Application of Mendelian randomization in the discovery of risk factors for coronary heart disease from 2009 to 2023: A bibliometric review

Clin Cardiol. 2024 Jan;47(1):e24154. doi: 10.1002/clc.24154. Epub 2023 Sep 19.


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a life-threatening condition that poses a significant risk to individuals. Mendelian randomization (MR) is an emerging epidemiological research method that offers substantial advantages in identifying risk factors for diseases. Currently, there are ongoing CHD-related MR studies. To gain comprehensive insights into the focal areas and trends of CHD-related MR research, this study utilizes bibliometrics to conduct an in-depth analysis of CHD-related MR articles published in the core database of Web of Science (WOS) from 2009 to 2023. A search was performed to identify CHD-related MR articles published between 2009 and 2023 in WOS. The data, including publication countries, research institutions, journals, citations, and keywords, were analyzed using the Bibliometrix R-4.0 software package. A total of 111 articles published in 71 journals were included in the analysis. The journal with the highest impact factor (IF) was the New England Journal of Medicine. The articles were distributed across 24 categories within the 71 journals, with the highest number of publications falling under Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems, Medicine, General & Internal, and Genetics & Heredity. Among the articles, 57 were published in Q1 journals, 42 in Q2 journals, 9 in Q3 journals, and 2 in Q4 journals. The most frequently published journals on CHD-related MR were Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, Frontiers in Genetics, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. A total of 963 authors participated in the 111 articles, with the majority affiliated with institutions in the United Kingdom, the US, and China. The national cooperation network revealed close collaborations between the UK and the US, as well as between the UK and China. The publication of the 111 articles involved 453 research institutions, with Oxford University, Bristol University, and Cambridge University being the most frequently involved institutions. Out of the 111 articles, only 62 were directly related to CHD and MR, with CHD being the outcome factor in 61 of them. These 61 articles investigated 47 exposure factors across eight categories. Among these factors, 10 had been studied in more than 2 articles. The findings concerning the impact of serum uric acid and omega-6 fatty acids on CHD risk were not entirely consistent. Research in MR related to CHD has been gradually gaining recognition, with an increase in both its academic credibility and collaborative efforts within this field. Indeed, MR has facilitated the identification of risk factors associated with CHD. However, the relationship between these disease risk factors and CHD requires further investigation for clarification. Future MR studies on CHD could prioritize the elucidation and validation of contentious disease risk factors, thereby paving the way for a more comprehensive exploration of additional factors contributing to the onset of CHD.

Keywords: Mendelian randomization study; bibliometric analysis; coronary heart disease; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics
  • Coronary Disease* / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Journal Impact Factor*
  • Mendelian Randomization Analysis
  • United States
  • Uric Acid


  • Uric Acid