HEALTH & FITNESS
Over 150 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.
Researchers from the University of Michigan in the US led a large collaborative effort to discover as-yet unknown genetic risk factors for atrial fibrillation.
By performing one large genome-wide association study (GWAS) comprising data from six smaller studies, scientists identified 151 candidate genes for the condition.
Many of the genes identified are important for foetal 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 foetal development.
The increased understanding the study yields of the biological processes underlying atrial fibrillation could lead to better treatment and prevention.
"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 University of Michigan.
If atrial fibrillation is detected early, it is possible to prevent complications such as stroke and heart failure.
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.
Of the 151 genes identified as important for atrial fibrillation, 32 are likely to interact with existing drugs not necessarily developed to treat atrial fibrillation.
"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.
- Resistance training boosts motivation to exercise 19 Aug 2018 | PTI
- YouTube videos on plastic surgery spreading misinformation: Study 19 Aug 2018 | PTI
- US varsity signs MoU with Indian Nursing Council 19 Aug 2018 | PTI
- Brain tumours may occur in children with common genetic syndrome 18 Aug 2018 | IANS
- Higher BMI may increase your BP as well 18 Aug 2018 | IANS
- Delhi official wins WHO award on tobacco control initiative 18 Aug 2018 | PTI
- Smartphone screens harbour more germs than a toilet seat: Study 18 Aug 2018 | IANS
- IRDAI asks Insurance firms to cover mental illness in policies 18 Aug 2018 | PTI
- Birth control app highlights emerging health tech market 17 Aug 2018 | AP
- Doctors Without Borders welcomes WHO's new recommendations to treat drug-resistant TB 17 Aug 2018 | PTI
Sunday EditionView All
19 Aug 2018 | Kumar Chellappan
A succession war is brewing in the DMK after Karunanidhi’s death, with both Stalin and Alagiri staking a claim to their father’s political legacy. This, along with the churning in the AIADMK after Jayalalithaa’s death, is bound to have an impact on the political landscape of Tamil Nadu in the run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha polls, writes Kumar Chellappan Tamil Nadu politics sans Muthuvel Karunanidhi is like the drama Hamlet without...
STATE EDITIONSView All
19 Aug 2018 | PNS | Ranchi
Yet another girl from the Capital City Khushboo Vijay became the winner of Miss India International Global 2018 and will be representing India next year in Malaysia 2019 for World Finale. The event was held in Guwahati on August 2018...