A polygenic risk score improves risk stratification of coronary artery disease: a large-scale prospective Chinese cohort study

Eur Heart J. 2022 May 7;43(18):1702-1711. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehac093.


Aims: To construct a polygenic risk score (PRS) for coronary artery disease (CAD) and comprehensively evaluate its potential in clinical utility for primary prevention in Chinese populations.

Methods and results: Using meta-analytic approach and large genome-wide association results for CAD and CAD-related traits in East Asians, a PRS comprising 540 genetic variants was developed in a training set of 2800 patients with CAD and 2055 controls, and was further assessed for risk stratification for CAD integrating with the guideline-recommended clinical risk score in large prospective cohorts comprising 41 271 individuals. During a mean follow-up of 13.0 years, 1303 incident CAD cases were identified. Individuals with high PRS (the highest 20%) had about three-fold higher risk of CAD than the lowest 20% (hazard ratio 2.91, 95% confidence interval 2.43-3.49), with the lifetime risk of 15.9 and 5.8%, respectively. The addition of PRS to the clinical risk score yielded a modest yet significant improvement in C-statistic (1%) and net reclassification improvement (3.5%). We observed significant gradients in both 10-year and lifetime risk of CAD according to the PRS within each clinical risk strata. Particularly, when integrating high PRS, intermediate clinical risk individuals with uncertain clinical decision for intervention would reach the risk levels (10-year of 4.6 vs. 4.8%, lifetime of 17.9 vs. 16.6%) of high clinical risk individuals with intermediate (20-80%) PRS.

Conclusion: The PRS could stratify individuals into different trajectories of CAD risk, and further refine risk stratification for CAD within each clinical risk strata, demonstrating a great potential to identify high-risk individuals for targeted intervention in clinical utility.

Keywords: Clinical risk score; Coronary artery disease; Polygenic risk score.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian People
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Multifactorial Inheritance / genetics
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors