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Boston U to Use NIH Funds for Atrial Fibrillation Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Boston University School of Medicine will use a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to identify risk factors for atrial fibrillation and to study biomarkers or genetic tests in predicting onset of the condition.

Boston University researchers will use the funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to use data from its Framingham Heart Study and work with five other partners to develop an accurate way for predicting new cases of the condition with simple clinical factors. The researchers then will aim to find out if new biomarkers or genetic tests "add significantly to the ability to predict new-onset atrial fibrillation," the university said.

The research includes collaborations with investigators at the University of Minnesota, and scientists located in Iceland, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The Framingham study involves tracking over 10,000 people between the ages of 30 and 62 and meeting them every two years for examinations, lab tests, and updating their medical records. The study began in 1948 and now includes a third generation of participants.