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Cardiac Structure, Function Changes Linked to Schizophrenia Risk Scores

For a paper in Lancet Psychiatry, a King's College London-led research group presents findings from an observational study linking schizophrenia polygenic risk scores (PRS) to altered cardiac features and structural differences. With data for nearly 32,300 UK Biobank participants with available schizophrenia PRS profiles, diagnostic data, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging tests, the investigators found that genetic risk for schizophrenia was inversely associated with enhanced cardiac volume, higher absolute peak diastolic strain rates, and several other heart structure or function features, along with potential ties to inflammatory and TGF-beta pathway activity. "Reduced absolute peak diastolic strain rates indicate increased myocardial stiffness and diastolic dysfunction, which increases risk of cardiac disease," the authors explain, suggesting that "genetic risk for schizophrenia is associated with cardiac structural changes that can worsen cardiac outcomes."