A high genetic risk score was associated with an increase in the risk of cardiovascular death or heart attack, and a greater risk reduction with statin therapy, according to a study published in The Lancet. The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Massachusetts General Hospital evaluated data from 428,421 patients who experienced 3,477 cardiac events during the study period. They studied the association of a genetic risk score based on 27 known variants with a first or repeat cardiac event.

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Patients in the highest genetic risk score group had >70% increase in the risk of cardiovascular death or heart attack vs. the lowest genetic risk group. The lowest genetic risk score group also had the lowest risk of a first or repeat cardiac event (eg, heart attack, stroke). All genetic risk categories had an increase in both absolute and relative risk reductions with statin therapy; the highest risk group had three times the absolute risk reduction with statin therapy vs. patients in the low risk group.

Results from this study can help physicians understand which patients will have the highest benefit with statin therapy and provide a more personalized treatment, authors conclude.

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