17 Mar Smartphone Communicates Genetic Risk, Potentially Enhancing Compliance with Heart Medications
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ali Torkamani, Ph.D.
Director of Genomics and Genome Informatics
Scripps Research Translational Institute
Professor, Integrative Structural and Computational Biology
La Jolla, CA 92037
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Prior research has shown that people with higher polygenic risk for coronary artery disease achieve greater risk reduction with statin or other lipid lowering therapy. In general, adherence to standard guidelines for lipid lowering therapy is low – about 30% of people who should be on lipid lowering therapy are, with no correlation to their genetic risk. We set out to see whether communicating personalized risk, including polygenic risk, for coronary artery disease would drive the adoption of lipid lowering therapy.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found that communication of polygenic risk, in a dynamic, smartphone-based framework, led to 2X the rate of statin initiation in high vs low polygenic risk individuals and a 10 year acceleration in the average age at which they initiate.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Communication of polygenic risk for coronary artery disease can drive the initiation of lipid lowering therapy in individuals who receive the greater risk-reduction benefits.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Follow up studies should look at long term adherence of lipid lowering therapy, the impact in broader populations, and objective outcome-based studies looking at long term health outcomes.
I am a co-founder of geneXwell, a company engaged in the communication of polygenic risk information.
Citation: Muse, E.D., Chen, SF., Liu, S. et al. Impact of polygenic risk communication: an observational mobile application-based coronary artery disease study. npj Digit. Med. 5, 30 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-022-00578-w
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