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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.
BACKGROUND - The determinants of pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) are not fully understood. It is unknown whether racial differences in PASP exist or if other population characteristics are associated with pulmonary pressure in humans. We examined echocardiographically estimated PASP in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a middle-aged, biracial community-based cohort.
METHODS AND RESULTS - At the CARDIA year-25 examination, 3469 participants underwent echocardiography, including measurement of tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity to estimate PASP. Clinical features, laboratory values, pulmonary function tests, and measurement of adipose depot volume were analyzed for association with PASP. PASP was estimated in 1311 individuals (61% female, 51% white). Older age, higher blood pressure, and higher body mass index were associated with higher PASP. Black race was associated with higher PASP after adjustment for demographics and left and right ventricular function (β 0.94, 95% CI 0.24-1.64; =0.009), but this association was no longer significant after further adjustment for lung volume (β 0.42, 95% CI -0.68 to 0.96; =0.74). Insulin resistance, inflammation (C-reactive protein and interleukin-6), and visceral adipose volume were independently associated with higher PASP after adjustment for relevant covariates. PASP rose with worsening diastolic function (ratio of early transmitral Doppler velocity to average mitral annular tissue Doppler velocity [E/e'] and left atrial volume index).
CONCLUSIONS - In a large biracial cohort of middle-aged adults, we identified associations among black race, insulin resistance, and diastolic dysfunction with higher echocardiographically estimated PASP. Further studies are needed to examine racial differences in PASP and whether insulin resistance directly contributes to pulmonary vascular disease in humans.
© 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.
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.
The most common mechanical measure of the heart integrates ventricular strain between end-diastole and end-systole in order to provide a measure of contraction. Here an approach is described for estimating a correlate to local passive mechanical properties. Passive strain is measured by estimating ventricular strain during atrial systole. During atrial systole the atria contract causing passive stretching in the ventricles from increased volume. This modification to traditional cardiac strain is here termed atrial kick induced strain (AKIS) imaging. AKIS imaging was evaluated in a canine ablation model of chronic infarct and a canine true chronic infarct model. AKIS images of ablation lesions were compared against acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) images and tissue blanching, and true chronic infarct AKIS images were compared against delayed enhanced-contrast magnetic resonance. AKIS images were made with 2-D and 3-D ultrasound data. In both studies, AKIS images and the comparison images show good qualitative agreement and good contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio.
Copyright © 2014 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation to mitigate abnormalities in cardiac-specific and systemic metabolism mediated by a combination of a myocardial infarction and diet-induced insulin resistance.
METHODS - C57BL/6 mice were high-fat fed for eight weeks prior to induction of a myocardial infarction via chronic ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. MSCs were administered directly after myocardial infarction induction through a single intramyocardial injection. Echocardiography was performed prior to the myocardial infarction as well as seven and 28 days post-myocardial infarction. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps coupled with 2-[14C]deoxyglucose were employed 36 days post-myocardial infarction (13 weeks of high-fat feeding) to assess systemic insulin sensitivity and insulin-mediated, tissue-specific glucose uptake in the conscious, unrestrained mouse. High-resolution respirometry was utilized to evaluate cardiac mitochondrial function in saponin-permeabilized cardiac fibers.
RESULTS - MSC administration minimized the decline in ejection fraction following the myocardial infarction. The greater systolic function in MSC-treated mice was associated with increased in vivo cardiac glucose uptake and enhanced mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation efficiency. MSC therapy promoted reductions in fasting arterial glucose and fatty acid concentrations. Additionally, glucose uptake in peripheral tissues including skeletal muscle and adipose tissue was elevated in MSC-treated mice. Enhanced glucose uptake in these tissues was associated with improved insulin signalling as assessed by Akt phosphorylation and prevention of a decline in GLUT4 often associated with high-fat feeding.
CONCLUSIONS - These studies provide insight into the utility of MSC transplantation as a metabolic therapy that extends beyond the heart exerting beneficial systemic effects on insulin action.
BACKGROUND - Soluble ST2 (sST2) is an emerging prognostic biomarker in patients with existing cardiovascular disease. ST2 and its ligand, interleukin-33 (IL-33), are expressed in endothelial cells, and may play an important role in the development of early atherosclerosis and vascular biology. We sought to investigate the association of sST2 and progression of blood pressure (BP), as well as the development of hypertension.
METHODS - Circulating sST2 concentrations were measured in 1834 participants (mean age 56 years, 57% women) of the community-based Framingham Offspring study. Participants were free of hypertension at baseline. Multivariable linear and logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association of sST2 concentrations and subsequent BP outcomes.
RESULTS - Higher sST2 concentrations were associated with incident hypertension over 3 years of follow-up [multivariable-adjusted odds ratio per 1 standard deviation increase in sST2 1.22, 95% confidence interval 1.05-1.42, P=0.01]. Individuals in the upper sST2 quartile had a 2.6 mmHg greater increase in SBP compared with those in the lowest quartile (P for trend across quartiles 0.002) and a 1.8 mmHg greater increase in pulse pressure (P for trend 0.005). In contrast, sST2 concentrations were not associated with changes in DBP (P=0.27).
CONCLUSION - These findings suggest that sST2 concentrations predict changes in BP physiology typically seen with aging and progressive arterial stiffness. Further studies are needed to elucidate underlying mechanisms by which the ST2/IL-33 pathway may contribute to BP physiology.
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.
Acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging has been shown to be capable of imaging local myocardial stiffness changes throughout the cardiac cycle. Expanding on these results, the authors present experiments using cardiac ARFI imaging to visualize and quantify the propagation of mechanical stiffness during ventricular systole. In vivo ARFI images of the left ventricular free wall of two exposed canine hearts were acquired. Images were formed while the heart was externally paced by one of two electrodes positioned on the epicardial surface and either side of the imaging plane. Two-line M-mode ARFI images were acquired at a sampling frequency of 120 Hz while the heart was paced from an external stimulating electrode. Two-dimensional ARFI images were also acquired, and an average propagation velocity across the lateral field of view was calculated. Directions and speeds of myocardial stiffness propagation were measured and compared with the propagations derived from the local electrocardiogram (ECG), strain, and tissue velocity measurements estimated during systole. In all ARFI images, the direction of myocardial stiffness propagation was seen to be away from the stimulating electrode and occurred with similar velocity magnitudes in either direction. When compared with the local epicardial ECG, the mechanical stiffness waves were observed to travel in the same direction as the propagating electrical wave and with similar propagation velocities. In a comparison between ARFI, strain, and tissue velocity imaging, the three methods also yielded similar propagation velocities.
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.
BACKGROUND - We sought to validate a recently published risk algorithm for incident atrial fibrillation (AF) in independent cohorts and other racial groups.
METHODS - We evaluated the performance of a Framingham Heart Study (FHS)-derived risk algorithm modified for 5-year incidence of AF in the FHS (n = 4764 participants) and 2 geographically and racially diverse cohorts in the age range 45 to 95 years: AGES (the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study) (n = 4238) and CHS (the Cardiovascular Health Study) (n = 5410, of whom 874 [16.2%] were African Americans). The risk algorithm included age, sex, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, electrocardiographic PR interval, hypertension treatment, and heart failure.
RESULTS - We found 1359 incident AF events in 100 074 person-years of follow-up. Unadjusted 5-year event rates differed by cohort (AGES, 12.8 cases/1000 person-years; CHS whites, 22.7 cases/1000 person-years; and FHS, 4.5 cases/1000 person-years) and by race (CHS African Americans, 18.4 cases/1000 person-years). The strongest risk factors in all samples were age and heart failure. The relative risks for incident AF associated with risk factors were comparable across cohorts and race groups. After recalibration for baseline incidence and risk factor distribution, the Framingham algorithm, reported in C statistic, performed reasonably well in all samples: AGES, 0.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64-0.71); CHS whites, 0.68 (95% CI, 0.66-0.70); and CHS African Americans, 0.66 (95% CI, 0.61-0.71). Risk factors combined in the algorithm explained between 47.0% (AGES) and 63.6% (FHS) of the population-attributable risk.
CONCLUSIONS - Risk of incident AF in community-dwelling whites and African Americans can be assessed reliably by routinely available and potentially modifiable clinical variables. Seven risk factors accounted for up to 64% of risk.