Background and Purpose - Genome-wide association studies have revealed multiple common variants associated with known risk factors for ischemic stroke (IS). However, their aggregate effect on risk is uncertain. We aimed to generate a multilocus genetic risk score (GRS) for IS based on genome-wide association studies data from clinical-based samples and to establish its external validity in prospective population-based cohorts. Methods - Three thousand five hundred forty-eight clinic-based IS cases and 6399 controls from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 were used for derivation of the GRS. Subjects from the METASTROKE consortium served as a replication sample. The validation sample consisted of 22 751 participants from the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium. We selected variants that had reached genome-wide significance in previous association studies on established risk factors for IS. Results - A combined GRS for atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, hypertension, and systolic blood pressure significantly associated with IS both in the case-control samples and in the prospective population-based studies. Subjects in the top quintile of the combined GRS had >2-fold increased risk of IS compared with subjects in the lowest quintile. Addition of the combined GRS to a simple model based on sex significantly improved the prediction of IS in the combined clinic-based samples but not in the population-based studies, and there was no significant improvement in net reclassification. Conclusions - A multilocus GRS based on common variants for established cardiovascular risk factors was significantly associated with IS both in clinic-based samples and in the general population. However, the improvement in clinical risk prediction was found to be small.

, , , ,,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Malik, R, Bevan, S, Nalls, M.A, Holliday, E.G, Devan, W.J, Cheng, Y.-C, … Kubisch, C. (2014). Multilocus genetic risk score associates with ischemic stroke in case-control and prospective cohort studies. Stroke, 45(2), 394–402. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.002938