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Genome-wide association analysis advanced understanding of blood pressure (BP), a major risk factor for vascular conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Accounting for smoking behavior may help identify BP loci and extend our knowledge of its genetic architecture. We performed genome-wide association meta-analyses of systolic and diastolic BP incorporating gene-smoking interactions in 610,091 individuals. Stage 1 analysis examined ∼18.8 million SNPs and small insertion/deletion variants in 129,913 individuals from four ancestries (European, African, Asian, and Hispanic) with follow-up analysis of promising variants in 480,178 additional individuals from five ancestries. We identified 15 loci that were genome-wide significant (p < 5 × 10) in stage 1 and formally replicated in stage 2. A combined stage 1 and 2 meta-analysis identified 66 additional genome-wide significant loci (13, 35, and 18 loci in European, African, and trans-ancestry, respectively). A total of 56 known BP loci were also identified by our results (p < 5 × 10). Of the newly identified loci, ten showed significant interaction with smoking status, but none of them were replicated in stage 2. Several loci were identified in African ancestry, highlighting the importance of genetic studies in diverse populations. The identified loci show strong evidence for regulatory features and support shared pathophysiology with cardiometabolic and addiction traits. They also highlight a role in BP regulation for biological candidates such as modulators of vascular structure and function (CDKN1B, BCAR1-CFDP1, PXDN, EEA1), ciliopathies (SDCCAG8, RPGRIP1L), telomere maintenance (TNKS, PINX1, AKTIP), and central dopaminergic signaling (MSRA, EBF2).
Copyright © 2018 American Society of Human Genetics. All rights reserved.
Blood pressure is a modifiable risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Among hemodialysis patients, there is a U-shaped association between blood pressure and risk of death. However, few studies have examined the association between blood pressure and CVD in patients with stage 4 and 5 chronic kidney disease. Here we studied 1795 Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study participants with estimated glomerular filtration rate <30 ml/min per 1.73 m and not on dialysis. The association of systolic (SBP), diastolic (DBP), and pulse pressure with the risk of physician-adjudicated atherosclerotic CVD (stroke, myocardial infarction, or peripheral arterial disease) and heart failure was tested using Cox regression adjusted for demographics, comorbidity and medications. There was a significant association with higher SBP (adjusted hazard ratio 2.04 [95% confidence interval: 1.46-2.84]) for SBP over 140 vs under 120 mmHg, higher DBP (2.52 [1.54-4.11]) for DBP >90 mm Hg versus <80 mm Hg and higher pulse pressure (2.67 [1.82-3.92]) for pulse pressure >68 mm Hg versus <51 mm Hg with atherosclerotic CVD. For heart failure, there was a significant association with higher pulse pressure only (1.42 [1.05-1.92]) for pulse pressure >68 mm Hg versus <51 mmHg, but not for SBP or DBP. Thus, among participants with stage 4 and 5 chronic kidney disease, there was an independent association between higher SBP, DBP, and pulse pressure with the risk of atherosclerotic CVD, whereas only higher pulse pressure was independently associated with a greater risk of heart failure. Further trials are needed to determine whether aggressive reduction of blood pressure decreases the risk of CVD events in patients with stage 4 and 5 chronic kidney disease.
Copyright © 2016 International Society of Nephrology. All rights reserved.
Detailed knowledge of tissue response to both systolic and diastolic shock is critical for understanding defibrillation. Diastolic field stimulation has been much less studied than systolic stimulation, particularly regarding transient virtual anodes. Here we investigated high-voltage-induced polarization and activation patterns in response to strong diastolic shocks of various durations and of both polarities, and tested the hypothesis that the activation versus shock duration curve contains a local minimum for moderate shock durations, and it grows for short and long durations. We found that 0.1-0.2-ms shocks produced slow and heterogeneous activation. During 0.8-1 ms shocks, the activation was very fast and homogeneous. Further shock extension to 8 ms delayed activation from 1.55 ± 0.27 ms and 1.63 ± 0.21 ms at 0.8 ms shock to 2.32 ± 0.41 ms and 2.37 ± 0.3 ms (N = 7) for normal and opposite polarities, respectively. The traces from hyperpolarized regions during 3-8 ms shocks exhibited four different phases: beginning negative polarization, fast depolarization, slow depolarization, and after-shock increase in upstroke velocity. Thus, the shocks of >3 ms in duration created strong hyperpolarization associated with significant delay (P < 0.05) in activation compared with moderate shocks of 0.8 and 1 ms. This effect appears as a dip in the activation-versus-shock-duration curve.
Copyright © 2013 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
AIMS - Chronic excess salt intake may have blood pressure-independent adverse effects on the heart such as myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis. Effects of subacute sodium loading with excess dietary salt on diastolic function in normotensive individuals have been conflicting and the mechanisms are poorly understood.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Thirteen healthy normotensive subjects (age 24 ± 4 years) entered a 2-week crossover study with 1 week of a low-salt diet <10 mEq/day and 1 week of a high-salt diet >200 mEq/day. At the end of each study week, left ventricular dimensions, systolic, and diastolic function were assessed with echocardiography before and after 2 L of normal saline infusion. One week of high-salt and low-salt diets did not lead to differences in echocardiographic parameters of systolic or diastolic function, even after rapid volume expansion with saline infusion. The peak early diastolic strain rate (SR) increased after volume loading both after completion of low-salt (1.62 ± 0.23/s vs. 1.82 ± 0.14/s, P < 0.05) and high-salt diets (1.67 ± 0.16/s vs. 1.86 ± 0.22/s, P < 0.05). There was a positive correlation between the peak early diastolic SR and the cardiac index (r = 0.52, P = 0.017).
CONCLUSION - In healthy normotensive individuals, subacute excess dietary sodium intake does not affect diastolic function. The peak early diastolic SR, similar to other mitral Doppler and tissue Doppler parameters of diastolic function, appears to be strongly dependent on pre-load.
BACKGROUND - Using data from 4 community-based cohorts of African Americans, we tested the association between genome-wide markers (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) and cardiac phenotypes in the Candidate-gene Association Resource study.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Among 6765 African Americans, we related age, sex, height, and weight-adjusted residuals for 9 cardiac phenotypes (assessed by echocardiogram or magnetic resonance imaging) to 2.5 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms genotyped using Genome-wide Affymetrix Human SNP Array 6.0 (Affy6.0) and the remainder imputed. Within the cohort, genome-wide association analysis was conducted, followed by meta-analysis across cohorts using inverse variance weights (genome-wide significance threshold=4.0 ×10(-7)). Supplementary pathway analysis was performed. We attempted replication in 3 smaller cohorts of African ancestry and tested lookups in 1 consortium of European ancestry (EchoGEN). Across the 9 phenotypes, variants in 4 genetic loci reached genome-wide significance: rs4552931 in UBE2V2 (P=1.43×10(-7)) for left ventricular mass, rs7213314 in WIPI1 (P=1.68×10(-7)) for left ventricular internal diastolic diameter, rs1571099 in PPAPDC1A (P=2.57×10(-8)) for interventricular septal wall thickness, and rs9530176 in KLF5 (P=4.02×10(-7)) for ejection fraction. Associated variants were enriched in 3 signaling pathways involved in cardiac remodeling. None of the 4 loci replicated in cohorts of African ancestry was confirmed in lookups in EchoGEN.
CONCLUSIONS - In the largest genome-wide association study of cardiac structure and function to date in African Americans, we identified 4 genetic loci related to left ventricular mass, interventricular septal wall thickness, left ventricular internal diastolic diameter, and ejection fraction, which reached genome-wide significance. Replication results suggest that these loci may be unique to individuals of African ancestry. Additional large-scale studies are warranted for these complex phenotypes.
BACKGROUND - Right ventricular (RV) dysfunction is a complication of pulmonary hypertension and portends a poor prognosis. Pharmacological therapies targeting RV function in pulmonary hypertension may reduce symptoms, improve hemodynamics, and potentially increase survival. We hypothesize that recombinant human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (rhACE2) will improve RV function in a pressure overload model.
RESULTS - rhACE2 administered at 1.8 mg/kg/day improved RV systolic and diastolic function in pulmonary artery banded mice as measured by in vivo hemodynamics. Specifically, rhACE2 increased RV ejection fraction and decreased RV end diastolic pressure and diastolic time constant (p<0.05). In addition, rhACE2 decreased RV hypertrophy as measured by RV/LV+S ratio (p<0.05). There were no significant negative effects of rhACE2 administration on LV function. rhACE2 had no significant effect on fibrosis as measured by trichrome staining and collagen1α1 expression. In pulmonary artery banded mice, rhACE2 increased Mas receptor expression and normalized connexin 37 expression.
CONCLUSION - In a mouse RV load-stress model of early heart failure, rhACE2 diminished RV hypertrophy and improved RV systolic and diastolic function in association with a marker of intercellular communication. rhACE2 may be a novel treatment for RV failure.
Although normally absent, spontaneous pacemaker activity can develop in human atrium to promote tachyarrhythmias. HL-1 cells are immortalized atrial cardiomyocytes that contract spontaneously in culture, providing a model system of atrial cell automaticity. Using electrophysiologic recordings and selective pharmacologic blockers, we investigated the ionic basis of automaticity in atrial HL-1 cells. Both the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca release channel inhibitor ryanodine and the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca ATPase inhibitor thapsigargin slowed automaticity, supporting a role for intracellular Ca release in pacemaker activity. Additional experiments were performed to examine the effects of ionic currents activating in the voltage range of diastolic depolarization. Inhibition of the hyperpolarization-activated pacemaker current, If, by ivabradine significantly suppressed diastolic depolarization, with modest slowing of automaticity. Block of inward Na currents also reduced automaticity, whereas inhibition of T- and L-type Ca currents caused milder effects to slow beat rate. The major outward current in HL-1 cells is the rapidly activating delayed rectifier, IKr. Inhibition of IKr using dofetilide caused marked prolongation of action potential duration and thus spontaneous cycle length. These results demonstrate a mutual role for both intracellular Ca release and sarcolemmal ionic currents in controlling automaticity in atrial HL-1 cells. Given that similar internal and membrane-based mechanisms also play a role in sinoatrial nodal cell pacemaker activity, our findings provide evidence for generalized conservation of pacemaker mechanisms among different types of cardiomyocytes.
Premature death and cardiac abnormalities are described in individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD), but the mechanisms are not well characterized. We tested the hypothesis that cardiac abnormalities in children with SCD are related to sleep-disordered breathing. We enrolled 44 children with SCD (mean age, 10.1 years; range, 4-18 years) in an observational study. Standard and tissue Doppler echocardiography, waking oxygen saturation averaged over 5 minutes, and overnight polysomnography were obtained in participants, each within 7 days. Eccentric left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy was present in 46% of our cohort. After multivariable adjustment, LV mass index was inversely related to average asleep and waking oxygen saturation. For every 1% drop in the average asleep oxygen saturation, there was a 2.1 g/m(2.7) increase in LV mass index. LV diastolic dysfunction, as measured by the E/E' ratio, was present in our subjects and was also associated with low oxygen saturation (sleep or waking). Elevated tricuspid regurgitant velocity (> or = 2.5 m/sec), a measure of pulmonary hypertension, was not predicted by either oxygen saturation or sleep variables with multivariable logistic regression analysis. These data provide evidence that low asleep and waking oxygen saturations are associated with LV abnormalities in children with SCD.
Blood pressure is a major cardiovascular disease risk factor. To date, few variants associated with interindividual blood pressure variation have been identified and replicated. Here we report results of a genome-wide association study of systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure and hypertension in the CHARGE Consortium (n = 29,136), identifying 13 SNPs for SBP, 20 for DBP and 10 for hypertension at P < 4 × 10(-7). The top ten loci for SBP and DBP were incorporated into a risk score; mean BP and prevalence of hypertension increased in relation to the number of risk alleles carried. When ten CHARGE SNPs for each trait were included in a joint meta-analysis with the Global BPgen Consortium (n = 34,433), four CHARGE loci attained genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10(-8)) for SBP (ATP2B1, CYP17A1, PLEKHA7, SH2B3), six for DBP (ATP2B1, CACNB2, CSK-ULK3, SH2B3, TBX3-TBX5, ULK4) and one for hypertension (ATP2B1). Identifying genes associated with blood pressure advances our understanding of blood pressure regulation and highlights potential drug targets for the prevention or treatment of hypertension.
BACKGROUND - Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and particularly heart failure (HF) have been associated with cognitive impairment in cross-sectional studies, but it is unclear how cognitive impairment progresses over time in older adults with these conditions.
OBJECTIVE - The aim of this study was to prospectively examine cognitive function in patients with HF versus other forms of CVD.
METHOD - Seventy-five older adults (aged 53-84 years) with CVD underwent Doppler echocardiogram to evaluate cardiac status and 2 administrations of the Dementia Rating Scale (DRS), a test of global cognitive functioning, 12 months apart.
RESULTS - Although DRS performance did not statistically differ between groups at either administration, a significant between-group difference in the rate of cognitive change emerged (lambda = 0.87; F = 10.50; P = .002; omega 2 = 0.11). Follow-up analyses revealed that patients with HF improved significantly on global DRS performance, whereas patients with other forms of CVD remained stable. More specifically, patients with HF showed improvement on subscales of attention, initiation/perseveration, and conceptualization. Exploratory analyses indicated that higher diastolic blood pressure at baseline was associated with improved DRS performance in patients with HF (r = 0.38; P = .02).
CONCLUSIONS - Patients with HF exhibited modest cognitive improvements during 12 months, particularly in attention and executive functioning. Higher diastolic blood pressure at baseline was associated with improvement. These results suggest that cognitive impairment in patients with HF may be modifiable and that improved blood pressure control may be an important contributor to improved function. Further prospective studies are needed to replicate results and determine underlying mechanisms.