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Genetic Risk of Heart Failure Highlighted in New Study
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Genetic Risk of Heart Failure Highlighted in New Study

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Highlights:
  • Heart Failure (HF) seems to run in families but till now there was no clear study to determine the genetic mechanisms
  • The current research used a Swedish adoption study to understand how HF is inherited in families
  • In this cohort, adoptees born in Sweden between 1942 and 1990 were mapped to the biological and adoptive parents
  • The risk of HF in adoptees where the biological parent/s had HF was higher (odds ratio of 1.45) as against those peers whose biological parent/s did not have HF (odds ratio of 1.58)
  • Heritability percentage of HF was an estimated 26% or 34% excluding cardiomyopathies
  • According to lead researcher and first author Magnus Lindgren, MD, of Skåne University Hospital in Sweden there is a moderate heritability factor in HF where the biological parent has had HF and it is important to look for the genetic variants which contribute to this condition
  • The study results indicates that HF is inherited in a non-Mendelian pattern and is a complex genetic trait which needs to be unraveled further


Study Highlights Genetic Risk of Heart Failure


Heart failure (HF) is a serious public health issue with established risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and other congenital heart conditions. HF seems to run in families but till now there was no clear study to determine the genetic mechanisms. Understanding genetic mechanisms can clearly improve public health outcomes for HF. Heritability studies are important because these studies analyze how genes contribute to any disorder. By opening up genetic linkages, heritability studies can suggest lifestyle improvements to prevent fatal conditions. Heritability studies the genetic resemblance between relatives and is usually studied using a number of statistical approaches like odds ratio or regression analysis.

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The current research used a Swedish adoption study to understand how HF is inherited in families. In this cohort, adoptees born in Sweden between 1942 and 1990 were mapped to the biological and adoptive parents. It was possible to study a clear correlation between HF in parents and children without the interference of a shared environment which can actually confuse the study.

The average age of the 194 individuals who had HF was around 55 at the time of diagnosis. The risk of HF in adoptees where the biological parent/s had HF was higher (odds ratio of 1.45) as against those peers whose biological parent/s did not have HF (odds ratio of 1.58). Heritability percentage of HF was an estimated 26% or 34% excluding cardiomyopathies. The adoptees in this study presented with HF at an early age (average of 55). However, the biological parents presented with late-onset around the age of 72 years. In the control study, HF in an adoptive parent was not correlated to HF in the adoptees.
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While monogenic syndromes like cardiomyopathies are due to genetic mutations, the etiological understanding underlying common forms of HF was limited. This heritability study has thrown new light on genetic variants contributing to HF. Family history of HF must be taken seriously as a clinical risk factor.

According to lead researcher and first author Magnus Lindgren, MD, of Skåne University Hospital in Sweden there is a moderate heritability factor in HF where the biological parent has had HF and it is important to look for the genetic variants which contribute to this condition. The study results indicate that HF is inherited in a non-Mendelian pattern and is a complex genetic trait which needs to be unraveled further. This research was reported in JAMA Cardiology.

Some of the limitations of the study relate to the fact that the investigators relied heavily on registry data. There was little or no information of clinical data like smoking, BMI and age of adoption.


Reference :
  1. Lindgren MP, PirouziFard M, Smith JG, Sundquist J, Sundquist K, Zöller B. A Swedish Nationwide Adoption Study of the Heritability of Heart Failure. JAMA Cardiol. Published online July 11, 2018.


Source: Medindia

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