SATURDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- People who have a
first-degree relative with atrial fibrillation are at increased
risk themselves for the potentially deadly heart rhythm disorder, a
new study finds.
U.S. researchers analyzed data from 4,421 participants in the
long-term Framingham Heart Study. None of them had atrial
fibrillation at the start of the study. Between 1968 and 2007, 440
of the participants developed the disorder.
People whose fathers, mothers or siblings had atrial
fibrillation were 40 percent more likely to develop AF than those
who didn't have a first-degree relative with it -- 5.8 percent vs.
3.1 percent, respectively.
The increased risk persisted after the researchers adjusted for
established risk factors and related genetic variants, said study
author Dr. Steven A. Lubitz, of the Cardiovascular Research Center
at Massachusetts General Hospital in Charlestown, and
The study, to be published in the Nov. 24 print issue of the
Journal of the American Medical Association, was released online early to coincide with a planned presentation on the findings Saturday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Chicago.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about