Human genetic variation can modulate pathophysiologic processes that alter susceptibility to complex disease. Recent genomic analyses have sought to identify how common genetic variation alters susceptibility to coronary artery disease (CAD). From genome-wide association studies (GWAS), common genetic variants in several novel chromosomal loci have been associated with CAD. GWAS identified the 9p21 locus as the strongest independent genetic CAD risk factor, along with 11 additional loci that harbor common genetic variants associated with increased CAD risk. A thorough understanding of human genetic variation and genomic analyses will be crucial to understand how GWAS-identified loci increase susceptibility to CAD. This article outlines the relevance of genetic variation in the elucidation of novel CAD risk factors and the clinical utility of genetic variants in the management and treatment of CAD.