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Approved research

Etiology and prevention of atrial fibrillation and its complications using a multidimensional and sex-specific approach.

Principal Investigator: Dr Maryam Kavousi
Approved Research ID: 58237
Approval date: June 9th 2020

Lay summary

Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects over 33 million individuals worldwide and is the leading cause of heart failure and stroke. Several large initiatives have aimed to elucidate the complex heritability of AF and tried to identify risk factors for disease onset. Despite the large amount of work in the context of AF, the understanding of the underlying etiology and a subsequent better prevention of AF is still rather limited. Moreover, the precise mechanisms that contribute to AF and AF complications (e.g. heart failure, stroke, mortality) are not fully understood. In recent years, sex-differences in cardiovascular disease have gained substantial attention. Given the differences between men and women, current strategies for prevention are likely to have a different effectiveness to prevent and treat AF between individuals of both sexes. In this project, we aim to investigate the etiology and the predictive value of multidimensional data on AF, AF co-morbidity and AF complications onset. Moreover, we aim to take into account sex-differences in these analyses. We will conduct association analyses with genetic, clinical, imaging and lifestyle data. Mendelian Randomization will be used to study any causal associations that impact AF onset and the risk of AF complications. Eventually, this projects aid to better understand and prevent disease onset. When considering the growing number of individuals with cardiovascular diseases, understanding etiology and identifying predictive factors are crucial. Thereby, this innovative project may identify novel targets for interventions to prevent AF onset in both men and women.