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DNA methylation is instrumental for gene regulation. Global changes in the epigenetic landscape have been recognized as a hallmark of cancer. However, the role of DNA methylation in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) remains unclear. In this study, high-density genetic and DNA methylation data in white blood cells from the Framingham Heart Study ( = 1,595) were used to build genetic models to predict DNA methylation levels. These prediction models were then applied to the summary statistics of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of ovarian cancer including 22,406 EOC cases and 40,941 controls to investigate genetically predicted DNA methylation levels in association with EOC risk. Among 62,938 CpG sites investigated, genetically predicted methylation levels at 89 CpG were significantly associated with EOC risk at a Bonferroni-corrected threshold of < 7.94 × 10. Of them, 87 were located at GWAS-identified EOC susceptibility regions and two resided in a genomic region not previously reported to be associated with EOC risk. Integrative analyses of genetic, methylation, and gene expression data identified consistent directions of associations across 12 CpG, five genes, and EOC risk, suggesting that methylation at these 12 CpG may influence EOC risk by regulating expression of these five genes, namely , and . We identified novel DNA methylation markers associated with EOC risk and propose that methylation at multiple CpG may affect EOC risk via regulation of gene expression. SIGNIFICANCE: Identification of novel DNA methylation markers associated with EOC risk suggests that methylation at multiple CpG may affect EOC risk through regulation of gene expression.
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.
Pregnancy produces important health-related needs, and expectant families have turned to technologies to meet them. The ability to predict needs and technology preferences might aid in connecting families with resources. This study examined the relationships among Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) scores, information-seeking behaviors, and health-related needs in 71 pregnant women and 29 caregivers. Internal MHLC scores were positively correlated with information-seeking behaviors, including website and patient portal use. Higher Chance scores were associated with decreased portal or pregnancy website use (p=0.002), with the exception of FitPregnancy.com (p=0.02). MHLC scores were not significantly correlated with number of health-related needs or whether needs were met. Individuals with needs about disease management had higher Powerful Others scores (p=0.01); those with questions about tests had lower Powerful Others scores (p=0.008). MHLC scores might be used to identify individuals less likely to seek information and to predict need types.
Pregnant women have been called therapeutic orphans because data supporting common interventions, medications, health teaching, and models of care are meager. The generation of quality evidence benefits from proactive approaches that ensure ethical standards are met to protect participants. The purpose of this article is to differentiate among health care, quality improvement, and research and to discuss ethical involvement of women who are pregnant and potentially childbearing in these initiatives. Health care is provided to protect and improve individual health. Quality improvement aims to enhance delivery of care for all those receiving care in particular settings. Research, whether retrospective or prospective, is designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge. This review includes vignettes to distinguish between research, quality improvement, and case study dissemination and to highlight the value of publication of information with applicability beyond a single site. As a community, perinatal care providers will be able to contribute more evidence to guide care if they err on the side of seeking institutional review board approval for activities that examine the care and outcomes of pregnant women and the fetus. Traditional research activities, including clinical trials, remain crucial. However, to fill gaps in knowledge, we must expedite our ability to report informative cases, examine clinical data, share lessons learned during quality improvement campaigns, and publish and disseminate these findings. Accelerating improvements in care demands expansion of the evidence base.
© 2017 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
BACKGROUND - Among women aged 50 to 59 years at baseline in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen-Alone (E-Alone) trial, randomization to conjugated equine estrogen-alone versus placebo was associated with lower risk of myocardial infarction and mortality, and, in an ancillary study, the WHI-CACS (WHI Coronary Artery Calcification Study) with lower CAC, measured by cardiac computed tomography ≈8.7 years after baseline randomization. We hypothesized that higher CAC would be related to post-trial coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and total mortality, independent of baseline randomization or risk factors.
METHODS AND RESULTS - WHI-CACS participants (n=1020) were followed ≈8 years from computed tomography scan in 2005 (mean age=64.4) through 2013 for incident CHD (myocardial infarction and fatal CHD, n=17), CVD (n=69), and total mortality (n=55). Incident CHD and CVD analyses excluded women with CVD before scan (n=89). Women with CAC=0 (n=54%) had very low age-adjusted rates/1000 person-years of CHD (0.91), CVD (5.56), and mortality (3.45). In comparison, rates were ≈2-fold higher for women with any CAC (>0). Associations were not modified by baseline randomization to conjugated equine estrogen-alone versus placebo. Adjusted for baseline randomization and risk factors, the hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) for CAC >100 (19%) was 4.06 (2.11, 7.80) for CVD and 2.70 (1.26, 5.79) for mortality.
CONCLUSIONS - Among a subset of postmenopausal women aged 50 to 59 years at baseline in the WHI E-Alone Trial, CAC at mean age of 64 years was strongly related to incident CHD, CVD, and to total mortality over ≈8 years, independent of baseline randomization to conjugated equine estrogen-alone versus placebo or CVD risk factors.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION - URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00000611.
© 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley.
Evidence suggests European American (EA) women have two- to five-fold increased odds of having pelvic organ prolapse (POP) when compared with African American (AA) women. However, the role of genetic ancestry in relation to POP risk is not clear. Here we evaluate the association between genetic ancestry and POP in AA women from the Women's Health Initiative Hormone Therapy trial. Women with grade 1 or higher classification, and grade 2 or higher classification for uterine prolapse, cystocele or rectocele at baseline or during follow-up were considered to have any POP (N = 805) and moderate/severe POP (N = 156), respectively. Women with at least two pelvic exams with no indication for POP served as controls (N = 344). We performed case-only, and case-control admixture-mapping analyses using multiple logistic regression while adjusting for age, BMI, parity and global ancestry. We evaluated the association between global ancestry and POP using multiple logistic regression. European ancestry at the individual level was not associated with POP risk. Case-only and case-control local ancestry analyses identified two ancestry-specific loci that may be associated with POP. One locus (Chromosome 15q26.2) achieved empirically-estimated statistical significance and was associated with decreased POP odds (considering grade ≥2 POP) with each unit increase in European ancestry (OR: 0.35; 95% CI: 0.30, 0.57; p-value = 1.48x10-5). This region includes RGMA, a potent regulator of the BMP family of genes. The second locus (Chromosome 1q42.1-q42.3) was associated with increased POP odds with each unit increase in European ancestry (Odds ratio [OR]: 1.69; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.28, 2.22; p-value = 1.93x10-4). Although this region did not reach statistical significance after considering multiple comparisons, it includes potentially relevant genes including TBCE, and ACTA1. Unique non-overlapping European and African ancestry-specific susceptibility loci may be associated with increased POP risk.
Current evidence suggests a multifactorial etiology to pelvic organ prolapse (POP), including genetic predisposition. We conducted a genome-wide association study of POP in African American (AA) and Hispanic (HP) women from the Women's Health Initiative Hormone Therapy study. Cases were defined as any POP (grades 1-3) or moderate/severe POP (grades 2-3), while controls had grade 0 POP. We performed race-specific multiple logistic regression analyses between SNPs imputed to 1000 genomes in relation to POP (grade 0 vs 1-3; grade 0 vs 2-3) adjusting for age at diagnosis, body mass index, parity, and genetic ancestry. There were 1274 controls and 1427 cases of any POP and 317 cases of moderate/severe POP. Although none of the analyses reached genome-wide significance (p<5x10-8), we noted variants in several loci that met p<10-6. In race-specific analysis of grade 0 vs 2-3, intronic SNPs in the CPE gene (rs28573326, OR:2.14; 95% CI 1.62-2.83; p = 1.0x10-7) were associated with POP in AAs, and SNPs in the gene AL132709.5 (rs1950626, OR:2.96; 95% CI 1.96-4.48, p = 2.6x10-7) were associated with POP in HPs. Inverse variance fixed-effect meta-analysis of the race-specific results showed suggestive signals for SNPs in the DPP6 gene (rs11243354, OR:1.36; p = 4.2x10-7) in the grade 0 vs 1-3 analyses and for SNPs around PGBD5 (rs740494, OR:2.17; p = 8.6x10-7) and SHC3 (rs2209875, OR:0.60; p = 9.3x10-7) in the grade 0 vs 2-3 analyses. While we did not identify genome-wide significant findings, we document several SNPs reaching suggestive statistical significance. Further interrogation of POP in larger minority samples is warranted.
BACKGROUND - The association between benzene exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has been the subject of debate as a result of inconsistent epidemiologic evidence. An International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) working group evaluated benzene in 2009 and noted evidence for a positive association between benzene exposure and NHL risk.
OBJECTIVE - We evaluated the association between occupational benzene exposure and NHL among 73,087 women enrolled in the prospective population-based Shanghai Women's Health Study.
METHODS - Benzene exposure estimates were derived using a previously developed exposure assessment framework that combined ordinal job-exposure matrix intensity ratings with quantitative benzene exposure measurements from an inspection database of Shanghai factories collected between 1954 and 2000. Associations between benzene exposure metrics and NHL (n = 102 cases) were assessed using Cox proportional hazard models, with study follow-up occurring from December 1996 through December 2009.
RESULTS - Women ever exposed to benzene had a significantly higher risk of NHL [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.87, 95% CI: 1.19, 2.96]. Compared with unexposed women, significant trends in NHL risk were observed for increasing years of benzene exposure (p(trend) = 0.006) and increasing cumulative exposure levels (p(trend) = 0.005), with the highest duration and cumulative exposure tertiles having a significantly higher association with NHL (HR = 2.07, 95% CI: 1.07, 4.01 and HR = 2.16, 95% CI: 1.17, 3.98, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings, using a population-based prospective cohort of women with diverse occupational histories, provide additional evidence that occupational exposure to benzene is associated with NHL risk.
Chronic pain may be related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The current study examined whether persistent bodily pain was related to cardiovascular disease risk factors, whether these effects were moderated by body mass index (BMI), and, if not, whether chronic pain accounted for unique variance in CVD risk factors. Participants were women (N = 2,135) in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. A high pain frequency variable (high pain in 0 through 4 assessments) was coded to reflect the frequency of high levels of bodily pain across the first 3 years of the study. Six CVD risk factors and BMI were measured at follow-up year 3. High pain frequency and BMI were correlated significantly with risk factors, although effects for the former were small. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed high pain frequency × BMI interactions for 5 of 6 CVD risk factors. Dissecting the interactions revealed a similar pattern across 4 risk factors: for women with normal BMI, there was a "dose-response" in which increasing frequency of high pain revealed increasingly worse CVD risk factor levels, whereas for women with obese BMI, high pain frequency was unrelated to risk factors. For obese women, increasing frequency of high pain was associated with higher blood glucose. Although BMI is a well-established CVD risk factor, evaluation of CVD risk level may be improved by considering the incidence of persistent pain, particularly in normal weight women (BMI < 25 kg/m(2)) lower BMI.
BACKGROUND - Studies conducted in Western countries suggest that early age at menarche and early age at menopause are both associated with increased total mortality, but limited data are available for Asian populations. We examined associations of age at menarche and natural menopause and duration of the reproductive span with mortality in a population-based cohort study of Chinese women.
METHODS - We evaluated the effects of age at menarche, age at natural menopause, and number of reproductive years on total and cause-specific mortality among 31,955 naturally menopausal Chinese women who participated in the Shanghai Women's Health Study, a population-based, prospective cohort study.
RESULTS - A total of 3,158 deaths occurred during a median follow-up of 11.2 years. Results from Cox proportional hazards models showed that younger age at menopause (<46.64 years) was associated with higher risk of total mortality (Ptrend= 0.02). Younger age at menarche (<14 years) was associated with higher risk of mortality from stroke (Ptrend= 0.03) and diabetes (Ptrend = 0.02) but lower risk of mortality from respiratory system cancer (Ptrend = 0.01). Women with a shorter reproductive span had lower risk of mortality from gynecological cancers (Ptrend = 0.03).
CONCLUSIONS - Our study found that menstrual characteristics are important predictors of mortality, suggesting an important role of sex hormones in biological aging.