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The clinical value of the polygenetic component of blood pressure (BP) is commonly questioned. We evaluated a genetic risk score for BP (BP-GRS858), based on the most recently published genome-wide association studies variants that were significantly associated with either systolic BP or diastolic BP, for prediction of hypertension and cardiovascular end points. The genotyping was performed in 2 urban-based prospective cohorts: the Malmö Diet and Cancer (n=29 295) and the Malmö Preventive Project (n=9367) and a weighted BP-GRS858based on 858 SNPs was calculated. At baseline, we found a difference of 9.0 mm Hg (systolic BP) and 4.8 mm Hg (diastolic BP) between the top and the bottom quartile of BP-GRS858. In Malmö Preventive Project, the top versus bottom quartile of BP-GRS858was associated with a doubled risk of incident hypertension (odds ratio, 2.05 [95% CI, 1.75-2.39], P=1.4×10-21), a risk higher than that of body mass index, as evaluated in quartiles. In Malmö Diet and Cancer, significant association was found between the age and sex-adjusted BP-GRS858and the incidence of total cardiovascular events, stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and total mortality. Most of these associations remained significant after adjusting for traditional risk factors, including hypertension. BP-GRS858could contribute predictive information regarding future hypertension, with an effect size comparable to other well-known risk factors such as obesity, and predicts cardiovascular events. Given that the exposure to high polygenetic risk starts at birth, we suggest that the BP-GRS858might be useful to identify children or adolescents who would benefit from early hypertension screening and treatment.
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