Atrial fibrillation, or afib, is the most common heart rhythm disorder worldwide, affecting more than 33 million people. Although Latinos and Hispanics are less likely than whites to develop atrial fibrillation, they are more likely to develop complications. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have confirmed an association between a chromosomal genetic variant and an increased risk of afib in Latinos.
The study involved 713 patients, including 103 Latino individuals enrolled in the University’s AFib Registry, who sought care at the University of Illinois Hospital. Researchers analyzed blood samples for common genetic variants and compared the results to genetic analyses of 610 people who did not have atrial fibrillation.
They found that Latino patients had a 2.3-times higher risk for developing afib if they carried a common genetic variant. Results of the study were published in PLOS One.