Department of Cardiology, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden2Department of Heart Failure and Valvular Disease, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden3Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden4Program in Medical and Pop.
Plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) has been associated with aortic stenosis in observational studies; however, randomized trials with cholesterol-lowering therapies in individuals with established valve disease have failed to demonstrate reduced disease progression.
To evaluate whether genetic data are consistent with an association between LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), or triglycerides (TG) and aortic valve disease.
Using a Mendelian randomization study design, we evaluated whether weighted genetic risk scores (GRSs), a measure of the genetic predisposition to elevations in plasma lipids, constructed using single-nucleotide polymorphisms identified in genome-wide association studies for plasma lipids, were associated with aortic valve disease. We included community-based cohorts participating in the CHARGE consortium (n?=?6942), including the Framingham Heart Study (cohort inception to last follow-up: 1971-2013; n?=?1295), Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (2000-2012; n?=?2527), Age Gene/Environment Study-Reykjavik (2000-2012; n?=?3120), and the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS, 1991-2010; n?=?28?461).
Aortic valve calcium quantified by computed tomography in CHARGE and incident aortic stenosis in the MDCS.
The prevalence of aortic valve calcium across the 3 CHARGE cohorts was 32% (n?=?2245). In the MDCS, over a median follow-up time of 16.1 years, aortic stenosis developed in 17 per 1000 participants (n?=?473) and aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis occurred in 7 per 1000 (n?=?205). Plasma LDL-C, but not HDL-C or TG, was significantly associated with incident aortic stenosis (hazard ratio [HR] per mmol/L, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.04-1.57; P?=?.02; aortic stenosis incidence: 1.3% and 2.4% in lowest and highest LDL-C quartiles, respectively). The LDL-C GRS, but not HDL-C or TG GRS, was significantly associated with presence of aortic valve calcium in CHARGE (odds ratio [OR] per GRS increment, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.09-1.74; P?=?.007) and with incident aortic stenosis in MDCS (HR per GRS increment, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.22-6.37; P?=?.02; aortic stenosis incidence: 1.9% and 2.6% in lowest and highest GRS quartiles, respectively). In sensitivity analyses excluding variants weakly associated with HDL-C or TG, the LDL-C GRS remained associated with aortic valve calcium (P?=?.03) and aortic stenosis (P?=?.009). In instrumental variable analysis, LDL-C was associated with an increase in the risk of incident aortic stenosis (HR per mmol/L, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.07-2.14; P?=?.02).
Genetic predisposition to elevated LDL-C was associated with presence of aortic valve calcium and incidence of aortic stenosis, providing evidence supportive of a causal association between LDL-C and aortic valve disease. Whether earlier intervention to reduce LDL-C could prevent aortic valve disease merits further investigation.
Mitral annular calcium (MAC), commonly identified by cardiac imaging, is associated with cardiovascular events and predisposes to the development of clinically important mitral valve regurgitation and mitral valve stenosis. However, its biological determinants remain largely unknown.
The authors sought to evaluate whether a genetic predisposition to elevations in plasma lipids is associated with the presence of MAC.
The authors used 3 separate Mendelian randomization techniques to evaluate the associations of lipid genetic risk scores (GRS) with MAC in 3 large patient cohorts: the Framingham Health Study, MESA (Multiethnic European Study of Atherosclerosis), and the AGE-RS (Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study). The authors provided cross-ethnicity replication in the MESA Hispanic-American participants.
MAC was present in 1,149 participants (20.4%). In pooled analyses across all 3 cohorts, a triglyceride GRS was significantly associated with the presence of MAC (odds ratio [OR] per triglyceride GRS unit: 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.24 to 2.41; p = 0.0013). Neither low- nor high-density lipoprotein cholesterol GRS was significantly associated with MAC. Results were consistent in cross-ethnicity analyses among the MESA Hispanic-Americans cohort (OR per triglyceride GRS unit: 2.04; 95% CI: 1.03 to 4.03; p = 0.04). In joint meta-analysis across all included cohorts, the triglyceride GRS was associated with MAC (OR per triglyceride GRS unit: 1.79; 95% CI: 1.32 to 2.41; p = 0.0001). The results were robust to several sensitivity analyses that limit both known and unknown forms of genetic pleiotropy.
Genetic predisposition to elevated triglyceride levels was associated with the presence of MAC, a risk factor for clinically significant mitral valve disease, suggesting a causal association. Whether reducing triglyceride levels can lower the incidence of clinically significant mitral valve disease requires further study.
Elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels are a major cardiovascular disease risk factor. Genetic factors are an important determinant of LDL-C levels.
To identify single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with LDL-C and subclinical coronary atherosclerosis, we performed a genome-wide association study of LDL-C in 841 asymptomatic Amish individuals aged 20 to 80 years, with replication in a second sample of 663 Amish individuals. We also performed scanning for coronary artery calcification (CAC) in 1018 of these individuals.
From the initial genome-wide association study, a cluster of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the region of the apolipoprotein B-100 gene (APOB) was strongly associated with LDL-C levels (P
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