[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Observational studies showed that circulating l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is inversely associated with cardiometabolic traits. However, these studies were susceptible to confounding and reverse causation.
We assessed the relation between l-ascorbic acid and 10 cardiometabolic traits by using a single nucleotide polymorphism in the solute carrier family 23 member 1 (SLC23A1) gene (rs33972313) associated with circulating l-ascorbic acid concentrations. The observed association between rs33972313 and cardiometabolic outcomes was compared with that expected given the rs33972313-l-ascorbic acid and l-ascorbic acid-outcome associations.
A meta-analysis was performed in the following 5 independent studies: the British Women's Heart and Health Study (n = 1833), the MIDSPAN study (n = 1138), the Ten Towns study (n = 1324), the British Regional Heart Study (n = 2521), and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (n = 3737).
With the use of a meta-analysis of observational estimates, inverse associations were shown between l-ascorbic acid and systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and the waist-hip ratio [the strongest of which was the waist-hip ratio (-0.13-SD change; 95% CI: -0.20-, -0.07-SD change; P = 0.0001) per SD increase in l-ascorbic acid], and a positive association was shown with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The variation at rs33972313 was associated with a 0.18-SD (95% CI: 0.10-, 0.25-SD; P = 3.34 × 10(-6)) increase in l-ascorbic acid per effect allele. There was no evidence of a relation between the variation at rs33972313 and any cardiometabolic outcome. Although observed estimates were not statistically different from expected associations between rs33972313 and cardiometabolic outcomes, estimates for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and body mass index were in the opposite direction to those expected.
The nature of the genetic association exploited in this study led to limited statistical application, but despite this, when all cardiometabolic traits were assessed, there was no evidence of any trend supporting a protective role of l-ascorbic acid. In the context of existing work, these results add to the suggestion that observational relations between l-ascorbic acid and cardiometabolic health may be attributable to confounding and reverse causation.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasma fibrinogen is an acute phase protein playing an important role in the blood coagulation cascade having strong associations with smoking, alcohol consumption and body mass index (BMI). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a variety of gene regions associated with elevated plasma fibrinogen concentrations. However, little is yet known about how associations between environmental factors and fibrinogen might be modified by genetic variation. Therefore, we conducted large-scale meta-analyses of genome-wide interaction studies to identify possible interactions of genetic variants and smoking status, alcohol consumption or BMI on fibrinogen concentration. The present study included 80,607 subjects of European ancestry from 22 studies. Genome-wide interaction analyses were performed separately in each study for about 2.6 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the 22 autosomal chromosomes. For each SNP and risk factor, we performed a linear regression under an additive genetic model including an interaction term between SNP and risk factor. Interaction estimates were meta-analysed using a fixed-effects model. No genome-wide significant interaction with smoking status, alcohol consumption or BMI was observed in the meta-analyses. The most suggestive interaction was found for smoking and rs10519203, located in the LOC123688 region on chromosome 15, with a p value of 6.2×10-8. This large genome-wide interaction study including 80,607 participants found no strong evidence of interaction between genetic variants and smoking status, alcohol consumption or BMI on fibrinogen concentrations. Further studies are needed to yield deeper insight in the interplay between environmental factors and gene variants on the regulation of fibrinogen concentrations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims/hypothesis:
Lower birthweight (a marker of fetal undernutrition) is associated with higher risks of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and could explain ethnic differences in these diseases. We examined associations between birthweight and risk markers for diabetes and CVD in UK-resident white European, South Asian and black African-Caribbean children.
In a cross-sectional study of risk markers for diabetes and CVD in 9- to 10-year-old children of different ethnic origins, birthweight was obtained from health records and/or parental recall. Associations between birthweight and risk markers were estimated using multilevel linear regression to account for clustering in children from the same school.
Key data were available for 3,744 (66%) singleton study participants. In analyses adjusted for age, sex and ethnicity, birthweight was inversely associated with serum urate and positively associated with systolic BP. After additional height adjustment, lower birthweight (per 100 g) was associated with higher serum urate (0.52%; 95% CI 0.38, 0.66), fasting serum insulin (0.41%; 95% CI 0.08, 0.74), HbA1c (0.04%; 95% CI 0.00, 0.08), plasma glucose (0.06%; 95% CI 0.02, 0.10) and serum triacylglycerol (0.30%; 95% CI 0.09, 0.51) but not with BP or blood cholesterol. Birthweight was lower among children of South Asian (231 g lower; 95% CI 183, 280) and black African-Caribbean origin (81 g lower; 95% CI 30, 132). However, adjustment for birthweight had no effect on ethnic differences in risk markers.
Birthweight was inversely associated with urate and with insulin and glycaemia after adjustment for current height. Lower birthweight does not appear to explain emerging ethnic difference in risk markers for diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Although obesity and diabetes commonly co-exist, the evidence base to support obesity as the major driver of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and the mechanisms by which this occurs, are now better appreciated.
This review briefly examines several sources of evidence – epidemiological, genetic, molecular, and clinical trial – to support obesity being a causal risk factor for T2DM. It also summarises the ectopic fat hypothesis for this condition, and lists several pieces of evidence to support this concept, extending from rare conditions and drug effects to sex- and ethnicity-related differences in T2DM prevalence. Ectopic liver fat is the best-studied example of ectopic fat, but more research on pancreatic fat as a potential cause of β-cell dysfunction seems warranted. This ectopic fat concept, in turn, broadly fits with the observation that individuals of similar ages can develop diabetes at markedly different body mass indexes (BMIs). Those with risk factors leading to more rapid ectopic fat gain – for example, men (compared with women), certain ethnicities, and potentially those with a family history of diabetes, as well as others with genes linked to a reduced subcutaneous adiposity – are more likely to develop diabetes at a younger age and/or lower BMI than those without.
Obesity is the major risk factor for T2DM and appears to drive tissue insulin resistance in part via gain of ectopic fat, with the best-studied organ being the liver. However, ectopic fat in the pancreas may contribute to β-cell dysfunction. In line with this observation, rapid resolution of diabetes linked to a preferential and rapid reduction in liver fat has been noted with significant caloric reduction. Whether these observations can help develop better cost-effective and sustainable lifestyle /medical interventions in patients with T2DM requires further study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously used a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster associated with heaviness of smoking within smokers to confirm the causal effect of smoking in reducing body mass index (BMI) in a Mendelian randomisation analysis. While seeking to extend these findings in a larger sample we found that this SNP is associated with 0.74% lower body mass index (BMI) per minor allele in current smokers (95% CI -0.97 to -0.51, P = 2.00×10-10), but also unexpectedly found that it was associated with 0.35% higher BMI in never smokers (95% CI +0.18 to +0.52, P = 6.38×10-5). An interaction test confirmed that these estimates differed from each other (P = 4.95×10-13). This difference in effects suggests the variant influences BMI both via pathways unrelated to smoking, and via the weight-reducing effects of smoking. It would therefore be essentially undetectable in an unstratified genome-wide association study of BMI, given the opposite association with BMI in never and current smokers. This demonstrates that novel associations may be obscured by hidden population sub-structure. Stratification on well-characterized environmental factors known to impact on health outcomes may therefore reveal novel genetic associations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We aimed to determine the association of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) with central and peripheral blood pressure (BP), in a general adolescent population and to examine whether associations are independent of adiposity.
Using cross-sectional data from a subsample (N = 1904) of a UK birth cohort, we assessed markers of NAFLD including ultrasound scan (USS) determined fatty liver, shear velocity (marker of liver fibrosis), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) at a mean age of 17.8 years. These were related to BP [central and peripheral SBP and DBP and mean arterial pressure (MAP)].
Fatty liver was positively associated with central and peripheral SBP, DBP and MAP in models adjusting for age, sex, social class, puberty and alcohol intake. These positive associations were attenuated to the null when fat mass was included. For example, in confounder-adjusted models, not including fat mass, mean central SBP was 3.74 mmHg [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12 to 6.36] higher in adolescents with USS fatty liver than in those without; with additional adjustment for fat mass, the association attenuated to the null value (-0.37 mmHg; 95% CI -3.09 to 2.36). Similar patterns were found for associations of ALT and GGT with central and peripheral BP. There was no consistent evidence of associations of shear velocity or AST with BP measurements. Fatty liver was not consistently associated with central pulse pressure (PP), peripheral PP and Aix@75.
NAFLD is not associated with higher central or peripheral BP in adolescents once confounding by adiposity is taken into account.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Hypertension
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to phenotype metabolic profiles in serum has increased substantially in recent years with the advent of metabolomics. Metabolomics is the study of the metabolome, defined as those molecules with an atomic mass less than 1.5 kDa. There are two main metabolomics methods: mass spectrometry (MS) and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy, each with its respective benefits and limitations. MS has greater sensitivity and so can detect many more metabolites. However, its cost (especially when heavy labelled internal standards are required for absolute quantitation) and quality control is sub-optimal for large cohorts. 1H NMR is less sensitive but sample preparation is generally faster and analysis times shorter, resulting in markedly lower analysis costs. 1H NMR is robust, reproducible and can provide absolute quantitation of many metabolites. Of particular relevance to cardio-metabolic disease is the ability of 1H NMR to provide detailed quantitative data on amino acids, fatty acids and other metabolites as well as lipoprotein subparticle concentrations and size. Early epidemiological studies suggest promise, however, this is an emerging field and more data is required before we can determine the clinical utility of these measures to improve disease prediction and treatment.
This review describes the theoretical basis of 1H NMR; compares MS and 1H NMR and provides a tabular overview of recent 1H NMR-based research findings in the atherosclerosis field, describing the design and scope of studies conducted to date. 1H NMR metabolomics-CVD related research is emerging, however further large, robustly conducted prospective, genetic and intervention studies are needed to advance research on CVD risk prediction and to identify causal pathways amenable to intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression is two to three times more common in patients with cardiometabolic disease than in healthy individuals, but less is known about the association between cardiovascular risk factor values and depressive symptoms in these patients. We aimed to study the association between cardiovascular risk factors and concurrent depressive symptoms in patients with cardiometabolic disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Statins effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels in large studies and the observed interindividual response variability may be partially explained by genetic variation. Here we perform a pharmacogenetic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in studies addressing the LDL cholesterol response to statins, including up to 18,596 statin-treated subjects. We validate the most promising signals in a further 22,318 statin recipients and identify two loci, SORT1/CELSR2/PSRC1 and SLCO1B1, not previously identified in GWAS. Moreover, we confirm the previously described associations with APOE and LPA. Our findings advance the understanding of the pharmacogenetic architecture of statin response.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression is common in patients with cardiometabolic diseases but little is known about the relationship, if any, between cardiovascular risk factor values and depressive symptoms in patients with these conditions. The objective of this paper is to study the association between cardiovascular risk factors and concurrent depressive symptoms in patients with three common cardiometabolic conditions: coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and diabetes.
We retrospectively reviewed primary care data for N = 35537 with 1 of the above 3 conditions who underwent depression screening using the depressive subscale of hospital anxiety and depression score (HADS-D). We reviewed 4 cardiometabolic risk factors (Systolic Blood Pressure [SBP], Diastolic Blood Pressure [DBP], BMI and total cholesterol) recorded concurrently in all patients and HbA1c in patients with diabetes (n = 18453). We analysed the association between individual risk factor value and a positive HADS-D screening result (>7) using logistic regression.
SBP and BMI were noted to have a non-linear “J-shaped” relationship with the probability of having a positive HADS-D and observed nadirs (levels with the lowest probability) of 148 mm Hg and 30.70 kg/m2, respectively. Total cholesterol and DBP found to have a weaker curvilinear association with concurrent depression symptoms and nadirs of 3.60 mmol/l and 74 mmHg. Among patients with Diabetes, HbA1c was also found to have a “J-shaped” relationship with probability of having a positive HADS-D with an observed nadir of 7.06% DCCT. The above relationships remain significant after adjusting for age, sex, socio-economic status and number of co-morbid conditions.
In patients with cardiometabolic disease, cardiovascular risk factor values at both extremes were associated with higher positive depression screening after adjusting for confounders. These findings have potentially important implications for clinical practice in relation to both risk stratification for depression and approaches to secondary prevention in individuals with cardiometabolic disease and merit further investigation to determine the nature and direction of the observed association.
Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/12/199.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · BMC Cardiovascular Disorders
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Childhood and adolescent obesity is associated with insulin resistance, abnormal glucose metabolism, hypertension, dyslipidemia, inflammation, liver disease, and compromised vascular function. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factor abnormalities and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a sample of obese Kuwaiti adolescents, as prevalence data might be helpful in improving engagement with obesity treatment in future.
Eighty obese Kuwaiti adolescents (40 males) with a mean (standard deviation) age of 12.3 years (1.1 years) participated in the present study. All participants had a detailed clinical examination and anthropometry, blood pressure taken, and assessment of fasting levels of C-reactive protein, intracellular adhesion molecule, interleukin-6, fasting blood glucose, insulin, liver function tests (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma glutamyltransferase), lipid profile (cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides), insulin resistance by homeostasis model assessment, and adiponectin. MetS was assessed using two recognized criteria modified for use in younger individuals.
The cardiometabolic risk factors with highest prevalence of abnormal values included aspartate aminotransferase (88.7% of the sample) and insulin resistance by homeostasis model assessment (67.5%), intracellular adhesion molecule (66.5%), fasting insulin (43.5%), C-reactive protein (42.5%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (35.0%), total cholesterol (33.5%), and systolic blood pressure (30.0%). Of all participants, 96.3% (77/80) had at least one impaired cardiometabolic risk factor as well as obesity. Prevalence of MetS was 21.3% according to the International Diabetes Federation definition and 30% using the Third Adult Treatment Panel definition.
The present study suggests that obese Kuwaiti adolescents have multiple cardiometabolic risk factor abnormalities. Future studies are needed to test the benefits of intervention in this high-risk group. They also suggest that prevention of obesity in children and adults should be a major public health goal in Kuwait.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this issue of the journal, Erqou and colleagues (DOI 10.1007/s00125-014-3374-x ) report, in a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials, a very modest (1.3 mmol/mol or 0.12%) albeit significant increase in HbA1c in patients with diabetes treated with statins, compared with control. Here, we discuss the clinical relevance of the findings. Given the overwhelming benefit of statins on cardiovascular outcomes in diabetes, current guidelines recommending statins for primary prevention in type 2 diabetes should not change, and any effect on microvascular risk is likely to be minimal. Of course, all patients recommended for statin treatment, whether they have diabetes or not, should now be warned of a slight potential for dysglycaemia on starting statins, but at the same time they should be told that very modest lifestyle improvement will help offset this dysglycaemia risk. Finally, we remind colleagues that nearly all drugs have side effects and we should not be surprised by this statin-dysglycaemia effect, which can be easily managed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Visit-to-visit variability in blood pressure is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease. This study investigates biological correlates of intra-individual variability in blood pressure in older persons.
Nested observational study within the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER) among 3,794 male and female participants (range 70-82 years) with a history of, or risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Individual visit-to-visit variability in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and pulse pressure (expressed as 1 SD in mm Hg) was assessed using nine measurements over 2 years. Correlates of higher visit-to-visit variability were examined at baseline, including markers of inflammation, endothelial function, renal function and glucose homeostasis.
Over the first 2 years, the mean intra-individual variability (1 SD) was 14.4mm Hg for systolic blood pressure, 7.7mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure, and 12.6mm Hg for pulse pressure. After multivariate adjustment a higher level of interleukin-6 at baseline was consistently associated with higher intra-individual variability of blood pressure, including systolic, diastolic, and pulse pressure. Markers of endothelial function (Von Willebrand factor, tissue plasminogen activator), renal function (glomerular filtration rate) and glucose homeostasis (blood glucose, homeostatic model assessment index) were not or to a minor extent associated with blood pressure variability.
In an elderly population at risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation (as evidenced by higher levels of interleukin-6) is associated with higher intra-individual variability in systolic, diastolic, and pulse pressure.
No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · American Journal of Hypertension
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims/hypothesis:
To determine the extent to which gestational fasting and postload levels of glucose explain differences in infant fat mass between UK-born Pakistani and white British infants.
Analyses were undertaken in a prospective pregnancy cohort study of 1,415 women and their singleton live-born infants (629 white British and 786 Pakistani). Infant fat mass was assessed by cord-blood leptin levels and fetal insulin secretion by cord-blood insulin levels. Maternal OGTTs were completed at 26-28 weeks of gestation.
Pakistani women had higher fasting and postload glucose levels and greater incidence of gestational diabetes than white British women. Higher fasting and postload glucose levels were associated with higher cord-blood levels of insulin and leptin in all participants, irrespective of ethnicity. Cord-blood leptin levels were 16% (95% CI 6, 26) higher in Pakistani than in white British infants. After adjustment for fasting glucose levels, this difference attenuated to 7% (-3, 16), and with additional adjustment for cord-blood insulin levels it attenuated further to 5% (-4, 14). Path analyses supported the hypothesis that fasting glucose levels mediate the relationship of Pakistani ethnicity to greater fat mass at birth, as measured by cord-blood leptin levels; on average, 19% of this mediation involved fetal insulin secretion. Postload glucose levels did not act as an important mediator of ethnic differences in cord-blood leptin levels. Results were very similar when 130 women with gestational diabetes were removed.
These novel findings suggest a role of maternal pregnancy glycaemia in mediating differences in fat mass between Pakistani and white British infants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
To evaluate associations between lipid levels, inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity, at baseline and during treatment, with the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in tocilizumab-treated patients with RA.Methods
In retrospective post hoc analyses, data were pooled for 3,986 adult patients with moderate to severe RA who received ≥1 dose of tocilizumab (4 mg/kg or 8 mg/kg) intravenously every 4 weeks in randomized controlled trials and extension studies. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to evaluate associations between baseline characteristics and posttreatment changes in laboratory and disease characteristics (week 24) and change in disease activity and laboratory values from baseline to week 24 with the risk of future MACE during extended followup.ResultsWe identified 50 independently adjudicated cases of MACE during 14,683 patient-years of followup (0.34 MACE cases/100 patient-years). At baseline, age, a history of cardiac disorders, the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28), and the total cholesterol:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio were independently associated with MACE in multivariable models (P < 0.05 for all). During treatment, a higher DAS28 and higher swollen and tender joint counts at week 24 were associated with future MACE. In separate models, greater reductions in the DAS28 and joint counts from baseline to week 24 were inversely associated with future MACE; changes in lipid parameters were not statistically significantly associated with the risk of MACE.Conclusion
In this population of patients treated with tocilizumab, an association was observed between the baseline total cholesterol:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio and an increased risk of MACE. The risk of MACE while receiving treatment, however, was associated with control of disease activity but not lipid changes. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.
No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Arthritis and Rheumatology