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BACKGROUND - Observations from statin clinical trials and from Mendelian randomization studies suggest that low low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations may be associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Despite the findings from statin clinical trials and genetic studies, there is little direct evidence implicating low LDL-C concentrations in increased risk of T2DM.
METHODS AND FINDINGS - We used de-identified electronic health records (EHRs) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to compare the risk of T2DM in a cross-sectional study among individuals with very low (≤60 mg/dl, N = 8,943) and normal (90-130 mg/dl, N = 71,343) LDL-C levels calculated using the Friedewald formula. LDL-C levels associated with statin use, hospitalization, or a serum albumin level < 3 g/dl were excluded. We used a 2-phase approach: in 1/3 of the sample (discovery) we used T2DM phenome-wide association study codes (phecodes) to identify cases and controls, and in the remaining 2/3 (validation) we identified T2DM cases and controls using a validated algorithm. The analysis plan for the validation phase was constructed at the time of the design of that component of the study. The prevalence of T2DM in the very low and normal LDL-C groups was compared using logistic regression with adjustment for age, race, sex, body mass index (BMI), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and duration of care. Secondary analyses included prespecified stratification by sex, race, BMI, and LDL-C level. In the discovery cohort, phecodes related to T2DM were significantly more frequent in the very low LDL-C group. In the validation cohort (N = 33,039 after applying the T2DM algorithm to identify cases and controls), the risk of T2DM was increased in the very low compared to normal LDL-C group (odds ratio [OR] 2.06, 95% CI 1.80-2.37; P < 2 × 10-16). The findings remained significant in sensitivity analyses. The association between low LDL-C levels and T2DM was significant in males (OR 2.43, 95% CI 2.00-2.95; P < 2 × 10-16) and females (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.42-2.12; P = 6.88 × 10-8); in normal weight (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.59-2.98; P = 1.1× 10-6), overweight (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.65-2.83; P = 1.73× 10-8), and obese (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.65-2.41; P = 8 × 10-13) categories; and in individuals with LDL-C < 40 mg/dl (OR 2.31, 95% CI 1.71-3.10; P = 3.01× 10-8) and LDL-C 40-60 mg/dl (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.71-2.32; P < 2.0× 10-16). The association was significant in individuals of European ancestry (OR 2.67, 95% CI 2.25-3.17; P < 2 × 10-16) but not in those of African ancestry (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.81-1.46; P = 0.56). A limitation was that we only compared groups with very low and normal LDL-C levels; also, since this was not an inception cohort, we cannot exclude the possibility of reverse causation.
CONCLUSIONS - Very low LDL-C concentrations occurring in the absence of statin treatment were significantly associated with T2DM risk in a large EHR population; this increased risk was present in both sexes and all BMI categories, and in individuals of European ancestry but not of African ancestry. Longitudinal cohort studies to assess the relationship between very low LDL-C levels not associated with lipid-lowering therapy and risk of developing T2DM will be important.
OBJECTIVE - Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have increased cardiovascular (CV) risk. In the general population, exercise improves several CV risk factors. In a cross-sectional study, we examined the hypothesis that more exercise is associated with protective traditional and non-traditional CV risk factor profile in patients with RA.
METHODS - Patient-reported exercise outside of daily activities was quantified by time and metabolic equivalents per week (METmin/week) and CV risk factors including blood pressure, standard lipid profiles, lipoprotein particle concentrations (NMR spectroscopy), and vascular indices were measured in 165 patients with RA. The relationship between exercise and CV risk factors was assessed according to whether patients exercised or not, and after adjustment for age, race and sex.
RESULTS - Over half (54%) of RA patients did not exercise. Among those who did exercise, median value for exercise duration was 113 min/week [IQR: 60, 210], and exercise metabolic equivalent expenditure was 484 METmin/week [IQR: 258, 990]. Disease activity (measured by DAS28 score), C-reactive protein, waist-hip ratio, and prevalence of hypertension were lower in patients who exercised compared to those who did not (all p-values < 0.05) but standard lipid profile and body mass index were not significantly different. Patients who exercised had significantly higher concentrations of HDL particles (p = 0.004) and lower vascular stiffness as measured by pulse wave velocity (p = 0.005).
CONCLUSIONS - More self-reported exercise in patients with RA was associated with a protective CV risk factor profile including lower waist-hip ratio, higher HDL particle concentration, lower vascular stiffness, and a lower prevalence of hypertension.
Cardiovascular disease risk depends on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) function, not HDL-cholesterol. Isolevuglandins (IsoLGs) are lipid dicarbonyls that react with lysine residues of proteins and phosphatidylethanolamine. IsoLG adducts are elevated in atherosclerosis. The consequences of IsoLG modification of HDL have not been studied. We hypothesized that IsoLG modification of apoA-I deleteriously alters HDL function. We determined the effect of IsoLG on HDL structure-function and whether pentylpyridoxamine (PPM), a dicarbonyl scavenger, can preserve HDL function. IsoLG adducts in HDL derived from patients with familial hypercholesterolemia ( = 10, 233.4 ± 158.3 ng/mg) were found to be significantly higher than in healthy controls ( = 7, 90.1 ± 33.4 pg/mg protein). Further, HDL exposed to myeloperoxidase had elevated IsoLG-lysine adducts (5.7 ng/mg protein) compared with unexposed HDL (0.5 ng/mg protein). Preincubation with PPM reduced IsoLG-lysine adducts by 67%, whereas its inactive analogue pentylpyridoxine did not. The addition of IsoLG produced apoA-I and apoA-II cross-links beginning at 0.3 molar eq of IsoLG/mol of apoA-I (0.3 eq), whereas succinylaldehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal required 10 and 30 eq. IsoLG increased HDL size, generating a subpopulation of 16-23 nm. 1 eq of IsoLG decreased HDL-mediated [H]cholesterol efflux from macrophages via ABCA1, which corresponded to a decrease in HDL-apoA-I exchange from 47.4% to only 24.8%. This suggests that IsoLG inhibits apoA-I from disassociating from HDL to interact with ABCA1. The addition of 0.3 eq of IsoLG ablated HDL's ability to inhibit LPS-stimulated cytokine expression by macrophages and increased IL-1β expression by 3.5-fold. The structural-functional effects were partially rescued with PPM scavenging.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS - Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) reduce cardiovascular events in the general population. Maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients are at high cardiovascular risk but few studies have directly addressed the comparative efficacy of these drugs. MHD disrupts the normally atheroprotective actions of high density lipoprotein (HDL), therefore, we compared ACEI or ARB treatment on HDL functions in MHD.
METHODS AND RESULTS - HDL was isolated at the starting point (pre) and 3-6 months later (post) in 30 MHD randomly assigned to placebo, ramipril or valsartan. Outcomes included cholesterol efflux, inflammatory cytokine response, effects on Toll-like receptors (TLR), superoxide production, methylarginine and serum amyloid A (SAA) levels. HDL from ARB- or ACEI-treated subjects was more effective in maintaining efflux than HDL of placebo. HDL from ARB- or ACEI-treated subjects but not placebo lessened cellular superoxide production. In contrast, neither ARB nor ACEI improved HDL anti-inflammatory effect. Indeed, HDL of ACEI-treated subjects potentiated the cytokine responses in association with activation of TLR but did not alter the HDL content of methylarginines or SAA.
CONCLUSION - Both ACEI and ARB stabilized HDL cholesterol acceptor function and sustained cellular anti-oxidative effects but not anti-inflammatory effects, and ACEI-treatment instead amplified the HDL inflammatory response. The findings reveal possible utility of antagonizing angiotensin actions in MDH and suggest a possible mechanism for superiority of ARB vs ACEI in the setting of advanced kidney disease.
Copyright © 2018 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - Hepatocyte deletion of estrogen receptor alpha (LKO-ERα) worsens fatty liver, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance in high-fat diet fed female mice. However, whether or not hepatocyte ERα regulates reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) in mice has not yet been reported.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Using LKO-ERα mice and wild-type (WT) littermates fed a Western-type diet, we found that deletion of hepatocyte ERα impaired in vivo RCT measured by the removal of H-cholesterol from macrophages to the liver, and subsequently to feces, in female mice but not in male mice. Deletion of hepatocyte ERα decreased the capacity of isolated HDL to efflux cholesterol from macrophages and reduced the ability of isolated hepatocytes to accept cholesterol from HDL ex vivo in both sexes. However, only in female mice, LKO-ERα increased serum cholesterol levels and increased HDL particle sizes. Deletion of hepatocyte ERα increased adiposity and worsened insulin resistance to a greater degree in female than male mice. All of the changes lead to a 5.6-fold increase in the size of early atherosclerotic lesions in female LKO-ERα mice compared to WT controls.
CONCLUSIONS - Estrogen signaling through hepatocyte ERα plays an important role in RCT and is protective against lipid retention in the artery wall during early stages of atherosclerosis in female mice fed a Western-type diet.
Published by Elsevier GmbH.
BACKGROUND - Acute kidney injury (AKI) after cardiac surgery is associated with increased short- and long-term mortality. Inflammation, oxidative stress, and endothelial dysfunction and damage play important roles in the development of AKI. High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and improve endothelial function and repair. Statins enhance HDL's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities. We hypothesized that a higher preoperative HDL cholesterol concentration is associated with decreased AKI after cardiac surgery and that perioperative statin exposure potentiates this association.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We tested our hypothesis in 391 subjects from a randomized clinical trial of perioperative atorvastatin to reduce AKI after cardiac surgery. A 2-component latent variable mixture model was used to assess the association between preoperative HDL cholesterol concentration and postoperative change in serum creatinine, adjusted for known AKI risk factors and suspected confounders. Interaction terms were used to examine the effects of preoperative statin use, preoperative statin dose, and perioperative atorvastatin treatment on the association between preoperative HDL and AKI. A higher preoperative HDL cholesterol concentration was independently associated with a decreased postoperative serum creatinine change (=0.02). The association between a high HDL concentration and an attenuated increase in serum creatinine was strongest in long-term statin-using patients (=0.008) and was further enhanced with perioperative atorvastatin treatment (=0.004) and increasing long-term statin dose (=0.003).
CONCLUSIONS - A higher preoperative HDL cholesterol concentration was associated with decreased AKI after cardiac surgery. Preoperative and perioperative statin treatment enhanced this association, demonstrating that pharmacological potentiation is possible during the perioperative period.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION - URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique Identifier: NCT00791648.
© 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley.
INTRODUCTION - When a new drug enters the market, its full array of side effects remains to be defined. Current surveillance approaches targeting these effects remain largely reactive. There is a need for development of methods to predict specific safety events that should be sought for a given new drug during development and postmarketing activities.
OBJECTIVE - We present here a safety signal identification approach applied to a new set of drug entities, inhibitors of the serine protease proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9).
METHODS - Using phenome-wide association study (PheWAS) methods, we analyzed available genotype and clinical data from 29,722 patients, leveraging the known effects of changes in PCSK9 to identify novel phenotypes in which this protein and its inhibitors may have impact.
RESULTS - PheWAS revealed a significantly reduced risk of hypercholesterolemia (odds ratio [OR] 0.68, p = 7.6 × 10) in association with a known loss-of-function variant in PCSK9, R46L. Similarly, laboratory data indicated significantly reduced beta mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (- 14.47 mg/dL, p = 2.58 × 10) in individuals carrying the R46L variant. The R46L variant was also associated with an increased risk of spina bifida (OR 5.90, p = 2.7 × 10), suggesting that further investigation of potential connections between inhibition of PCSK9 and neural tube defects may be warranted.
CONCLUSION - This novel methodology provides an opportunity to put in place new mechanisms to assess the safety and long-term tolerability of PCSK9 inhibitors specifically, and other new agents in general, as they move into human testing and expanded clinical use.
Dravet syndrome is an infant-onset epileptic encephalopathy with multiple seizure types that are often refractory to conventional therapies. Treatment with standard benzodiazepines like clobazam, in combination with valproate and stiripentol, provides only modest seizure control. While benzodiazepines are a first-line therapy for Dravet syndrome, they are limited by their ability to only modulate synaptic receptors. Unlike benzodiazepines, neuroactive steroids potentiate a wider-range of GABA receptors. The synthetic neuroactive steroid SGE-516 is a potent positive allosteric modulator of both synaptic and extrasynaptic GABA receptors. Prior work demonstrated anticonvulsant activity of SGE-516 in acute seizure assays in rodents. In this study, we evaluated activity of SGE-516 on epilepsy phenotypes in the Scn1a mouse model that recapitulates many features of Dravet syndrome, including spontaneous seizures, premature death and seizures triggered by hyperthermia. To evaluate SGE-516 in Scn1a mice, we determined the effect of treatment on hyperthermia-induced seizures, spontaneous seizure frequency and survival. SGE-516 treatment protected against hyperthermia-induced seizures, reduced spontaneous seizure frequency and prolonged survival in the Scn1a mice. This provides the first evidence of SGE-516 activity in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome, and supports further investigation of neuroactive steroids as potential anticonvulsant compounds for refractory epilepsies.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS - Most familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) patients remain undertreated, and it is unclear what role health disparities may play for FH patients in the US. We sought to describe sex and racial/ethnic disparities in a national registry of US FH patients.
METHODS - We analyzed data from 3167 adults enrolled in the CAscade SCreening for Awareness and DEtection of Familial Hypercholesterolemia (CASCADE-FH) registry. Logistic regression was used to evaluate for disparities in LDL-C goals and statin use, with adjustments for covariates including age, cardiovascular risk factors, and statin intolerance.
RESULTS - In adjusted analyses, women were less likely than men to achieve treated LDL-C of <100 mg/dL (OR 0.68, 95% CI, 0.57-0.82) or ≥50% reduction from pretreatment LDL-C (OR 0.79, 95% CI, 0.65-0.96). Women were less likely than men to receive statin therapy (OR, 0.60, 95% CI, 0.50-0.73) and less likely to receive a high-intensity statin (OR, 0.60, 95% CI, 0.49-0.72). LDL-C goal achievement also varied by race/ethnicity: compared with whites, Asians and blacks were less likely to achieve LDL-C levels <100 mg/dL (Asians, OR, 0.47, 95% CI, 0.24-0.94; blacks, OR, 0.49, 95% CI, 0.32-0.74) or ≥50% reduction from pretreatment LDL-C (Asians, OR 0.56, 95% CI, 0.32-0.98; blacks, OR 0.62, 95% CI, 0.43-0.90).
CONCLUSIONS - In a contemporary US population of FH patients, we identified differences in LDL-C goal attainment and statin usage after stratifying the population by either sex or race/ethnicity. Our findings suggest that health disparities contribute to the undertreatment of US FH patients. Increased efforts are warranted to raise awareness of these disparities.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.