Genetic screening revealed hidden high risk for coronary heart disease

Genetic marker information can improve the risk evaluation of coronary heart disease, suggests the recent Finnish study.

The study comprised over 24,000 Finnish subjects and was led by Professor Samuli Ripatti, University of Helsinki. The results revealed that a panel of 28 genetic markers improved the detection of individuals with high risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) over traditional risk factors.

– Identification of high-risk individuals is an important preventive strategy for CHD, because the current guidelines recommend statin treatment for the high-risk group, Professor Ripatti says.

The study shows that genetic screening of individuals at intermediate risk based on traditional risk factors would reclassify 12% of them into the high-risk group.

– Statin treatment of the reclassified individuals could prevent hundreds or even thousands of CHD events in Finland. The results demonstrate the potential for genetic screening of CHD in combination with traditionally screened risk factors in Finland, Ripatti says.

The results are based on large population cohorts but should nevertheless be tested in a clinical setting, Ripatti points out.

The study, published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, was conducted by the researchers of the University of Helsinki, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), and Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare.

Samuli Ripatti’s Research Group
Press release