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Last Posted: Feb 06, 2023
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Primary care physician use of patient race and polygenic risk scores in medical decision-making
BJ Kerman et al, Genetics in Medicine, February 6, 2023

The use of patient race in medicine is controversial for its potential either to exacerbate or address health disparities. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) have emerged as a tool for risk stratification models used in preventive medicine. We examined whether PRS results impact primary care physician (PCP) medical decision-making and whether that impact varies by patient race. The study shows that despite advances in precision risk stratification, physicians will likely continue to use patient race implicitly or explicitly in medical decision-making.

Genomics and phenomics of body mass index reveals a complex disease network.
Huang Jie et al. Nature communications 2022 12 (1) 7973

Using a BMI genetic risk score including 2446 variants, 316 diagnoses are associated in the Million Veteran Program, with 96.5% showing increased risk. A co-morbidity network analysis reveals seven disease communities containing multiple interconnected diseases associated with BMI as well as extensive connections across communities. Mendelian randomization analysis confirms phenotypes across many organ systems, including conditions of the circulatory (heart failure, ischemic heart disease, atrial fibrillation), genitourinary (chronic renal failure), respiratory (respiratory failure, asthma), musculoskeletal and dermatologic systems.

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Prediction in Young Adults—The Next Frontier
SS Khan et al, JAMA Cardiology, December 28, 2022

A recent study highlights the need to focus on risk prediction in younger adults. This warrants a life course perspective that incorporates both lifetime risk and expected treatment benefit. Before considering the addition of PRS in the subset of individuals aged 40 to 49 years with borderline to intermediate risk, strategies for risk estimation should rigorously evaluate clinical utility of 30-year risk assessment based on traditional risk factors, dynamic changes in risk factor levels, and causal factors (apolipoprotein B, lipoprotein[a]).

Predictive Utility of a Coronary Artery Disease Polygenic Risk Score in Primary Prevention
NA Marston et al, JAMA Cardiology, December 28, 2022

In this cohort study of 330?201 patients, a PRS for CAD carried significantly greater predictive power in younger adults, contributing up to 30% of the myocardial infarction risk in this cohort. Younger adults with borderline and intermediate clinical risk but high polygenic risk for CAD were significantly reclassified into a risk category for which statin therapy is indicated. Although not necessary in all individuals, a targeted approach to CAD PRS testing may help guide preventive strategies such as statin initiation in younger adults with borderline to intermediate cardiovascular risk.

Disclaimer: Articles listed in the Public Health Genomics and Precision Health Knowledge Base are selected by the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics to provide current awareness of the literature and news. Inclusion in the update does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor does it imply endorsement of the article's methods or findings. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinion, findings and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in the update, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS.