The Randox Cardiac Risk Prediction Array allows all 19 SNPs to be genotyped simultaneously. The genotype information is then processed within an algorithm which weights each SNP and calculates CHD genetic risk. This information is combined with common risk factors and an overall CHD risk score is generated.
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the developed world and its prevention is a priority in general practice worldwide. Clinical guidelines from the Joint Cardiac Societies and NICE in the UK recommend that patients at greater than 20% risk of CHD in the next ten years should be classified as high risk and considered for intensive lifestyle intervention and lipid lowering therapy, primarily the prescription of statins.
Current CHD risk assessment tools based on common risk factors such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels have low predictive value. Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have been carried out to identify genetic variants associated with CHD. These studies have identified 19 variants (SNPs) as being associated with CHD. The presence of multiple ‘at risk’ alleles can increase the risk of developing CHD two fold or greater.
A further important SNP which can predict response to particular statin therapies has been included in the array. Individuals who are homozygous (frequency =0.13) for the risk allele are 17 times more likely to suffer from statin-induced myopathy when treated with high doses of simvastatin. Identifying patients with a higher risk of suffering statin-induced myopathy would allow clinicians to make more informed decisions when prescribing lipid lowering therapies.