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Editor's Note
August 2018

Is Heart Failure Inherited?Beyond the Cardiomyopathies, Genetics Do Matter

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cardiology Section, Department of Medicine, Boston Veteran’s Administration Healthcare System, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston Massachusetts
  • 2Associate Editor, JAMA Cardiology
  • 3Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 4Deputy Editor, JAMA Cardiology
  • 5Center for Genetic Medicine and Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago Illinois
  • 6Section Editor, JAMA Cardiology
JAMA Cardiol. 2018;3(8):710-711. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2018.1918

Heart failure is an expanding public health problem that is commonly attributable to known risk factors and occasionally is caused by familial cardiomyopathies. Yet a gap still remains in our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of heart failure. Closing this gap may lead to improvements in prevention as well as pre-emption.

Monogenic syndromes of familial hypertrophic or dilated cardiomyopathy are well documented and arise from rare mutations in genes encoding proteins that regulate the contractile function of the heart, including sarcomere and cytoskeletal components. However, for more common forms of heart failure, the spectrum of underlying etiologies is considered complex, and genetic association studies in large heart failure populations have yielded comparatively limited insight.

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