Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac rhythm disorder at the clinical setting and accounts for up to 15% of all strokes. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs2106261 and rs7193343 in ZFHX3 (zinc finger homeobox 3 gene) and rs13376333 in KCNN3 (encoding a potassium intermediate/small conductance calcium-activated channel, subfamily N, member 3) that showed significant association with AF in multiple populations of European ancestry. Here, we studied a Chinese Han, GeneID cohort consisting of 650 AF patients and 1,447 non-AF controls to test whether the GWAS findings on ZFHX3/KCNN3 and AF can be expanded to a different ethnic population. No significant association was detected for rs7193343 in ZFHX3 and rs13376333 in KCNN3. However, significant association was identified between rs2106261 in ZFHX3 and AF in the GeneID population for both allelic frequencies (P=0.001 after adjusting for covariates of age, gender, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and diabetes mellitus; OR=1.32), and genotypic frequencies assuming either an additive or recessive model (OR=1.29, P=0.001 and OR=1.77, P =0.00018, respectively). When only lone AF cases were analyzed, the association remained significant (OR=1.50, P=0.001 for allelic association; OR=1.45, P=0.001 for an additive model; OR=2.24, P=0.000043 for a recessive model). Our results indicate that rs2106261 in ZFHX3 confers a significant risk of AF in a Chinese Han population. The study expands the association between ZFHX3 and AF to a non-European ancestry population and provides the first evidence of a cross-race susceptibility of the 16q22 AF locus.
© Springer-Verlag 2010