Back in January, Nina Paynter and her colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Celera published a study that found that evaluating patients' 9p21.3 polymorphism, which is associated with cardiovascular disease, did not improve cardiovascular disease risk classification when added to an assessment of conventional risk factors. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was done as part of the Women's Genome Health Study.
Decode's Jeff Gulcher and Kari Stefansson wrote into the journal this month to say that Paynter et al didn't say that no one risk factor "is sufficient by itself to move such low-risk patients into the next risk category" and that for some intermediate- and intermediate–high-risk categories patients, they were reclassified by 9p21 status.
In response, Paynter et al say "We do not believe that examining the utility of 9p21 genotype in risk classification of a higher-risk population would necessarily show different results, and we look forward to analyses done in different cohorts."
The Gene Sherpa, naturally, adds, "I remain convinced, predisease risk prediction based on SNP data is much weaker than current clinical tools."