Heat, dehydration and anxiety can cause people to faint which potentially can be fatal if it is happening while driving or cycling. Now researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Statens Serum Institut and Rigshospitalet have come closer to explaining the phenomenon. They are the first to identify a gene associated with an increased risk of fainting, also called syncope.
The new research results have been published in the scientific journal Cardiovascular Research. The researchers have analysed data from the UK Biobank containing information on approximately 400,000 Britons. Out of the 400,000, 9,163 Britons had been in contact with the healthcare system due to fainting. In order to identify the genetic variants associated with fainting, the researchers systematically analysed millions of genetic variants in the participants' genomes.
'We - Part - Chromosome - Risk - Risk
'We have learned that a part of chromosome 2 increases the risk of fainting. This means that there is a genetic risk variant that predisposes to fainting. In addition, we are the first to show that fainting is genetically determined by linking an increased risk of fainting with an exact position in the genome,' says Associate Professor Morten Salling Olesen from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen and the Laboratory for Molecular Cardiology, Rigshospitalet.
All of us have 23 chromosome pairs -- or a total of 46 chromosomes in each cell. The genetic variant identified by the researchers is situated on chromosome 2. A person can have one, two or no risk variants on chromosome 2. Statistical calculations show that if the risk variant is found on both versions of chromosome 2, the person in question has a 30 percent higher risk of fainting compared to persons with none of the two variants.
Analyses - Risk - Variant - Syncope - Extent
Subsequent analyses have shown that the risk variant for syncope determines the extent to which a particular gene on chromosome 2 is expressed....
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