Genetic Risk Prediction for Primary and Secondary Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: an Update

  • Christopher Labos
  • George Thanassoulis
Cardiovascular Genomics (TL Assimes, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Cardiovascular Genomics


Purpose of Review

This review aims to summarize the research on genetic risk scores and their ability to improve risk prediction in both a primary and a secondary prevention population.

Recent Findings

Several groups have examined the role of genetic scores in different patient populations. Recent studies have capitalized on the growing number of identified genetic variants to construct polygenic risk scores that include hundreds and sometimes thousands of SNPs. Also, recent studies have demonstrated that individuals with high genetic risk scores can attenuate their risk with lifestyle modifications and with statins, for which the benefit of treatment may be greater in those at highest genetic risk.


Genetic risk scores when added to existing clinical models appear to improve risk prediction, particularly in the setting of incident cardiovascular disease and may provide actionable information to optimize prevention early in life. Future research will need to establish how to best use this genetic risk information either as a means to further individualize treatment decisions or to better identify high-risk populations.


Genetic risk score Single nucleotide polymorphism Risk prediction Prevention 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Christopher Labos declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Dr. Thanassoulis reports grants and personal fees from Ionis; and personal fees from Amgen, Sanofi, and Servier.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiology, Preventive and Genomic CardiologyMcGill University Health CenterMontrealCanada

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