Polygenic Risk Score to Identify Subclinical Coronary Heart Disease Risk in Young Adults

Quinn S. Wells, Minoo Bagheri, Aaron W. Aday, Deepak K. Gupta, Christian M. Shaffer, Wei Qi Wei, Nataraja Sarna Vaitinadin, Sadiya S. Khan, Philip Greenland, Thomas J. Wang, C. Michael Stein, Dan M. Roden, Jonathan D. Mosley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Polygenic risk scores (PRS) may enhance risk stratification for coronary heart disease among young adults. Whether a coronary heart disease PRS improves prediction beyond modifiable risk factors in this population is not known. Methods: Genotyped adults aged 18 to 35 years were selected from the CARDIA study (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults; n=1132) and FOS (Framingham Offspring Study; n=663). Systolic blood pressure, total and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, triglycerides, smoking, and waist circumference or body mass index were measured at the visit 1 exam of each study, and coronary artery calcium, a measure of coronary atherosclerosis, was assessed at year 15 (CARDIA) or year 30 (FOS). A previously validated PRS for coronary heart disease was computed for each subject. The C statistic and integrated discrimination improvement were used to compare improvements in prediction of elevated coronary artery calcium between models containing the PRS, risk factors, or both. Results: There were 62 (5%) and 93 (14%) participants with a coronary artery calcium score >20 (CARDIA) and >300 (FOS), respectively. At these thresholds, the C statistic changes of adding the PRS to a risk factor-based model were 0.015 (0.004-0.028) and 0.020 (0.001-0.039) in CARDIA and FOS, respectively. When adding risk factors to a PRS-based model, the respective changes were 0.070 (0.033-0.109) and 0.051 (0.017-0.079). The integrated discrimination improvement, when adding the PRS to a risk factor model, was 0.027 (-0.006 to 0.054) in CARDIA and 0.039 (0.0005-0.072) in FOS. Conclusions: Among young adults, a PRS improved model discrimination for coronary atherosclerosis, but improvements were smaller than those associated with modifiable risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E003341
JournalCirculation: Genomic and Precision Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • atherosclerosis
  • blood pressure
  • coronary artery
  • heart disease
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Polygenic Risk Score to Identify Subclinical Coronary Heart Disease Risk in Young Adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this