The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 6.2 million Americans have some form of heart failure.
This means that the heart cannot pump enough blood to support the body, but the heart does not fully stop beating.
In a study from Northwestern University, scientists found new genetic variants linked to heart failure.
They analyzed the genomes and ancestries of more than 115,000 patients experiencing heart failure and found 47 risk loci in the human genome where genetic variants may indicate an increased risk of heart failure.
The team says these loci now become a target for treatment.
Heart failure is common, and the role that genetics play in the condition is complex.
Prior to this study, only 11 common risk loci for heart failure had been identified using genome-wide association, a research method that links genetic variants across the genome with heart failure.
In the current study, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of heart failure genome-wide association studies and included more than 1.6 million controls of diverse genetic ancestry.
They compared the newly identified genetic risk variants with other cardiometabolic traits, including atrial fibrillation, body mass index, coronary artery disease, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
They found that heart failure risk variants were linked to increased blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
Finally, the team did a Mendelian randomization analysis of 725 human proteins and found nine were linked to the heart failure risk variants.
The team says by evaluating such a large number of heart failure patients, it was possible to find new genes and proteins implicated in heart failure.
Some of the genes and proteins will be useful for predicting who is at risk for developing heart failure and could also serve as future targets for treatment.
If you care about heart health, please read studies that apple juice could benefit your heart health, and Yogurt may help lower the death risks of heart disease.
For more information about health, please see recent studies that olive oil may help you live longer, and Vitamin C is linked to a lower risk of heart failure.
The study was conducted by Megan Roy-Puckelwartz et al and published in Nature Communications.
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