Association of a chromosomal genetic variant with increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib) in Latinos discovered by Darbar and his colleagues. The findings are reported in PLOS ONE.
"There is a paradox at play when it comes to atrial fibrillation in the Latino population," said Dr. Dawood Darbar. "While Latino individuals are less likely to develop atrial fibrillation than whites, despite having a higher burden of risk factors, they are more likely to suffer complications if the condition does develop," said Darbar, professor medicine and pharmacology in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.
Understanding this paradox has been a challenge because most research on the genetic basis of atrial fibrillation, or AFib, has been performed in whites of European descent. With the development of a large, diverse registry of patients with AFib, the most prevalent heart rhythm disorder worldwide, To identify common genetic variants, the researchers studied 713 patients who sought care at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago. The study group consisted of 103 Latino individuals who were prospectively enrolled in the UIC AFib Registry. Blood samples were analyzed for common genetic variants at a number of chromosomal locations and compared with genetic analysis results of 610 individuals without AFib.
"It also alerts us to a possible familial link that can help identify when family members may also be at risk," Darbar said.