JAMA Netw Open. 2024 Jan 2;7(1):e2351927. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.51927.


IMPORTANCE: Clonal hematopoiesis (CH) with acquired pathogenic variants in myeloid leukemia driver genes is common in older adults but of unknown prognostic value.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of CH and the utility of the CH risk score (CHRS) in estimating all-cause and disease-specific mortality in older adults with CH.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This population-based prospective cohort study involved community-dwelling older adults (aged 67-90 years) without hematologic malignant neoplasms (HMs) who were participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Visit 5 at 4 US centers: Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Washington County, Maryland. Samples were collected from 2011 to 2013, sequencing was performed in 2022, and data analysis was completed in 2023.

EXPOSURE: The exposure was a diagnosis of CH. CHRS scores (calculated using 8 demographic, complete blood cell count, and molecular factors) were used to categorize individuals with CH into low-risk (CHRS ≤9.5), intermediate-risk (CHRS >9.5 to <12.5), and high-risk (CHRS ≥12.5) groups.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was all-cause mortality, and secondary outcomes were HM mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, and death from other causes.

RESULTS: Among 3871 participants without a history of HM (mean [SD] age, 75.7 [5.2] years; 2264 [58.5%] female individuals; 895 [23.1%] Black individuals; 2976 White individuals [76.9%]), 938 (24.2%) had CH. According to the CHRS, 562 (59.9%) were low risk, 318 (33.9%) were intermediate risk, and 58 (6.2%) were high risk. During a median (IQR) follow-up of 7.13 (5.63-7.78) years, 570 participants without CH (19.4%) and 254 participants with CH (27.1%) died. Mortality by CHRS risk group was 128 deaths (22.8%) for low risk, 93 (29.2%) for intermediate risk, and 33 (56.9%) for high risk. By use of multivariable competing risk regression, subdistribution hazard ratios (sHRs) for all-cause mortality were 1.08 (95% CI, 0.89-1.31; P = .42) for low-risk CH, 1.12 (95% CI, 0.89-1.41; P = .31) for intermediate-risk CH, and 2.52 (95% CI, 1.72-3.70; P < .001) for high-risk CH compared with no CH. Among individuals in the high-risk CH group, the sHR of death from HM (6 deaths [10.3%]) was 25.58 (95% CI, 7.55-86.71; P < .001) and that of cardiovascular death (12 deaths [20.7%]) was 2.91 (95% CI, 1.55-5.47; P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cohort study, the CHRS was associated with all-cause, HM-related, and cardiovascular disease mortality in older adults with CH and may be useful in shared decision-making to guide clinical management and identify appropriate candidates for clinical trials.

PMID:38231513 | DOI:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.51927