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Genetic Variants Linked to Blood Pressure

Last Updated: May 11, 2009.

Two genome-wide scans have identified loci associated with high blood pressure, according to two studies published online May 10 in Nature Genetics.

MONDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Two genome-wide scans have identified loci associated with high blood pressure, according to two studies published online May 10 in Nature Genetics.

In the first study, Daniel Levy, M.D., from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Framingham, Mass., and colleagues performed a genome-wide association study of blood pressure and hypertension in 63,569 individuals. They identified four loci associated with systolic blood pressure, six with diastolic blood pressure, and one with hypertension. The top ten loci could account for 1 percent of blood pressure variation after considering nongenetic factors and would be sufficient to increase cardiovascular disease risk, they note.

In the second study, Christopher Newton-Cheh, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues performed a genome-wide association study of blood pressure in the same set of individuals in the previous study plus up to 84,114 individuals of European or Indian Asian ancestry. They identified variants at eight loci associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which partially overlapped with the previous study, all of which were associated with hypertension.

"Our findings offer initial insights into the genetic basis of a problem of global proportions and the potential for an improved understanding of blood pressure regulation," Newton-Cheh and colleagues conclude.

Authors of both studies reported competing financial interests.

Abstract - Levy
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Abstract - Newton-Cheh
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