Researchers at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute have developed a multigene test that can predict the risk of heart disease. The new test was much more reliable than the previous ones, based on the search for individual genetic defects. We therefore need to add a polygenic risk score to traditional tests, especially for those suffering from coronary heart disease.
Coronary artery dysfunction is the most common form of heart disease. In some cases, a healthy life is enough to reduce the risk of contracting it. Unfortunately, some individuals suffer from a genetic form of hypercholesterolemia, which increases the chances of early heart disease. In these cases, early diagnosis would be essential, which is not always possible. Many patients do not have a single genetic defect, but a series of anomalies that interact with each other.
The authors of the study analyzed the relationship between multiple genetic abnormalities and heart disease. The polygenic risk score predicted a high risk of heart disease in 1 in 53 individuals. Combining the result with genetic tests for hypercholesterolemia, the number of early diagnoses could be increased fivefold.
The researchers developed the multigenic test starting from 182 genetic anomalies already linked to coronary artery dysfunction. They then compared the polygenic risk score of cardiac patients and healthy people. None of the patients showed the typical genetic defect of hypercholesterolemia.