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Therese Ohlsson


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A genetic risk score for hypertension is associated with risk of thoracic aortic aneurysm


  • A. Tagetti
  • S. Bonafini
  • T. Ohlsson
  • G. Engström
  • P. Almgren
  • P. Minuz
  • G. Smith
  • O. Melander
  • C. Fava

Summary, in English

A genetic risk score (GRS) based on 29 single nucleotide polymorpysms (SNPs) associated with high blood pressure (BP) was prospectively associated with development of hypertension, stroke and cardiovascular events. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of this GRS on the incidence of aortic disease, including aortic dissection (AD), rupture or surgery of a thoracic (TAA) or abdominal (AAA) aortic aneurysm. More than 25,000 people from the Swedish Malmo Diet and Cancer Study had information on at least 24 SNPs and were followed up for a median ≥ 18 years. The number of BP elevating alleles of each SNPs, weighted by their effect size in the discovery studies, was summed into a BP-GRS. In Cox regression models, adjusted for traditional cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension, we found significant associations of the BP-GRS, prospectively, with incident TAA (hazard ratio (HR) 1.64 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.081–2.475 comparing the third vs. the first tertile; p = 0.020) but not with either AAA or aortic dissection. Calibration, discrimination and reclassification analyses show modest improvement in prediction using the BP-GRS in addition to the model which used only traditional risk factors. A GRS for hypertension associates with TAA suggesting a link between genetic determinants of BP and aortic disease. The effect size is small but the addition of more SNPs to the GRS might improve its discriminatory capability.


  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • Cardiology

Publishing year







Journal of Human Hypertension





Document type

Journal article


Nature Publishing Group


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology


  • ISSN: 0950-9240