ARRHYTHMIA: Study Comes Across More Than 200 Genetic Factors That Cause Heart Arrhythmia
: Genetic and cardiology researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have discovered hundreds of new links between people's DNA and the heart's electrical activity in a study involving almost 300,000 individuals.
The study findings might eventually lead to advanced screening methods to discern who is at greatest risk of developing disease, and could help reveal new genetic targets for research and drug development.
The research findings were published in the journal Nature Communications
In the past decade, scientists have identified many genetic factors that contribute to or protect against the onset of specific heart diseases. However, it has been difficult to find genetic factors associated with arrhythmias, one of the most common forms of heart disease where the heart beats abnormally.
The research team along with scientists from more than 140 institutions looked at data from 293,051 individuals across the globe, studying their individual genomes and their measurements on an electrocardiogram, one of the oldest and most widely used heart diagnostic tests.
The teams specifically studied the length of time between two points on the electrocardiogram read-out known as the "PR interval," which is associated with a number of common electrical disorders such as atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias.
The study found 202 locations in the genome with links to this type of electrical activity in the heart, 141 of which had not been previously identified.
This far more than triples the number of known genetic regions linked to this type of electrical activity and explains about 62 percent of its heritability.
Professor Patricia Munroe from Queen Mary's William Harvey Research Institute, a co-lead researcher told Thailand Medical News, "This is the largest global study of its kind to investigate the genetic basis of the PR interval, a well-established electrocardiogram risk marker for heart disease and mortality.”
The research findings provide new knowledge on biological processes relating to the heart's electrical activity and potential avenues of drug research for preventing and treating heart conditions.
Dr Steven Lubitz from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute further added, "That's really a striking discovery that wouldn't have been possible a few years ago. But thanks to many studies, including the UK Biobank, we now have all this imaging and electrocardiogram data paired with genetic data, which has proven to be a really powerful combination."
The research indicates that an individual's inherited predisposition to heart disease is not the result of single-gene mutations, but rather a cumulative effect of many variants across the genome.
This will give medical professionals further insights as to how to better advice their patients and also how to better treat the condition.
For more on Heart Arrhythmia
, keep logging in to Thailand Medical News
We Need Your Help. Please Help To Sustain This Website And All Our Initiatives To Propel Research By Donating. https://www.thailandmedical.news/p/sponsorship