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Last Posted: Sep 22, 2022
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The controversial embryo tests that promise a better baby Some companies offer tests that rank embryos based on their risk of developing complex diseases such as schizophrenia or heart disease. Are they accurate — or ethical?
M Koslov, Nature, September 21, 2022

Pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) for rare genetic disorders and chromosomal abnormalities has become common practice in the US$14-billion IVF industry. But testing for polygenic conditions (often referred to as PGT-P) is much newer, with only a small handful of companies selling it in a few countries, including the United States and Brazil, where it is largely unregulated.

Educational considerations based on medical student use of polygenic risk information and apparent race in a simulated consultation.
Hollister Brittany M et al. Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 2022 9

Medical students (N = 84) were randomized to a simulated primary care encounter with a Black or White virtual reality–based patient and received either a direct-to-consumer–style PRS report for 5 common complex conditions or control information. When medical students received PRSs, they rated the patient as less healthy and requiring more strict advice. Patterns suggest that PRSs influenced specific medical recommendations related to the patient’s concerns, despite student reports that participants did not use it for that purpose.

Broad clinical manifestations of polygenic risk for coronary artery disease in the Women’s Health Initiative
SL Clarke et al, Comm Medicine, August 25, 2022

Polygenic risk for CAD is associated with a variety of biomarkers, clinical measurements, behaviors, and diagnoses related to traditional risk factors, as well as risk-enhancing factors. Analysis of adjudicated outcomes shows a graded association between atherosclerosis related outcomes, with the highest odds ratios being observed for the most severe manifestations of CAD. We find associations between increased polygenic risk for CAD and decreased risk for incident breast and lung cancer, with replication of the breast cancer finding in an external cohort.

Incremental Value of Polygenic Risk Scores in Primary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease A Review
JW Gronedick et al, JAMA Internal Medicine, August 22, 2022

In this review, polygenic risk scores were significantly associated with CHD risk in all studies. The degree of improvement in C statistic and the net reclassification indexes when PRS was added to traditional risk scores ranged from negligible to modest. Based on established metrics to assess risk prediction scores, the addition of PRS to traditional risk scores does not appear to provide meaningful improvements in clinical decision-making in primary prevention populations.


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.

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