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Cardiovasc Res. 2018 Jul 15;114(9):1241-1257. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvy084.

A decade of genome-wide association studies for coronary artery disease: the challenges ahead.

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Institute for Cardiogenetics, University of Lübeck, Maria-Geoppert-Str. 1, Lübeck, Germany.
DZHK (German Research Centre for Cardiovascular Research), Partner Site Hamburg/Lübeck/Kiel, Lübeck, Germany.
University Heart Center Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, Lübeck, Germany.
Deutsches Herzzentrum München, Klinik für Herz- und Kreislauferkrankungen, Technische Universität München, Lazarettstraβe 36, Munich, Germany.
DZHK (German Center for Cardiovascular Research) e.V., Partner Site Munich Heart Alliance, Munich, Germany.


In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the genetics of coronary artery disease, based on 10 years of genome-wide association studies. The discoveries began with individual studies using 200K single nucleotide polymorphism arrays and progressed to large-scale collaborative efforts, involving more than a 100 000 people and up to 40 Mio genetic variants. We discuss the challenges ahead, including those involved in identifying causal genes and deciphering the links between risk variants and disease pathology. We also describe novel insights into disease biology based on the findings of genome-wide association studies. Moreover, we discuss the potential for discovery of novel treatment targets through the integration of different layers of 'omics' data and the application of systems genetics approaches. Finally, we provide a brief outlook on the potential for precision medicine to be enhanced by genome-wide association study findings in the cardiovascular field.


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