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Approved research

Investigating genetic architecture and potential therapeutic targets in heart failure

Principal Investigator: Dr Richard (Tom) Lumbers
Approved Research ID: 15422
Approval date: April 25th 2016

Lay summary

Heart failure is a condition occurring when the heart muscle pumps blood less effectively than it should. It is increasingly common in developed countries owing, partly, to population aging. Overall, the outlook for patients with heart failure is poor despite significant improvements in treatment over the past 30 years. Several diseases are known or suspected to cause heart failure however each individual?s risk of developing heart failure is also partly determined by their genes. This project aims to identify these susceptibility genes that underlie common forms of heart failure to inform new prevention and treatment strategies for this condition. Heart failure represents a significant health problem both for individual patients and for society. This project has the potential to provide new information about the genetic determinants of heart failure that may inform prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Heart failure is a complex syndrome and large populations are required to unravel the complex interplay of causes and to discover the basis for inherited risk. Until now such studies have not been possible at scale. The size and quality of the data available from the UKB, in combination with other cohorts, provide a new opportunity for discovery. The genetic data from UKB participants with heart failure will be compared with participants who free from this condition. We will combine this information with data from other heart failure studies and investigate whether there are differences in the genetic code associated with different types of heart failure. This large analysis may identify genes and biological pathways that are important in the development of heart failure. To understand the function of these genetic differences, heart scans from participants will be examined to assess whether the structure and/or function of heart is related to the genetic variation. The full cohort will be included with comparisons made between those participants with heart failure and those without.