Background: Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Although genetic studies have suggested that several genetic variants increase the risk for hypertension, the genes that underlie genetic susceptibility to this condition remain to be identified definitively. The purpose of the present study was to identify genetic variants that confer susceptibility to hypertension in Japanese individuals.
Methods: A total of 5,734 Japanese individuals from two independent populations were examined: subject panel A comprised 2,066 hypertensive individuals and 824 controls; and subject panel B comprised 834 hypertensive individuals and 2,010 controls. The 150 polymorphisms examined in the present study were selected by genome-wide association studies of myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke with the use of the GeneChip Human Mapping 500K Array Set (Affymetrix).
Results: The chi(2)-test revealed that 10 polymorphisms were significantly (P < 0.05) related to the prevalence of hypertension in subject panel A. To validate the relations, these polymorphisms were examined in subject panel B. The A-->G polymorphism (rs645106) of SDK1 and the C-->G polymorphism (rs12078839) of RABGAP1L were significantly associated with hypertension in subject panel B. Multivariable logistic regression analysis with adjustment for covariates, as well as a stepwise forward selection procedure revealed that the A-->G polymorphism of SDK1 was significantly associated with hypertension in both subject panels A and B, with the G allele protecting against this condition.
Conclusions: SDK1 may be a susceptibility gene for hypertension in Japanese individuals, although the functional relevance of the identified polymorphism was not determined.