Background: Although many polygenic risk scores (PRS) for cardiovascular traits have been developed in European populations, it is an urgent task to construct a PRS and to evaluate its ability in non-European populations. We developed a genome-wide PRS for blood pressure in a Japanese population and examined the associations between this PRS and hypertension prevalence. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study in 11 252 Japanese individuals who participated in the J-MICC (Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort) study. Using publicly available GWAS summary statistics from Biobank Japan, we developed the PRS in the target data (n=7876). With >30 000 single nucleotide polymorphisms, we evaluated PRS performance in the test data (n=3376). Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or more, or diastolic blood pressure of 85 mm Hg or more, or taking an antihypertensive drug. Results: Compared with the middle PRS quintile, the prevalence of hypertension at the top PRS quintile was higher independently from traditional risk factors (odds ratio, 1.73 [95% CI, 1.32-2.27]). The difference of mean systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure between the middle and the top PRS quintile was 4.55 (95% CI, 2.26-6.85) and 2.32 (95% CI, 0.86-3.78) mm Hg, respectively. Subgroups reflecting combinations of Japanese PRS and modifiable lifestyles and factors (smoking, alcohol intake, sedentary time, and obesity) were associated with the prevalence of hypertension. A European-derived PRS was not associated with hypertension in our participants. Conclusions: A PRS for blood pressure was significantly associated with hypertension and BP traits in a general Japanese population. Our findings also highlighted the importance of a combination of PRS and risk factors for identifying high-risk subgroups.
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