Two biomarkers linked to the risk of suffering from atrial fibrillation have been discovered by scientists at the University of Navarra (Spain), in collaboration with clinicians from the University Hospital of Donostia. Atrial fibrillation, a cardiac ailment affects more than 33.5 million people in the world.
In the European Union, it is present in 8.8 million people over 55 years of age and, specifically in Spain, it affects more than 4% of the population over 40 years of age. The World Health Organization considers this disease as an epidemic due to its high morbidity and mortality, and a public health problem due to its high prevalence.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common alteration of the heart rhythm (arrhythmia). It happens when the heart pumps blood in an accelerated and irregular way, thus increasing the risk of suffering a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, or other complications related to this organ. Some common causes are heart disease or hormonal changes. It can be treated with medications and procedures, such as cardiac ablation, to correct irregular heart rhythms.
Advances toward precision medicine
The study was performed in 392 patients, 150 of them treated with cardiac ablation. "The confirmation of these findings can lay the foundations to precisely adjust the most optimal treatment and follow-up for each patient according to these two biomarkers," adds Dr. Díez, also from CIBERCV.