JUN 23, 2018 3:22 PM PDT

In Search of Genetic Risk Factors for AFib

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have recently learned more about genetic factors that are contributing to a person’s risk of developing atrial fibrillation, or AFib. Its when the heart beats irregularly and often, rapidly. AFib can increase the risk of other disorders in the heart, like stroke and heart failure. It might occur only occasionally, it may be persistent, or it may be a long-term condition. 

In this video, Patrick Ellinor, MD, the director of Mass General's Cardiac Arrhythmia Service talks about a study that found more than 100 gene variations that influence atrial fibrillation. The research was a genome-wide association study (GWAS), in which researchers scour the genome for small genetic changes that alter a person’s traits in different ways.

A Manhattan plot, a typical part of GWAS analysis. / Image credit: Ikram MK et al (2010) PLOS Genetics

Source: Mass General

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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