Recent findings in the genetics of blood pressure and hypertension traits

Am J Hypertens. 2011 Apr;24(4):392-400. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2010.218. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Abstract

We provide an overview of ongoing discovery efforts in the genetics of blood pressure (BP) and hypertension (HTN) traits. Two large genome-wide association meta-analyses of individuals of European descent were recently published, revealing ~13 new loci for BP traits. Only two of these loci harbor genes in a pathway known to affect BP (CYP17A1 and NPPA/NPPB). Functional variants in these loci are still unknown. Few genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of complex diseases have been published from non-European populations. The study of populations with different evolutionary history and linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure, such as individuals of African ancestry, may provide an opportunity to further narrow these regions to identify the causal gene(s). Several collaborative efforts toward discovery of low-frequency variants and copy number variation for BP traits are currently underway. As evidence for new loci for complex diseases accumulates the assessment of the epidemiologic architecture of these variants in populations assumes higher priority. The impact of public health-relevant contexts such as diet, physical activity, psychosocial factors, and aging has not been examined for most common variants associated with BP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / genetics*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / genetics*