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BACKGROUND:The taxonomy of cardiovascular (CV) diseases is divided into a broad spectrum of clinical entities. Many such diseases coincide in specific patient groups and suggest shared predisposition. OBJECTIVES:This study focused on coronary artery disease (CAD) and investigated the genetic relationship to CV and non-CV diseases with reported CAD comorbidity. METHODS:This study examined 425,196 UK Biobank participants to determine a genetic risk score (GRS) based on 300 CAD associated variants (CAD-GRS). This score was associated with 22 traits, including risk factors, diseases secondary to CAD, as well as comorbid and non-CV conditions. Sensitivity analyses were performed in individuals free from CAD or stable angina diagnosis. RESULTS:Hypercholesterolemia (odds ratio [OR]: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.26 to 1.29) and hypertension (OR: 1.11; 95% CI: 1.10 to 1.12) were strongly associated with the CAD-GRS, which indicated that the score contained variants predisposing to these conditions. However, the CAD-GRS was also significant in patients with CAD who were free of CAD risk factors (OR: 1.37; 95% CI: 1.30 to 1.44). The study observed significant associations between the CAD-GRS and peripheral arterial disease (OR: 1.28; 95% CI: 1.23 to 1.32), abdominal aortic aneurysms (OR: 1.28; 95% CI: 1.20 to 1.37), and stroke (OR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.10), which remained significant in sensitivity analyses that suggested shared genetic predisposition. The score was also associated with heart failure (OR: 1.25; 95% CI: 1.22 to 1.29), atrial fibrillation (OR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.10), and premature death (OR: 1.04; 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.06). These associations were abolished in sensitivity analyses that indicated that they were secondary to prevalent CAD. Finally, an inverse association was observed between the score and migraine headaches (OR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.93 to 0.96). CONCLUSIONS:A wide spectrum of CV conditions, including premature death, might develop consecutively or in parallel with CAD for the same genetic roots. In conditions like heart failure, the study found evidence that the CAD-GRS could be used to stratify patients with no or limited genetic overlap with CAD risk. Increased genetic predisposition to CAD was inversely associated with migraine headaches.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Publication Date





2932 - 2942


Clinical Pharmacology, William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and the London Medical School, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom; Centre for Genomic Health, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom.


UK Biobank CardioMetabolic Consortium CHD Working Group