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Agakov F.V.,Pharmatics Ltd | Orchard P.,University of Edinburgh | Storkey A.,University of Edinburgh
Journal of Machine Learning Research | Year: 2012

We describe a simple and efficient approach to learning structures of sparse high-dimensional latent variable models. Standard algorithms either learn structures of specific predefined forms, or estimate sparse graphs in the data space ignoring the possibility of the latent variables. In contrast, our method learns rich dependencies and allows for latent variables that may confound the relations between the observations. We extend the model to conditional mixtures with side information and non-Gaussian marginal distributions of the observations. We then show that our model may be used for learning sparse latent variable structures corresponding to multiple unknown states, and for uncovering features useful for explaining and predicting structural changes. We apply the model to real-world financial data with heavy-tailed marginals covering the low-and high-market volatility periods of 2005-2011. We show that our method tends to give rise to significantly higher likelihoods of test data than standard network learning methods exploiting the sparsity assumption. We also demonstrate that our approach may be practical for financial stress-testing and visualization of dependencies between financial instruments. Source


Zgaga L.,University of Edinburgh | Zgaga L.,University of Zagreb | Theodoratou E.,University of Edinburgh | Kyle J.,Aberdeen Group | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Introduction: Hyperuricemia is a strong risk factor for gout. The incidence of gout and hyperuricemia has increased recently, which is thought to be, in part, due to changes in diet and lifestyle. Objective of this study was to investigate the association between plasma urate concentration and: a) food items: dairy, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and purine-rich vegetables; b) related nutrients: lactose, calcium and fructose. Methods: A total of 2,076 healthy participants (44% female) from a population-based case-control study in Scotland (1999-2006) were included in this study. Dietary data was collected using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Nutrient intake was calculated using FFQ and composition of foods information. Urate concentration was measured in plasma. Results: Mean urate concentration was 283.8±72.1 mmol/dL (females: 260.1±68.9 mmol/dL and males: 302.3±69.2 mmol/dL). Using multivariate regression analysis we found that dairy, calcium and lactose intakes were inversely associated with urate (p = 0.008, p = 0.003, p = 0.0007, respectively). Overall SSB consumption was positively associated with urate (p = 0.008), however, energy-adjusted fructose intake was not associated with urate (p = 0.66). The intake of purine-rich vegetables was not associated to plasma urate (p = 0.38). Conclusions: Our results suggest that limiting purine-rich vegetables intake for lowering plasma urate may be ineffectual, despite current recommendations. Although a positive association between plasma urate and SSB consumption was found, there was no association with fructose intake, suggesting that fructose is not the causal agent underlying the SSB-urate association. The abundant evidence supporting the inverse association between plasma urate concentration and dairy consumption should be reflected in dietary guidelines for hyperuricemic individuals and gout patients. Further research is needed to establish which nutrients and food products influence plasma urate concentration, to inform the development of evidence-based dietary guidelines. © 2012 Zgaga et al. Source


Zgaga L.,University of Edinburgh | Zgaga L.,University of Zagreb | Agakov F.,University of Edinburgh | Agakov F.,Pharmatics Ltd | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Introduction:Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), but causal relationship has not yet been confirmed. We investigate the direction of causation between vitamin D and CRC by extending the conventional approaches to allow pleiotropic relationships and by explicitly modelling unmeasured confounders.Methods:Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD), genetic variants associated with 25-OHD and CRC, and other relevant information was available for 2645 individuals (1057 CRC cases and 1588 controls) and included in the model. We investigate whether 25-OHD is likely to be causally associated with CRC, or vice versa, by selecting the best modelling hypothesis according to Bayesian predictive scores. We examine consistency for a range of prior assumptions.Results:Model comparison showed preference for the causal association between low 25-OHD and CRC over the reverse causal hypothesis. This was confirmed for posterior mean deviances obtained for both models (11.5 natural log units in favour of the causal model), and also for deviance information criteria (DIC) computed for a range of prior distributions. Overall, models ignoring hidden confounding or pleiotropy had significantly poorer DIC scores.Conclusion:Results suggest causal association between 25-OHD and colorectal cancer, and support the need for randomised clinical trials for further confirmations. © 2013 Zgaga et al. Source


Looker H.C.,University of Dundee | Colombo M.,University of Edinburgh | Hess S.,Sanofi S.A. | Brosnan M.J.,Pfizer | And 13 more authors.
Kidney International | Year: 2015

Here we evaluated the performance of a large set of serum biomarkers for the prediction of rapid progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients with type 2 diabetes. We used a case-control design nested within a prospective cohort of patients with baseline eGFR 30-60 ml/min per 1.73 m 2. Within a 3.5-year period of Go-DARTS study patients, 154 had over a 40% eGFR decline and 153 controls maintained over 95% of baseline eGFR. A total of 207 serum biomarkers were measured and logistic regression was used with forward selection to choose a subset that were maximized on top of clinical variables including age, gender, hemoglobin A1c, eGFR, and albuminuria. Nested cross-validation determined the best number of biomarkers to retain and evaluate for predictive performance. Ultimately, 30 biomarkers showed significant associations with rapid progression and adjusted for clinical characteristics. A panel of 14 biomarkers increased the area under the ROC curve from 0.706 (clinical data alone) to 0.868. Biomarkers selected included fibroblast growth factor-21, the symmetric to asymmetric dimethylarginine ratio, β2-microglobulin, C16-acylcarnitine, and kidney injury molecule-1. Use of more extensive clinical data including prebaseline eGFR slope improved prediction but to a lesser extent than biomarkers (area under the ROC curve of 0.793). Thus we identified several novel associations of biomarkers with CKD progression and the utility of a small panel of biomarkers to improve prediction. Source


Sivakumaran S.,University of Edinburgh | Agakov F.,University of Edinburgh | Agakov F.,Pharmatics Ltd | Theodoratou E.,University of Edinburgh | And 8 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2011

We present a systematic review of pleiotropy among SNPs and genes reported to show genome-wide association with common complex diseases and traits. We find abundant evidence of pleiotropy; 233 (16.9%) genes and 77 (4.6%) SNPs show pleiotropic effects. SNP pleiotropic status was associated with gene location (p = 0.024; pleiotropic SNPs more often exonic [14.5% versus 4.9% for nonpleiotropic, trait-associated SNPs] and less often intergenic [15.8% versus 23.6%]), "predicted transcript consequence" (p = 0.001; pleiotropic SNPs more often predicted to be structurally deleterious [5% versus 0.4%] but not more often in regulatory sequences), and certain disease classes. We develop a method to calculate the likelihood that pleiotropic links between traits occurred more often than expected and demonstrate that this approach can identify etiological links that are already known (such as between fetal hemoglobin and malaria risk) and those that are not yet established (e.g., between plasma campesterol levels and gallstones risk; and between immunoglobulin A and juvenile idiopathic arthritis). Examples of pleiotropy will accumulate over time, but it is already clear that pleiotropy is a common property of genes and SNPs associated with disease traits, and this will have implications for identification of molecular targets for drug development, future genetic risk-profiling, and classification of diseases. © 2011 The American Society of Human Genetics. Source

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