Genome-Wide Association Studies of Coronary Artery Disease: Recent Progress and Challenges Ahead.
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been the primary tool for unbiased assessment of the genetic basis of coronary artery disease (CAD) for more than a decade. We summarize successes as well as shortcomings of recent studies in this context.
The number of CAD-associated loci has more than doubled in the past year to 161. This rapid progress has been in large part due to the release of genome-wide genotyping data for the largely European participants of the UK Biobank study which has been combined with existing GWAS from the CARDIoGRAMplusC4D consortium. Additional discoveries have been achieved through large-scale genotyping of participants using custom high-yield genotyping arrays including the Metabochip and the Exome chip. As a consequence, the ability of genetic risk scores in predicting incident CAD events has improved but that improvement has only been shown in European populations. GWAS have proven to be a fruitful approach for uncovering the genetic drivers of CAD. However, determining the mechanisms of association of GWAS findings remains a challenging endeavor requiring long-term investment. Genetic risk scores offer an opportunity for recent findings to have an immediate clinical impact. Going forward, CAD genetics will benefit greatly from the release of more genetic data produced by mega-biobanks. These new data will allow for the more comprehensive examination of underrepresented populations.