Whole-Genome Sequencing to Characterize Monogenic and Polygenic Contributions in Patients Hospitalized With Early-Onset Myocardial Infarction

Amit V. Khera, Mark Chaffin, Seyedeh M. Zekavat, Ryan L. Collins, Carolina Roselli, Pradeep Natarajan, Judith H. Lichtman, Gail D'onofrio, Jennifer Mattera, Rachel Dreyer, John A. Spertus, Kent D. Taylor, Bruce M. Psaty, Stephen S. Rich, Wendy Post, Namrata Gupta, Stacey Gabriel, Eric Lander, Yii Der Ida Chen, Michael E. TalkowskiJerome I. Rotter, Harlan M. Krumholz, Sekar Kathiresan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Background: The relative prevalence and clinical importance of monogenic mutations related to familial hypercholesterolemia and of high polygenic score (cumulative impact of many common variants) pathways for early-onset myocardial infarction remain uncertain. Whole-genome sequencing enables simultaneous ascertainment of both monogenic mutations and polygenic score for each individual. Methods: We performed deep-coverage whole-genome sequencing of 2081 patients from 4 racial subgroups hospitalized in the United States with early-onset myocardial infarction (age ≤55 years) recruited with a 2:1 female-to-male enrollment design. We compared these genomes with those of 3761 population-based control subjects. We first identified individuals with a rare, monogenic mutation related to familial hypercholesterolemia. Second, we calculated a recently developed polygenic score of 6.6 million common DNA variants to quantify the cumulative susceptibility conferred by common variants. We defined high polygenic score as the top 5% of the control distribution because this cutoff has previously been shown to confer similar risk to that of familial hypercholesterolemia mutations. Results: The mean age of the 2081 patients presenting with early-onset myocardial infarction was 48 years, and 66% were female. A familial hypercholesterolemia mutation was present in 36 of these patients (1.7%) and was associated with a 3.8-fold (95% CI, 2.1-6.8; P<0.001) increased odds of myocardial infarction. Of the patients with early-onset myocardial infarction, 359 (17.3%) carried a high polygenic score, associated with a 3.7-fold (95% CI, 3.1-4.6; P<0.001) increased odds. Mean estimated untreated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was 206 mg/dL in those with a familial hypercholesterolemia mutation, 132 mg/dL in those with high polygenic score, and 122 mg/dL in those in the remainder of the population. Although associated with increased risk in all racial groups, high polygenic score demonstrated the strongest association in white participants (P for heterogeneity=0.008). Conclusions: Both familial hypercholesterolemia mutations and high polygenic score are associated with a >3-fold increased odds of early-onset myocardial infarction. However, high polygenic score has a 10-fold higher prevalence among patients presents with early-onset myocardial infarction. Clinical Trial Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00597922.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1593-1602
Number of pages10
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 26 2019


  • genetics
  • humans
  • hypercholesterolemia
  • myocardial infarction
  • risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Whole-Genome Sequencing to Characterize Monogenic and Polygenic Contributions in Patients Hospitalized With Early-Onset Myocardial Infarction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this