Atrial Fibrillation a Heritable Trait in Standardbreds
“The heritability of atrial fibrillation was found to be quite significant for a disease trait,” said Flavio Schenkel, PhD, of the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College Department of Animal Biosciences.
“Based on our finding, AF-positive parents will increase the incidence of this disease in the herd and in the population of Standardbred horses as a whole,” he said. “The increase might be initially slow, but will be cumulative and will gain momentum over generations.”
In their study, Schenkel and colleagues examined the racing and health records of more than 1,200 Standardbred racehorses, including more than 200 that had been treated for AF at the Ontario Veterinary College Teaching Hospital. They also analyzed those horses’ pedigrees, which included more than 12,000 animals, to look for genetic links among AF-positive
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