Prediction of Adult Dyslipidemia Using Genetic and Childhood Clinical Risk Factors: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study

Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2017 Jun;10(3):e001604. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.116.001604.


Background: Dyslipidemia is a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We examined whether the addition of novel single-nucleotide polymorphisms for blood lipid levels enhances the prediction of adult dyslipidemia in comparison to childhood lipid measures.

Methods and results: Two thousand four hundred and twenty-two participants of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study who had participated in 2 surveys held during childhood (in 1980 when aged 3-18 years and in 1986) and at least once in a follow-up study in adulthood (2001, 2007, and 2011) were included. We examined whether inclusion of a lipid-specific weighted genetic risk score based on 58 single-nucleotide polymorphisms for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, 71 single-nucleotide polymorphisms for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and 40 single-nucleotide polymorphisms for triglycerides improved the prediction of adult dyslipidemia compared with clinical childhood risk factors. Adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, physical activity, and smoking in childhood, childhood lipid levels, and weighted genetic risk scores were associated with an increased risk of adult dyslipidemia for all lipids. Risk assessment based on 2 childhood lipid measures and the lipid-specific weighted genetic risk scores improved the accuracy of predicting adult dyslipidemia compared with the approach using only childhood lipid measures for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve 0.806 versus 0.811; P=0.01) and triglycerides (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve 0.740 versus area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve 0.758; P<0.01). The overall net reclassification improvement and integrated discrimination improvement were significant for all outcomes.

Conclusions: The inclusion of weighted genetic risk scores to lipid-screening programs in childhood could modestly improve the identification of those at highest risk of dyslipidemia in adulthood.

Keywords: cholesterol; dyslipidemias; genetics; lipids; risk factor.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / etiology*
  • Dyslipidemias / genetics
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • ROC Curve
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides