Research highlight

Variant associated with high risk of sick sinus syndrome

Nature Genetics

March 7, 2011

A genetic variant in the gene MYH6 is associated with high risk of sick sinus syndrome (SSS) reports a study published online this week in Nature Genetics. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with SSS is 6% for individuals without this genetic variant, but is approximately 50% in individuals with it.

Sick sinus syndrome (SSS), is a collection of heart rhythm disorders, including slow heart rate, fast heart rate, and alternating slow and fast heart rates. It is a condition commonly seen in the elderly and most people with SSS eventually need a permanent pacemaker.

Hilma Holm and colleagues performed whole-genome sequencing on 7 Icelanders with SSS and 80 Icelanders not diagnosed with SSS, and performed a genome-wide association study on 792 Icelanders with SSS and 37,592 Icelander controls. They report a genetic variant in the MYH6 gene that is associated with high risk of SSS.

doi: 10.1038/ng.781

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