Twelve–Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Genetic Risk Score Identifies Individuals at Increased Risk for Future Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke
Background and Purpose—Atrial fibrillation (AF) is prevalent and there is a clinical need for biomarkers to identify individuals at higher risk for AF. Fixed throughout a life course and assayable early in life, genetic biomarkers may meet this need. Here, we investigate whether multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms together as an AF genetic risk score (AF-GRS) can improve prediction of one’s risk for AF.
Methods—In 27 471 participants of the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study, a prospective, community-based cohort, we used Cox models that adjusted for established AF risk factors to assess the association of AF-GRS with incident AF and ischemic stroke. Median follow-up was 14.4 years for incident AF and 14.5 years for ischemic stroke. The AF-GRS comprised 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms that had been previously shown to be associated with AF at genome-wide significance.
Results—During follow-up, 2160 participants experienced a first AF event and 1495 had a first ischemic stroke event. Participants in the top AF-GRS quintile were at increased risk for incident AF (hazard ratio, 2.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.73–2.31; P=2.7×10–21) and ischemic stroke (hazard ratio, 1.23; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–1.46; P=0.02) when compared with the bottom quintile. Addition of the AF-GRS to established AF risk factors modestly improved both discrimination and reclassification (P<0.0001 for both).
Conclusions—An AF-GRS can identify 20% of individuals who are at ≈2-fold increased risk for incident AF and at 23% increased risk for ischemic stroke. Targeting diagnostic or therapeutic interventions to this subset may prove clinically useful.
- Received May 7, 2014.
- Revision received July 13, 2014.
- Accepted July 15, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.