Explaining the variance in cardiovascular disease risk factors: A comparison of demographic, socioeconomic, and genetic predictors.

TitleExplaining the variance in cardiovascular disease risk factors: A comparison of demographic, socioeconomic, and genetic predictors.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsHamad, R, M. Glymour, M, Calmasini, C, Nguyen, TT, Walter, S, Rehkopf, D
ISSN Number1531-5487
KeywordsCardiovascular disease, Demographics, Genetics, Risk Factors, socioeconomics

BACKGROUND: Efforts to explain the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) often focus on genetic factors or social determinants of health. There is little evidence on the comparative predictive value of each, which could guide clinical and public health investments in measuring genetic versus social information. We compared the variance in CVD-related outcomes explained by genetic versus socioeconomic predictors.

METHODS: Data were drawn from the Health and Retirement Study (N=8,720). We examined self-reported diabetes, heart disease, depression, smoking, and body mass index, and objectively measured total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. For each outcome, we compared the variance explained by demographic characteristics, socioeconomic position (SEP), and genetic characteristics including a polygenic score for each outcome and principal components (PCs) for genetic ancestry. We used R-squared values derived from race-stratified multivariable linear regressions to evaluate the variance explained.

RESULTS: The variance explained by models including all predictors ranged from 3.7% to 14.3%. Demographic characteristics explained more than half this variance for most outcomes. SEP explained comparable or greater variance relative to the combination of the polygenic score and PCs for most conditions among both white and Black participants. The combination of SEP, polygenic score, and PCs performed substantially better, suggesting that each set of characteristics may independently contribute to prediction of CVD related outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Focusing on genetic inputs into personalized medicine predictive models, without considering measures of social context that have clear predictive value, needlessly ignores relevant information that is more feasible and affordable to collect on patients in clinical settings.

Citation Key12004
PubMed ID34799480