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Association Between Family History and Early-Onset Atrial Flutter Across Racial and Ethnic Groups.

BACKGROUND: Genetic and familial contributions to early-onset atrial fibrillation are described primarily in individuals of European ancestry. However, the role of racial and familial contributions in the pathogenesis of early-onset atrial flutter (EOAFL) is unclear.

METHODS AND RESULTS: In this cross-sectional study, participants were enrolled prospectively from 2015 to 2021 in multiple academic centers with a diagnosis of atrial flutter (AFL) confirmed by ECG. EOAFL was defined as a diagnosis of AFL before age 66 years with no concomitant or previous diagnosis of atrial tachyarrhythmias. Family history was adjudicated through baseline questionnaires and direct family interviews about the diagnosis of atrial tachyarrhythmias, stroke, and cardiomyopathy. The primary exposure was a positive family history in first-degree relatives, and the primary outcome was the odds of EOAFL versus late-onset AFL. A total of 909 patients were enrolled. Participants with a positive family history of atrial tachyarrhythmias were younger, less likely to be of Black race, and more likely to have EOAFL. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for EOAFL in those with a positive family history was 1.8 (95% CI, 1.1-3.0). There was an increased odds of EOAFL in those of Black race (OR, 2.1 [95% CI, 1.4-3.2]), alcohol use (OR, 1.6 [95% CI, 1.0-2.6]), and obstructive sleep apnea (OR, 1.9 [95% CI, 1.0-3.4]). Use of cardioselective β blockers or calcium channel blockers before the diagnosis of AFL were associated with a lower odds of EOAFL (OR, 0.5 [95% CI, 0.2-0.9]).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest a potentially hereditary predisposition to EOAFL across race and ethnicity, warranting further study of the genetic contributions to AFL.

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