Personalized prevention is essential to effectively prevent the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes in the population. Approaches of digital medicine together with high-throughput processes allow new approaches in this field. In particular, it is necessary to use the findings of genetic research in the field of heart attack and stroke jointly with other biomedical high-throughput methods in order to enable an improved risk prediction for the population, and to develop prevention approaches on an individual basis. Here, data from population-based studies in Bavaria with long-term observations for the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes are necessary to enable the development of algorithms. Between 1985 and 2000, the KORA study examined more than 18,000 men and women between the ages of 25 and 74 in the Augsburg region concerning their risk factors. Particularly the extensive information on risk factors, treatments, genotypes and characterization of the metabolites and protein biomarkers form an ideal starting point for implementing new digital approaches.
The HMGU conducts the KORA cohort study with the aim of understanding and preventing chronic diseases. New biomarkers for heart attacks, such as the C-reactive protein, have been established in cooperation with partners from the consortium. The study data were used as control together with clinical data from genome-wide association studies. This contributed significantly to the discovery of many gene locis for heart attacks and strokes. As part of the KORA study, the association between genomics and metabolomics was also investigated extensively for the first time. It has been shown that the metabolite profile can provide additional important information for predicting myocardial infarction.
The extensive phenotyping of the large number of epidemiological samples as part of the KORA study, and the planned collection of additional samples from heart attacks and strokes allow two essential analyses: First, patterns and signatures for the entire spectrum of cardiovascular risk factors can be identified on the basis of the different molecular levels. Second, the predictive power of patterns and signatures for the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes in previously healthy people can be tested. This enables the identification of entirely new development patterns of common cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart attack. The omics characterization within DigiMed Bayern integrates new know-how of the partners from WP5.
The following results can be expected from the project:
The work package will cooperate closely with the clinically oriented WPs 1 and 2. A direct comparison is made possible by using the same omics technologies provided by WP5.1 and 5.2. WP4 provides statistical expertise to the other work packages, especially for joint evaluations. The development of the new IT infrastructures and expertise will benefit WP4 directly, and will be applied to the KORA data. In addition, the many years of experience of the KORA study in practical implementation of ethics and in data protection in population and patient studies are brought in.
(updated: Dec. 2019)
More information about the KORA study:
Wissenschaftlicher Leiter DigiMed Bayern, Direktor der Klinik für Herz- und Kreislauferkrankungen am Deutschen Herzzentrum München
Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany
Leitung Institut für Humangenetik, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München
Director Department of Proteomics and Signal Transduction, Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry
Vorsitzender des Direktoriums des LRZ