Genetic interactions between AF and stroke

Conventional risk factors account for about 60% of the variation in stroke risk, suggesting a genetic component to cerebrovascular events as well as AF.26 Further studies need to assess the genetic relationship between AF and stroke.9 However, some genetic polymorphisms associated with AF seem to be particularly strongly associated with cardioembolic stroke.9 

For instance, a single nucleotide polymorphism on the long arm of chromosome 4 (4q25) is associated with excessive calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum and spontaneous electrical activity in human atrial myocytes.28 Polymorphisms in 4q25 are also associated with ischaemic and, in particular, cardioembolic stroke.26 Further research is needed. However, genetic polymorphisms form the backdrop against which the other pathophysiological pathways summarised in this section influence AF risk.

The next section details aberrant electrical activity


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