Scientists identify 151 genes linked to irregular heart rate conditions
Scientists have identified 151 genes linked to atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes irregular heart rates and puts over 30 million people worldwide at increased risk of stroke, heart failure, and death.
Scientists have identified 151 genes linked to atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes irregular heart rates and puts over 30 million people worldwide at an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, and death.
Many of the genes identified are important for fetal development of the heart, implying that genetic variation predisposes the heart to atrial fibrillation during fetal development, or, that the genetic variation could reactivate genes in the adult heart that normally only function during fetal development.
"We are hopeful that additional molecular biology experiments will determine how to create sustained regular heart rhythms by studying the genes we and others have identified," said Cristen Willer, associate professor at the University of Michigan.
Current treatment options for atrial fibrillation are limited, however, include serious side effects, and are rarely curative. The genetic variants uncovered in this study could potentially improve both early detection and treatment.
By identifying genes important for atrial fibrillation, researchers constructed a risk score to help identify high-risk individuals and monitor them accordingly, which "may have important implications for precision health and prevention of cardiovascular disease," said Willer.
"Discovery of novel genetic variants and genes important for atrial fibrillation was only possible because we combined information from multiple biobanks from around the world in a large collaborative effort," said Jonas Bille Nielsen, first author of the study published in the journal Nature Genetics.
"By combining multiple independent data sources, we also found that people with early-onset atrial fibrillation have a higher genetic burden of atrial fibrillation compared with people who develop the disease later in life," said Nielson.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)