In a study that could help broaden how to diagnose heart problems, researchers have identified more than 200 genetic factors that can cause heart rhythm irregularities, also called cardiac or heart arrhythmias.
In the last decade, scientists have identified several genetic factors that contribute and also protect from several heart diseases, however, not so much has been found in regard to heart arrhythmias, which is one of the most common and life-threatening heart conditions. In recent months, a team of scientists from over 140 institutions looked at data from 293,051 individuals from across the world to study the individual genetic profiles and relate them with findings on their electrocardiograms or tracing of the heart’s electrical activity also called ECG.
The findings revealed that 202 different locations in the genome, or gene makeup, were linked to heart arrhythmias. This team noted that this may explain why it is about 62 percent inheritable.
The study team believes these findings not only expand the risk stratification for arrhythmias, but it also offers a potential avenue for treating and preventing heart diseases.
Anyone with a family history of sudden unexplained death should talk to their doctor about heart arrhythmias to probe whether it is worth undergoing tests to assess their risk,