Dr. Emelia J. Benjamin, professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and of cardiovascular medicine at the BU School of Medicine, will serve as director of a new BU-based center examining atrial fibrillation risk, part of a larger research network funded by the American Heart Association (AHA).
An estimated 6.1 million or more Americans were living with AFib as of 2010, making it the most common heart abnormality in the U.S. That number is expected to rise to 12.1 million by 2030. The AMA has announced research grants totaling more than $28 million to fund research centers focused on understanding the causes of atrial fibrillation (AFib).
The BU center headed by Dr. Benjamin will examine both AFib risk and stroke risk in patients with AFib, with a specific focus on African American individuals. The goal is to advance AFib precision medicine by predicting individuals at risk and providing insights essential to develop effective prevention, treatment, and management strategies.
“Establishing these centers with leading investigators from renowned institutions is an important step in discovering biological, genetic, and behavioral connections affecting the occurrence and impact of AFib and stroke related to this common arrhythmia,” said American Heart Association chief science officer Dr. Rose Marie Robertson. “Bringing together the best science while empowering patients to be active participants in their own care should significantly improve the quality of life for those who suffer from AFib.”