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BACKGROUND - Cardiovascular disease burden and treatment patterns among patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) in the United States remain poorly described. In 2013, the FH Foundation launched the Cascade Screening for Awareness and Detection (CASCADE) of FH Registry to address this knowledge gap.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 1295 adults with heterozygous FH enrolled in the CASCADE-FH Registry from 11 US lipid clinics. Median age at initiation of lipid-lowering therapy was 39 years, and median age at FH diagnosis was 47 years. Prevalent coronary heart disease was reported in 36% of patients, and 61% exhibited 1 or more modifiable risk factors. Median untreated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) was 239 mg/dL. At enrollment, median LDL-C was 141 mg/dL; 42% of patients were taking high-intensity statin therapy and 45% received >1 LDL-lowering medication. Among FH patients receiving LDL-lowering medication(s), 25% achieved an LDL-C <100 mg/dL and 41% achieved a ≥50% LDL-C reduction. Factors associated with prevalent coronary heart disease included diabetes mellitus (adjusted odds ratio 1.74; 95% confidence interval 1.08-2.82) and hypertension (2.48; 1.92-3.21). Factors associated with a ≥50% LDL-C reduction from untreated levels included high-intensity statin use (7.33; 1.86-28.86) and use of >1 LDL-lowering medication (1.80; 1.34-2.41).
CONCLUSIONS - FH patients in the CASCADE-FH Registry are diagnosed late in life and often do not achieve adequate LDL-C lowering, despite a high prevalence of coronary heart disease and risk factors. These findings highlight the need for earlier diagnosis of FH and initiation of lipid-lowering therapy, more consistent use of guideline-recommended LDL-lowering therapy, and comprehensive management of traditional coronary heart disease risk factors.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.
AIMS - Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) promotes the degradation of hepatic low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors (LDLR), thereby, decreasing hepatocyte LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) uptake. However, it is unknown whether PCSK9 has effects on atherogenesis that are independent of lipid changes. The present study investigated the effect of human (h) PCSK9 on plasma lipids, hepatic lipogenesis, and atherosclerotic lesion size and composition in transgenic mice expressing hPCSK9 (hPCSK9tg) on wild-type (WT), LDLR⁻/⁻, or apoE⁻/⁻ background.
METHODS AND RESULTS - hPCSK9 expression significantly increased plasma cholesterol (+91%), triglycerides (+18%), and apoB (+57%) levels only in WT mice. The increase in plasma lipids was a consequence of both decreased hepatic LDLR and increased hepatic lipid production, mediated transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally by PCSK9 and dependent on both LDLR and apoE. Despite the lack of changes in plasma lipids in mice expressing hPCSK9 and lacking LDLR (the main target for PCSK9) or apoE (a canonical ligand for the LDLR), hPCSK9 expression increased aortic lesion size in the absence of apoE (268 655 ± 97 972 µm² in hPCSK9tg/apoE⁻/⁻ vs. 189 423 ± 65 700 µm(2) in apoE⁻/⁻) but not in the absence of LDLR. Additionally, hPCSK9 accumulated in the atheroma and increased lesion Ly6C(hi) monocytes (by 21%) in apoE⁻/⁻ mice, but not in LDLR⁻/⁻ mice.
CONCLUSIONS - PCSK9 increases hepatic lipid and lipoprotein production via apoE- and LDLR-dependent mechanisms. However, hPCSK9 also accumulate in the artery wall and directly affects atherosclerosis lesion size and composition independently of such plasma lipid and lipoprotein changes. These effects of hPCSK9 are dependent on LDLR but are independent of apoE.
Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2016. For permissions please email: email@example.com.
Statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and prevent cardiovascular disease. However, there is wide individual variation in LDL-C response. Drugs targeting proprotein convertase subtilin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) lower LDL-C and will be used with statins. PCSK9 mediates the degradation of LDL receptors (LDLRs). Therefore, a greater LDL-C response to statins would be expected in individuals with PCSK9 loss-of-function (LOF) variants because LDLR degradation is reduced. To examine this hypothesis, the effect of 11 PCSK9 functional variants on statin response was determined in 669 African Americans. One LOF variant, rs11591147 (p.R46L) was significantly associated with LDL-C response to statin (P=0.002). In the three carriers, there was a 55.6% greater LDL-C reduction compared with non-carriers. Another functional variant, rs28362261 (p.N425S), was marginally associated with statin response (P=0.0064).The effect of rs11591147 was present in individuals of European ancestry (N=2388, P=0.054). The therapeutic effect of statins may be modified by genetic variation in PCSK9.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS - Pericardial adipose tissue (PAT) is located on both sides of the pericardium. We tested whether PAT was associated with prevalent diabetes at the year 25 exam of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study.
METHODS AND RESULTS - The CARDIA Year 25 exam (2010-2011) included complete data for all covariates on 3107 participants. Prevalent diabetes (n = 436) was defined as high fasting (≥126 mg/dl) or 2-h postload glucose (≥200 mg/dl) or HbA1c (≥6.5%) or use of diabetes medications. Volume of PAT was measured from computed tomographic scans. Logistic regression was performed to examine the relationship between quartiles of PAT and diabetes. In regression models adjusted for field center, sex, race, age, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, log triglycerides, and treatment with blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medication, PAT volume in the 4th quartile was significantly associated with diabetes status after adjustment for BMI (OR 2.57, 95% CI 1.66, 3.98) or visceral adipose tissue (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.32, 3.29). PAT volume in the 2nd and 3rd quartiles was not significantly associated with diabetes status relative to the first quartile.
CONCLUSIONS - Metabolically active pericardial adipose tissue is associated with prevalent diabetes only at higher volumes independent of overall obesity.
Copyright © 2016 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.
Access and utilization of electronic health records with extensive medication lists and genetic profiles is rapidly advancing discoveries in pharmacogenomics. In this study, we analyzed ~116,000 variants on the Illumina Metabochip for response to antihypertensive and lipid lowering medications in African American adults from BioVU, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's biorepository linked to de-identified electronic health records. Our study population included individuals who were prescribed an antihypertensive or lipid lowering medication, and who had both pre- and post-medication blood pressure or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) measurements, respectively. Among those with pre- and post-medication systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements (n=2,268), the average change in systolic and diastolic blood pressure was -0.6 mg Hg and -0.8 mm Hg, respectively. Among those with pre- and post-medication LDL-C measurements (n=1,244), the average change in LDL-C was -26.3 mg/dL. SNPs were tested for an association with change and percent change in blood pressure or blood levels of LDL-C. After adjustment for multiple testing, we did not observe any significant associations, and we were not able to replicate previously reported associations, such as in APOE and LPA, from the literature. The present study illustrates the benefits and challenges with using electronic health records linked to biorepositories for pharmacogenomic studies.
BACKGROUND - Plasma lipid levels are highly heritable traits, but known genetic loci can only explain a small portion of their heritability.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In this study, we analyzed the role of parental levels of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides (TGs) in explaining the values of the corresponding traits in adult offspring. We also evaluated the contribution of nongenetic factors that influence lipid traits (age, body mass index, smoking, medications, and menopause) alone and in combination with variability at the genetic loci known to associate with TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, and TG levels. We performed comparisons among different sex-specific regression models in 416 families from the Framingham Heart Study and 304 from the SardiNIA cohort. Models including parental lipid levels explain significantly more of the trait variation than models without these measures, explaining up to ≈39% of the total trait variation. Of this variation, the parent-of-origin effect explains as much as ≈15% and it does so in a sex-specific way. This observation is not owing to shared environment, given that spouse-pair correlations were negligible (<1.5% explained variation in all cases) and is distinct from previous genetic and acquired factors that are known to influence serum lipid levels.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings support the concept that unknown genetic and epigenetic contributors are responsible for most of the heritable component of the plasma lipid phenotype, and that, at present, the clinical utility of knowing age-matched parental lipid levels in assessing risk of dyslipidemia supersedes individual locus effects. Our results support the clinical utility of knowing parental lipid levels in assessing future risk of dyslipidemia.
© 2015 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.
AIMS - Vascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). We previously demonstrated that patients with T1DM have impaired endothelial function, a forme fruste of atherosclerosis, as a result of increased oxidative stress. Bilirubin has emerged as a potent endogenous antioxidant with higher concentrations associated with lower rates of myocardial infarction and stroke.
METHODS - We tested the hypothesis that increasing endogenous bilirubin using atazanavir would improve cardiometabolic risk factors and vascular function in patients with T1DM to determine whether targeting bilirubin may be a novel therapeutic approach to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in this population. In this single-arm, open-label study, we evaluated blood pressure, lipid profile, and conduit artery function in fifteen subjects (mean age 45 ± 9 years) with T1DM following a 4-day treatment with atazanavir.
RESULTS - As anticipated, atazanavir significantly increased both serum total bilirubin levels (p < 0.0001) and plasma total antioxidant capacity (p < 0.0001). Reductions in total cholesterol (p = 0.04), LDL cholesterol (p = 0.04), and mean arterial pressure (p = 0.04) were also observed following atazanavir treatment. No changes were seen in either flow-mediated endothelium-dependent (p = 0.92) or nitroglycerine-mediated endothelium-independent (p = 0.68) vasodilation, measured by high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography at baseline and post-treatment.
CONCLUSION - Increasing serum bilirubin levels with atazanavir in subjects with T1DM over 4 days favorably reduces LDL and blood pressure but is not associated with improvements in endothelial function of conduit arteries.
BACKGROUND - Ezetimibe lowers plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by inhibiting the activity of the Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 (NPC1L1) protein. However, whether such inhibition reduces the risk of coronary heart disease is not known. Human mutations that inactivate a gene encoding a drug target can mimic the action of an inhibitory drug and thus can be used to infer potential effects of that drug.
METHODS - We sequenced the exons of NPC1L1 in 7364 patients with coronary heart disease and in 14,728 controls without such disease who were of European, African, or South Asian ancestry. We identified carriers of inactivating mutations (nonsense, splice-site, or frameshift mutations). In addition, we genotyped a specific inactivating mutation (p.Arg406X) in 22,590 patients with coronary heart disease and in 68,412 controls. We tested the association between the presence of an inactivating mutation and both plasma lipid levels and the risk of coronary heart disease.
RESULTS - With sequencing, we identified 15 distinct NPC1L1 inactivating mutations; approximately 1 in every 650 persons was a heterozygous carrier for 1 of these mutations. Heterozygous carriers of NPC1L1 inactivating mutations had a mean LDL cholesterol level that was 12 mg per deciliter (0.31 mmol per liter) lower than that in noncarriers (P=0.04). Carrier status was associated with a relative reduction of 53% in the risk of coronary heart disease (odds ratio for carriers, 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.25 to 0.87; P=0.008). In total, only 11 of 29,954 patients with coronary heart disease had an inactivating mutation (carrier frequency, 0.04%) in contrast to 71 of 83,140 controls (carrier frequency, 0.09%).
CONCLUSIONS - Naturally occurring mutations that disrupt NPC1L1 function were found to be associated with reduced plasma LDL cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).
Statins effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels in large studies and the observed interindividual response variability may be partially explained by genetic variation. Here we perform a pharmacogenetic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in studies addressing the LDL cholesterol response to statins, including up to 18,596 statin-treated subjects. We validate the most promising signals in a further 22,318 statin recipients and identify two loci, SORT1/CELSR2/PSRC1 and SLCO1B1, not previously identified in GWAS. Moreover, we confirm the previously described associations with APOE and LPA. Our findings advance the understanding of the pharmacogenetic architecture of statin response.
OBJECTIVE - Higher levels of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk among individuals without diabetes and may also be positively associated with coronary artery calcification (CAC). This study investigated the association of HbA1c with CAC progression in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We included 2,076 participants with HbA1c and noncontrast computed tomography (CT) assessed at baseline (2005-2006), and CT repeated 5 years later (2010-2011). CAC progression was defined as 1) incident CAC (increase >0 Agatston units among those with no CAC at baseline), 2) any CAC progression (increase >10 Agatston units between examinations), and 3) advanced CAC progression (increase >100 Agatston units between examinations).
RESULTS - During the 5-year follow-up period, 12.9% of participants without baseline CAC developed incident CAC; among all participants, 18.2% had any CAC progression and 5.4% had advanced CAC progression. Higher HbA1c was associated with incident CAC (risk ratio [RR] = 1.45; 95% CI 1.02, 2.06), any CAC progression (RR = 1.51; 95% CI 1.16, 1.96), and advanced CAC progression (RR = 2.42; 95% CI 1.47, 3.99) after adjustment for sociodemographic factors. Additional adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors attenuated the associations of HbA1c with incident CAC (RR = 1.05; 95% CI 0.74, 1.49) and any CAC progression (RR = 1.13; 95% CI 0.87, 1.47). In contrast, the association of HbA1c with advanced CAC progression persisted in multivariable adjusted models (RR = 1.78; 95% CI 1.08, 2.95).
CONCLUSIONS - Higher HbA1c was independently associated with advanced CAC progression among individuals without diabetes, while the associations with incident CAC and any CAC progression were accounted for by other established cardiovascular risk factors.
© 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.