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DNA Testing for Atrial Fibrillation

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DNA Testing for Atrial Fibrillation

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Genetic health testing is a physician ordered test in the USA. The physician in question will need to authorise the testing. IBDNA does not provide this test to USA Residents.

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that affects approximately 500,000 people in the UK and comprises three main types: paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, persistent atrial fibrillation and longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation. These types of atrial fibrillation refer to the duration of the condition, with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation showing symptoms for 48 hours before ceasing without treatment. In contrast, longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation can occur for periods in excess of a year. Atrial fibrillation causes an irregular heartbeat, the rate of which is often abnormally fast. Whilst not considered life-threatening in the vast majority of cases, atrial fibrillation occurs when the atria or upper chambers of the heart contract randomly, which often precludes the possibility of the heart muscle relaxing between contractions. As a result, atrial fibrillation will often require medication to avoid related complications and in order to lessen some of the more unpleasant symptoms such as angina, dizziness and breathing difficulties.

Genetic predisposition DNA testing for atrial fibrillation is useful in order to screen those who have a family history of the condition. Arial fibrillation is generally thought to be influenced by environmental factors such as excessive or frequent consumption of caffeine based products (which include tea and coffee), alcohol consumption, drug use, smoking and obesity. These environmental triggers account for the majority of atrial fibrillation cases; however, a genetic predisposition to atrial fibrillation has been established. Research has shown that up to 15% of people with atrial fibrillation may have a familial form of the condition, with missense mutations in the KCNQ1 gene identified as playing a key role in its development.

For support and more information about atrial fibrillation, please visit the American Heart Association website, an international charity which provides information, support and access to established, new or innovative treatments for atrial fibrillation.

Genetic Health Testing and The FDA – Important Note

Genetic health testing is a physician ordered test in the USA. The physician in question will need to authorise the testing. IBDNA does not provide this test to USA Residents.

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