Genetic Determinants of Atrial Fibrillation: converging genetic and clinical information

Joylene Siland

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    312 Downloads (Pure)


    Atrial fibrillation is a common cardiac arrhythmia and is characterized by an irregular heart rate. Approximately one-third of the individuals above the age of 55 years will develop atrial fibrillation in their lifetime. The daily life of patients with atrial fibrillation may be limited by symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness or palpitations. Episodes of atrial fibrillation may increase over time. However, not all patients experience symptoms and atrial fibrillation may be unnoticed and not treated. This may be life-threatening since atrial fibrillation increases risk of heart failure, dementia, stroke and death. Therefore, it is important to identify individuals at risk of atrial fibrillation.
    Risk factors identified for atrial fibrillation are increasing age, hypertension, diabetes, high body mass index (BMI) and existing cardiovascular diseases. Moreover genetics are involved in the development of atrial fibrillation. International collaboration via the AFGen consortium resulted in the discovery of over 100 genetic variants associated with atrial fibrillation. Nonetheless, the translation from genetics to clinical practice is difficult, because underlying pathways are mostly unknown.
    This thesis studies the genetic and clinical information of atrial fibrillation. Genetic risk scores clarify the genetic risk profile and causal associations of atrial fibrillation. The results of this thesis may be used to search for new molecular targets, treatment outcomes and personalized therapies. Thus, in the long run personalized care of atrial fibrillation can be improved and benefit the wellbeing of individuals at risk or diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Rienstra, Michiel, Supervisor
    • van der Harst, Pim, Supervisor
    • van Gelder, Isabelle, Supervisor
    Award date1-Sep-2021
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-6416-340-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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