Heart failure is a major medical and economic burden in the healthcare system affecting over 23 million people worldwide. Although recent pedigree studies estimate heart failure heritability around 26%, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have had limited success in explaining disease pathogenesis. We conducted the largest meta-analysis of heart failure GWAS to-date and replicated our findings in a comparable sized cohort to identify one known and two novel variants associated with heart failure. Leveraging heart failure sub-phenotyping and fine-mapping, we reveal a putative causal variant found in a cardiac muscle specific regulatory region that binds to the ACTN2 cardiac sarcolemmal gene and affects left ventricular adverse remodeling and clinical heart failure in response to different initial cardiac muscle insults. Via genetic correlation, we show evidence of broadly shared heritability between heart failure and multiple musculoskeletal traits. Our findings extend our understanding of biological mechanisms underlying heart failure.
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