Strategies beyond genome-wide association studies for atherosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Seraya Maouche, Heribert Schunkert

Abstract

Atherosclerotic diseases, including coronary artery disease (CAD) and myocardial infarction (MI), are the leading causes of death in the world. The genetic basis of CAD and MI, which are caused by multiple interacting endogenous and exogenous factors, has gained considerable interest in the last years as genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified many new susceptibility loci for CAD and MI, and the underlying genes provide new insights into the genetic architecture of these diseases. Here we summarize the recent findings from GWASs of atherosclerosis and discuss their functional and biological implications. We also discuss the different post-GWAS strategies that are currently used for refining the location of causal variants, understanding their role, and shedding light on molecular mechanisms explaining their association to CAD. We finally discuss potential clinical translations of GWAS findings for individual risk prediction, advanced clinical strategies, and personalized treatments.

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