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Approved Research

Risk prediction using social determinants of health and polygenic risk scores for prevention of complex diseases

Principal Investigator: Professor Wanyang Liu
Approved Research ID: 99628
Approval date: February 22nd 2023

Lay summary

Currently, the prevalence of polygenic diseases is gradually increasing globally and some diseases (i.e., coronary heart disease and hypertension) have become the main causes of death and seriously threaten human health. In particular, our group is interested in cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental disease, multiple sclerosis, asthma, which collectively referred to as complex diseases. The occurrence of complex diseases is related to the interaction between genes and social determinants of health(SDH) by the complex pathogenesis. The social determinants of health (including lifestyle, living and working conditions, community characteristics, poverty, environmental pollution, etc.) are considered to be the root causes of health and diseases. However, little is known about the potential role of genetic susceptibility in the relationship between SDH and adverse health outcomes. It is unclear that what extent differences in human complex disease mortality are due to SDH or genetic effects in patients.

Therefore, the first aim of the research is to explore the causes of complex diseases, investigate the adjustable exposure factors of complex diseases and the role of genetic factors in the etiology of complex diseases. This analysis will help to understand the potential impact of intervention on modifiable risk factors and provide the possibility to recognize and determine the potential causal relationship between exposure factors and diseases. The second aim is to further generate more reliable evidence from the genetic perspective to determine the causal relationship between exposure and target disease. In addition, based on the impact of genetic and traditional risk factors on individual health, we will further predict the risk of individual disease to identify the population with increased risk for early diagnosis and treatment. This will help us to further understand the role of genetic factors in disease and to provide epidemiological evidence for related disease study and theoretical basis for proposing reasonable preventive measures, and to promote human health.

Our project duration is at least 3 years.