Background There is an urgent need to understand genetic associations with atrial fibrillation in ethnically diverse populations. There are no such data from sub-Saharan Africa, despite the fact that atrial fibrillation is one of the fastest growing diseases. Moreover, patients with valvular heart disease are underrepresented in studies of the genetics of atrial fibrillation. Methods We designed a case-control study of patients with and without a history of atrial fibrillation in Kenya. Cases with atrial fibrillation included those with and without valvular heart disease. Patients underwent clinical phenotyping and will have laboratory analysis and genetic testing of >240 candidate genes associated with cardiovascular diseases. A 12-month follow-up assessment will determine the groups' morbidity and mortality. The primary analyses will describe genetic and phenotypic associations with atrial fibrillation. Results We recruited 298 participants: 72 (24%) with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, 78 (26%) with valvular atrial fibrillation, and 148 (50%) controls without atrial fibrillation. The mean age of cases and controls were 53 and 48 years, respectively. Most (69%) participants were female. Controls more often had hypertension (45%) than did those with valvular atrial fibrillation (27%). Diabetes and current tobacco smoking were uncommon. A history of stroke was present in 25% of cases and in 5% of controls. Conclusion This is the first study determining genetic associations in valvular and nonvalvular atrial fibrillation in sub-Saharan Africa with a control population. The results advance knowledge about atrial fibrillation and will enhance international efforts to decrease atrial fibrillation-related morbidity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine