CAD Genetic Risk Variants and Sudden Cardiac Death | Journal Scan

Study Questions:

Do genetic risk variants for coronary artery disease (CAD) predict sudden cardiac death (SCD)?


A CAD genetic risk score (GRSCAD) based on 153 single-nucleotide polymorphisms was tested for association with SCD by studying 1,035 consecutive autopsies, which included 306 SCDs due to CAD (SCDCAD). Results were replicated in a prospective follow-up study of 2,321 patients (undergoing exercise testing) over 6.2 years, during which 48 SCDs occurred, 39 due to CAD.


GRSCAD was associated significantly with the risk of SCDCAD (odds ratio, 1.042; p = 9.1 x 10-6). GRSCAD also predicted risk of SCDCAD in the prospective analysis (hazard ratio, 1.049; p = 0.014).


The authors concluded that genetic risk estimates for CAD may also be used to predict SCD.


Most cases of SCD are due to underlying CAD. Therefore, gene variants for CAD risk might be expected to also predict SCD. This study confirms this association even after adjustment for other risk factors. This association was greatest for subjects with baseline CAD. With further refinement, it is possible that a genetic risk score could help guide individual SCD prevention strategies.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Atherosclerotic Disease (CAD/PAD), Genetic Arrhythmic Conditions, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias

Keywords: Autopsy, Coronary Artery Disease, Coronary Disease, Death, Sudden, Cardiac, Follow-Up Studies, Genetics, Nucleotides, Prospective Studies, Risk, Risk Factors

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