There has been great interest in genetic risk prediction using risk scores in recent years, however, the utility of scores developed in European populations and later applied to non-European populations has not been successful. The goal of this study was to create a methylation risk score (MRS) for metabolic syndrome (MetS), demonstrating the utility of MRS across race groups using cross-sectional data from the Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network (HyperGEN, N = 614 African Americans (AA)) and the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN, N = 995 European Americans (EA)). To demonstrate this, we first selected cytosine-guanine dinucleotides (CpG) sites measured on Illumina Methyl450 arrays previously reported to be significantly associated with MetS and/or component conditions in more than one race/ethnic group (CPT1A cg00574958, PHOSPHO1 cg02650017, ABCG1 cg06500161, SREBF1 cg11024682, SOCS3 cg18181703, TXNIP cg19693031). Second, we calculated the parameter estimates for the 6 CpGs in the HyperGEN data (AA) and used the beta estimates as weights to construct a MRS in HyperGEN (AA), which was validated in GOLDN (EA). We performed association analyses using logistic mixed models to test the association between the MRS and MetS, adjusting for covariates. Results showed the MRS was significantly associated with MetS in both populations. In summary, a MRS for MetS was a strong predictor for the condition across two race groups, suggesting MRS may be useful to examine metabolic disease risk or related complications across race/ethnic groups.

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Published in PLOS ONE, v. 16, issue 11, e0259836.

© 2021 Hidalgo et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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All data is available on dbgap and/or prior publications in the literature. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/gap/cgi-bin/study.cgi?study_id=phs001293.v2.p1 https://www.omicsdi.org/dataset/dbgap/phs000741.