African-American Study Identifies Four Genetic Variants Associated with Blood Pressure

Medical Xpress, September 10, 2013

Case Western Reserve University is part of a landmark study that has discovered four novel gene variations which are associated with blood pressure. The 19-site meta-analysis, involving nearly 30,000 African-Americans, also found that the set of genetic mutations are also associated with blood pressure across other populations.

Epidemiology and biostatistics professor Xiaofeng Zhu, PhD, is co-senior author of the paper, which appears in The American Journal of Human Genetics. The Continental Origins and Genetic Epidemiology Network (COGENT) consortium conducted the research, which is the largest genome-wide association study of blood pressure in individuals of African ancestry. {snip}

“In addition to their disproportionate suffering, hypertension occurs earlier in life for African-Americans compared to individuals of other ancestries,” Zhu explained. “Therefore, it is important to study this population to better understand  to hypertension.”

Zhu and his colleagues also confirmed that previous findings regarding other genes whose presence correlates with increased hypertension risk.

{snip}

Experts estimate genetic make-up accounts for roughly 40-50 percent of individuals’ susceptibility to hypertension. Other factors associated with the disease include lifestyle, diet, and obesity. Compared to Americans of European-ancestry, African-Americans’ increased hypertension prevalence contributes to a greater risk of stroke, , and end-stage renal disease.

“We anticipated that individuals of African ancestry share similar biology to other populations. However, differences in genomic make-up between African ancestry and other populations have uncovered additional genes affecting blood pressure, in addition to genetic variants that are specific to individuals of African ancestry,” said Nora Franceschini, MD, MPH, nephrologist and research assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and first author on the paper.

{snip}

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.