Recent Submissions

  • Clinical impact of changes in mitral regurgitation severity after medical therapy optimization in heart failure

    Samani, Nilesh (2022-08)
    Background: Few data are available regarding changes in mitral regurgitation (MR) severity with guideline-recommended medical therapy (GRMT) in heart failure (HF). Our aim was to evaluate the evolution and impact of MR after GRMT in the Biology study to Tailored treatment in chronic heart failure (BIOSTAT-CHF). Methods: A retrospective post-hoc analysis was performed on HF patients from BIOSTAT-CHF with available data on MR status at baseline and at 9-month follow-up after GRMT optimization. The primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause death or HF hospitalization. Results: Among 1022 patients with data at both time-points, 462 (45.2%) had moderate-severe MR at baseline and 360 (35.2%) had it at 9-month follow-up. Regression of moderate-severe MR from baseline to 9 months occurred in 192/462 patients (41.6%) and worsening from baseline to moderate-severe MR at 9 months occurred in 90/560 patients (16.1%). The presence of moderate-severe MR at 9 months, independent from baseline severity, was associated with an increased risk of the primary endpoint (unadjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.57-2.63; p < 0.001), also after adjusting for the BIOSTAT-CHF risk-prediction model (adjusted HR, 1.85; 95% CI 1.43-2.39; p < 0.001). Younger age, LVEF ≥ 50% and treatment with higher ACEi/ARB doses were associated with a lower likelihood of persistence of moderate-severe MR at 9 months, whereas older age was the only predictor of worsening MR. Conclusions: Among patients with HF undergoing GRMT optimization, ACEi/ARB up-titration and HFpEF were associated with MR improvement, and the presence of moderate-severe MR after GRMT was associated with worse outcome.
  • Biomarker changes as surrogate endpoints in early-phase trials in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction

    Samani, Nilesh (2022-08)
    Aims: No biomarker has achieved widespread acceptance as a surrogate endpoint for early-phase heart failure (HF) trials. We assessed whether changes over time in a panel of plasma biomarkers were associated with subsequent morbidity/mortality in HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Methods and results: In 1040 patients with HFrEF from the BIOSTAT-CHF cohort, we investigated the associations between changes in the plasma concentrations of 30 biomarkers, before (baseline) and after (9 months) attempted optimization of guideline-recommended therapy, on top of the BIOSTAT risk score and the subsequent risk of HF hospitalization/all-cause mortality using Cox regression models. C-statistics were calculated to assess discriminatory power of biomarker changes/month-nine assessment. Changes in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and WAP four-disulphide core domain protein HE4 (WAP-4C) were the only independent predictors of the outcome after adjusting for their baseline plasma concentration, 28 other biomarkers (both baseline and changes), and BIOSTAT risk score at baseline. When adjusting for month-nine rather than baseline biomarkers concentrations, only changes in NT-proBNP were independently associated with the outcome. The C-statistic of the model including the BIOSTAT risk score and NT-proBNP increased by 4% when changes were considered on top of baseline concentrations and by 1% when changes in NT-proBNP were considered on top of its month-nine concentrations and the BIOSTAT risk score. Conclusions: Among 30 relevant biomarkers, a change over time was significantly and independently associated with HF hospitalization/all-cause death only for NT-proBNP. Changes over time were modestly more prognostic than baseline or end-values alone. Changes in biomarkers should be further explored as potential surrogate endpoints in early phase HF trials.
  • The role of 4-Dimensional flow in the assessment of bicuspid aortic valve and its valvulo-aortopathies

    Richards, Caryl; Parker, Alex; Alfuhied, Aseel; McCann, Gerry; Singh, Anvesha (2022-07)
    Bicuspid aortic valve is the most common congenital cardiac malformation and the leading cause of aortopathy and aortic stenosis in younger patients. Aortic wall remodelling secondary to altered haemodynamic flow patterns, changes in peak velocity, and wall shear stress may be implicated in the development of aortopathy in the presence of bicuspid aortic valve and dysfunction. Assessment of these parameters as potential predictors of disease severity and progression is thus desirable. The anatomic and functional information acquired from 4D flow MRI can allow simultaneous visualisation and quantification of the pathological geometric and haemodynamic changes of the aorta. We review the current clinical utility of haemodynamic quantities including velocity, wall sheer stress and energy losses, as well as visual descriptors such as vorticity and helicity, and flow direction in assessing the aortic valve and associated aortopathies.
  • Whole blood transcriptomic profiling identifies molecular pathways related to cardiovascular mortality in heart failure

    Romaine, Simon; Samani, Nilesh (2022-06)
    Aims: Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a systemic syndrome with a poor prognosis and a need for novel therapies. We investigated whether whole blood transcriptomic profiling can provide new mechanistic insights into cardiovascular (CV) mortality in CHF. Methods and results: Transcriptome profiles were generated at baseline from 944 CHF patients from the BIOSTAT-CHF study, of whom 626 survived and 318 died from a CV cause during a follow-up of 21 months. Multivariable analysis, including adjustment for cell count, identified 1153 genes (6.5%) that were differentially expressed between those that survived or died and strongly related to a validated clinical risk score for adverse prognosis. The differentially expressed genes mainly belonged to five non-redundant pathways: adaptive immune response, proteasome-mediated ubiquitin-dependent protein catabolic process, T-cell co-stimulation, positive regulation of T-cell proliferation, and erythrocyte development. These five pathways were selectively related (RV coefficients >0.20) with seven circulating protein biomarkers of CV mortality (fibroblast growth factor 23, soluble ST2, adrenomedullin, hepcidin, pentraxin-3, WAP 4-disulfide core domain 2, and interleukin-6) revealing an intricate relationship between immune and iron homeostasis. The pattern of survival-associated gene expression matched with 29 perturbagen-induced transcriptome signatures in the iLINCS drug-repurposing database, identifying drugs, approved for other clinical indications, that were able to reverse in vitro the molecular changes associated with adverse prognosis in CHF. Conclusion: Systematic modelling of the whole blood protein-coding transcriptome defined molecular pathways that provide a link between clinical risk factors and adverse CV prognosis in CHF, identifying both established and new potential therapeutic targets.
  • Multiple hormonal and metabolic deficiency syndrome predicts outcome in heart failure: the T.O.S.CA. Registry

    Suzuki, Toru (2021-12)
    Aims: Recent evidence supports the occurrence of multiple hormonal and metabolic deficiency syndrome (MHDS) in chronic heart failure (CHF). However, no large observational study has unequivocally demonstrated its impact on CHF progression and outcome. The T.O.S.CA. (Trattamento Ormonale nello Scompenso CArdiaco; Hormone Treatment in Heart Failure) Registry has been specifically designed to test the hypothesis that MHDS affects morbidity and mortality in CHF patients. Methods and results: The T.O.S.CA. Registry is a prospective, multicentre, observational study involving 19 Italian centres. Thyroid hormones, insulin-like growth factor-1, total testosterone, dehydropianoandrosterone sulfate, insulin resistance, and the presence of diabetes were evaluated. A MHDS was defined as the presence of ≥2 hormone deficiencies (HDs). Primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular hospitalizations. Four hundred and eighty heart failure patients with ejection fraction ≤45% were enrolled. MHDS or diabetes was diagnosed in 372 patients (77.5%). A total of 271 events (97 deaths and 174 cardiovascular hospitalizations) were recorded, 41% in NO-MHDS and 62% in MHDS (P < 0.001). Median follow-up was of 36 months. MHDS was independently associated with the occurrence of the primary endpoint [hazard ratio 95% (confidence interval), 1.93 (1.37-2.73), P < 0.001] and identified a group of patients with a higher mortality [2.2 (1.28-3.83), P = 0.01], with a graded relation between HDs and cumulative events (P < 0.01). Conclusion: MHDS is common in CHF and independently associated with increased all-cause mortality and cardiovascular hospitalization, representing a promising therapeutic target. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT023358017.
  • Contribution of NOTCH1 genetic variants to bicuspid aortic valve and other congenital lesions

    Debiec, Radoslaw; Safwan, Kassem; Sosin, Michael; Hetherington, Simon; Elamin, Mohamed; Coolman, Sue; Skinner, Gregory; Samani, Nilesh; Bolger, Aidan (2022-03)
    Introduction: Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) affects 1% of the general population. NOTCH1 was the first gene associated with BAV. The proportion of familial and sporadic BAV disease attributed to NOTCH1 mutations has not been estimated. Aim: The aim of our study was to provide an estimate of familial and sporadic BAV disease attributable to NOTCH1 mutations. Methods: The population of our study consisted of participants of the University of Leicester Bicuspid aoRtic vAlVe gEnetic research-8 pedigrees with multiple affected family members and 381 sporadic patients. All subjects underwent NOTCH1 sequencing. A systematic literature search was performed in the NCBI PubMed database to identify publications reporting NOTCH1 sequencing in context of congenital heart disease. Results: NOTCH1 sequencing in 36 subjects from 8 pedigrees identified one variant c.873C>G/p.Tyr291* meeting the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics criteria for pathogenicity. No pathogenic or likely pathogenic NOTCH1 variants were identified in 381 sporadic patients. Literature review identified 64 relevant publication reporting NOTCH1 sequencing in 528 pedigrees and 9449 sporadic subjects. After excluding families with syndromic disease pathogenic and likely pathogenic NOTCH1 variants were detected in 9/435 (2.1%; 95% CI: 0.7% to 3.4%) of pedigrees and between 0.05% (95% CI: 0.005% to 0.10%) and 0.08% (95% CI: 0.02% to 0.13%) of sporadic patients. Incomplete penetrance of definitely pathogenic NOTCH1 mutations was observed in almost half of reported pedigrees. Conclusions: Pathogenic and likely pathogenic NOTCH1 genetic variants explain 2% of familial and <0.1% of sporadic BAV disease and are more likely to associate with tetralogy of Fallot and hypoplastic left heart.
  • Mutation of the MYL3 gene in a patient with mid-ventricular obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

    Mavilakandy, Akash (2022-03)
    In this study, we discuss a female patient referred to cardiology with left ventricular hypertrophy at mid-ventricular segments resulting in a mid-cavitary obstruction and a left ventricular apical aneurysm. The patient had normal epicardial coronary arteries, but presented with recurrent cerebrovascular events. The patient had a positive family history for sudden cardiac death. Cardiac MRI detected positive features of left ventricular mid-cavity obstruction, left ventricular apical aneurysm and delayed gadolinium enhancement, with Holter monitoring assessment displaying segments of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia. Genetic analysis detected an myosin light chain 3 (MYL3) gene mutation. The patient will be referred to receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.The MYL3 gene mutation is a rare variant in patients with familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. To our knowledge, the presence of a left ventricular apical aneurysm has not been previously reported in literature concerning the MYL3 gene mutation. The presence of this abnormality further increases the risk of sudden cardiac death.
  • Bi-atrial thrombus straddling a patent foramen ovale with bilateral embolization: A therapeutic challenge

    Dattani, Abhishek; Safwan, Kassem; Ansari, Mohammedimran; Somani, Riyaz (2022-01)
    Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality across the world and a significant portion of ischemic strokes have a cardiac source. We report a case of a 55-year-old male who presented with an ischemic stroke and bilateral pulmonary emboli secondary to an intra-cardiac thrombus straddling a patent foramen ovale, which was clearly seen using transesophageal echocardiography. We discuss the management dilemma associated with this clinical picture given the risk of hemorrhagic transformation in the acute phase of an ischemic stroke. Our case demonstrates the need for a multidisciplinary approach in an area of medicine that lacks clear guidelines.
  • Making sense of the paediatric ECG: rate and rhythm

    Oakley, Chris (2022)
    No abstract available.
  • Making sense of the paediatric ECG

    Oakley, Chris (2022)
    No abstract available.
  • Leaders in Cardiovascular Research: Nilesh J. Samani

    Samani, Nilesh (2021)
    No abstract available.
  • Prevalence and disease spectrum of extracoronary arterial abnormalities in spontaneous coronary artery dissection

    Adair, William; Chan, Nathan; Kotecha, Deevia; Kandiyil, Neghal; Parke, Kelly; Premawardhana, Diluka; Sajitha, Averachan; Wormleighton, Joanne; Samani, Nilesh; McCann, Gerry; et al. (2022)
    Importance: Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) has been associated with fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) and other extracoronary arterial abnormalities. However, the prevalence, severity, and clinical relevance of these abnormalities remain unclear. Objective: To assess the prevalence and spectrum of FMD and other extracoronary arterial abnormalities in patients with SCAD vs controls. Design, setting, and participants: This case series included 173 patients with angiographically confirmed SCAD enrolled between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2019. Imaging of extracoronary arterial beds was performed by magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). Forty-one healthy individuals were recruited to serve as controls for blinded interpretation of MRA findings. Patients were recruited from the UK national SCAD registry, which enrolls throughout the UK by referral from the primary care physician or patient self-referral through an online portal. Participants attended the national SCAD referral center for assessment and MRA. Exposures: Both patients with SCAD and healthy controls underwent head-to-pelvis MRA (median time between SCAD event and MRA, 1 [IQR, 1-3] year). Main outcome and measures: The diagnosis of FMD, arterial dissections, and aneurysms was established according to the International FMD Consensus. Arterial tortuosity was assessed both qualitatively (presence or absence of an S curve) and quantitatively (number of curves ≥45%; tortuosity index). Results: Of the 173 patients with SCAD, 167 were women (96.5%); mean (SD) age at diagnosis was 44.5 (7.9) years. The prevalence of FMD was 31.8% (55 patients); 16 patients (29.1% of patients with FMD) had involvement of multiple vascular beds. Thirteen patients (7.5%) had extracoronary aneurysms and 3 patients (1.7%) had dissections. The prevalence and degree of arterial tortuosity were similar in patients and controls. In 43 patients imaged with both computed tomographic angiography and MRA, the identification of clinically significant remote arteriopathies was similar. Over a median 5-year follow-up, there were 2 noncardiovascular-associated deaths and 35 recurrent myocardial infarctions, but there were no primary extracoronary vascular events. Conclusions and relevance: In this case series with blinded analysis of patients with SCAD, severe multivessel FMD, aneurysms, and dissections were infrequent. The findings of this study suggest that, although brain-to-pelvis imaging allows detection of remote arteriopathies that may require follow-up, extracoronary vascular events appear to be rare.
  • Association between frailty and C-terminal agrin fragment with 3-month mortality following ST-elevation myocardial infarction

    Banerjee, Jay (2022)
    The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between frailty, evaluated by the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) and FRAIL scale, and C-terminal agrin fragment (CAF) levels with 3-month mortality following ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). This was a prospective observational study that included patients over the age of 18 years with STEMI admitted to the coronary intensive care unit. Within 48 h of admission, the CFS and FRAIL scale were applied and blood samples collected for serum CAF evaluation. Patients were followed for 3 months after hospital discharge, and mortality was recorded. One hundred and eleven patients were included; mean age was 62.3 ± 12.4 years, 61.3% were male and 11.7% died during the 3 months of follow-up. According to the CFS, 79.3% of the patients were classified as not frail, 12.6% as pre-frail and 8.1% as frail. According to the FRAIL scale, 31.5% of the patients were classified as not frail, 53.2% as pre-frail and 15.3% as frail. In univariate analysis, the CFS but not FRAIL scale was associated with mortality. In multiple logistic regression analysis, pre-frail/frail according to CFS (odds ratio [OR]: 6.118; CI 95%: 1.344-27.848; p = 0.019) and CAF levels (OR: 0.943; CI 95%: 0.896-0.992; p = 0.024) were associated with increased 3-month mortality. In a sub-analysis of 53 patients ≥65 years, CFS and CAF levels were associated with 3-month mortality. In conclusion, CAF levels and frailty determined by the CFS were associated with 3-month mortality after STEMI in the general and older population.
  • Outcomes following PCI in CABG candidates during the COVID-19 pandemic: The prospective multicentre UK-ReVasc registry

    Kite, Thomas; Ladwiniec, Andrew; Siddique, Laraib; Gershlick, Anthony (2022)
    Objectives: To describe outcomes following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients who would usually have undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Background: In the United Kingdom, cardiac surgery for coronary artery disease (CAD) was dramatically reduced during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many patients with "surgical disease" instead underwent PCI. Methods: Between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020, 215 patients with recognized "surgical" CAD who underwent PCI were enrolled in the prospective UK-ReVasc Registry (ReVR). 30-day major cardiovascular event outcomes were collected. Findings in ReVR patients were directly compared to reference PCI and isolated CABG pre-COVID-19 data from British Cardiovascular Intervention Society (BCIS) and National Cardiac Audit Programme (NCAP) databases. Results: ReVR patients had higher incidence of diabetes (34.4% vs 26.4%, P = .008), multi-vessel disease with left main stem disease (51.4% vs 3.0%, P < .001) and left anterior descending artery involvement (94.8% vs 67.2%, P < .001) compared to BCIS data. SYNTAX Score in ReVR was high (mean 28.0). Increased use of transradial access (93.3% vs 88.6%, P = .03), intracoronary imaging (43.6% vs 14.4%, P < .001) and calcium modification (23.6% vs 3.5%, P < .001) was observed. No difference in in-hospital mortality was demonstrated compared to PCI and CABG data (ReVR 1.4% vs BCIS 0.7%, P = .19; vs NCAP 1.0%, P = .48). Inpatient stay was half compared to CABG (3.0 vs 6.0 days). Low-event rates in ReVR were maintained to 30-day follow-up. Conclusions: PCI undertaken using contemporary techniques produces excellent short-term results in patients who would be otherwise CABG candidates. Longer-term follow-up is essential to determine whether these outcomes are maintained over time.
  • Paediatric and adult congenital cardiology education and training in Europe

    Bu'Lock, Frances (2022)
    Background: Limited data exist on training of European paediatric and adult congenital cardiologists. Methods: A structured and approved questionnaire was circulated to national delegates of Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology in 33 European countries. Results: Delegates from 30 countries (91%) responded. Paediatric cardiology was not recognised as a distinct speciality by the respective ministry of Health in seven countries (23%). Twenty countries (67%) have formally accredited paediatric cardiology training programmes, seven (23%) have substantial informal (not accredited or certified) training, and three (10%) have very limited or no programme. Twenty-two countries have a curriculum. Twelve countries have a national training director. There was one paediatric cardiology centre per 2.66 million population (range 0.87-9.64 million), one cardiac surgical centre per 4.73 million population (range 1.63-10.72 million), and one training centre per 4.29 million population (range 1.63-10.72 million population). The median number of paediatric cardiology fellows per training programme was 4 (range 1-17), and duration of training was 3 years (range 2-5 years). An exit examination in paediatric cardiology was conducted in 16 countries (53%) and certification provided by 20 countries (67%). Paediatric cardiologist number is affected by gross domestic product (R2 = 0.41). Conclusion: Training varies markedly across European countries. Although formal fellowship programmes exist in many countries, several countries have informal training or no training. Only a minority of countries provide both exit examination and certification. Harmonisation of training and standardisation of exit examination and certification could reduce variation in training thereby promoting high-quality care by European congenital cardiologists.
  • Prospective longitudinal characterization of the relationship between diabetes and cardiac structural and functional changes

    Athithan, Lavanya (2022)
    Objectives: In a cohort of type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients who underwent baseline cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and biomarker testing, during a median follow-up of 6 years, we aimed to determine longitudinal changes in the phenotypic expression of heart disease in diabetes, report clinical outcomes, and compare baseline clinical characteristics and CMR findings of patients who experienced major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) to those remaining MACE free. Background: T2D increases the risk of heart failure (HF) and cardiovascular mortality. The long-term impact of T2D on cardiac phenotype in the absence of cardiovascular disease and other clinical events is unknown. Methods: Patients with T2D (n = 100) with no history of cardiovascular disease or hypertension were recruited at baseline. Biventricular volumes, function, and myocardial extracellular volume fraction (ECV) were assessed by CMR, and blood biomarkers were taken. Follow-up CMR was repeated in those without interim clinical events after 6 years. Results: Follow-up was successful in 83 participants. Of those, 29 experienced cardiovascular/clinical events (36%). Of the remaining 59, 32 patients who experienced no events received follow-up CMR. In this cohort, despite no significant changes in blood pressure, weight, or glycated hemoglobin, significant reductions in biventricular end-diastolic volumes and ejection fractions occurred over time. The mean ECV was unchanged. Baseline plasma high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) was significantly associated with a change in left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction. Patients who experienced MACE had higher LV mass and greater LV concentricity than those who remained event free. Conclusions: T2D results in reductions in biventricular size and systolic function over time even in the absence of cardiovascular/clinical events.
  • Recent advances in the tools available for atrial fibrillation ablation

    Kotb, Ahmed; Chin, Shui Hao; Ng, G Andre (2022)
    Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the commonest arrhythmia in clinical practice with significant detrimental health impacts. Much effort has been spent in mapping AF, determine its triggers and drivers, and how to develop tools to eliminate these triggers. Areas covered: In this state of-the-art review article, we aim to highlight the recent techniques in catheter-based management of Atrial Fibrillation; including new advancements either in the catheter design or the software used. This includes a comprehensive summary of the most recent tools used in AF mapping and subsequent ablation. Expert opinion: Electrical isolation of the pulmonary veins has been developed and established as the cornerstone in AF ablation with good results in patients with paroxysmal AF (PAF) whilst new ablation tools are aimed at streamlining the procedure. However, the quest for persistent AF (PeAF) remains. The future of AF ablation, we believe, lies in identifying AF drivers by means of the new developing mapping tools and altering their electrical properties in a safe, reproducible, and effective manner.
  • Medical education and training within congenital cardiology: current global status and future directions in a post COVID-19 world

    Bu'Lock, Frances (2022)
    Despite enormous strides in our field with respect to patient care, there has been surprisingly limited dialogue on how to train and educate the next generation of congenital cardiologists. This paper reviews the current status of training and evolving developments in medical education pertinent to congenital cardiology. The adoption of competency-based medical education has been lauded as a robust framework for contemporary medical education over the last two decades. However, inconsistencies in frameworks across different jurisdictions remain, and bridging gaps between competency frameworks and clinical practice has proved challenging. Entrustable professional activities have been proposed as a solution, but integration of such activities into busy clinical cardiology practices will present its own challenges. Consequently, this pivot towards a more structured approach to medical education necessitates the widespread availability of appropriately trained medical educationalists, a development that will better inform curriculum development, instructional design, and assessment. Differentiation between superficial and deep learning, the vital role of rich formative feedback and coaching, should guide our trainees to become self-regulated learners, capable of critical reasoning yet retaining an awareness of uncertainty and ambiguity. Furthermore, disruptive innovations such as "technology enhanced learning" may be leveraged to improve education, especially for trainees from low- and middle-income countries. Each of these initiatives will require resources, widespread advocacy and raised awareness, and publication of supporting data, and so it is especially gratifying that Cardiology in the Young has fostered a progressive approach, agreeing to publish one or two articles in each journal issue in this domain.
  • Rare coding variants in 35 genes associate with circulating lipid levels-A multi-ancestry analysis of 170,000 exomes

    Bown, Matthew; Samani, Nilesh (2022)
    Large-scale gene sequencing studies for complex traits have the potential to identify causal genes with therapeutic implications. We performed gene-based association testing of blood lipid levels with rare (minor allele frequency < 1%) predicted damaging coding variation by using sequence data from >170,000 individuals from multiple ancestries: 97,493 European, 30,025 South Asian, 16,507 African, 16,440 Hispanic/Latino, 10,420 East Asian, and 1,182 Samoan. We identified 35 genes associated with circulating lipid levels; some of these genes have not been previously associated with lipid levels when using rare coding variation from population-based samples. We prioritize 32 genes in array-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci based on aggregations of rare coding variants; three (EVI5, SH2B3, and PLIN1) had no prior association of rare coding variants with lipid levels. Most of our associated genes showed evidence of association among multiple ancestries. Finally, we observed an enrichment of gene-based associations for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol drug target genes and for genes closest to GWAS index single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Our results demonstrate that gene-based associations can be beneficial for drug target development and provide evidence that the gene closest to the array-based GWAS index SNP is often the functional gene for blood lipid levels.

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