Prospective evaluation of a breast-cancer risk model integrating classical risk factors and polygenic risk in 15 cohorts from six countries

Amber N. Hurson, Parichoy Pal Choudhury, Chi Gao, Anika Hüsing, Mikael Eriksson, Min Shi, Michael E. Jones, D. Gareth R. Evans, Roger L. Milne, Mia M. Gaudet, Celine M. Vachon, Daniel I. Chasman, Douglas F. Easton, Marjanka K. Schmidt, Peter Kraft, Montserrat Garcia-Closas, Nilanjan Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Rigorous evaluation of the calibration and discrimination of breast-cancer risk-prediction models in prospective cohorts is critical for applications under clinical guidelines. We comprehensively evaluated an integrated model incorporating classical risk factors and a 313-variant polygenic risk score (PRS) to predict breast-cancer risk. Methods: Fifteen prospective cohorts from six countries with 239 340 women (7646 incident breast-cancer cases) of European ancestry aged 19-75 years were included. Calibration of 5-year risk was assessed by comparing expected and observed proportions of cases overall and within risk categories. Risk stratification for women of European ancestry aged 50-70 years in those countries was evaluated by the proportion of women and future cases crossing clinically relevant risk thresholds. Results: Among women <50 years old, the median (range) expected-to-observed ratio for the integrated model across 15 cohorts was 0.9 (0.7-1.0) overall and 0.9 (0.7-1.4) at the highest-risk decile; among women ≥50 years old, these were 1.0 (0.7-1.3) and 1.2 (0.7-1.6), respectively. The proportion of women identified above a 3% 5-year risk threshold (used for recommending risk-reducing medications in the USA) ranged from 7.0% in Germany (∼841 000 of 12 million) to 17.7% in the USA (∼5.3 of 30 million). At this threshold, 14.7% of US women were reclassified by adding the PRS to classical risk factors, with identification of 12.2% of additional future cases. Conclusion: Integrating a 313-variant PRS with classical risk factors can improve the identification of European-ancestry women at elevated risk who could benefit from targeted risk-reducing strategies under current clinical guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1897-1911
Number of pages15
JournalInternational journal of epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Breast cancer
  • iCARE
  • model validation
  • polygenic risk score
  • risk prediction
  • risk stratification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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