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Interpretation of genetic association results is difficult because signals often lack biological context. To generate hypotheses of the functional genetic etiology of complex cardiometabolic traits, we estimated the genetically determined component of gene expression from common variants using PrediXcan (1) and determined genes with differential predicted expression by trait. PrediXcan imputes tissue-specific expression levels from genetic variation using variant-level effect on gene expression in transcriptome data. To explore the value of imputed genetically regulated gene expression (GReX) models across different ancestral populations, we evaluated imputed expression levels for predictive accuracy genome-wide in RNA sequence data in samples drawn from European-ancestry and African-ancestry populations and identified substantial predictive power using European-derived models in a non-European target population. We then tested the association of GReX on 15 cardiometabolic traits including blood lipid levels, body mass index, height, blood pressure, fasting glucose and insulin, RR interval, fibrinogen level, factor VII level and white blood cell and platelet counts in 15 755 individuals across three ancestry groups, resulting in 20 novel gene-phenotype associations reaching experiment-wide significance across ancestries. In addition, we identified 18 significant novel gene-phenotype associations in our ancestry-specific analyses. Top associations were assessed for additional support via query of S-PrediXcan (2) results derived from publicly available genome-wide association studies summary data. Collectively, these findings illustrate the utility of transcriptome-based imputation models for discovery of cardiometabolic effect genes in a diverse dataset.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press.
Background - The obesity-lung cancer association remains controversial. Concerns over confounding by smoking and reverse causation persist. The influence of obesity type and effect modifications by race/ethnicity and tumor histology are largely unexplored.
Methods - We examined associations of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-hip ratio (WHR) with lung cancer risk among 1.6 million Americans, Europeans, and Asians. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) with adjustment for potential confounders. Analyses for WC/WHR were further adjusted for BMI. The joint effect of BMI and WC/WHR was also evaluated.
Results - During an average 12-year follow-up, 23 732 incident lung cancer cases were identified. While BMI was generally associated with a decreased risk, WC and WHR were associated with increased risk after controlling for BMI. These associations were seen 10 years before diagnosis in smokers and never smokers, were strongest among blacks, and varied by histological type. After excluding the first five years of follow-up, hazard ratios per 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI were 0.95 (95% CI = 0.90 to 1.00), 0.92 (95% CI = 0.89 to 0.95), and 0.89 (95% CI = 0.86 to 0.91) in never, former, and current smokers, and 0.86 (95% CI = 0.84 to 0.89), 0.94 (95% CI = 0.90 to 0.99), and 1.09 (95% CI = 1.03 to 1.15) for adenocarcinoma, squamous cell, and small cell carcinoma, respectively. Hazard ratios per 10 cm increase in WC were 1.09 (95% CI = 1.00 to 1.18), 1.12 (95% CI = 1.07 to 1.17), and 1.11 (95% CI = 1.07 to 1.16) in never, former, and current smokers, and 1.06 (95% CI = 1.01 to 1.12), 1.20 (95% CI = 1.12 to 1.29), and 1.13 (95% CI = 1.04 to 1.23) for adenocarcinoma, squamous cell, and small cell carcinoma, respectively. Participants with BMIs of less than 25 kg/m2 but high WC had a 40% higher risk (HR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.26 to 1.56) than those with BMIs of 25 kg/m2 or greater but normal/moderate WC.
Conclusions - The inverse BMI-lung cancer association is not entirely due to smoking and reverse causation. Central obesity, particularly concurrent with low BMI, may help identify high-risk populations for lung cancer.
Context - Vitamin D inadequacy is common in the adult population of the United States. Although the genetic determinants underlying vitamin D inadequacy have been studied in people of European ancestry, less is known about populations with Hispanic or African ancestry.
Objective - The Trans-Ethnic Evaluation of Vitamin D (TRANSCEN-D) genomewide association study (GWAS) consortium was assembled to replicate genetic associations with 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations from the Study of Underlying Genetic Determinants of Vitamin D and Highly Related Traits (SUNLIGHT) meta-analyses of European ancestry and to identify genetic variants related to vitamin D concentrations in African and Hispanic ancestries.
Design - Ancestry-specific (Hispanic and African) and transethnic (Hispanic, African, and European) meta-analyses were performed with Meta-Analysis Helper software (METAL).
Patients or Other Participants - In total, 8541 African American and 3485 Hispanic American (from North America) participants from 12 cohorts and 16,124 European participants from SUNLIGHT were included in the study.
Main Outcome Measures - Blood concentrations of 25(OH)D were measured for all participants.
Results - Ancestry-specific analyses in African and Hispanic Americans replicated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in GC (2 and 4 SNPs, respectively). An SNP (rs79666294) near the KIF4B gene was identified in the African American cohort. Transethnic evaluation replicated GC and DHCR7 region SNPs. Additionally, the transethnic analyses revealed SNPs rs719700 and rs1410656 near the ANO6/ARID2 and HTR2A genes, respectively.
Conclusions - Ancestry-specific and transethnic GWASs of 25(OH)D confirmed findings in GC and DHCR7 for African and Hispanic American samples and revealed findings near KIF4B, ANO6/ARID2, and HTR2A. The biological mechanisms that link these regions with 25(OH)D metabolism warrant further investigation.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified >250 loci for body mass index (BMI), implicating pathways related to neuronal biology. Most GWAS loci represent clusters of common, noncoding variants from which pinpointing causal genes remains challenging. Here we combined data from 718,734 individuals to discover rare and low-frequency (minor allele frequency (MAF) < 5%) coding variants associated with BMI. We identified 14 coding variants in 13 genes, of which 8 variants were in genes (ZBTB7B, ACHE, RAPGEF3, RAB21, ZFHX3, ENTPD6, ZFR2 and ZNF169) newly implicated in human obesity, 2 variants were in genes (MC4R and KSR2) previously observed to be mutated in extreme obesity and 2 variants were in GIPR. The effect sizes of rare variants are ~10 times larger than those of common variants, with the largest effect observed in carriers of an MC4R mutation introducing a stop codon (p.Tyr35Ter, MAF = 0.01%), who weighed ~7 kg more than non-carriers. Pathway analyses based on the variants associated with BMI confirm enrichment of neuronal genes and provide new evidence for adipocyte and energy expenditure biology, widening the potential of genetically supported therapeutic targets in obesity.
The fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO) was the first gene identified by genome-wide association studies to correlate with higher body mass index (BMI) and increased odds of obesity. FTO remains the locus with the largest and most replicated effect on body weight, but the mechanism whereby FTO affects body weight and the development of obesity is not fully understood. Here we tested whether FTO is associated with differences in food cravings and a key aspect of dopamine function that has been hypothesized to influence food reward mechanisms. Moreover, as food cravings and dopamine function are known to decline with age, we explored effects of age on relations between FTO and food cravings and dopamine function. Seven-eight healthy subjects between 22 and 83years old completed the Food Cravings Questionnaire and underwent genotyping for FTO rs9939609, the first FTO single nucleotide polymorphism associated with obesity. Compared to TT homozygotes, individuals carrying the obesity-susceptible A allele had higher total food cravings, which correlated with higher BMI. Additionally, food cravings declined with age, but this age effect differed across variants of FTO rs9939609: while TT homozygotes showed the typical age-related decline in food cravings, there was no such decline among A carriers. All subjects were scanned with [18F]fallypride PET to assess a recent proposal that at the neurochemical level FTO alters dopamine D2-like receptor (DRD2) function to influence food reward related mechanisms. However, we observed no evidence of FTO effects on DRD2 availability.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVES - To examine the effect of late-life body mass index (BMI) and rapid weight loss on incident mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD).
DESIGN - Prospective longitudinal cohort study.
SETTING - National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC) Uniform Data Set, including 34 past and current National Institute on Aging-funded AD Centers across the United States.
PARTICIPANTS - 6940 older adults (n=5061 normal cognition [NC]; n=1879 MCI).
MEASUREMENTS - BMI (kg/m2) and modified Framingham Stroke Risk Profile (FSRP) score (sex, age, systolic blood pressure, anti-hypertension medication, diabetes mellitus, cigarette smoking, prevalent cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation) were assessed at baseline. Cognition and weight were assessed annually.
RESULTS - Multivariable binary logistic regression, adjusting for age, sex, race, education, length of follow-up, and modified FSRP related late-life BMI to risk of diagnostic conversion from NC to MCI or AD and from MCI to AD. Secondary analyses related late-life BMI to diagnostic conversion in the presence of rapid weight loss (>5% decrease in 12 months) and apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4. During a mean 3.8-year follow-up period, 12% of NC participants converted to MCI or AD and 49% of MCI participants converted to AD. Higher baseline BMI was associated with a reduced probability of diagnostic conversion, such that for each one-unit increase in baseline BMI there was a reduction in diagnostic conversion for both NC (OR=0.977, 95%CI 0.958-0.996, p=0.015) and MCI participants (OR=0.962, 95%CI 0.942-0.983, p<0.001). The protective effect of higher baseline BMI did not persist in the setting of rapid weight loss but did persist when adjusting for APOE ε4.
CONCLUSIONS - Higher late-life BMI is associated with a lower risk of incident MCI and AD but is not protective in the presence of rapid weight loss.
INTRODUCTION - Kidney stone risk factors are understudied among Asians. Our study objective was to investigate associations of obesity and other chronic diseases with incident kidney stones among the urban Chinese.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - Included in this study are two prospective cohorts: the Shanghai Women's Health Study (N = 69,166) and Shanghai Men's Health Study (N = 58,054). Incident kidney stones were determined by self-report in 2004 and 2008. Cox regression models were used to evaluate the associations of study variables with stone risk with adjustment of demographics, medical history, and dietary intakes.
RESULTS - There were 2653 incident stones over 1,007,958 person-years of follow-up. Overall incidence rates (per 1000 person-years, 95% confidence interval [CI]) were 2.10 (1.99, 2.21) among women and 3.80 (3.59, 4.02) among men. Higher body mass index (BMI) was associated with risk (BMI ≥25 vs 18.5-24.9 kg/m, women: hazard ratio [HR] = 1.14 [95% CI 1.01, 1.28]; men: HR = 1.17 [1.03, 1.32]). High waist-hip ratio (≥0.80 and ≥0.90 for women and men, respectively) was associated with risk (HR 1.13, 95% CI 1.01, 1.27 for women; HR 1.19, 95% CI 1.05, 1.35 for men). Coronary heart disease or stroke history was associated with risk in women only (HR 1.31, 95% CI 1.10, 1.56). Hypertension history was associated with risk in men only (HR 1.27, 95% CI 1.11, 1.45). No significant association with diabetes mellitus was observed.
CONCLUSIONS - Among the Chinese, kidney stone incidence in men is almost twice that of women. Obesity is a shared risk factor. Hypertension history is associated with risk in men, whereas history of coronary heart disease or stroke is associated with risk in women.
Background - Adiposity depots may differentially affect cognition. African Americans (AA) have higher rates of obesity and dementia but lower visceral adipose tissue (VAT) than whites, yet are underrepresented in studies of adiposity and cognition. Our study compared relations of cognitive function to clinical adiposity measures and computed tomography (CT)-imaged abdominal adiposity in AA.
Methods - CT-imaged subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and VAT measurements were obtained in the AA cohort of the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy Study (N = 652, mean age 68 ± 8.4 years, 74% females, 59% obese, 82% hypertensive). Clinical adiposity measures included waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI). Global cognition was operationalized as a global cognitive z-score generated from the average of four cognitive domain z-scores. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine cross-sectional associations between individual standardized adiposity measures and cognition, accounting for age, sex, education, smoking status, and familial clustering. A collective model was constructed including multiple supported adiposity measures and age-by-adiposity interactions.
Results - In the collective model, higher WC was associated with worse global cognition, β = -0.12 (95%CI: -0.21, -0.03); higher SAT was associated with better cognition, β = 0.09 (0.01, 0.18); higher BMI was associated with worse cognition at younger ages with attenuation at older ages (BMI-by-age-interaction p = .004). VAT was not significantly associated with global cognition, β = -0.03 (-0.07, 0.02).
Conclusions - WC may be the simplest and most efficient measure of adiposity to assess with respect to cognition in clinical settings, although studies to determine mechanistic effects of subcutaneous and other adiposity depots on cognition are warranted.
It is unclear whether genetic markers interact with risk factors to influence atrial fibrillation (AF) risk. We performed genome-wide interaction analyses between genetic variants and age, sex, hypertension, and body mass index in the AFGen Consortium. Study-specific results were combined using meta-analysis (88,383 individuals of European descent, including 7,292 with AF). Variants with nominal interaction associations in the discovery analysis were tested for association in four independent studies (131,441 individuals, including 5,722 with AF). In the discovery analysis, the AF risk associated with the minor rs6817105 allele (at the PITX2 locus) was greater among subjects ≤ 65 years of age than among those > 65 years (interaction p-value = 4.0 × 10). The interaction p-value exceeded genome-wide significance in combined discovery and replication analyses (interaction p-value = 1.7 × 10). We observed one genome-wide significant interaction with body mass index and several suggestive interactions with age, sex, and body mass index in the discovery analysis. However, none was replicated in the independent sample. Our findings suggest that the pathogenesis of AF may differ according to age in individuals of European descent, but we did not observe evidence of statistically significant genetic interactions with sex, body mass index, or hypertension on AF risk.
The cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) pathway is upregulated in many pancreatic cancer cells, and it is believed that carcinogenetic effects of COX-2 upregulation are largely through prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) overproduction. We tested this hypothesis by evaluating the association between urinary PGE2 metabolites (PGE-M), a biomarker of in vivo PGE2 overproduction, and pancreatic cancer risk. We conducted a case-control study with 722 subjects (239 cases and 483 controls) nested within two prospective cohort studies, the Shanghai Women's Health Study (SWHS) and Shanghai Men's Health Study (SMHS). Pre-diagnosis urine samples were measured for PGE-M using a liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometric method. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI), with adjustment for potential confounders. Compared to those with the lowest urine level of PGE-M (the first quartile), individuals with higher urine levels of PGE-M had an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer, with adjusted ORs (95%CI) of 1.63 (0.98-2.73), 1.55 (0.90-2.69) and 1.94 (1.07-3.51), for the second to the fourth quartile groups, respectively (p for trend = 0.054). This dose-response positive association was more evident among those who had BMI <25 kg/m than overweight individuals (p for interaction = 0.058). After excluding cases diagnosed in the first year of follow-up and their matched controls, this positive association persisted (p for trend = 0.037) and the interaction became statistically significant (p for interaction = 0.017). Our study adds additional evidence that the COX-2 pathway is involved in pancreatic carcinogenesis and suggests that urinary PGE-M may serve as a biomarker for predicting pancreatic cancer risk.
© 2017 UICC.