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Family history and polygenic risk of cardiovascular disease: independent factors associated with secondary cardiovascular manifestations in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy

By Nathalie Timmerman, Dominique P.V. de Kleijn, Gert J de Borst, Hester M. den Ruijter, F.W. Asselbergs, G. Pasterkamp, Saskia Haitjema, S.W. van der Laan

Posted 18 Sep 2019
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/19006718

BackgroundFamily history (FHx) of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a risk factor for CVD and a proxy for cardiovascular heritability. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) summarizing >1 million variants for coronary artery disease (CAD) are associated with incident and recurrent CAD events. However, little is known about the influence of FHx or PRS on secondary cardiovascular events (sCVE) in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy (CEA). MethodsWe included 1,788 CEA patients from the Athero-Express Biobank. A weighted PRS for CAD including 1.7 million variants was calculated (MetaGRS). The composite endpoint of sCVE during three years follow-up included coronary, cerebrovascular and peripheral events and cardiovascular death. We assessed the impact of FHx and MetaGRS on sCVE and carotid plaque composition. ResultsPositive FHx was associated with a higher 3-year risk of sCVE independent of cardiovascular risk factors and MetaGRS (adjusted HR 1.40, 95%CI 1.07-1.82, p=0.013). Patients in the highest MetaGRS quintile had a higher 3-year risk of sCVE compared to the rest of the cohort independent of cardiovascular risk factors including FHx (adjusted HR 1.35, 95%CI 1.01-1.79, p=0.043), and their atherosclerotic plaques contained more fat (adjusted OR 1.59, 95%CI, 1.11-2.29, p=0.013) and more macrophages (OR 1.49, 95%CI 1.12-1.99, p=0.006). ConclusionIn CEA patients, both positive FHx and higher MetaGRS were independently associated with increased risk of sCVE. Moreover, higher MetaGRS was associated with vulnerable plaque characteristics. Future studies should unravel underlying mechanisms and focus on the added value of PRS and FHx in individual risk prediction for sCVE.

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