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You may already know that atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm abnormality in Australia, but did you know that AF can run in families and this is often due to an inherited risk factor.
As you gather with your loved ones this Christmas it might be worth reflecting if you have come across other members of your immediate family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins who also have AF? Sometimes, a family history of AF may not be obvious, especially if your relatives have conditions such as stroke or heart failure, that can be triggered by AF.
It’s this inherited genetic risk factor that a team of Sydney and Melbourne-based researchers, led by Professor Diane Fatkin, from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, is investigating with the support of a Heart Foundation grant.
We hope that understanding the genetic causes of AF will give us new insights into why AF develops and help us to identify family members who are at risk of developing AF in the future. It’s vital work as AF can have devastating complications.
Our research into genetic causes of AF may ultimately lead to new approaches to treatment and prevention of this important heart disorder. Our team would like to thank all the patients and families who have participated in our genetics research and wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy New Year!
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