Genetic risk for coronary events linked to statin response

Patients with high and intermediate genetic risk for coronary heart disease benefit more from statin therapy than patients at low genetic risk, researchers have shown.

A person’s genetic profile is thought to account for between 30% and 60% of their risk of coronary heart disease. Therefore, researchers at Harvard Medical School created a genetic risk score for patients based on 27 known genetic variants, reported in The Lancet
[1]
. The team then re-analysed information from four randomised controlled trials of patients given statin therapy and also from a community-based cohort study (n=48,421).

Independent of other risk factors, such as age, smoking status and diabetes, people with a high and intermediate genetic-risk score had an increased likelihood of coronary heart disease compared with people with a low genetic-risk score (hazard ratios 1.72 and 1.34; P<0.0001 and P<0.0001, respectively).

Patients with high and intermediate genetic risk benefited more from statin therapy than patients at low genetic risk — the number needed to treat in order to prevent one coronary heart disease event in ten years was 25, 42 and 66, respectively.

References

[1]  Mega JL, Stitziel NO, Gustav Smith J et al. Genetic risk score, coronary heart disease events, and the clinical benefit of statin therapy: an analysis of primary and secondary prevention trials. The Lancet 2015. doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61730-X.

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Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 7 March 2015, Vol 294, No 7852;294(7852):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20068029