• Videos
  • August 2018
  • 13 minutes

Genetics and Risks of Anti-selection (Webcast 4 of 4)

In Brief

Peter Banthorpe, Global Head of Research and Data Analytics at RGA, discusses the results of RGA’s research study with King’s College London and the implications for genetic anti-selection in protection insurance.

The majority of common diseases have a polygenic architecture, wherein multiple common genetic variants, each by themselves of small effect, cumulatively impact disease risk. Advances in statistical and clinical genetics have begun to establish the power of polygenic risk scores (PRSs) to identify individuals at higher risk of disease, based on these common genetic variants.

In the previous webcast, using the results from an RGA and King’s College London research study, we explained that knowledge of an individual’s PRS for disease provides risk information that is largely independent to normal underwriting risk factors. In this webcast, Peter Banthorpe presents a number of modelling scenarios which demonstrate that genetic anti-selection can have a sizeable impact on protection insurance claim rates.

The era of polygenic medicine is approaching quickly: recent years have seen a tremendous leap in the scientific understanding of polygenic risk profiling and an explosion in public interest in genetics. Since we expect further asymmetry of medical health and genetic information in the future, we believe that PRSs and advances in statistical genetics remains an emerging risk issue for the protection insurance industry. Nonetheless, we should also consider the insurance opportunities that complement this risk, and the hugely positive impact genomic medicine will have on reducing morbidity and mortality.

View additional webcasts in this series:


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Meet the Authors & Experts

Peter Banthorpe
Peter Banthorpe
Managing Director, RGA UK