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Articles by E. J Benjamin
Total Records ( 7 ) for E. J Benjamin
  R. B Schnabel , T Aspelund , G Li , L. M Sullivan , A Suchy Dicey , T. B Harris , M. J Pencina , R. B D'Agostino , D Levy , W. B Kannel , T. J Wang , R. A Kronmal , P. A Wolf , G. L Burke , L. J Launer , R. S Vasan , B. M Psaty , E. J Benjamin , V Gudnason and S. R. Heckbert

Background  We sought to validate a recently published risk algorithm for incident atrial fibrillation (AF) in independent cohorts and other racial groups.

Methods  We evaluated the performance of a Framingham Heart Study (FHS)-derived risk algorithm modified for 5-year incidence of AF in the FHS (n = 4764 participants) and 2 geographically and racially diverse cohorts in the age range 45 to 95 years: AGES (the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study) (n = 4238) and CHS (the Cardiovascular Health Study) (n = 5410, of whom 874 [16.2%] were African Americans). The risk algorithm included age, sex, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, electrocardiographic PR interval, hypertension treatment, and heart failure.

Results  We found 1359 incident AF events in 100 074 person-years of follow-up. Unadjusted 5-year event rates differed by cohort (AGES, 12.8 cases/1000 person-years; CHS whites, 22.7 cases/1000 person-years; and FHS, 4.5 cases/1000 person-years) and by race (CHS African Americans, 18.4 cases/1000 person-years). The strongest risk factors in all samples were age and heart failure. The relative risks for incident AF associated with risk factors were comparable across cohorts and race groups. After recalibration for baseline incidence and risk factor distribution, the Framingham algorithm, reported in C statistic, performed reasonably well in all samples: AGES, 0.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64-0.71); CHS whites, 0.68 (95% CI, 0.66-0.70); and CHS African Americans, 0.66 (95% CI, 0.61-0.71). Risk factors combined in the algorithm explained between 47.0% (AGES) and 63.6% (FHS) of the population-attributable risk.

Conclusions  Risk of incident AF in community-dwelling whites and African Americans can be assessed reliably by routinely available and potentially modifiable clinical variables. Seven risk factors accounted for up to 64% of risk.

  D. S Lee , P Gona , R. S Vasan , M. G Larson , E. J Benjamin , T. J Wang , J. V Tu and D. Levy

Background— The contributions of risk factors and disease pathogenesis to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) versus heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFREF) have not been fully explored.

Methods and Results— We examined clinical characteristics and risk factors at time of heart failure onset and long-term survival in Framingham Heart Study participants according to left ventricular ejection fraction ≤45% (n=314; 59%) versus >45% (n=220; 41%) and hierarchical causal classification. Heart failure was attributed to coronary heart disease in 278 participants (52%), valvular heart disease in 42 (8%), hypertension in 140 (26%), or other/unknown causes in 74 (14%). Multivariable predictors of HFPEF (versus HFREF) included elevated systolic blood pressure (odds ratio [OR]=1.13 per 10 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04 to 1.22), atrial fibrillation (OR=4.23; 95% CI, 2.38 to 7.52), and female sex (OR=2.29; 95% CI, 1.35 to 3.90). Conversely, prior myocardial infarction (OR=0.32; 95% CI, 0.19 to 0.53) and left bundle-branch block QRS morphology (OR=0.21; 95% CI, 0.10 to 0.46) reduced the odds of HFPEF. Long-term prognosis was grim, with a median survival of 2.1 years (5-year mortality rate, 74%), and was equally poor in men and women with HFREF or HFPEF.

Conclusions— Among community patients with new-onset heart failure, there are differences in causes and time-of-onset clinical characteristics between those with HFPEF versus HFREF. In people with HFREF, mortality is increased when coronary heart disease is the underlying cause. These findings suggest that heart failure with reduced left ventricular systolic function and heart failure with preserved left ventricular systolic function are partially distinct entities, with potentially different approaches to early detection and prevention.

  W Lieb , V Xanthakis , L. M Sullivan , J Aragam , M. J Pencina , M. G Larson , E. J Benjamin and R. S. Vasan

Background— Information is limited on the longitudinal tracking of left ventricular (LV) mass over the adult life course and the determinants of such change.

Methods and Results— We used multilevel modeling to evaluate the correlates of LV mass prospectively over a 16-year period in 4217 Framingham study participants (mean age 45 years, 53% women) using up to 4 serial routine echocardiographic observations on each individual (11 762 observations). Age, sex, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive treatment, smoking, and diabetes mellitus were related to longitudinal measures of LV mass. Women and participants with diabetes mellitus experienced a steeper increase in LV mass with advancing age (compared with men and those without diabetes mellitus; P for interactions <0.0001 and 0.0003, respectively). Women also displayed greater increments in LV mass with increasing body mass index (compared with men, P=0.04 for interaction). Participants with optimal values of these risk factors experienced lesser increases in LV mass over time. Analyses evaluating short-term (4-year) changes in LV mass (2605 unique individuals providing 4494 observations) identified the same key determinants that influenced its long-term trajectory (ie, body mass index, sex, systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive treatment, and smoking).

Conclusions— Our longitudinal observations on a large community-based sample identified higher blood pressure, excess adiposity, smoking, and diabetes mellitus as fundamental determinants of LV mass tracking over the adult life course. These observations are consistent with the notion that maintenance of optimal levels of these risk factors in midlife will reduce the burden of LV hypertrophy, and possibly heart failure, in older age.

  R. S Vasan , S Demissie , M Kimura , L. A Cupples , C White , J. P Gardner , X Cao , D Levy , E. J Benjamin and A. Aviv

Background— Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) decreases over the adult life course owing to the cumulative burden of oxidative stress, inflammation, and exposure to vascular risk factors. Left ventricular (LV) mass is a biomarker of long-standing exposure to cardiovascular disease risk factors. We hypothesized that LTL is related inversely to LV mass.

Methods and Results— We related LTL (measured by Southern blot analysis) to echocardiographic LV mass and its components (LV diastolic dimension and LV wall thickness) in 850 Framingham Heart Study participants (mean age 58 years, 58% women) using multivariable linear regression with adjustment for age, sex, height, weight, systolic blood pressure, hypertension treatment, and smoking. Overall, multivariable-adjusted LTL was positively related to LV mass (β-coefficient per SD increase 0.072; P=0.001), LV wall thickness (β=0.053; P=0.01), and LV diastolic dimension (β=0.035; P=0.09). We observed effect modification by hypertension status (P for interaction=0.02 for LV mass); LTL was more strongly associated with LV mass and LV wall thickness in individuals with hypertension (β-coefficient per SD increment of 0.10 and 0.08, respectively; P<0.01 for both). Participants with hypertension who were in the top quartile of LV mass had LTL that was 250 base pairs longer than those in the lowest quartile (P for trend across quartiles=0.009).

Conclusions— In contrast to our expectation, in the present community-based sample, LTL was positively associated with LV mass and wall thickness, especially so in participants with hypertension. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that longer LTL may be a marker of propensity to LV hypertrophy.

  A. C Morrison , J. F Felix , L. A Cupples , N. L Glazer , L. R Loehr , A Dehghan , S Demissie , J. C Bis , W. D Rosamond , Y. S Aulchenko , Y. A Wang , T Haritunians , A. R Folsom , F Rivadeneira , E. J Benjamin , T Lumley , D Couper , B. H Stricker , C. J O'Donnell , K. M Rice , P. P Chang , A Hofman , D Levy , J. I Rotter , E. R Fox , A. G Uitterlinden , T. J Wang , B. M Psaty , J. T Willerson , C. M van Duijn , E Boerwinkle , J. C. M Witteman , R. S Vasan and N. L. Smith

Prognosis and survival are significant concerns for individuals with heart failure (HF). To better understand the pathophysiology of HF prognosis, the association between 2 366 858 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and all-cause mortality was evaluated among individuals with incident HF from 4 community-based prospective cohorts: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Framingham Heart Study, and the Rotterdam Study.

Methods and Results—

Participants were 2526 individuals of European ancestry and 466 individuals of African ancestry who experienced an incident HF event during follow-up in the respective cohorts. Within each study, the association between genetic variants and time to mortality among individuals with HF was assessed by Cox proportional hazards models that included adjustment for sex and age at the time of the HF event. Prospective fixed-effect meta-analyses were conducted for the 4 study populations of European ancestry (N=1645 deaths) and for the 2 populations of African ancestry (N=281 deaths). Genome-wide significance was set at P=5.0x10–7. Meta-analytic findings among individuals of European ancestry revealed 1 genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 3p22 in an intron of CKLF-like MARVEL transmembrane domain containing 7 (CMTM7, P=3.2x10–7). Eight additional loci in individuals of European ancestry and 4 loci in individuals of African ancestry were identified by high-signal SNPs (P<1.0x10–5) but did not meet genome-wide significance.


This study identified a novel locus associated with all-cause mortality among individuals of European ancestry with HF. This finding warrants additional investigation, including replication, in other studies of HF.

  K Musunuru , G Lettre , T Young , D. N Farlow , J. P Pirruccello , K. G Ejebe , B. J Keating , Q Yang , M. H Chen , N Lapchyk , A Crenshaw , L Ziaugra , A Rachupka , E. J Benjamin , L. A Cupples , M Fornage , E. R Fox , S. R Heckbert , J. N Hirschhorn , C Newton Cheh , M. M Nizzari , D. N Paltoo , G. J Papanicolaou , S. R Patel , B. M Psaty , D. J Rader , S Redline , S. S Rich , J. I Rotter , H. A Taylor , R. P Tracy , R. S Vasan , J. G Wilson , S Kathiresan , R. R Fabsitz , E Boerwinkle , S. B Gabriel and for the NHLBI Candidate Gene Association Resource

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe), a planned cross-cohort analysis of genetic variation in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep-related traits, comprises >40 000 participants representing 4 ethnic groups in 9 community-based cohorts. The goals of CARe include the discovery of new variants associated with traits using a candidate gene approach and the discovery of new variants using the genome-wide association mapping approach specifically in African Americans.

Methods and Results—

CARe has assembled DNA samples for >40 000 individuals self-identified as European American, African American, Hispanic, or Chinese American, with accompanying data on hundreds of phenotypes that have been standardized and deposited in the CARe Phenotype Database. All participants were genotyped for 7 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) selected based on prior association evidence. We performed association analyses relating each of these SNPs to lipid traits, stratified by sex and ethnicity, and adjusted for age and age squared. In at least 2 of the ethnic groups, SNPs near CETP, LIPC, and LPL strongly replicated for association with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, PCSK9 with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and LPL and APOA5 with serum triglycerides. Notably, some SNPs showed varying effect sizes and significance of association in different ethnic groups.


The CARe Pilot Study validates the operational framework for phenotype collection, SNP genotyping, and analytic pipeline of the CARe project and validates the planned candidate gene study of 2000 biological candidate loci in all participants and genome-wide association study in 8000 African American participants. CARe will serve as a valuable resource for the scientific community.

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