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BACKGROUND - We characterised the phenotypic consequence of genetic variation at the PCSK9 locus and compared findings with recent trials of pharmacological inhibitors of PCSK9.
METHODS - Published and individual participant level data (300,000+ participants) were combined to construct a weighted PCSK9 gene-centric score (GS). Seventeen randomized placebo controlled PCSK9 inhibitor trials were included, providing data on 79,578 participants. Results were scaled to a one mmol/L lower LDL-C concentration.
RESULTS - The PCSK9 GS (comprising 4 SNPs) associations with plasma lipid and apolipoprotein levels were consistent in direction with treatment effects. The GS odds ratio (OR) for myocardial infarction (MI) was 0.53 (95% CI 0.42; 0.68), compared to a PCSK9 inhibitor effect of 0.90 (95% CI 0.86; 0.93). For ischemic stroke ORs were 0.84 (95% CI 0.57; 1.22) for the GS, compared to 0.85 (95% CI 0.78; 0.93) in the drug trials. ORs with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were 1.29 (95% CI 1.11; 1.50) for the GS, as compared to 1.00 (95% CI 0.96; 1.04) for incident T2DM in PCSK9 inhibitor trials. No genetic associations were observed for cancer, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or Alzheimer's disease - outcomes for which large-scale trial data were unavailable.
CONCLUSIONS - Genetic variation at the PCSK9 locus recapitulates the effects of therapeutic inhibition of PCSK9 on major blood lipid fractions and MI. While indicating an increased risk of T2DM, no other possible safety concerns were shown; although precision was moderate.
BACKGROUND - Only a handful of genetic discovery efforts in apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (aTRH) have been described.
METHODS - We conducted a case-control genome-wide association study of aTRH among persons treated for hypertension, using data from 10 cohorts of European ancestry (EA) and 5 cohorts of African ancestry (AA). Cases were treated with 3 different antihypertensive medication classes and had blood pressure (BP) above goal (systolic BP ≥ 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm Hg) or 4 or more medication classes regardless of BP control (nEA = 931, nAA = 228). Both a normotensive control group and a treatment-responsive control group were considered in separate analyses. Normotensive controls were untreated (nEA = 14,210, nAA = 2,480) and had systolic BP/diastolic BP < 140/90 mm Hg. Treatment-responsive controls (nEA = 5,266, nAA = 1,817) had BP at goal (<140/90 mm Hg), while treated with one antihypertensive medication class. Individual cohorts used logistic regression with adjustment for age, sex, study site, and principal components for ancestry to examine the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms with case-control status. Inverse variance-weighted fixed-effects meta-analyses were carried out using METAL.
RESULTS - The known hypertension locus, CASZ1, was a top finding among EAs (P = 1.1 × 10-8) and in the race-combined analysis (P = 1.5 × 10-9) using the normotensive control group (rs12046278, odds ratio = 0.71 (95% confidence interval: 0.6-0.8)). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in this locus were robustly replicated in the Million Veterans Program (MVP) study in consideration of a treatment-responsive control group. There were no statistically significant findings for the discovery analyses including treatment-responsive controls.
CONCLUSION - This genomic discovery effort for aTRH identified CASZ1 as an aTRH risk locus.
© American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd 2019. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACKGROUND - Vascular risk factors promote cerebral small vessel disease and neuropathological changes, particularly in white matter where large-caliber axons are located. How Alzheimer's disease pathology influences the brain's vulnerability in this regard is not well understood.
OBJECTIVE - Systemic vascular risk was assessed in relation to cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of neurofilament light, a biomarker of large-caliber axonal injury, evaluating for interactions by clinical and protein markers of Alzheimer's disease.
METHODS - Among Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative participants with normal cognition (n = 117), mild cognitive impairment (n = 190), and Alzheimer's disease (n = 95), linear regression related vascular risk (as measured by the modified Framingham Stroke Risk Profile) to neurofilament light, adjusting for age, sex, education, and cognitive diagnosis. Interactions were assessed by cognitive diagnosis, and by cerebrospinal fluid markers of Aβ42, hyperphosphorylated tau, and total tau.
RESULTS - Vascular risk and neurofilament light were not related in the main effect model (p = 0.08). However, interactions emerged for total tau (p = 0.01) and hyperphosphorylated tau (p = 0.002) reflecting vascular risk becoming more associated with cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light in the context of greater concentrations of tau biomarkers. An interaction also emerged for the Alzheimer's disease biomarker profiles (p = 0.046) where in comparison to the referent 'normal' biomarker group, individuals with abnormal levels of both Aβ42 and total tau showed stronger associations between vascular risk and neurofilament light.
CONCLUSION - Older adults may be more vulnerable to axonal injury in response to higher vascular risk burdens in the context of concomitant Alzheimer's disease pathology.
BACKGROUND - Geospatial technology has facilitated the discovery of disease distributions and etiology and helped target prevention programs. Globally, gastric cancer is the leading infection-associated cancer, and third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide, with marked geographic variation. Central and South America have a significant burden, particularly in the mountainous regions. In the context of an ongoing population-based case-control study in Central America, our aim was to examine the spatial epidemiology of gastric cancer subtypes and H. pylori virulence factors.
METHODS - Patients diagnosed with gastric cancer from 2002 to 2013 in western Honduras were identified in the prospective gastric cancer registry at the principal district hospital. Diagnosis was based on endoscopy and confirmatory histopathology. Geospatial methods were applied using the ArcGIS v10.3.1 and SaTScan v9.4.2 platforms to examine regional distributions of the gastric cancer histologic subtypes (Lauren classification), and the H. pylori CagA virulence factor. Getis-Ord-Gi hot spot and Discrete Poisson SaTScan statistics, respectively, were used to explore spatial clustering at the village level (30-50 rural households), with standardization by each village's population. H. pylori and CagA serologic status was determined using the novel H. pylori multiplex assay (DKFZ, Germany).
RESULTS - Three hundred seventy-eight incident cases met the inclusion criteria (mean age 63.7, male 66.3%). Areas of higher gastric cancer incidence were identified. Significant spatial clustering of diffuse histology adenocarcinoma was revealed both by the Getis-Ord-GI* hot spot analysis (P-value < 0.0015; range 0.00003-0.0014; 99%CI), and by the SaTScan statistic (P-value < 0.006; range 0.0026-0.0054). The intestinal subtype was randomly distributed. H. pylori CagA had significant spatial clustering only in association with the diffuse histology cancer hot spot (Getis-Ord-Gi* P value ≤0.001; range 0.0001-0.0010; SaTScan statistic P value 0.0085). In the diffuse gastric cancer hot spot, the lowest age quartile range was 21-46 years, significantly lower than the intestinal cancers (P = 0.024).
CONCLUSIONS - Geospatial methods have identified a significant cluster of incident diffuse type adenocarcinoma cases in rural Central America, suggest of a germline genetic association. Further genomic and geospatial analyses to identify potential spatial patterns of genetic, bacterial, and environmental risk factors may be informative.
BACKGROUND - Circulating biomarkers can facilitate diagnosis and risk stratification for complex conditions such as heart failure (HF). Newer molecular platforms can accelerate biomarker discovery, but they require significant resources for data and sample acquisition.
OBJECTIVES - The purpose of this study was to test a pragmatic biomarker discovery strategy integrating automated clinical biobanking with proteomics.
METHODS - Using the electronic health record, the authors identified patients with and without HF, retrieved their discarded plasma samples, and screened these specimens using a DNA aptamer-based proteomic platform (1,129 proteins). Candidate biomarkers were validated in 3 different prospective cohorts.
RESULTS - In an automated manner, plasma samples from 1,315 patients (31% with HF) were collected. Proteomic analysis of a 96-patient subset identified 9 candidate biomarkers (p < 4.42 × 10). Two proteins, angiopoietin-2 and thrombospondin-2, were associated with HF in 3 separate validation cohorts. In an emergency department-based registry of 852 dyspneic patients, the 2 biomarkers improved discrimination of acute HF compared with a clinical score (p < 0.0001) or clinical score plus B-type natriuretic peptide (p = 0.02). In a community-based cohort (n = 768), both biomarkers predicted incident HF independent of traditional risk factors and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (hazard ratio per SD increment: 1.35 [95% confidence interval: 1.14 to 1.61; p = 0.0007] for angiopoietin-2, and 1.37 [95% confidence interval: 1.06 to 1.79; p = 0.02] for thrombospondin-2). Among 30 advanced HF patients, concentrations of both biomarkers declined (80% to 84%) following cardiac transplant (p < 0.001 for both).
CONCLUSIONS - A novel strategy integrating electronic health records, discarded clinical specimens, and proteomics identified 2 biomarkers that robustly predict HF across diverse clinical settings. This approach could accelerate biomarker discovery for many diseases.
Copyright © 2019 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoO) and IBD are immune-mediated diseases of the gastrointestinal tract with possible overlapping pathogenic mechanisms. Our aim was to define the epidemiology and clinical implications of concurrent EoO and IBD diagnoses.
DESIGN - We conducted a prospective cohort analysis using the Truven MarketScan database (2009-2016) to estimate the incidence and prevalence of EoO in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) or UC and vice versa. Cox proportional hazards and Kaplan-Meier methods were used to estimate the risk of EoO-related or IBD-related complications among patients with concurrent diagnoses.
RESULTS - Among 134 013 536 individuals, the incidence of EoO, CD and UC were 23.1, 51.2 and 55.2 per 100 000 person-years, respectively. The risk of EoO was higher among patients with CD (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 5.4, p<0.01; prevalence ratio (PR) 7.8, p<0.01) or UC (IRR 3.5, p<0.01; PR 5.0, p<0.01), while the risk of IBD was higher among patients with EoO (CD: IRR 5.7, p<0.01; PR 7.6, p<0.01; UC: IRR 3.4, p<0.01; PR 4.9, p<0.01) versus individuals without either diagnosis. Concurrent diagnosis of EoO and IBD was associated with greater composite risk of IBD-related complications (CD: adjusted HR (aHR) 1.09, p=0.01; UC: aHR 1.10, p=0.04) but lower composite risk of EoO-related complications (aHR 0.59; p<0.01).
CONCLUSION - Based on a population-based prospective cohort analysis, the risk of EoO is significantly higher among patients with IBD and vice versa. Concurrent diagnoses might modify the risk of IBD-related and EoO-related complications. Studies defining the mechanisms underlying these observations are needed.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
Background While prior studies have linked the neighborhood environment and development of subclinical atherosclerosis, it is unknown whether living in neighborhoods with greater availability of "unhealthy" food outlets (fast-food chain restaurants and convenience stores) is associated with risk of developing coronary artery calcification ( CAC ). Methods and Results We included 2706 CARDIA study (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) participants who underwent CAC measurement during follow-up years 15 (2000-2001), 20 (2005-2006), and 25 (2010-2011). Neighborhood features examined included percentage of all food outlets that were convenience stores and fast-food chain restaurants within a 3-km Euclidean buffer distance from each participant's residence. Econometric fixed effects models, which by design control for all time-invariant covariates, were used to model the longitudinal association between simultaneous within-person change in percentage food outlet and change in CAC . At baseline (year 15), 9.7% of participants had prevalent CAC . During 10 years of follow-up, 21.1% of participants developed CAC . Each 1-SD increase in percentage of convenience stores was associated with a 1.34 higher odds of developing CAC (95% CI : 1.04, 1.72) after adjusting for individual- and neighborhood-level covariates; however, there was no significant association between increased percentage of fast-food chain restaurants and developing CAC (odds ratio=1.15; 95% CI : 0.96, 1.38). There were no significant associations between increases in either food outlet percentage and progression of CAC . Conclusions Our findings suggest that increases in the relative availability of convenience stores in participants' neighborhoods is related to the development of CAC over time.
Cardiovascular toxicities associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have been reported in case series but have been underappreciated due to their recent emergence, difficulties in diagnosis and non-specific clinical manifestations. ICIs are antibodies that block negative regulators of the T cell immune response, including cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein-4 (CTLA-4), programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1), and PD-1 ligand (PD-L1). While ICIs have introduced a significant mortality benefit in several cancer types, the augmented immune response has led to a range of immune-related toxicities, including cardiovascular toxicity. ICI-associated myocarditis often presents with arrhythmias, may co-exist with myositis and myasthenia gravis, can be severe, and portends a poor prognosis. In addition, pericardial disease, vasculitis, including temporal arteritis, and non-inflammatory heart failure, have been recently described as immune-related toxicities from ICI. This narrative review describes the epidemiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of cardiovascular toxicities of ICI therapy, highlighting recent developments in the field in the past year.
Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2019. For permissions, please email: email@example.com.
The QT interval, a global index of ventricular repolarization, varies among individuals and is influenced by diverse physiologic and pathophysiologic stimuli such as gender, age, heart rate, electrolyte concentrations, concomitant cardiac disease, and other diseases such as diabetes. Many drugs produce a small but reproducible effect on QT interval but in rare instances this is exaggerated and marked QT prolongation can provoke the polymorphic ventricular tachycardia 'torsades de pointes', which can cause syncope or sudden cardiac death. The generally accepted common mechanism whereby drugs prolong QT is block of a key repolarizing potassium current in heart, IKr, generated by expression of KCNH2, also known as HERG. Thus, evaluation of the potential that a new drug entity may cause torsades de pointes has relied on exposure of normal volunteers or patients to drug at usual and high concentrations, and on assessment of IKr block in vitro. More recent work, focusing on anticancer drugs with QT prolonging liability, is defining new pathways whereby drugs can prolong QT. Notably, the in vitro effects of some tyrosine kinase inhibitors to prolong cardiac action potentials (the cellular correlate of QT) can be rescued by intracellular phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate, the downstream effector of phosphoinositide 3-kinase. This finding supports a role for inhibition of this enzyme, either directly or by inhibition of upstream kinases, to prolong QT through mechanisms that are being worked out, but include enhanced inward 'late' sodium current during the plateau of the action potential. The definition of non-IKr-dependent pathways to QT prolongation will be important for assessing risk, not only with anticancer therapies but also with other QT prolonging drugs and for generating a refined understanding how variable activity of intracellular signalling systems can modulate QT and associated arrhythmia risk.
Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2019. For permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACKGROUND - Obesity is highly prevalent among blacks and is associated with a greater risk of heart failure (HF). However, the contribution of regional adiposity depots such as visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue toward risk of HF in blacks is unknown.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We included 2602 participants (mean age: 59 years, 35% men) from the Jackson Heart Study without prevalent HF who underwent computed tomography quantification of VAT and subcutaneous adipose tissue during the second visit (2005-2009). The associations between different adiposity measures and HF were evaluated using adjusted Cox models. There were 122 incident HF events over a median follow-up of 7.1 years. Higher amounts of VAT were associated with greater risk of HF in age- and sex-adjusted analyses (hazard ratio [95% CI] per 1-SD higher VAT: 1.29 [1.09-1.52]). This association was attenuated and not significant after additional adjustment for traditional HF risk factors and body mass index. Overall obesity, represented by body mass index, was associated with higher risk of HF independent of risk factors and VAT (hazard ratio [95% CI] per 1-kg/m higher body mass index: 1.06 [1.02-1.11]). Subcutaneous adipose tissue was not associated with risk of HF in adjusted analyses.
CONCLUSIONS - In a community-dwelling black population, higher amounts of overall and visceral adiposity are associated with higher risk of HF. The association between VAT and HF risk in blacks may reflect differences in traditional HF risk factor burden. Future studies are needed to confirm this observation and clarify the independent role of different measures of adiposity on HF outcomes.