Demographic and Socioeconomic Differences in Polygenic Risk of Cardiovascular Health in the Health and Retirement Study

Lauren Schmitz
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research


This pilot examines the extent to which polygenic scores (PGSs) are associated with cardiovascular risk factors (i.e. systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, smoking, and alcohol use) and how these associations are modified by key demographic (i.e. sex, age) and socioeconomic factors across the life course.


  • Gard AM, Ware EB, Hyde LW, Schmitz LL, Faul J, Mitchell C. Phenotypic and genetic markers of psychopathology in a population-based sample of older adults. Translational psychiatry. 2021 April 24;11(1):239. PubMed PMID: 33895785; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8068727; DOI: 10.1038/s41398-021-01354-2.
  • Schmitz LL, Goodwin J, Miao J, Lu Q, Conley D. The impact of late-career job loss and genetic risk on body mass index: Evidence from variance polygenic scores. Scientific reports. 2021 April 7;11(1):7647. PubMed PMID: 33828129; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8027610; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-86716-y.
  • Schmitz LL, Gard AM, and Ware EB. Examining sex differences in the association between genetic risk for depressive symptoms and smoking behavior. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2019. Jun 20. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32748. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed PMID: 31219244.
  • National Institutes on Aging. K99AG056599. Life course determinants of epigenetic age acceleration and subsequent dementia. PI: L. Schmitz.