Genetics in the prevention and management of coronary artery disease

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Purpose of review

The current review is to describe the genetic risk variants that have been discovered predisposing to coronary artery disease (CAD) and how they are utilized to stratify for risk of CAD.

Recent findings

Over 90 genetic risk variants have been discovered that predispose to risk for CAD.


The total genetic risk burden for CAD is proportional to the number of risk variants inherited and can be combined into a single number referred to as the genetic risk score (GRS). GRS has been utilized in multiple studies and shown to be more effective in risk stratification for CAD than conventional risk factors. There is a major advantage to risk stratification based on the GRS since the risk can be determined at birth or anytime throughout one's lifetime since the individual's DNA does not change. Widespread application of the GRS is likely to enable a paradigm shift in the primary prevention of CAD.

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