Researchers from the University of Michigan, drawing the genomic data of over one million people, tried to identify the genetic risk factors for atrial fibrillation, a condition characterized by irregular and rapid heart rate that’s affecting millions of American and more than 30 million individuals around the world. According to the research, over 150 genes linked to atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation increases the risks for blood clots forming, heart failure, and stroke, all of which could be fatal.
After performing a significant genome-wide association study (GWAS), the scientists detected a little more than 150 genes that can influence the development of atrial fibrillation.
The study’s results were recently published in the Nature Genetics journal.
By detecting atrial fibrillation in its early stages, it could be possible to avoid severe consequences including stroke and heart failure. On the other hand, the current treatments for this condition are rarely curative and are exposing to side effects.
Researchers discovered over 150 genes linked to atrial fibrillation which could enhance treatments
The researchers used the data from multiple biobanks, such as UM’s Michigan Genomics Initiative (MGI), UK Biobank, Norway’s HUNT study, DiscovEHR, Iceland’s deCODE Genetics, and AFGen Consortium.
“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,” explained the study’s leading author, Jonas Bille Nielsen, M.D., Ph.D., and a researcher in cardiovascular disease.
“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,” the researcher added.
Even though the results of the study are sounding, the scientists know that further investigation is needed to confirm the findings of the over 150 genes linked to atrial fibrillation.