Objective: Genetic studies of essential human hypertension require the recording and management of numerous data concerning multiple hypertensive families. The present report describes a new family database, HYPERGENE, and demonstrates its potential usefulness in such a complex disease.
Methods: The database was implemented on an Apple Macintosh computer using the 4TH DIMENSION software program. Through a user-friendly interface, it offers a high-quality data record, easy data retrieval and compatibility with other software.
Patients: HYPERGENE contains a prospective collection of 187 families with at least two hypertensive sibs (826 subjects). Each subject was analysed according to the same protocol. To allow definition of clinical and biological phenotypes and genetic analysis, clinical and biological data were recorded and, at the same time, plasma, urine and DNA libraries were stored.
Results: Probands were 50.6 years old with an early onset (39.1 years of age) of hypertension (157.7/97.8 mmHg); 125 had moderate-to-severe hypertension. According to our selection criteria, only one out of 187 sibships had familial dislipidaemic hypertension. Of the living fathers, 45% were examined, and 54% of the living mothers: 48.6% had an onset of hypertension before age 50 years. Children (mean age 28.7 years) of hypertensive sibs presented a high percentage of hypertension (8.3%).
Conclusion: The HYPERGENE database facilitates data storage and analysis on familial hypertension, and should prove a useful tool for assessing molecular biology results in the field of hypertension and for allowing collaborative research.