Common genetic variants do not predict recurrent events in coronary heart disease patients

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2022 Mar 9;22(1):96. doi: 10.1186/s12872-022-02520-0.


Background: It is unclear whether genetic variants identified from single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) strongly associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), or a genetic risk score (GRS) derived from them, can help stratify risk of recurrent events in patients with CHD.

Methods: Study subjects were enrolled at the close-out of the LIPID randomised controlled trial of pravastatin vs placebo. Entry to the trial had required a history of acute coronary syndrome 3-36 months previously, and patients were in the trial for a mean of 36 months. Patients who consented to a blood sample were genotyped with a custom designed array chip with SNPs chosen from known CHD-associated loci identified in previous GWAS. We evaluated outcomes in these patients over the following 10 years.

Results: Over the 10-year follow-up of the cohort of 4932 patients, 1558 deaths, 898 cardiovascular deaths, 727 CHD deaths and 375 cancer deaths occurred. There were no significant associations between individual SNPs and outcomes before or after adjustment for confounding variables and for multiple testing. A previously validated 27 SNP GRS derived from SNPs with the strongest associations with CHD also did not show any independent association with recurrent major cardiovascular events.

Conclusions: Genetic variants based on individual single nucleotide polymorphisms strongly associated with coronary heart disease in genome wide association studies or an abbreviated genetic risk score derived from them did not help risk profiling in this well-characterised cohort with 10-year follow-up. Other approaches will be needed to incorporate genetic profiling into clinically relevant stratification of long-term risk of recurrent events in CHD patients.

Keywords: Coronary heart disease; GWAS; Genetic risk scores; Genetic variant; Genome-wide association studies; LIPID study; Lack of prediction; Omnigenic risk scores; Polygenic risk scores.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Disease* / diagnosis
  • Coronary Disease* / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Risk Factors