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Trans-ancestry genome-wide analysis of atrial fibrillation provides new insights into disease biology and enables polygenic prediction of cardioembolic risk

By Kazuo Miyazawa, Kaoru Ito, Zhaonan Zou, Hiroshi Matsunaga, Satoshi Koyama, Hirotaka Ieki, Seitaro Nomura, Masato Akiyama, Ryo Kurosawa, Hiroki Yoshida, Kouichi Ozaki, Yoshihiro Onouchi, BioBank Japan Project, Atsushi Takahashi, Koichi Matsuda, Yoshinori Murakami, Hiroyuki Aburatani, Michiaki Kubo, Yukihide Momozawa, Chikashi Terao, Shinya Oki, Hiroshi Akazawa, Yoichiro Kamatani, Issei Komuro

Posted 12 Sep 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.09.06.21263189

To understand the genetic underpinnings of atrial fibrillation (AF) in the Japanese population, we performed a large-scale genome-wide association study comprising 9,826 cases of AF among 150,272 individuals and identified five new susceptibility loci, including East Asian-specific rare variants. A trans-ancestry meta-analysis of >1 million individuals, including 77,690 cases, identified 35 novel loci. Leveraging gene expression and epigenomic datasets to prioritize putative causal genes and their transcription factors revealed the involvement of IL6R gene and transcription factor ERG besides the known ones. Further, we constructed a polygenic risk score (PRS) for AF, using the trans-ancestry meta-analysis. PRS was associated with an increased risk of long-term cardiovascular and stroke mortality, and segregated individuals with cardioembolic stroke in undiagnosed AF patients. Our results provide novel biological and clinical insights into AF genetics and suggest their potential for clinical applications.

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