Background - Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with a five-fold increased risk of ischemic stroke. A portion of this risk is heritable, however current risk stratification tools (CHA2DS2-VASc) don't include family history or genetic risk. We hypothesized that we could improve ischemic stroke prediction in patients with AF by incorporating polygenic risk scores (PRS). Methods - Using data from the largest available GWAS in Europeans, we combined over half a million genetic variants to construct a PRS to predict ischemic stroke in patients with AF. We externally validated this PRS in independent data from the UK Biobank, both independently and integrated with clinical risk factors. The integrated PRS and clinical risk factors risk tool had the greatest predictive ability. Results - Compared with the currently recommended risk tool (CHA2DS2-VASc), the integrated tool significantly improved net reclassification (NRI: 2.3% (95%CI: 1.3% to 3.0%)), and fit (?2 P =0.002). Using this improved tool, >115,000 people with AF would have improved risk classification in the US. Independently, PRS was a significant predictor of ischemic stroke in patients with AF prospectively (Hazard Ratio: 1.13 per 1 SD (95%CI: 1.06 to 1.23)). Lastly, polygenic risk scores were uncorrelated with clinical risk factors (Pearson's correlation coefficient: -0.018). Conclusions - In patients with AF, there appears to be a significant association between PRS and risk of ischemic stroke. The greatest predictive ability was found with the integration of PRS and clinical risk factors, however the prediction of stroke remains challenging.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003168
View details for PubMedID 34029116