Prediction of venous thromboembolism incidence in the general adult population using two published genetic risk scores

PLoS One. 2023 Jan 30;18(1):e0280657. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0280657. eCollection 2023.


Introduction: Most strategies for prevention of venous thromboembolism focus on preventing recurrent events. Yet, primary prevention might be possible through approaches targeting the whole population or high-risk patients. To inform possible prevention strategies, population-based information on the ability of genetic risk scores to identify risk of incident venous thromboembolism is needed.

Materials and methods: We used proportional hazards regression to relate two published genetic risk scores (273-variants versus 5-variants) with venous thromboembolism incidence in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) cohort (n = 11,292), aged 45-64 at baseline, drawn from 4 US communities.

Results: Over a median of 28 years, ARIC identified 788 incident venous thromboembolism events. Incidence rates rose more than two-fold across quartiles of the 273-variant genetic risk score: 1.7, 2.7, 3.4 and 4.0 per 1,000 person-years. For White participants, age, sex, and ancestry-adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) across quartiles were strong [1 (reference), 1.30 (0.99,1.70), 1.85 (1.43,2.40), and 2.58 (2.04,3.28)] but weaker for Black participants [1, 1.05 (0.63,1.75), 1.37 (0.84,2.22), and 1.32 (0.80,2.20)]. The 5-variant genetic risk score showed a less steep gradient, with hazard ratios in Whites of 1, 1.17 (0.89,1.54), 1.48 (1.14,1.92), and 2.18 (1.71,2.79). Models including the 273-variant genetic risk score plus lifestyle and clinical factors had a c-statistic of 0.67.

Conclusions: In the general population, middle-aged adults in the highest quartile of either genetic risk score studied have approximately two-fold higher risk of an incident venous thromboembolism compared with the lowest quartile. The genetic risk scores show a weaker association with venous thromboembolism for Black people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atherosclerosis* / complications
  • Black People
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / epidemiology
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / genetics