Marginal role for 53 common genetic variants in cardiovascular disease prediction

Heart. 2016 Oct 15;102(20):1640-7. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2016-309298. Epub 2016 Jun 30.


Objective: We investigated discrimination and calibration of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk scores when genotypic was added to phenotypic information. The potential of genetic information for those at intermediate risk by a phenotype-based risk score was assessed.

Methods: Data were from seven prospective studies including 11 851 individuals initially free of CVD or diabetes, with 1444 incident CVD events over 10 years' follow-up. We calculated a score from 53 CVD-related single nucleotide polymorphisms and an established CVD risk equation 'QRISK-2' comprising phenotypic measures. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), detection rate for given false-positive rate (FPR) and net reclassification improvement (NRI) index were estimated for gene scores alone and in addition to the QRISK-2 CVD risk score. We also evaluated use of genetic information only for those at intermediate risk according to QRISK-2.

Results: The AUROC was 0.635 for QRISK-2 alone and 0.623 with addition of the gene score. The detection rate for 5% FPR improved from 11.9% to 12.0% when the gene score was added. For a 10-year CVD risk cut-off point of 10%, the NRI was 0.25% when the gene score was added to QRISK-2. Applying the genetic risk score only to those with QRISK-2 risk of 10%-<20% and prescribing statins where risk exceeded 20% suggested that genetic information could prevent one additional event for every 462 people screened.

Conclusion: The gene score produced minimal incremental population-wide utility over phenotypic risk prediction of CVD. Tailored prediction using genetic information for those at intermediate risk may have clinical utility.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics*
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Genetic Markers