human heart photo

Heart Failure (Shah, 2020)

WEEKLY UPDATE: January 17, 2020
Genome-wide association and Mendelian randomisation analysis provide insights into pathogenesis of heart failure

SUMMARY: Identification of 12 genetic variants associated with a risk of heart failure.

OVERVIEW: Heart failure is a common condition affecting over 30 million people worldwide. It occurs when the heart is not strong enough to pump blood throughout the body. This typically results in fluid buildup in the body, which “congests” areas like the lungs and ankles. It is estimated that the heritability of heart failure is approximately 26%. This study examined the genomes of almost one million individuals of European ancestry to identify genetic regions associated with the risk of heart failure. The study identified 12 heart failure-associated genetic variants in 11 genomic regions, 10 of which are novel. Many of these regions are linked to heart development and function, body mass index, and coronary artery disease.


A pacemaker is a device that uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. Pacemakers are used to treat multiple heart conditions including heart failure. In 1958, Arne Larrson received the first implantable pacemaker. He died at age 86 of a disease unrelated to his heart, outliving the surgeon who implanted his pacemaker. [SOURCE]


Understanding heart failure
What is heart failure?

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