Identification of heart rate-associated loci and their effects on cardiac conduction and rhythm disorders

Marcel den Hoed, Mark Eijgelsheim, Tõnu Esko, Bianca J J M Brundel, David S Peal, David M Evans, Ilja M Nolte, Ayellet V Segrè, Hilma Holm, Robert E Handsaker, Harm-Jan Westra, Toby Johnson, Aaron Isaacs, Jian Yang, Alicia Lundby, Jing Hua Zhao, Young Jin Kim, Min Jin Go, Peter Almgren, Murielle BochudGabrielle Boucher, Marilyn C Cornelis, Daniel Gudbjartsson, David Hadley, Pim van der Harst, Caroline Hayward, Martin den Heijer, Wilmar Igl, Anne U Jackson, Zoltán Kutalik, Jian'an Luan, John P Kemp, Kati Kristiansson, Claes Ladenvall, Mattias Lorentzon, May E Montasser, Omer T Njajou, Paul F O'Reilly, Sandosh Padmanabhan, Beate St Pourcain, Tuomo Rankinen, Perttu Salo, Toshiko Tanaka, Nicholas J Timpson, Veronique Vitart, Lindsay Waite, William Wheeler, Wendy L McArdle, Susan M Ring, George Davey Smith, Global BPgen Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)


Elevated resting heart rate is associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in up to 181,171 individuals, we identified 14 new loci associated with heart rate and confirmed associations with all 7 previously established loci. Experimental downregulation of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster and Danio rerio identified 20 genes at 11 loci that are relevant for heart rate regulation and highlight a role for genes involved in signal transmission, embryonic cardiac development and the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart failure and/or sudden cardiac death. In addition, genetic susceptibility to increased heart rate is associated with altered cardiac conduction and reduced risk of sick sinus syndrome, and both heart rate-increasing and heart rate-decreasing variants associate with risk of atrial fibrillation. Our findings provide fresh insights into the mechanisms regulating heart rate and identify new therapeutic targets.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2013

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