Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies from the CHARGE consortium identifies common variants associated with carotid intima media thickness and plaque.
ABSTRACT: Carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) and plaque determined by ultrasonography are established measures of subclinical atherosclerosis that each predicts future cardiovascular disease events. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association data in 31,211 participants of European ancestry from nine large studies in the setting of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium. We then sought additional evidence to support our findings among 11,273 individuals using data from seven additional studies. In the combined meta-analysis, we identified three genomic regions associated with common carotid intima media thickness and two different regions associated with the presence of carotid plaque (P < 5 × 10(-8)). The associated SNPs mapped in or near genes related to cellular signaling, lipid metabolism and blood pressure homeostasis, and two of the regions were associated with coronary artery disease (P < 0.006) in the Coronary Artery Disease Genome-Wide Replication and Meta-Analysis (CARDIoGRAM) consortium. Our findings may provide new insight into pathways leading to subclinical atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular events.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The burden of subclinical atherosclerosis in asymptomatic individuals is heritable and associated with elevated risk of developing clinical coronary heart disease. We sought to identify genetic variants in protein-coding regions associated with subclinical atherosclerosis and the risk of subsequent coronary heart disease. METHODS AND RESULTS:We studied a total of 25?109 European ancestry and African ancestry participants with coronary artery calcification (CAC) measured by cardiac computed tomography and 52?869 participants with common carotid intima-media thickness measured by ultrasonography within the CHARGE Consortium (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology). Participants were genotyped for 247?870 DNA sequence variants (231?539 in exons) across the genome. A meta-analysis of exome-wide association studies was performed across cohorts for CAC and carotid intima-media thickness. APOB p.Arg3527Gln was associated with 4-fold excess CAC (P=3×10-10). The APOE ?2 allele (p.Arg176Cys) was associated with both 22.3% reduced CAC (P=1×10-12) and 1.4% reduced carotid intima-media thickness (P=4×10-14) in carriers compared with noncarriers. In secondary analyses conditioning on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration, the ?2 protective association with CAC, although attenuated, remained strongly significant. Additionally, the presence of ?2 was associated with reduced risk for coronary heart disease (odds ratio 0.77; P=1×10-11). CONCLUSIONS:Exome-wide association meta-analysis demonstrates that protein-coding variants in APOB and APOE associate with subclinical atherosclerosis. APOE ?2 represents the first significant association for multiple subclinical atherosclerosis traits across multiple ethnicities, as well as clinical coronary heart disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Atherosclerosis, the precursor to coronary heart disease and stroke, is characterized by an accumulation of fatty cells in the arterial intimal-medial layers. Common carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) and plaque are subclinical atherosclerosis measures that predict cardiovascular disease events. Previously, genome-wide association studies demonstrated evidence for association with cIMT (SLC17A4) and plaque (PIK3CG). METHODS AND RESULTS:We sequenced 120 kb around SLC17A4 (6p22.2) and 251 kb around PIK3CG (7q22.3) among 3669 European ancestry participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), and Framingham Heart Study (FHS) in Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium. Primary analyses focused on 438 common variants (minor allele frequency ?1%), which were independently meta-analyzed. A 3' untranslated region CCDC71L variant (rs2286149), upstream from PIK3CG, was the most significant finding in cIMT (P=0.00033) and plaque (P=0.0004) analyses. A SLC17A4 intronic variant was also associated with cIMT (P=0.008). Both were in low linkage disequilibrium with the genome-wide association study single nucleotide polymorphisms. Gene-based tests including T1 count and sequence kernel association test for rare variants (minor allele frequency <1%) did not yield statistically significant associations. However, we observed nominal associations for rare variants in CCDC71L and SLC17A3 with cIMT and of the entire 7q22 region with plaque (P=0.05). CONCLUSIONS:Common and rare variants in PIK3CG and SLC17A4 regions demonstrated modest association with subclinical atherosclerosis traits. Although not conclusive, these findings may help to understand the genetic architecture of regions previously implicated by genome-wide association studies and identify variants within these regions for further investigation in larger samples.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Carotid intima-media thickness and electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy are 2 subclinical cardiovascular disease measures associated with increased risk of total and ischemic strokes. Increased intima-media thickness and electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy also may reflect end-organ hypertensive effects. Information is scant on the associations of these subclinical measures with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We hypothesized that greater carotid intima-media thickness and the presence of electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy would be independently associated with increased ICH incidence. METHODS:Among 18,155 participants initially free of stroke in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) and the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), we assessed carotid intima-media thickness, carotid plaque, and electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy. Over a median of 18 years of follow-up, 162 incident ICH events occurred. RESULTS:After adjustment for other ICH risk factors, carotid intima-media thickness was associated positively with incidence of ICH in both ARIC and CHS. The risk was lowest in study-specific Quartile 1, elevated 1.6- to 2.6-fold in Quartiles 2 to 3, and elevated 2.5 to 3.7-fold in Quartile 4 (P<0.05 for both studies). In CHS, having a carotid plaque was associated with a 2-fold (95% CI, 1.1-3.4) greater ICH risk than having no plaque, but only 1.2-fold (95% CI, 0.76-2.0) greater ICH risk in ARIC. Electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy carried a hazard ratio of ICH of 1.7 (95% CI, 0.77-3.7) in CHS and 2.8 (95% CI, 1.2-6.4) in ARIC. CONCLUSIONS:Our data suggest that people with carotid atherosclerosis and possibly left ventricular hypertrophy are at increased risk not only of ischemic stroke, but also of ICH.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The association between subclinical cardiovascular disease and subsequent development of erectile dysfunction (ED) remains poorly described. HYPOTHESIS:Among multiple subclinical atherosclerosis and vascular dysfunction measurements, coronary artery calcium (CAC) score best predicts ED. METHODS:After excluding participants taking ED medications at baseline, we studied 1862 men age 45 to 84 years free of known cardiovascular disease from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) with comprehensive baseline subclinical vascular disease phenotyping and ED status assessed at MESA visit 5 (9.4 ± 0.5 years after baseline) using a standardized question on ED symptoms. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the associations between baseline measures of vascular disease (atherosclerosis domain: CAC, carotid intima-media thickness, carotid plaque, ankle-brachial index; vascular stiffness/function domain: aortic stiffness, carotid stiffness, brachial flow-mediated dilation) and ED symptoms at follow-up. RESULTS:Mean baseline age was 59.5 ± 9 years, and 839 participants (45%) reported ED symptoms at follow-up. Compared with symptom-free individuals, participants with ED had higher baseline prevalence of CAC score >100 (36.4% vs 17.2%), carotid intima-media thickness Z score >75th percentile (35.3% vs 16.6%), carotid plaque score ?2 (39% vs 21.1%), carotid distensibility <25th percentile (34.6% vs 17.1%), aortic distensibility <25th percentile (34.2% vs 18.7%), and brachial flow-mediated dilation <25th percentile (28.4% vs 21.3%); all P < 0.01. Only CAC >100 (odds ratio: 1.43, 95% confidence interval: 1.09-1.88) and carotid plaque score ?2 (odds ratio: 1.33, 95% confidence interval: 1.02-1.73) were significantly associated with ED. CONCLUSIONS:Subclinical vascular disease is common in men who later self-report ED. Early detection of subclinical atherosclerosis, particularly advanced CAC and carotid plaque, may provide opportunities for predicting the onset of subsequent vascular ED.
Project description:Carotid artery intima media thickness (cIMT) and carotid plaque are measures of subclinical atherosclerosis associated with ischemic stroke and coronary heart disease (CHD). Here, we undertake meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in 71,128 individuals for cIMT, and 48,434 individuals for carotid plaque traits. We identify eight novel susceptibility loci for cIMT, one independent association at the previously-identified PINX1 locus, and one novel locus for carotid plaque. Colocalization analysis with nearby vascular expression quantitative loci (cis-eQTLs) derived from arterial wall and metabolic tissues obtained from patients with CHD identifies candidate genes at two potentially additional loci, ADAMTS9 and LOXL4. LD score regression reveals significant genetic correlations between cIMT and plaque traits, and both cIMT and plaque with CHD, any stroke subtype and ischemic stroke. Our study provides insights into genes and tissue-specific regulatory mechanisms linking atherosclerosis both to its functional genomic origins and its clinical consequences in humans.
Project description:Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified a large number of variants (SNPs) associating with an increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). Recently, the CARDIoGRAM consortium published a GWAS based on the largest study population so far. They successfully replicated twelve already known associations and discovered thirteen new SNPs associating with CAD. We examined whether the genetic profiling of these variants improves prediction of subclinical atherosclerosis--i.e., carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and carotid artery elasticity (CAE)--beyond classical risk factors.We genotyped 24 variants found in a population of European ancestry and measured CIMT and CAE in 2001 and 2007 from 2,081, and 2,015 subjects (aged 30-45 years in 2007) respectively, participating in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (YFS). The Bogalusa Heart Study (BHS; n?=?1179) was used as a replication cohort (mean age of 37.5). For additional replication, a sub-sample of 5 SNPs was genotyped for 1,291 individuals aged 46-76 years participating in the Health 2000 population survey. We tested the impact of genetic risk score (GRS(24SNP/CAD)) calculated as a weighted (by allelic odds ratios for CAD) sum of CAD risk alleles from the studied 24 variants on CIMT, CAE, the incidence of carotid atherosclerosis and the progression of CIMT and CAE during a 6-year follow-up.CIMT or CAE did not significantly associate with GRS(24SNP/CAD) before or after adjusting for classical CAD risk factors (p>0.05 for all) in YFS or in the BHS. CIMT and CAE associated with only one SNP each in the YFS. The findings were not replicated in the replication cohorts. In the meta-analysis CIMT or CAE did not associate with any of the SNPs.Genetic profiling, by using known CAD risk variants, should not improve risk stratification for subclinical atherosclerosis beyond conventional risk factors among healthy young adults.
Project description:Violence against women has become a global public health threat. Data on the potential impact of exposure to violence on cardiovascular disease are scarce.We evaluated the association between exposure to violence and subclinical cardiovascular disease in 634 disease-free women from the Mexican Teachers' Cohort who responded to violence-related items from the Life Stressor Checklist and underwent measures of carotid artery intima-media thickness in 2012 and 2013. We defined exposure to violence as having ever been exposed to physical and/or sexual violence. Intima-media thickness was log-transformed, and subclinical carotid atherosclerosis was defined as intima-media thickness ?0.8 mm or plaque. We used multivariable linear and logistic regression models adjusted for several potential confounders. Mean age was 48.9±4.3 years. Close to 40% of women reported past exposure to violence. The lifetime prevalence of sexual violence was 7.1%, and prevalence of physical violence was 23.5% (7.7% reported both sexual and physical violence). Relative to women with no history of violence, exposure to violence was associated with higher intima-media thickness (adjusted mean percentage difference=2.4%; 95% confidence interval 0.5, 4.3) and subclinical atherosclerosis (adjusted odds ratio=1.60; 95% confidence interval 1.10, 2.32). The association was stronger for exposure to physical violence, especially by mugging or physical assault by a stranger (adjusted mean % difference=4.6%; 95% confidence interval 1.8, 7.5, and odds ratio of subclinical carotid atherosclerosis=2.06; 95% confidence interval 1.22, 3.49).Exposure to violence, and in particular assault by a stranger, was strongly associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease in Mexican middle-aged women.
Project description:Carotid Intima-media thickness (CIMT) and plaque are well established markers of subclinical atherosclerosis and are widely used for identifying subclinical atherosclerotic disease. We performed association analyses using Metabochip array to identify genetic variants that influence variation in CIMT and plaque, measured using B-mode ultrasonography, in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Data on genetic associations of common variants associated with both CIMT and plaque in RA subjects involving Mexican Americans (MA) and European Americans (EA) populations are presented in this article. Strong associations were observed after adjusting for covariate effects including baseline clinical characteristics and statin use. Susceptibility loci and genes and/or nearest genes associated with CIMT in MAs and EAs with RA are presented. In addition, common susceptibility loci influencing CIMT and plaque in both MAs and EAs have been presented. Polygenic Risk Score (PRS) plots showing complementary evidence for the observed CIMT and plaque association signals are also shown in this article. For further interpretation and details, please see the research article titled "A Genetic Association Study of Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT) and Plaque in Mexican Americans and European Americans with Rheumatoid Arthritis" which is being published in Atherosclerosis (Arya et al., 2018) .(Arya et al., in press) Thus, common variants in several genes exhibited significant associations with CIMT and plaque in both MAs and EAs as presented in this article. These findings may help understand the genetic architecture of subclinical atherosclerosis in RA populations.
Project description:Genome-wide Illumina InfiniumMethylation 450 K DNA methylation analysis was performed on blood samples from clinical atherosclerosis patients (n = 8) and healthy donors (n = 8) in the LVAD study (NCT02174133, NCT01799005). Multiple differentially methylated regions (DMR) could be identified in atherosclerosis patients, related to epigenetic control of cell adhesion, chemotaxis, cytoskeletal reorganisations, cell proliferation, cell death, estrogen receptor pathways and phagocytic immune responses. Furthermore, a subset of 34 DMRs related to impaired oxidative stress, DNA repair, and inflammatory pathways could be replicated in an independent cohort study of donor-matched healthy and atherosclerotic human aorta tissue (n = 15) and human carotid plaque samples (n = 19). Upon integrated network analysis, BRCA1 and CRISP2 DMRs were identified as most central disease-associated DNA methylation biomarkers. Differentially methylated BRCA1 and CRISP2 regions were verified by MassARRAY Epityper and pyrosequencing assays and could be further replicated in blood, aorta tissue and carotid plaque material of atherosclerosis patients. Moreover, methylation changes at BRCA1 and CRISP2 specific CpG sites were consistently associated with subclinical atherosclerosis measures (coronary calcium score and carotid intima media thickness) in an independent sample cohort of middle-aged men with subclinical cardiovascular disease in the Aragon Workers' Health Study (n = 24). Altogether, BRCA1 and CRISP2 DMRs hold promise as novel blood surrogate markers for early risk stratification and CVD prevention. Overall design: Bisulfite converted DNA from whole blood of 8 atherosclerotic patients and 8 healthy subjects were hybridised to the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in all American populations, including American Indians. Genetic factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Although a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) may explain only a small portion of variability in disease, the joint effect of multiple variants in a pathway on disease susceptibility could be large. METHODS AND RESULTS:Using a gene-family analysis, we investigated the joint associations of 61 tag SNPs in 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor genes with subclinical atherosclerosis, as measured by carotid intima-media thickness and plaque score, in 3665 American Indians from 94 families recruited by the Strong Heart Family Study (SHFS). Although multiple SNPs showed marginal association with intima-media thickness and plaque score individually, only a few survived adjustments for multiple testing. However, simultaneously modeling of the joint effect of all 61 SNPs in 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor genes revealed significant association of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family with both intima-media thickness and plaque score independent of known coronary risk factors. CONCLUSIONS:Genetic variants in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family jointly contribute to subclinical atherosclerosis in American Indians who participated in the SHFS. These variants may influence the susceptibility of atherosclerosis through pathways other than cigarette smoking per se.