Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common clinical arrhythmia that appears to be highly heritable, despite representing a complex interplay of several disease processes that generally do not manifest until later in life. In this manuscript, we will review the genetic basis of this complex trait established through studies of familial AF, linkage and candidate gene studies of common AF, genome wide association studies (GWAS) of common AF, and transcriptomic studies of AF. Since AF is associated with a five-fold increase in the risk of stroke, we also review the intersection of common genetic factors associated with both of these conditions. Similarly, we highlight the intersection of common genetic markers associated with some risk factors for AF, such as hypertension and obesity, and AF. Lastly, we describe a paradigm where genetic factors predispose to the risk of AF, but which may require additional stress and trigger factors in older age to allow for the clinical manifestation of AF.
- Atrial Fibrillation