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Genomic risk score offers predictive performance comparable to clinical risk factors for ischaemic stroke

By Gad Abraham, Rainer Malik, Ekaterina Yonova-Doing, Agus Salim, Tingting Wang, John Danesh, Adam Butterworth, Joanna Howson, Michael Inouye, Martin Dichgans

Posted 02 Jul 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/689935 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-13848-1)

Recent genome-wide association studies in stroke have enabled the generation of genomic risk scores (GRS) but the predictive power of these GRS has been modest in comparison to established stroke risk factors. Here, using a meta-scoring approach, we developed a metaGRS for ischaemic stroke (IS) and analysed this score in the UK Biobank (n=395,393; 3075 IS events by age 75). The metaGRS hazard ratio for IS (1.26, 95% CI 1.22-1.31 per standard deviation increase of the score) doubled that of previous GRS, enabling the identification of a subset of individuals at monogenic levels of risk: individuals in the top 0.25% of metaGRS had a three-fold increased risk of IS. The metaGRS was similarly or more predictive when compared to established risk factors, such as family history, blood pressure, body mass index and smoking status. For participants within accepted guideline levels for established stroke risk factors, we found substantial variation in incident stroke rates across genomic risk backgrounds. We further estimated combinations of reductions needed in modifiable risk factors for individuals with different levels of genomic risk and suggest that, for individuals with high metaGRS, achieving currently recommended risk factor levels may be insufficient to mitigate risk.

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