remain divergent regarding the activational effects of endogenous hormones on adult cognitive function. We examined the association between cognition, hormones and androgen receptor (AR) CAG repeat length in a large cohort of men.
Community-based, cross-sectional study of 3369 men aged 40-79 years.
Cognition tests were the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, Camden Topographical Recognition Memory and Digit-Symbol Substitution. A fluid cognition (FC) z-score was computed from the individual tests. Testosterone, oestradiol (OE(2)) and 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; DHEAS, LH, FSH and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) by electrochemiluminescence. Free testosterone and OE(2) were calculated from total hormone, SHBG and albumin. CAG repeat lengths were assayed by PCR genotyping.
Total testosterone and free testosterone were associated with higher FC z-scores, LH and FSH with lower FC z-scores in age-adjusted linear regressions. After adjusting for health, lifestyle and centre, a modest association was only observed between DHEAS and a lower FC z-score (beta=-0.011, P=0.02), although this was driven by subjects with DHEAS levels >10 micromol/l. Locally weighted plots revealed no threshold effects between hormones and FC. There was no association between CAG repeat length and FC z-score after adjustment for age and centre (beta=-0.007, P=0.06), nor any interaction effect between CAG repeat length and hormones.
Our results suggest that endogenous hormones are not associated with a vision-based measure of FC among healthy, community-dwelling men. Further studies are warranted to determine whether 'high' DHEAS levels are associated with poorer performance on a broader range of neuropsychological tests.
European Journal of Endocrinology 03/2010; 162(6):1155-64. · 3.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine whether perturbations of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) were associated with the presence of chronic widespread pain (CWP) in men.
The European Male Ageing Study (EMAS) is an 8-center population-based study of men aged 40-79 years recruited from population registers. A questionnaire asked about the presence and duration of musculoskeletal pain, from which subjects reporting CWP were identified. Subjects also had an interviewer-assisted questionnaire: levels of physical activity and mood were assessed, and height and weight were measured. IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were assayed from a fasting blood sample. Logistic regression models were used to determine the association between IGF measures and CWP. Results were expressed as odds ratios or relative risk ratios.
A total of 3206 subjects provided full data. Of those, 1314 (39.0%) reported no pain in the past month and 278 (8.3%) reported pain that satisfied criteria for CWP. IGF-1 concentrations were similar among subjects who reported no pain and those with CWP: 131.5 mg/l and 128.4 mg/l, respectively. This was true also for IGFBP-3 (4.3 and 4.3 mg/l). Obesity was associated with low IGF-1 and a high IGFBP-3/IGF-1 ratio, indicating less bioavailable IGF-1, irrespective of pain status. This relationship persisted after adjustment for comorbidities, depression, smoking, alcohol consumption, and quality of life.
Overall CWP was not associated with perturbations in IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentrations. Hypofunctioning of the axis was noted among subjects who were obese and this was not specific to CWP. These data suggest that IGF-1 is unlikely to be etiologically important in relation to CWP, although the relationship with growth hormone remains to be elucidated.
The Journal of Rheumatology 11/2009; 36(11):2523-30. · 3.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels have been linked to insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components. Data in healthy, community-dwelling Europeans are lacking, and previous studies have not excluded subjects receiving drug treatments that may distort the relationship between 25(OH)D/PTH and MetS. The aim of our analysis was to examine the association of 25(OH)D and PTH with Adult Treatment Panel III-defined MetS in middle-aged and older European men.
This was a population-based, cross-sectional study of 3369 men aged 40-79 years enrolled in the European Male Ageing Study.
After exclusion of subjects with missing data, 3069 men with a mean (+/-s.d.) age of 60+/-11 years were included in the analysis. Age-adjusted 25(OH)D levels were inversely associated with waist circumference, systolic blood pressure (BP), triglycerides, and glucose (all P<0.01). Age-adjusted PTH levels were only associated with waist and diastolic BP (both P<0.05). After adjusting for age, centre, season and lifestyle factors the odds for MetS decreased across increasing 25(OH)D quintiles (odds ratios 0.48 (95% confidence intervals 0.36-0.64) highest versus lowest quintile; P(trend)<0.001). This relationship was unchanged after adjustment for PTH, but was attenuated after additional adjustment for homoeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (0.60 (0.47-0.78); P(trend)<0.001). There was no association between PTH and MetS.
Our results demonstrate an inverse relationship between 25(OH)D levels and MetS, which is independent of several confounders and PTH. The relationship is partly explained by insulin resistance. The clinical significance of these observations warrants further study.
European Journal of Endocrinology 09/2009; 161(6):947-54. · 3.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The individual variability in the waning androgenic-anabolic functions of aging men may be influenced by the CAG repeat polymorphism in exon 1 of the androgen receptor (AR), affecting androgen sensitivity. However, findings on its phenotypic effects are inconclusive. Objective: The aim was to investigate the relationships between health status, various reproductive hormones, and the AR CAG repeat length.
We conducted a multinational prospective cohort observational study with cross-sectional baseline data.
This was a population survey of community-dwelling men. Participants: Men (40-79 yr old; n = 3369) were randomly recruited from centers in eight European countries; CAG repeat analysis was performed in 2878 men.
We measured the correlations of the CAG repeat length with selected endocrine, metabolic, and phenotypic parameters related to aging and sex hormone action.
Only minor differences were found in CAG repeat lengths between the eight European countries. They showed significant positive association with total, free, and bioavailable levels of testosterone (T) and estradiol. FSH but not LH correlated inversely with CAG repeat length. Significant associations were found with bone ultrasound parameters at the calcaneus. Negative correlation was found with triglycerides, but not with other blood lipids or with anthropometry, blood pressure, hemoglobin, insulin sensitivity, or sexual and prostatic functions.
The AR CAG repeat length correlates significantly with serum T and estradiol of aging men. Weaker transcriptional activity of the AR with longer CAG-encoded polyglutamine repeats appears to be totally or nearly totally compensated for by higher T levels. The residual phenotypic correlations may reflect differences in estrogen levels/actions after aromatization of the higher T levels.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genes involved in sex hormone pathways are candidates for influencing bone strength. Polymorphisms in these genes were tested for association with heel quantitative ultrasound (QUS) parameters in middle-aged and elderly European men. Men 40-79 yr of age were recruited from population registers in eight European centers for the European Male Aging Study (EMAS). Polymorphisms were genotyped in AR, ESR1, ESR2, CYP19A1, CYP17A1, SHBG, SRD5A2, LHB, and LHCGR. QUS parameters broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and speed of sound (SOS) were measured in the heel and used to derive BMD. The relationships between QUS parameters and polymorphisms were assessed using linear regression adjusting for age and center. A total of 2693 men, with a mean age of 60.1 +/- 11.1 (SD) yr were included in the analysis. Their mean BUA was 80.0 +/- 18.9 dB/Mhz, SOS was 1550.2 +/- 34.1 m/s, and BMD was 0.542 +/- 0.141 g/cm(2). Significant associations were observed between multiple SNPs in a linkage disequilibrium (LD) block within CYP19A1, peaking at the TCT indel with the deletion allele associating with reduced ultrasound BMD in heterozygotes (beta =-0.016, p = -0.005) and homozygotes (beta = -0.029, p = 0.001). The results for BUA and SOS were similar. Significant associations with QUS parameters were also observed for the CAG repeat in AR and SNPs in CYP17A1, LHCGR, and ESR1. Our data confirm evidence of association between bone QUS parameters and polymorphisms in CYP19A1, as well as modest associations with polymorphisms in CYP17A1, ESR1, LHCGR, and AR in a population sample of European men; this supports a role for genetically determined sex hormone actions in influencing male bone health.
Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 10/2008; 24(2):314-23. · 6.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cause of declining testosterone (T) in aging men and their relationships with risk factors are unclear.
The objective of the study was to investigate the relationships between lifestyle and health with reproductive hormones in aging men.
This was a baseline cross-sectional survey on 3200 community-dwelling men aged 40-79 yr from a prospective cohort study in eight European countries.
Four predictors were associated with distinct modes of altered function: 1) age: lower free T (FT; -3.12 pmol/liter.yr, P < 0.001) with raised LH, suggesting impaired testicular function; 2) obesity: lower total T (TT; -2.32 nmol/liter) and FT (-17.60 pmol/liter) for body mass index (BMI; > or = 25 to < 30 kg/m(2)) and lower TT (-5.09 nmol/liter) and FT (-53.72 pmol/liter) for BMI 30 kg/m(2) or greater (P < 0.001-0.01, referent: BMI < 25 kg/m(2)) with unchanged/decreased LH, indicating hypothalamus/pituitary dysfunction; 3) comorbidity: lower TT (-0.80 nmol/liter, P < 0.01) with unchanged LH in younger men but higher LH in older men; and 4) smoking: higher SHBG (5.96 nmol/liter, P < 0.001) and LH (0.77 U/liter, P < 0.01) with increased TT (1.31 nmol/liter, P < 0.001) but not FT, compatible with a resetting of T-LH-negative feedback due to elevated SHBG.
Complex multiple alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis function exist in aging men against a background of progressive age-related testicular impairment. These changes are differentially linked to specific risk factors. Some risk factors operate independently of but others interact with age, in contributing to the T decline. These potentially modifiable risk factors suggest possible preventative measures to maintain T during aging in men.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Life expectancy is increasing in most developed countries, in part due to improved socioeconomic conditions and in part to advances in healthcare. It is widely acknowledged that the promotion of healthy ageing by delaying, minimizing or preventing disabilities or diseases is one of the most important public health objectives in this century. In contrast to the menopausal transition in females, we know relatively little about the contribution of androgens and anabolic hormones to the quality of ageing in men. The European Male Ageing Study (EMAS) is a multicentre prospective cohort designed to examine the prevalence, incidence and geographical distribution of gender-specific and general symptoms of ageing in men, including their endocrine, genetic and psychosocial predictors. Men aged 40-79 years were recruited from eight European centres: Florence (Italy), Leuven (Belgium), Lodz (Poland), Malmö (Sweden), Manchester (UK), Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Szeged (Hungary) and Tartu (Estonia). Subjects were recruited from population registers and those who agreed to take part completed a detailed questionnaire including aspects of personal and medical history, lifestyle factors and sexual function. Objective measures of body size, cognition, vision, skeletal health and neuromuscular function were obtained. Blood and DNA specimens were collected for a range of biochemical and genetic analyses. After an average of 4 years, it is planned to resurvey the participants with similar assessments. A total of 3369 men with a mean age of 60 +/- 11 years were recruited. The mean centre response rate was 43%, and highest in those aged 50-59 years. Those who participated were marginally younger than those who were invited but declined to participate (60.0 vs. 61.1 years). Participants left education slightly later than a sample of non-participants, though there were no consistent differences in levels of general health, physical activity, or smoking. EMAS will provide new population-based data concerning the main features that characterize ageing in men and its critical determinants, particularly with reference to age-related changes in hormone levels. Such information is an important prerequisite to develop effective strategies to reduce age-related disabilities and optimise health and well-being into old-age.
International Journal of Andrology 04/2008; 32(1):11-24. · 3.57 Impact Factor