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Genomic Studies Reveal Links Between Prostate Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 13 May 2014
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Image: Micrograph of normal prostatic glands and those with prostate adenocarcinoma (upper right portion of image) (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Image: Micrograph of normal prostatic glands and those with prostate adenocarcinoma (upper right portion of image) (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
A large-scale statistical evaluation of genomic studies linked to either prostate cancer (PCA) or cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk identified 17 genetic loci that link prostate cancer to risk of developing CVD.

Investigators at Oslo University (Norway) and their colleagues at the University of California, San Diego (USA) applied a genetic epidemiology method based on conjunction false discovery rate (FDR) that combined summary statistics from different genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and allowed identification of genetic overlap between two phenotypes. FDR is a statistical method used in multiple hypotheses testing to correct for multiple comparisons. In a list of findings, FDR procedures are designed to control the expected proportion of incorrectly rejected null hypotheses.

The investigators evaluated summary statistics from large, multicenter GWA studies of PCA (n = 50,000) and CVD risk factors (n = 200,000). CVD risk factors included triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, and type II diabetes.

Results published in the April 30, 2014, online edition of the International Journal of Epidemiology revealed that the strongest association between PCA and CVD risk was conditional on LDL and TG. In contrast, the investigators found only weak enrichment conditional on HDL or conditional on the other traits investigated. Conjunction FDR identified altogether 17 loci; 10 loci were associated with PCA and LDL, three loci were associated with PCA and TG and additionally four loci were associated with PCA, LDL, and TG jointly.

"It is fair to say that risk relationships of various sorts have been proposed between prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease, although not comorbidity per se," said contributing author Dr. Ian G. Mills, researcher in the prostate cancer group at the University of Oslo. "There is a lack of consistency across cohorts, however, in size and direction of effects, depending on cardiovascular risk factor considered. The significant risk association with LDL cholesterol and triglycerides versus the other traits at a genetic level was novel and unexpected."

Related Links:

Oslo University
University of California, San Diego

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