HERMES is an international collaboration to investigate the genetic basis of heart failure. This unique global effort currently comprises 57 population-based cohorts, case-control studies and randomized clinical trials, including over 140,000 heart failure cases.
We aim to generate insights into the causal pathways leading to heart failure to inform new therapeutic approaches. We combine large-scale genome-wide association analysis with Mendelian randomisation for causal inference and drug target validation.
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heart failure patient samples
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AIMS: The HERMES (HEart failure Molecular Epidemiology for Therapeutic targetS) consortium aims to identify the genomic and molecular basis of heart failure. METHODS AND RESULTS: The consortium currently includes 51 studies from 11 countries, including 68 157 heart failure cases and 949 888 controls, with data on heart failure events and prognosis. All studies collected biological samples and performed genome-wide genotyping of common genetic variants. The enrolment of subjects into participating studies ranged from 1948 to the present day, and the median follow-up following heart failure diagnosis ranged from 2 to 116 months. Forty-nine of 51 individual studies enrolled participants of both sexes; in these studies, participants with heart failure were predominantly male (34-90%). The mean age at diagnosis or ascertainment across all studies ranged from 54 to 84 years. Based on the aggregate sample, we estimated 80% power to genetic variant associations with risk of heart failure with an odds ratio of $≥$1.10 for common variants (allele frequency $≥$ 0.05) and $≥$1.20 for low-frequency variants (allele frequency 0.01-0.05) at P < 5 $times$ 10-8 under an additive genetic model. CONCLUSIONS: HERMES is a global collaboration aiming to (i) identify the genetic determinants of heart failure; (ii) generate insights into the causal pathways leading to heart failure and enable genetic approaches to target prioritization; and (iii) develop genomic tools for disease stratification and risk prediction.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to use Mendelian randomization (MR) techniques to estimate the causal relationships between genetic liability to type 2 diabetes (T2D), glycemic traits, and risk of heart failure (HF). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Summary-level data were obtained from genome-wide association studies of T2D, insulin resistance (IR), glycated hemoglobin, fasting insulin and glucose, and HF. MR was conducted using the inverse-variance weighted method. Sensitivity analyses included the MR-Egger method, weighted median and mode methods, and multivariable MR conditioning on potential mediators. RESULTS: Genetic liability to T2D was causally related to higher risk of HF (odds ratio [OR] 1.13 per 1-log unit higher risk of T2D; 95% CI 1.11-1.14; P < 0.001); however, sensitivity analysis revealed evidence of directional pleiotropy. The relationship between T2D and HF was attenuated when adjusted for coronary disease, BMI, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure in multivariable MR. Genetically instrumented higher IR was associated with higher risk of HF (OR 1.19 per 1-log unit higher risk of IR; 95% CI 1.00-1.41; P = 0.041). There were no notable associations identified between fasting insulin, glucose, or glycated hemoglobin and risk of HF. Genetic liability to HF was causally linked to higher risk of T2D (OR 1.49; 95% CI 1.01-2.19; P = 0.042), although again with evidence of pleiotropy. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest a possible causal role of T2D and IR in HF etiology, although the presence of both bidirectional effects and directional pleiotropy highlights potential sources of bias that must be considered.
Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A small proportion of HF cases are attributable to monogenic cardiomyopathies and existing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have yielded only limited insights, leaving the observed heritability of HF largely unexplained. We report results from a GWAS meta-analysis of HF comprising 47,309 cases and 930,014 controls. Twelve independent variants at 11 genomic loci are associated with HF, all of which demonstrate one or more associations with coronary artery disease (CAD), atrial fibrillation, or reduced left ventricular function, suggesting shared genetic aetiology. Functional analysis of non-CAD-associated loci implicate genes involved in cardiac development (MYOZ1, SYNPO2L), protein homoeostasis (BAG3), and cellular senescence (CDKN1A). Mendelian randomisation analysis supports causal roles for several HF risk factors, and demonstrates CAD-independent effects for atrial fibrillation, body mass index, and hypertension. These findings extend our knowledge of the pathways underlying HF and may inform new therapeutic strategies.
The Metabolomics Working Group seeks to leverage the infrastructure, expertise, and cohorts of the HERMES Consortium with the overall goal of determining metabolic pathways associated with and prognostic of heart failure phenotypes and outcomes. The Metabolomics Working Group is performing meta-analyses of existing metabolomics data; harmonizing metabolomics data; and working collaboratively to identify potential funding sources for additional metabolomic profiling of available samples. The HERMES Metabolomics Working Group consists of representatives from HERMES genetics cohorts who are working together collaboratively to use human cohort data to better understand metabolic pathways in heart failure pathogenesis.