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Background: Individuals exhibiting high levels of information exchange in social networks are considered central nodes, and are expected to have the most impact on social networks. We measured the impact of central nodes using a quantitative score, and whether disclosing genetic risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) influenced the score.
Methods: The Myocardial Infarction Genes trial randomized 203 participants aged 45-65 years, who were at intermediate CHD risk based on conventional risk, and not on statins, to receive a conventional risk score (CRS) or also a 28-variant genetic risk score (GRS), in office visits with a genetic counselor and then with a physician. Individuals who accessed the patient portal to obtain their CHD risk information were noted to exhibit high levels of information sharing in their social networks and were identified as central nodes, with remaining individuals classified as peripheral nodes. A survey assessing information sharing was completed at three and six months post-disclosure. A point was given for each of four spheres of influence in individuals’ social networks: family members, friends, co-workers, and others (including primary care provider). The sum was designated the ‘information sharing radius'. Significance was determined by regression analysis, with data reported as beta with standard error. Data were adjusted for age, sex, education, and family history.
Results: Three months post-disclosure, central node status associated with a wider sharing radius than peripheral nodes (beta 0.308±0.157, p=0.0498). This also trended towards significance at six months post-disclosure (beta 0.267±0.156, p=0.087). This effect was seen for all central nodes in the study as a single class, but not for central nodes in only the CRS group (at three months post-disclosure: beta -0.692±0.502, p=0.168; at six months post-disclosure: beta -0.247±0.502, p=0.623) or GRS group (at three months post-disclosure: beta -0.431±0.406, p=0.289; at six months post-disclosure: beta -0.636±0.405, p=0.116).
Conclusions: An information sharing radius may provide an estimate of the impact of central nodes in social networks. Such a radius was greater in central nodes who received a GRS.
Poster Hall, Hall C
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 3:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Session Title: Innovations in Cardiovascular Risk Assessment and Reduction
Abstract Category: 32. Prevention: Clinical
Presentation Number: 1235-040
- 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation