Genetics of height and risk of atrial fibrillation: A Mendelian randomization study

Autoři: Michael G. Levin aff001;  Renae Judy aff004;  Dipender Gill aff005;  Marijana Vujkovic aff002;  Shefali S. Verma aff010;  Yuki Bradford aff010aff012;  Marylyn D. Ritchie aff010;  Matthew C. Hyman aff001;  Saman Nazarian aff001;  Daniel J. Rader aff002;  Benjamin F. Voight aff010;  Scott M. Damrauer aff003
Působiště autorů: Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America aff001;  Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America aff002;  Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America aff003;  Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America aff004;  Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom aff005;  Centre for Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom aff006;  Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom aff007;  Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Section, Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education and Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George’s, University of London, London, United Kingdom aff008;  Clinical Pharmacology Group, Pharmacy and Medicines Directorate, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom aff009;  Department of Genetics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America aff010;  Institute for Biomedical Informatics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America aff011;  Tarrytown, New York, United States of America aff012;  Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America aff013;  Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America aff014
Vyšlo v časopise: Genetics of height and risk of atrial fibrillation: A Mendelian randomization study. PLoS Med 17(10): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003288
Kategorie: Research Article



Observational studies have identified height as a strong risk factor for atrial fibrillation, but this finding may be limited by residual confounding. We aimed to examine genetic variation in height within the Mendelian randomization (MR) framework to determine whether height has a causal effect on risk of atrial fibrillation.

Methods and findings

In summary-level analyses, MR was performed using summary statistics from genome-wide association studies of height (GIANT/UK Biobank; 693,529 individuals) and atrial fibrillation (AFGen; 65,446 cases and 522,744 controls), finding that each 1-SD increase in genetically predicted height increased the odds of atrial fibrillation (odds ratio [OR] 1.34; 95% CI 1.29 to 1.40; p = 5 × 10−42). This result remained consistent in sensitivity analyses with MR methods that make different assumptions about the presence of pleiotropy, and when accounting for the effects of traditional cardiovascular risk factors on atrial fibrillation. Individual-level phenome-wide association studies of height and a height genetic risk score were performed among 6,567 European-ancestry participants of the Penn Medicine Biobank (median age at enrollment 63 years, interquartile range 55–72; 38% female; recruitment 2008–2015), confirming prior observational associations between height and atrial fibrillation. Individual-level MR confirmed that each 1-SD increase in height increased the odds of atrial fibrillation, including adjustment for clinical and echocardiographic confounders (OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.50 to 2.40; p = 0.007). The main limitations of this study include potential bias from pleiotropic effects of genetic variants, and lack of generalizability of individual-level findings to non-European populations.


In this study, we observed evidence that height is likely a positive causal risk factor for atrial fibrillation. Further study is needed to determine whether risk prediction tools including height or anthropometric risk factors can be used to improve screening and primary prevention of atrial fibrillation, and whether biological pathways involved in height may offer new targets for treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Klíčová slova:

Atrial fibrillation – Cardiovascular disease risk – Coronary heart disease – diabetes mellitus – Genetics – Genetics of disease – Genome-wide association studies – Instrumental variable analysis


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