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Study Description

This substudy phs000283 MESA CARe contains 50k genotypes from ~2,100 candidate genes across a range of cardiovascular, metabolic, and inflammatory syndromes, produced as part of NHLBI's Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) project. Summary level phenotypes for the MESA Cohort study participants can be viewed at the top-level study page phs000209 MESA Cohort. Individual level phenotype data and molecular data for all MESA top-level study and substudies are available by requesting Authorized Access to the MESA Cohort study phs000209.

MESA
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) is a study of the characteristics of subclinical cardiovascular disease (disease detected non-invasively before it has produced clinical signs and symptoms) and the risk factors that predict progression to clinically overt cardiovascular disease or progression of the subclinical disease. MESA researchers study a diverse, population-based sample of 6,814 asymptomatic men and women aged 45-84. Thirty-eight percent of the recruited participants are white, 28 percent African-American, 22 percent Hispanic, and 12 percent Asian, predominantly of Chinese descent.

Participants were recruited from six field centers across the United States: Wake Forest University, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University and University of California - Los Angeles. Each participant received an extensive physical exam to determine coronary calcification, ventricular mass and function, flow-mediated endothelial vasodilation, carotid intimal-medial wall thickness and presence of echogenic lucencies in the carotid artery, lower extremity vascular insufficiency, arterial wave forms, electrocardiographic (ECG) measures, standard coronary risk factors, sociodemographic factors, lifestyle factors, and psychosocial factors. Selected repetition of subclinical disease measures and risk factors at follow-up visits allows study of the progression of disease. Blood samples have been assayed for putative biochemical risk factors and stored for case-control studies. DNA has been extracted and lymphocytes cryopreserved (for possible immortalization) for study of candidate genes and possibly, genome-wide scanning, expression, and other genetic techniques. Participants are being followed for identification and characterization of cardiovascular disease events, including acute myocardial infarction and other forms of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and congestive heart failure; for cardiovascular disease interventions; and for mortality.

In addition to the six Field Centers, MESA involves a Coordinating Center, a Central Laboratory, and Central Reading Centers for Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Ultrasound, and Electrocardiography (ECG). Protocol development, staff training, and pilot testing were performed in the first 18 months of the study. The first examination took place over two years, from July 2000 - July 2002. It was followed by four examination periods that were 17-20 months in length. Participants have been contacted every 9 to 12 months throughout the study to assess clinical morbidity and mortality.

NHLBI Candidate-gene Association Resource. The NHLBI initiated the Candidate gene Association Resource (CARe) to create a shared genotype/phenotype resource for analyses of the association of genotypes with phenotypes relevant to the mission of the NHLBI. The resource comprises nine cohort studies funded by the NHLBI including: Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC), Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), Cleveland Family Study (CFS), Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA), Framingham Heart Study (FHS), Jackson Heart Study (JHS), Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), and the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS). A database of genotype and phenotype data was created that includes records for approximately 41,000 study participants with approximately 50,000 SNPs from more than 2,000 selected candidate genes. In addition, a genome wide association study using a 1,000K SNP Chip was conducted on approximately 8,900 African American participants drawn from five CARe cohorts: ARIC, CARDIA, CFS, JHS, and MESA. Data from individual cohorts is available to approved investigators through dbGaP.

Some relevant CARe publications
CARe Study: PMID 20400780
CVD Chip Design: PMID 18974833

  • Study Weblink: MESA
  • Study Type: Longitudinal
  • Number of study subjects that have individual level data available through Authorized Access: 6351

Authorized Access
Publicly Available Data (Public ftp)

Note: Access to publicly available data is available on the public ftp site for study phs000209.v12.p3.

Study Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

Eligible MESA participants were defined as persons living within the defined geographic boundaries for each Field Center between the ages of 45 and 84 at enumeration, who are African-American, Chinese-American, Caucasian, or Hispanic, and who do not meet any of the exclusion criteria (see below). Target race/ethnic groups for each field center were chosen to maximize efficiency to detect race/ethnic differences and to allow the separation of the effect of race/ethnicity from that of study site.

MESA's primary hypotheses are concerned with the determinants and natural history of subclinical cardiovascular disease. Therefore, participants with known clinical disease were not recruited. Most other exclusion criteria related to the long-term nature of the study or to incompatibility with certain components of the MESA exam. Eligibility (or ineligibility) status was determined from self-reported information and no attempt was made to validate the participant's response. MESA's exclusion criteria are below:

  • Age younger than 45 or older than 84 years
  • Physician-diagnosed heart attack
  • Physician-diagnosed angina or taking nitroglycerin
  • Physician-diagnosed stroke or TIA
  • Physician-diagnosed heart failure
  • Current atrial fibrillation
  • Having undergone procedures related to cardiovascular disease (CABG, angioplasty, valve replacement, pacemaker or defibrillator implantation, any surgery on the heart or arteries)
  • Active treatment for cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Any serious medical condition which would prevent long-term participation
  • Weight >300 pounds
  • Cognitive inability as judged by the interviewer
  • Living in a nursing home or on the waiting list for a nursing home
  • Plans to leave the community within five years
  • Language barrier (speaks other than English, Spanish, Cantonese or Mandarin)
  • Chest CT scan in the past year

Molecular Data
TypeSourcePlatformNumber of Oligos/SNPsSNP Batch IdComment
Whole Genome Genotyping Affymetrix AFFY_6.0 934940 52074
Targeted Region Genotyping Illumina CVDSNP55v1_A 49094 1050734
Selected publications
Diseases/Traits Related to Study (MESH terms)
Authorized Data Access Requests
Study Attribution
  • MESA Principal Investigators
    • Richard Kronmal, PhD. Coordinating Center, University of Washington, WA, USA
    • Robyn McClelland, PhD. Coordinating Center, University of Washington, WA, USA
    • Steven Shea, MD. Field Center, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
    • Wendy Post, MD, MS. Field Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
    • Kiang Liu, PhD. Field Center, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA
    • Aaron Folsom, MD, MPH. Field Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    • Karol Watson, MD, PhD. Field Center, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
    • Gregory Burke, MD, MS. Field Center, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
    • Russell Tracy, PhD. Central Laboratory, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA
    • Matthew J. Budoff, MD. CT Reading Center, University of California at Los Angeles, Torrance, CA, USA
    • João A. Lima, MD. MRI Reading Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
    • Daniel H. O'Leary, MD. Ultrasound Reading Center, New England Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA
    • Elsayed Z. Soliman, MD, MSc. ECG Reading Center, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
    • Jerome I. Rotter, MD. Genetics Center, Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA, USA
    • Stephen Rich, PhD. Genetic Analysis Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
    • Michael Tsai, PhD. Central Lipid Lab, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
  • CARe Project Officers
    • Richard Fabsitz, PhD. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
    • George Papanicolaou, PhD. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
    • Dina Paltoo, PhD. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - Coordinating Center
    • N01-HC-95159. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - UCLA Field Center
    • N01-HC-95160. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - Columbia University Field Center
    • N01-HC-95161. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - Columbia GCRC
    • RR-024156. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - Johns Hopkins University Field Center
    • N01-HC-95162. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - University of Minnesota Field Center
    • N01-HC-95163. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - Northwestern University Field Center
    • N01-HC-95164. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - Wake Forest University Field Center
    • N01-HC-95165. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - Central Laboratory
    • N01-HC-95166. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - Ultrasound Reading Center
    • N01-HC-95167. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - MRI Reading Center
    • N01-HC-95168. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • MESA Funding Source - CT Reading Center
    • N01-HC-95169. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) - Broad Institute
    • HHSN268200625226C (ADB No. N01-HC-65226). National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA