822 results found
Lagou V, Jiang L, Ulrich A, et al., 2023, GWAS of random glucose in 476,326 individuals provide insights into diabetes pathophysiology, complications and treatment stratification., Nat Genet, Vol: 55, Pages: 1448-1461
Conventional measurements of fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels investigated in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) cannot capture the effects of DNA variability on 'around the clock' glucoregulatory processes. Here we show that GWAS meta-analysis of glucose measurements under nonstandardized conditions (random glucose (RG)) in 476,326 individuals of diverse ancestries and without diabetes enables locus discovery and innovative pathophysiological observations. We discovered 120 RG loci represented by 150 distinct signals, including 13 with sex-dimorphic effects, two cross-ancestry and seven rare frequency signals. Of these, 44 loci are new for glycemic traits. Regulatory, glycosylation and metagenomic annotations highlight ileum and colon tissues, indicating an underappreciated role of the gastrointestinal tract in controlling blood glucose. Functional follow-up and molecular dynamics simulations of lower frequency coding variants in glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP1R), a type 2 diabetes treatment target, reveal that optimal selection of GLP-1R agonist therapy will benefit from tailored genetic stratification. We also provide evidence from Mendelian randomization that lung function is modulated by blood glucose and that pulmonary dysfunction is a diabetes complication. Our investigation yields new insights into the biology of glucose regulation, diabetes complications and pathways for treatment stratification.
Whitaker M, Davies B, Atchison C, et al., 2023, SARS-CoV-2 rapid antibody test results and subsequent risk of hospitalisation and death in 361,801 people, Nature Communications, Vol: 14, ISSN: 2041-1723
The value of SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) tests for estimating individual disease risk is unclear. The REACT-2 study in England, UK, obtained self-administered SARS-CoV-2 LFIA test results from 361,801 adults in January-May 2021. Here, we link to routine data on subsequent hospitalisation (to September 2021), and death (to December 2021). Among those who had received one or more vaccines, a negative LFIA is associated with increased risk of hospitalisation with COVID-19 (HR: 2.73 [95% confidence interval: 1.15,6.48]), death (all-cause) (HR: 1.59, 95% CI:1.07, 2.37), and death with COVID-19 as underlying cause (20.6 [1.83,232]). For people designated at high risk from COVID-19, who had received one or more vaccines, there is an additional risk of all-cause mortality of 1.9 per 1000 for those testing antibody negative compared to positive. However, the LFIA does not provide substantial predictive information over and above that which is available from detailed sociodemographic and health-related variables. Nonetheless, this simple test provides a marker which could be a valuable addition to understanding population and individual-level risk.
Wood AC, Goodarzi MO, Senn MK, et al., 2023, Associations between Metabolomic Biomarkers of Avocado Intake and Glycemia in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis., J Nutr
BACKGROUND: Avocado consumption is linked to better glucose homeostasis, but small associations suggest potential population heterogeneity. Metabolomic data capture the effects of food intake after digestion and metabolism, thus accounting for individual differences in these processes. OBJECTIVES: To identify metabolomic biomarkers of avocado intake and to examine their associations with glycemia. METHODS: Baseline data from 6224 multi-ethnic older adults (62% female) included self-reported avocado intake, fasting glucose and insulin, and untargeted plasma proton nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic features (metabolomic data were available for a randomly selected subset; N = 3438). Subsequently, incident type 2 diabetes (T2D) was assessed over an ∼18 y follow-up period. A metabolome-wide association study of avocado consumption status (consumer compared with nonconsumer) was conducted, and the relationship of these features with glycemia via cross-sectional associations with fasting insulin and glucose and longitudinal associations with incident T2D was examined. RESULTS: Three highly-correlated spectral features were associated with avocado intake at metabolome-wide significance levels (P < 5.3 ∗ 10-7) and combined into a single biomarker. We did not find evidence that these features were additionally associated with overall dietary quality, nor with any of 47 other food groups (all P > 0.001), supporting their suitability as a biomarker of avocado intake. Avocado intake showed a modest association only with lower fasting insulin (β = -0.07 +/- 0.03, P = 0.03), an association that was attenuated to nonsignificance when additionally controlling for body mass index (kg/m2). However, our biomarker of avocado intake was strongly associated with lower fasting glucose (β = -0.22 +/- 0.02, P < 2.0 ∗ 10-16), lower fasting insulin (β = -0.17 +/- 0.02, P < 2.0 ∗ 10-16), and a lower incidence of T2D (hazard ratio: 0.68; 0
Eales O, de Oliveira Martins L, Page A, et al., 2023, Dynamics and scale of the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron epidemic in England, Nature Communications, Vol: 13, ISSN: 2041-1723
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been characterised by the regular emergence of genomic variants. With natural and vaccine-induced population immunity at high levels, evolutionary pressure favours variants better able to evade SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies. The Omicron variant (first detected in November 2021) exhibited a high degree of immune evasion, leading to increased infection rates worldwide. However, estimates of the magnitude of this Omicron wave have often relied on routine testing data, which are prone to several biases. Using data from the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study, a series of cross-sectional surveys assessing prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in England, we estimated the dynamics of England’s Omicron wave (from 9 September 2021 to 1 March 2022). We estimate an initial peak in national Omicron prevalence of 6.89% (5.34%, 10.61%) during January 2022, followed by a resurgence in SARS-CoV-2 infections as the more transmissible Omicron sub-lineage, BA.2 replaced BA.1 and BA.1.1. Assuming the emergence of further distinct variants, intermittent epidemics of similar magnitudes may become the ‘new normal’.
Yew YW, Mina T, Ng HK, et al., 2023, Investigating causal relationships between obesity and skin barrier function in a multi-ethnic Asian general population cohort, International Journal of Obesity, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 0307-0565
BACKGROUND: Skin diseases impact significantly on the quality of life and psychology of patients. Obesity has been observed as a risk factor for skin diseases. Skin epidermal barrier dysfunctions are typical manifestations across several dermatological disturbances. OBJECTIVES: We aim to establish the association between obesity and skin physiology measurements and investigate whether obesity may play a possible causal role on skin barrier dysfunction. METHODS: We investigated the relationship of obesity with skin physiology measurements, namely transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin surface moisture and skin pH in an Asian population cohort (n = 9990). To assess for a possible causal association between body mass index (BMI) and skin physiology measurements, we performed Mendelian Randomization (MR), along with subsequent additional analyses to assess the potential causal impact of known socioeconomic and comorbidities of obesity on TEWL. RESULTS: Every 1 kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with a 0.221% (95%CI: 0.144-0.298) increase in TEWL (P = 2.82E-08), a 0.336% (95%CI: 0.148-0.524) decrease in skin moisture (P = 4.66E-04) and a 0.184% (95%CI: 0.144-0.224) decrease in pH (P = 1.36E-19), adjusting for age, gender, and ethnicity. Relationships for both TEWL and pH with BMI remained strong (Beta 0.354; 95%CI: 0.189-0.520 and Beta -0.170; 95%CI: -0.253 to -0.087, respectively) even after adjusting for known confounders, with MR experiments further supporting BMI's possible causal relationship with TEWL. Based on additional MR performed, none of the socioeconomic and comorbidities of obesity investigated are likely to have possible causal relationships with TEWL. CONCLUSION: We establish strong association of BMI with TEWL and skin pH, with MR results suggestive of a possible causal relationship of obesity with TEWL. It emphasizes the potential impact of obesity on skin barrier function and therefore op
Atchison C, Whitaker M, Donnelly C, et al., 2023, Characteristics and predictors of persistent symptoms post COVID-19 in children and young people: a large community cross-sectional study in England, Archives of Disease in Childhood, Vol: 108, ISSN: 0003-9888
Objective: To estimate the prevalence of, and associated risk factors for, persistent symptoms post-COVID-19 among children aged 5–17 years in England.Design: Serial cross-sectional study.Setting: Rounds 10–19 (March 2021 to March 2022) of the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 study (monthly cross-sectional surveys of random samples of the population in England).Study population: Children aged 5–17 years in the community.Predictors: Age, sex, ethnicity, presence of a pre-existing health condition, index of multiple deprivation, COVID-19 vaccination status and dominant UK circulating SARS-CoV-2 variant at time of symptom onset.Main outcome measures: Prevalence of persistent symptoms, reported as those lasting ≥3 months post-COVID-19.Results: Overall, 4.4% (95% CI 3.7 to 5.1) of 3173 5–11 year-olds and 13.3% (95% CI 12.5 to 14.1) of 6886 12–17 year-olds with prior symptomatic infection reported at least one symptom lasting ≥3 months post-COVID-19, of whom 13.5% (95% CI 8.4 to 20.9) and 10.9% (95% CI 9.0 to 13.2), respectively, reported their ability to carry out day-to-day activities was reduced ‘a lot’ due to their symptoms. The most common symptoms among participants with persistent symptoms were persistent coughing (27.4%) and headaches (25.4%) in children aged 5–11 years and loss or change of sense of smell (52.2%) and taste (40.7%) in participants aged 12–17 years. Higher age and having a pre-existing health condition were associated with higher odds of reporting persistent symptoms.Conclusions: One in 23 5–11 year-olds and one in eight 12–17 year-olds post-COVID-19 report persistent symptoms lasting ≥3 months, of which one in nine report a large impact on performing day-to-day activities.
Huffman JE, Nicolas J, Hahn J, et al., 2023, Whole genome analysis of plasma fibrinogen reveals population-differentiated genetic regulators with putative liver roles., medRxiv
UNLABELLED: Genetic studies have identified numerous regions associated with plasma fibrinogen levels in Europeans, yet missing heritability and limited inclusion of non-Europeans necessitates further studies with improved power and sensitivity. Compared with array-based genotyping, whole genome sequencing (WGS) data provides better coverage of the genome and better representation of non-European variants. To better understand the genetic landscape regulating plasma fibrinogen levels, we meta-analyzed WGS data from the NHLBI's Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program (n=32,572), with array-based genotype data from the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium (n=131,340) imputed to the TOPMed or Haplotype Reference Consortium panel. We identified 18 loci that have not been identified in prior genetic studies of fibrinogen. Of these, four are driven by common variants of small effect with reported MAF at least 10% higher in African populations. Three ( SERPINA1, ZFP36L2 , and TLR10) signals contain predicted deleterious missense variants. Two loci, SOCS3 and HPN , each harbor two conditionally distinct, non-coding variants. The gene region encoding the protein chain subunits ( FGG;FGB;FGA ), contains 7 distinct signals, including one novel signal driven by rs28577061, a variant common (MAF=0.180) in African reference panels but extremely rare (MAF=0.008) in Europeans. Through phenome-wide association studies in the VA Million Veteran Program, we found associations between fibrinogen polygenic risk scores and thrombotic and inflammatory disease phenotypes, including an association with gout. Our findings demonstrate the utility of WGS to augment genetic discovery in diverse populations and offer new insights for putative mechanisms of fibrinogen regulation. KEY POINTS: Largest and most diverse genetic study of plasma fibrinogen identifies 54 regions (18 novel), housing 69 conditionally distinct variants (20 novel).Suff
Bauermeister S, Phatak M, Sparks K, et al., 2023, Evaluating the harmonisation potential of diverse cohort datasets, European Journal of Epidemiology, Vol: 38, Pages: 605-615, ISSN: 0393-2990
Data discovery, the ability to find datasets relevant to an analysis, increases scientific opportunity, improves rigour and accelerates activity. Rapid growth in the depth, breadth, quantity and availability of data provides unprecedented opportunities and challenges for data discovery. A potential tool for increasing the efficiency of data discovery, particularly across multiple datasets is data harmonisation.A set of 124 variables, identified as being of broad interest to neurodegeneration, were harmonised using the C-Surv data model. Harmonisation strategies used were simple calibration, algorithmic transformation and standardisation to the Z-distribution. Widely used data conventions, optimised for inclusiveness rather than aetiological precision, were used as harmonisation rules. The harmonisation scheme was applied to data from four diverse population cohorts.Of the 120 variables that were found in the datasets, correspondence between the harmonised data schema and cohort-specific data models was complete or close for 111 (93%). For the remainder, harmonisation was possible with a marginal a loss of granularity.Although harmonisation is not an exact science, sufficient comparability across datasets was achieved to enable data discovery with relatively little loss of informativeness. This provides a basis for further work extending harmonisation to a larger variable list, applying the harmonisation to further datasets, and incentivising the development of data discovery tools.
Eales O, Haw D, Wang H, et al., 2023, Dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection hospitalisation and infection fatality ratios over 23 months in England, PLoS Biology, Vol: 21, Pages: 1-21, ISSN: 1544-9173
The relationship between prevalence of infection and severe outcomes such as hospitalisation and death changed over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reliable estimates of the infection fatality ratio (IFR) and infection hospitalisation ratio (IHR) along with the time-delay between infection and hospitalisation/death can inform forecasts of the numbers/timing of severe outcomes and allow healthcare services to better prepare for periods of increased demand. The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study estimated swab positivity for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in England approximately monthly from May 2020 to March 2022. Here, we analyse the changing relationship between prevalence of swab positivity and the IFR and IHR over this period in England, using publicly available data for the daily number of deaths and hospitalisations, REACT-1 swab positivity data, time-delay models, and Bayesian P-spline models. We analyse data for all age groups together, as well as in 2 subgroups: those aged 65 and over and those aged 64 and under. Additionally, we analysed the relationship between swab positivity and daily case numbers to estimate the case ascertainment rate of England's mass testing programme. During 2020, we estimated the IFR to be 0.67% and the IHR to be 2.6%. By late 2021/early 2022, the IFR and IHR had both decreased to 0.097% and 0.76%, respectively. The average case ascertainment rate over the entire duration of the study was estimated to be 36.1%, but there was some significant variation in continuous estimates of the case ascertainment rate. Continuous estimates of the IFR and IHR of the virus were observed to increase during the periods of Alpha and Delta's emergence. During periods of vaccination rollout, and the emergence of the Omicron variant, the IFR and IHR decreased. During 2020, we estimated a time-lag of 19 days between hospitalisation and swab positivity, and 26 days between deaths
McAllan L, Baranasic D, Villicaña S, et al., 2023, Integrative genomic analyses in adipocytes implicate DNA methylation in human obesity and diabetes, Nature Communications, Vol: 14, Pages: 1-20, ISSN: 2041-1723
DNA methylation variations are prevalent in human obesity but evidence of a causative role in disease pathogenesis is limited. Here, we combine epigenome-wide association and integrative genomics to investigate the impact of adipocyte DNA methylation variations in human obesity. We discover extensive DNA methylation changes that are robustly associated with obesity (N = 190 samples, 691 loci in subcutaneous and 173 loci in visceral adipocytes, P < 1 × 10-7). We connect obesity-associated methylation variations to transcriptomic changes at >500 target genes, and identify putative methylation-transcription factor interactions. Through Mendelian Randomisation, we infer causal effects of methylation on obesity and obesity-induced metabolic disturbances at 59 independent loci. Targeted methylation sequencing, CRISPR-activation and gene silencing in adipocytes, further identifies regional methylation variations, underlying regulatory elements and novel cellular metabolic effects. Our results indicate DNA methylation is an important determinant of human obesity and its metabolic complications, and reveal mechanisms through which altered methylation may impact adipocyte functions.
Hahn J, Bressler J, Domingo-Relloso A, et al., 2023, DNA methylation analysis is used to identify novel genetic loci associated with circulating fibrinogen levels in blood., J Thromb Haemost, Vol: 21, Pages: 1135-1147
BACKGROUND: Fibrinogen plays an essential role in blood coagulation and inflammation. Circulating fibrinogen levels may be determined based on interindividual differences in DNA methylation at cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) sites and vice versa. OBJECTIVES: To perform an EWAS to examine an association between blood DNA methylation levels and circulating fibrinogen levels to better understand its biological and pathophysiological actions. METHODS: We performed an epigenome-wide association study of circulating fibrinogen levels in 18 037 White, Black, American Indian, and Hispanic participants, representing 14 studies from the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium. Circulating leukocyte DNA methylation was measured using the Illumina 450K array in 12 904 participants and using the EPIC array in 5133 participants. In each study, an epigenome-wide association study of fibrinogen was performed using linear mixed models adjusted for potential confounders. Study-specific results were combined using array-specific meta-analysis, followed by cross-replication of epigenome-wide significant associations. We compared models with and without CRP adjustment to examine the role of inflammation. RESULTS: We identified 208 and 87 significant CpG sites associated with fibrinogen levels from the 450K (p < 1.03 × 10-7) and EPIC arrays (p < 5.78 × 10-8), respectively. There were 78 associations from the 450K array that replicated in the EPIC array and 26 vice versa. After accounting for overlapping sites, there were 83 replicated CpG sites located in 61 loci, of which only 4 have been previously reported for fibrinogen. The examples of genes located near these CpG sites were SOCS3 and AIM2, which are involved in inflammatory pathways. The associations of all 83 replicated CpG sites were attenuated after CRP adjustment, although many remained significant. CONCLUSION: We identified 83 CpG sites associated with circ
Yuan Y, Jin A, Neal B, et al., 2023, Salt substitution and salt-supply restriction for lowering blood pressure in elderly care facilities: a cluster-randomized trial, Nature Medicine, Vol: 29, Pages: 973-981, ISSN: 1078-8956
There is a paucity of high-quality evidence on the effectiveness and safety of salt reduction strategies, particularly for older people, who have the most to benefit but are at higher risk of adverse effects. Here, we conducted a clinical trial in which 48 residential elderly care facilities in China (1,612 participants including 1,230 men and 382 women, 55 years or older) were cluster-randomized using a 2 × 2 factorial design to provision of salt substitute (62.5% NaCl and 25% KCl) versus usual salt and to a progressively restricted versus usual supply of salt or salt substitute for 2 years. Salt substitute compared with usual salt lowered systolic blood pressure (-7.1 mmHg, 95% confidence interval (CI) -10.5 to -3.8), meeting the primary outcome of the trial, whereas restricted supply compared with usual supply of salt or salt substitute had no effect on systolic blood pressure. Salt substitute also lowered diastolic blood pressure (-1.9 mmHg, 95% CI -3.6 to -0.2) and resulted in fewer cardiovascular events (hazard ratio (HR) 0.60, 95% CI 0.38-0.96), but had no effect on total mortality (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.63-1.13). From a safety standpoint, salt substitute increased mean serum potassium and led to more frequent biochemical hyperkalemia, but was not associated with adverse clinical outcomes. In contrast, salt restriction had no effect on any study outcome. The results of this trial indicate that use of salt substitute, but not efforts to restrict salt supply, may achieve blood pressure lowering and deliver health benefits to residents of elderly care facilities in China. Clinicaltrials.gov registration: NCT03290716.
Mina T, Yew YW, Ng HK, et al., 2023, Adiposity impacts cognitive function in Asian populations: an epidemiological and Mendelian Randomization study., The Lancet Regional Health. Western Pacific, Vol: 33, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 2666-6065
BACKGROUND: Obesity and related metabolic disturbances including diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia predict future cognitive decline. Asia has a high prevalence of both obesity and metabolic disease, potentially amplifying the future burden of dementia in the region. We aimed to investigate the impact of adiposity and metabolic risk on cognitive function in Asian populations, using an epidemiological analysis and a two-sample Mendelian Randomization (MR) study. METHODS: The Health for Life in Singapore (HELIOS) Study is a population-based cohort of South-East-Asian men and women in Singapore, aged 30-84 years. We analyzed 8769 participants with metabolic and cognitive data collected between 2018 and 2021. Whole-body fat mass was quantified with Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA). Cognition was assessed using a computerized cognitive battery. An index of general cognition ' g ' was derived through factor analysis. We tested the relationship of fat mass indices and metabolic measures with ' g ' using regression approaches. We then performed inverse-variance-weighted MR of adiposity and metabolic risk factors on ' g ', using summary statistics for genome-wide association studies of BMI, visceral adipose tissue (VAT), waist-hip-ratio (WHR), blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, HbA1c, and general cognition. FINDINGS: Participants were 58.9% female, and aged 51.4 (11.3) years. In univariate analysis, all 29 adiposity and metabolic measures assessed were associated with ' g ' at P < 0.05. In multivariable analyses, reduced ' g ' was consistently associated with increased visceral fat mass index and lower HDL cholesterol (P < 0.001), but not with blood pressure, triglycerides, or glycemic indices. The reduction in ' g ' associated with 1SD higher visceral fat, or 1SD lower HDL cholesterol, was equivalent to a 0.7 and 0.9-year increase in chronological age respectively (P < 0.001). Inverse vari
Routen A, O'Mahoney L, Aiyegbusi OL, et al., 2023, Patient and public involvement within epidemiological studies of long COVID in the UK., Nat Med, Vol: 29, Pages: 771-773
Ezzati M, Mishra A, Zhou B, et al., 2023, Diminishing benefits of urban living for children and adolescents’ growth and development, Nature, Vol: 615, Pages: 874-883, ISSN: 0028-0836
Optimal growth and development in childhood and adolescence is crucial for lifelong health and well-being1,2,3,4,5,6. Here we used data from 2,325 population-based studies, with measurements of height and weight from 71 million participants, to report the height and body-mass index (BMI) of children and adolescents aged 5–19 years on the basis of rural and urban place of residence in 200 countries and territories from 1990 to 2020. In 1990, children and adolescents residing in cities were taller than their rural counterparts in all but a few high-income countries. By 2020, the urban height advantage became smaller in most countries, and in many high-income western countries it reversed into a small urban-based disadvantage. The exception was for boys in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in some countries in Oceania, south Asia and the region of central Asia, Middle East and north Africa. In these countries, successive cohorts of boys from rural places either did not gain height or possibly became shorter, and hence fell further behind their urban peers. The difference between the age-standardized mean BMI of children in urban and rural areas was <1.1 kg m–2 in the vast majority of countries. Within this small range, BMI increased slightly more in cities than in rural areas, except in south Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and some countries in central and eastern Europe. Our results show that in much of the world, the growth and developmental advantages of living in cities have diminished in the twenty-first century, whereas in much of sub-Saharan Africa they have amplified.
Elliott P, Whitaker M, Tang D, et al., 2023, Design and implementation of a national SARS-CoV-2 monitoring programme in England: REACT-1 Study, American Journal of Public Health, ISSN: 0090-0036
Data System. The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) Study was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care in England to provide reliable and timely estimates of prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection by time, person and place.Data Collection/Processing. The data were obtained by writing to named individuals aged 5 years and above in random cross-sections of the population of England, using the National Health Service (NHS) list of patients registered with a general practitioner (>99% coverage) as sampling frame. Data were collected 2-3 weekly approximately every month across 19distinct rounds of data collection from May 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022.Data Analysis/Dissemination. The data and study materials are widely disseminated via the study website, preprints, publications in peer-reviewed journals and the media. Data tabulations suitably anonymised to protect participant confidentiality are available on request to the study’s Data Access Committee.Implications. The study provided inter alia real-time data on SARS-CoV-2 prevalence over time, by area, and by socio-demographic variables; estimates of vaccine effectiveness; symptom profiles and detected emergence of new variants based on viral genome sequencing.
Elliott P, Ward H, Riley S, 2023, Population monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 infections via random sampling during the COVID-19 pandemic., American Journal of Public Health, Pages: e1-e3, ISSN: 0090-0036
Aljuraiban GS, Gibson R, Chan DSM, et al., 2023, Lifestyle score and risk of hypertension in the airwave health monitoring study of British police force employees, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol: 20, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 1660-4601
BACKGROUND: Evidence suggest that promoting a combination of healthy lifestyle behaviors instead of exclusively focusing on a single behavior may have a greater impact on blood pressure (BP). We aimed to evaluate lifestyle factors and their impact on the risk of hypertension and BP. METHODS: We analyzed cross-sectional health-screening data from the Airwave Health Monitoring Study of 40,462 British police force staff. A basic lifestyle-score including waist-circumference, smoking and serum total cholesterol was calculated, with a greater value indicating a better lifestyle. Individual/combined scores of other lifestyle factors (sleep duration, physical activity, alcohol intake, and diet quality) were also developed. RESULTS: A 1-point higher basic lifestyle-score was associated with a lower systolic BP (SBP; -2.05 mmHg, 95%CI: -2.15, -1.95); diastolic BP (DBP; -1.98 mmHg, 95%CI: -2.05, -1.91) and was inversely associated with risk of hypertension. Combined scores of other factors showed attenuated but significant associations with the addition of sleep, physical activity, and diet quality to the basic lifestyle-score; however, alcohol intake did not further attenuate results. CONCLUSIONS: Modifiable intermediary factors have a stronger contribution to BP, namely, waist-circumference and cholesterol levels and factors that may directly influence them, such as diet, physical activity and sleep. Observed findings suggest that alcohol is a confounder in the BP-lifestyle score relation.
Dehghan A, Huang J, Hesbani N, et al., 2023, Abstract 23: Genome Wide Association Study and Multi-Ancestry Meta-Analysis Identify Common Variants Associated With Carotid Artery Intima Media Thickness, Circulation, Vol: 147, ISSN: 0009-7322
<jats:p> Carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT) is a measurement of subclinical atherosclerosis that predicts future cardiovascular events, including stroke and myocardial infarction. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in the past have identified only a fraction of the genetic variants associated with cIMT. We performed the largest GWAS to date for cIMT in a multi-ancestry meta-analysis in up to 131,000 individuals of African, Asian (Chinese), Brazilian, European, and Hispanic ancestries. Our study identified 57 independent loci (51 loci from the multi-ancestry single variant analysis of which 17 are novel, P<5x10 <jats:sup>-8</jats:sup> ; 6 novel in gene-based analysis from single variant analysis, P = 2.6x10 <jats:sup>-6</jats:sup> ) associated with cIMT. Gene-based, tissue-expression and gene-set enrichment analyses revealed novel genes of potential interest and highlighted significant relationships between vascular tissues (aorta, coronary and tibial arteries) and genetic associations. We found strong genome-wide correlation between cIMT and various cardiometabolic, smoking and lipid traits. Using Mendelian randomisation, our analyses provide robust evidence for causal associations between cIMT and several clinically relevant traits, including lipids, blood pressure, and waist circumference. Our results provide the first evidence of substantial pleiotropy in colocalisation signals between APOE SNPs and metabolite biomarkers for coronary artery disease and cIMT but not for Alzheimer's disease.In summary, we identify 57 loci robustly associated with cIMT that are expressed in a range of vascular tissue types including aorta, coronary and tibial arteries. Our findings suggest a bidirectional relationship between cIMT and hypertension but do not support a link between atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease based on the APOE locus. </jats:p>
Huang J, Gill D, Zuber V, et al., 2023, Circulatory proteins relate cardiovascular disease to cognitive performance: a Mendelian randomisation study, Frontiers in Genetics, Vol: 14, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1664-8021
Background and objectives: Mechanistic research suggests synergistic effects of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and dementia pathologies on cognitive decline. Interventions targeting proteins relevant to shared mechanisms underlying CVD and dementia could also be used for the prevention of cognitive impairment.Methods: We applied Mendelian randomisation (MR) and colocalization analysis to investigate the causal relationships of 90 CVD-related proteins measured by the Olink CVD I panel with cognitive traits. Genetic instruments for circulatory protein concentrations were obtained using a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) from the SCALLOP consortium (N = 17,747) based on three sets of criteria: 1) protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL); 2) cis-pQTL (pQTL within ±500 kb from the coding gene); and 3) brain-specific cis-expression QTL (cis-eQTL) which accounts for coding gene expression based on GTEx8. Genetic associations of cognitive performance were obtained from GWAS for either: 1) general cognitive function constructed using Principal Component Analysis (N = 300,486); or, 2) g Factor constructed using genomic structural equation modelling (N = 11,263–331,679). Findings for candidate causal proteins were replicated using a separate protein GWAS in Icelanders (N = 35,559).Results: A higher concentration of genetically predicted circulatory myeloperoxidase (MPO) was nominally associated with better cognitive performance (p < 0.05) using different selection criteria for genetic instruments. Particularly, brain-specific cis-eQTL predicted MPO, which accounts for protein-coding gene expression in brain tissues, was associated with general cognitive function (βWald = 0.22, PWald = 2.4 × 10−4). The posterior probability for colocalization (PP.H4) of MPO pQTL with the g Factor was 0.577. Findings for MPO were replicated using the Icelandic GWAS. Although we did not find evidence for colocalization, we found that higher gene
Atchison C, Moshe M, Brown J, et al., 2023, Validity of self-testing at home with rapid SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection by lateral flow immunoassay, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol: 76, Pages: 658-666, ISSN: 1058-4838
Background: We explore severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) performance under field conditions compared to laboratory-based ELISA and live virus neutralisation. Methods: In July 2021, 3758 participants performed, at home, a self-administered LFIA on finger-prick blood, reported and submitted a photograph of the result, and provided a self-collected capillary blood sample for assessment of IgG antibodies using the Roche Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay. We compared the self-reported LFIA result to the quantitative Roche assay and checked the reading of the LFIA result with an automated image analysis (ALFA). In a subsample of 250 participants, we compared the results to live virus neutralisation. Results: Almost all participants (3593/3758, 95.6%) had been vaccinated or reported prior infection. Overall, 2777/3758 (73.9%) were positive on self-reported LFIA, 2811/3457 (81.3%) positive by LFIA when ALFA-reported, and 3622/3758 (96.4%) positive on Roche (using the manufacturer reference standard threshold for positivity of 0.8 U ml−1). Live virus neutralisation was detected in 169 of 250 randomly selected samples (67.6%); 133/169 were positive with self-reported LFIA (sensitivity 78.7%; 95% CI 71.8, 84.6), 142/155 (91.6%; 86.1, 95.5) with ALFA, and 169 (100%; 97.8, 100.0) with Roche. There were 81 samples with no detectable virus neutralisation; 47/81 were negative with self-reported LFIA (specificity 58.0%; 95% CI 46.5, 68.9), 34/75 (45.3%; 33.8, 57.3) with ALFA, and 0/81 (0%; 0.0, 4.5) with Roche. Conclusions: Self-administered LFIA is less sensitive than a quantitative antibody test, but the positivity in LFIA correlates better than the quantitative ELISA with virus neutralisation.
Kojouri M, Pinto R, Mustafa R, et al., 2023, Metabolome-wide association study on physical activity, Scientific Reports, Vol: 13, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2045-2322
The underlying mechanisms linking physical activity to better health are not fully understood. Here we examined the associations between physical activity and small circulatory molecules, the metabolome, to highlight relevant biological pathways. We examined plasma metabolites associated with self-reported physical activity among 2217 participants from the Airwave Health Monitoring Study. Metabolic profiling was conducted using the mass spectrometry-based Metabolon platform (LC/GC–MS), measuring 828 known metabolites. We replicated our findings in an independent subset of the study (n = 2971) using untargeted LC–MS. Mendelian randomisation was carried out to investigate potential causal associations between physical activity, body mass index, and metabolites. Higher vigorous physical activity was associated (P < 0.05/828 = 6.03 × 10–5) with circulatory levels of 28 metabolites adjusted for age, sex and body mass index. The association was inverse for glutamate and diacylglycerol lipids, and direct for 3–4-hydroxyphenyllactate, phenyl lactate (PLA), alpha-hydroxy isovalerate, tiglylcarnitine, alpha-hydroxyisocaproate, 2-hydroxy-3-methylvalerate, isobutyrylcarnitine, imidazole lactate, methionine sulfone, indole lactate, plasmalogen lipids, pristanate and fumarate. In the replication panel, we found 23 untargeted LC–MS features annotated to the identified metabolites, for which we found nominal associations with the same direction of effect for three features annotated to 1-(1-enyl-palmitoyl)-2-oleoyl-GPC (P-16:0/18:1), 1-(1-enyl-palmitoyl)-2-linoleoyl-GPC (P-16:0/18:2), 1-stearoyl-2-dihomo-linolenoyl-GPC (18:0/20:3n3 or 6). Using Mendelian randomisation, we showed a potential causal relationship between body mass index and three identified metabolites. Circulatory metabolites are associated with physical activity and may play a role in mediating its health effects.
Huang J, Su B, Karhunen V, et al., 2023, Inflammatory diseases, inflammatory biomarkers, and Alzheimer disease: an observational analysis and mendelian randomization, Neurology, Vol: 100, Pages: e568-e581, ISSN: 0028-3878
OBJECTIVES: Whether chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases causally affect the risk of AD is controversial. We characterised the relationship between inflammatory diseases and the risk of AD and explore the role of circulating inflammatory biomarkers in the relationships between inflammatory diseases and AD. METHODS: We performed observational analyses for chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases and risk of AD using data from 2,047,513 participants identified in the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). Using data of a total of more than 1,100,000 individuals from 15 large scale genome-wide association study (GWAS) datasets, we performed two-sample Mendelian randomisation (MR) to investigate the relationships between chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases, circulating inflammatory biomarker levels, and risk of AD. RESULTS: Cox regression models using CPRD data showed that overall incidence of AD was higher among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (hazard ratio (HR)=1.17; 95%CI 1.15 to 1.19; P-value=2.1×10-4), other inflammatory polyarthropathies & systematic connective tissue disorders (OID) (HR=1.13; 95%CI 1.12 to 1.14; P-value=8.6×10-5), psoriasis (HR=1.13; 95%CI 1.10 to 1.16; P-value=2.6×10-4), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (HR=1.08; 95%CI 1.06 to 1.11; P-value=4.0×10-4), and multiple sclerosis (MS) (HR=1.06; 95%CI 1.04 to 1.07; P-value=2.8×10-4) compared to the age (± 5 years) and sex-matched comparison groups free from all inflammatory diseases under investigation. Bidirectional MR analysis identified relationships between chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases and circulating inflammatory biomarkers. Particularly, circulating monokine induced by gamma interferon (MIG) level was suggestively associated with a higher risk of AD (odds ratio from inverse variance weighted (ORIVW)=1.23; 95%CI 1.06 to 1.42; PIVW=0.007), and lower risk of Crohn's disease (ORIVW=0.73; 95%CI -0.62, 0.86; PIVW=1.3×10
Eales O, Page AJ, Tang SN, et al., 2023, The use of representative community samples to assess SARS-CoV-2 lineage competition: Alpha outcompetes Beta and wild-type in England from January to March 2021., Microbial Genomics, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2057-5858
Genomic surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 lineages informs our understanding of possible future changes in transmissibility and vaccine efficacy and will be a high priority for public health for the foreseeable future. However, small changes in the frequency of one lineage over another are often difficult to interpret because surveillance samples are obtained using a variety of methods all of which are known to contain biases. As a case study, using an approach which is largely free of biases, we here describe lineage dynamics and phylogenetic relationships of the Alpha and Beta variant in England during the first 3 months of 2021 using sequences obtained from a random community sample who provided a throat and nose swab for rt-PCR as part of the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study. Overall, diversity decreased during the first quarter of 2021, with the Alpha variant (first identified in Kent) becoming predominant, driven by a reproduction number 0.3 higher than for the prior wild-type. During January, positive samples were more likely to be Alpha in those aged 18 to 54 years old. Although individuals infected with the Alpha variant were no more likely to report one or more classic COVID-19 symptoms compared to those infected with wild-type, they were more likely to be antibody-positive 6 weeks after infection. Further, viral load was higher in those infected with the Alpha variant as measured by cycle threshold (Ct) values. The presence of infections with non-imported Beta variant (first identified in South Africa) during January, but not during February or March, suggests initial establishment in the community followed by fade-out. However, this occurred during a period of stringent social distancing. These results highlight how sequence data from representative community surveys such as REACT-1 can augment routine genomic surveillance during periods of lineage diversity.
Cooper E, Lound A, Atchison CJ, et al., 2023, Awareness and perceptions of Long COVID among people in the REACT programme: early insights from a pilot interview study, PLoS One, Vol: 18, ISSN: 1932-6203
BACKGROUND: Long COVID is a patient-made term describing new or persistent symptoms experienced following SARS-CoV-2 infection. The Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission-Long COVID (REACT-LC) study aims to understand variation in experiences following infection, and to identify biological, social, and environmental factors associated with Long COVID. We undertook a pilot interview study to inform the design, recruitment approach, and topic guide for the REACT-LC qualitative study. We sought to gain initial insights into the experience and attribution of new or persistent symptoms and the awareness or perceived applicability of the term Long COVID. METHODS: People were invited to REACT-LC assessment centres if they had taken part in REACT, a random community-based prevalence study, and had a documented history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We invited people from REACT-LC assessment centres who had reported experiencing persistent symptoms for more than 12 weeks to take part in an interview. We conducted face to face and online semi-structured interviews which were transcribed and analysed using Thematic Analysis. RESULTS: We interviewed 13 participants (6 female, 7 male, median age 31). Participants reported a wide variation in both new and persistent symptoms which were often fluctuating or unpredictable in nature. Some participants were confident about the link between their persistent symptoms and COVID-19; however, others were unclear about the underlying cause of symptoms or felt that the impact of public health measures (such as lockdowns) played a role. We found differences in awareness and perceived applicability of the term Long COVID. CONCLUSION: This pilot has informed the design, recruitment approach and topic guide for our qualitative study. It offers preliminary insights into the varied experiences of people living with persistent symptoms including differences in symptom attribution and perceived applicability of the term Long COVID. This variation
Al-Jafar R, Wahyuni NS, Belhaj K, et al., 2023, The impact of Ramadan fasting on anthropometric measurements and body composition: evidence from London Ramadan Study and a meta-analysis, Frontiers in Nutrition, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-24, ISSN: 2296-861X
Background: Although the effect of Ramadan intermittent fasting (RIF) on anthropometry and body composition has been questioned, none of the previous studies tried to explain the reported changes in these parameters. Also, systematic reviews that investigated the topic were limited to healthy individuals or a specific disease group.Methods: The London Ramadan Study (LORANS) is an observational study on health effects of RIF. We measured weight, waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), basal metabolic rate (BMR), fat percentage (FP), free-fat mass (FFM), extremities predicted muscle mass, total body water (TBW), trunk FM, trunk FFM and trunk predicted muscle mass before and immediately after Ramadan. Using mixed-effects regression models, we investigated the effect of RIF with adjustment for potential confounders. We also conducted a meta-analysis of the results of LORANS with other studies that investigated the effect of RIF on anthropometry and body composition. The review protocol is registered with PROSPERO registry (CRD42020186532).Results: We recruited 146 participants (Mean ± SD age = 43.3 ± 15 years). Immediately after Ramadan, compared with before Ramadan, the mean difference was−1.6 kg (P<0.01) in weight,−1.95cm (P<0.01) in WC,−2.86cm (P <0.01) in HC, −0.60 kg/m2 (P < 0.01) in BMI and −1.24 kg (P < 0.01) in FM. In the systematic review and meta-analysis, after screening 2,150 titles and abstracts, 66 studies comprising 7,611 participants were included. In the general population, RIF was followed by a reduction of 1.12 Kg in body weight (−1.89– −0.36, I2 = 0), 0.74 kg/m2 reduction in BMI (−0.96– −0.53, I2 = 0), 1.54cm reduction in WC (−2.37– −0.71, I2 = 0) and 1.76cm reduction in HC (−2.69– −0.83, I2 = 0). The effect of fasting on anthropometric and body composition parame
Yin X, Paige E, Tian M, et al., 2023, The proportion of dietary salt replaced with potassium-enriched salt in the SSaSS: implications for scale-up., Hypertension, ISSN: 0194-911X
BACKGROUND: The SSaSS (Salt Substitute and Stroke Study) recently reported definitive effects of a potassium-enriched salt on cardiovascular outcomes and death. Quantifying the amount of potassium-enriched salt used by trial participants is important for understanding the magnitude of the effect of potassium-enriched salt on risk reduction and how population-wide scale-up might be achieved. METHODS: Baseline and annual 24-hour urine samples were collected from subgroups of participants in SSaSS throughout the 5-year follow-up. The mean difference in 24-hour potassium excretion between the 2 groups was used to estimate the quantity of potassium-enriched salt consumed in the intervention group. The corresponding projected difference in sodium intake between groups was calculated and compared with the observed difference. RESULTS: The potassium-enriched salt group, compared to the regular salt group, had a mean increase in 24-hour urinary potassium excretion of 0.80 g/d (95% CI, 0.71-0.90), which equates to consumption of 8.8 g/d (95% CI, 7.8-9.9) of potassium-enriched salt. Based on 8.8 g/d potassium-enriched salt consumption, the projected difference in 24-hour urinary sodium excretion was -0.79 g/d. This compares to an observed difference of -0.35 g/d (95% CI, -0.55 to -0.15) and suggests that 72% of baseline regular salt intake was replaced by potassium-enriched salt. CONCLUSIONS: The smaller than anticipated between-group difference in sodium excretion likely results from the joint use of regular salt and potassium-enriched salt in the intervention group. Our findings suggest that even an incomplete replacement of regular salt with potassium-enriched salt can deliver significant health gains. REGISTRATION: URL: https://www. CLINICALTRIALS: gov; Unique identifier: NCT02092090.
Elliott J, Bodinier B, Whitaker M, et al., 2023, Improving cardiovascular risk prediction beyond pooled cohort equations: a prospective cohort of 304,356 participants
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>Pooled Cohort Equations (PCE) are used to predict cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Inclusion of other variables may improve risk prediction.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Objective</jats:title><jats:p>Identify variables improving CVD risk prediction beyond recalibrated PCE.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Design</jats:title><jats:p>Prospective cohort study; sex-stratified Cox survival models with LASSO stability selection to predict CVD in non-overlapping subsets: variable selection (40%), model training (30%) and testing (30%).</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Setting</jats:title><jats:p>UK population.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Participants</jats:title><jats:p>UK Biobank: 121,724 and 182,632 healthy men and women, respectively, aged 38-73 years at baseline.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Measurements</jats:title><jats:p>Personal/family medical history; lifestyle factors; genetic, biochemical, hematological, and metabolomic blood markers. Outcomes were incident hospitalization or mortality from CVD.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>There were 11,899 (men) and 9,110 (women) incident CVD cases with median 12.1 years follow-up. Variables selected for both men and women were: age, albumin, antihypertensive medication, apolipoprotein B, atrial fibrillation, C-reactive protein, current smoker, cystatin C, family history of coronary artery disease, glycated hemoglobin, polygenic risk score (PRS) for CVD and systolic blood pressure. Also selected: apolipoprotein A1, lipoprotein(a), white blood cell count, deprivation index (men); triglycerides (women).
Elliott P, 2023, NUTRITION, CARDIO-METABOLIC RISK AND THE METABOLOME, Publisher: LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, Pages: E108-E108, ISSN: 0263-6352
Miyagawa N, Sekikawa A, Miura K, et al., 2023, Circulating plasma phospholipid fatty acid levels as a biomarker of habitual dietary fat intake: The INTERMAP/INTERLIPID Study, JOURNAL OF CLINICAL LIPIDOLOGY, Vol: 17, Pages: 131-141, ISSN: 1933-2874
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