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The Genetic Correlation Between Cardiometabolic Disease and Functional Status in Long-lived Adults

Yudkovicz, Julia (2020) The Genetic Correlation Between Cardiometabolic Disease and Functional Status in Long-lived Adults. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background: Although measures can be taken to prevent or improve the outcomes of cardiometabolic diseases, they continue to be the leading causes of death among individuals aged 65 years or older. Because cardiometabolic disease is often accompanied by other aging comorbidities, like declines in cognitive and physical function, clinical research has begun evaluating the genetic determinants and joint etiologies of these comorbidities. The significance of studying these aging-based diseases enables us to better prepare for and improve the public health of a largely aging population.
Hypothesis: We hypothesize that cognitive and physical function measures share a common genetic basis with cardiometabolic disease measures including the common carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), inter-adventitial diameter (IAD), BMI, and systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure.
Methods: Participants for this study included a subset of families from the Long Life Family Study (n=4,953) who were recruited based on the family’s exceptional longevity (mean age=71.87years, 44% female). The carotid measures, IMT and IAD, were assessed using B-mode ultrasound. A number of physical and cognitive function measures (i.e., gait speed, grip strength, chair stand time, digital symbol substitution test (DSST), overall and working memory, semantic fluency, trail making tests, and fatigability), were also collected the time of cardiometabolic assessment. We used SOLAR to estimate the heritability and the genetic and phenotypic correlation between each pair of cardiometabolic and functional measures and adjusted for age, age2, sex, field centers, height, weight and smoking.
Results: All measures were significantly heritable (h2 range 0.133 to 0.621, all p≤0.01).
There were significant genetic correlations (all p<0.05) between cognitive tests and blood pressures (DSST and semantic fluency with both SBP and DBP, overall memory with SBP, and Trail Time with DBP), BMI was genetically correlated with DSST and overall memory, and IMT with working memory. No significant genetic correlations were found between physical function and cardiometabolic disease measures.
Conclusion: These results suggest that cardiometabolic disease shares a common genetic basis with cognitive function, which allude to a potential biologic relationship between these aging-related traits. This finding may be particularly important in the clinical care of older adults with multiple chronic diseases.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Yudkovicz, Juliajjy8@pitt.edujjy8
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKuipers, Allisonkuipersa@edc.pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberKammerer, Candacecmk3@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
ActorBarinas-Mitchell, Emmabarinas@edc.pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 28 April 2020
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 42
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2020 02:45
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2020 02:45

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