A person’s genetic risk score may be a powerful tool for tailoring diagnostic strategies for atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common sustained heart rhythm disturbance, according to the results of a first-of-its-kind clinical trial lead by scientists at the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI).

The study, combining genetic screening with monitoring of participants with wearable sensor patches, found that people with a high genetic risk of AFib are nearly three times more likely to be diagnosed with the condition within a two-week period following initial symptom manifestation, than individuals with a low genetic risk.

There is a growing clinical interest in genetic risk scores across the disease spectrum with most genetic risk score studies being performed retrospectively within large observational studies. Here, the team from STSI aimed to prospectively validate a previously derived genetic risk score for Afib in an at-risk clinical cohort.

Findings from the study by Muse et al. were published on March 13, 2018 in the journal PLOS Medicine.