Navigation Links
African-American study identifies 4 genetic variants associated with blood pressure

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. Most gene discovery studies to date have been performed using individuals of European ancestry. Previous genome-wide association studies using samples from individuals of African descent failed to detect any replicable genes associated with blood pressure.

"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 genetic susceptibility to hypertension."

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

"Although it is unknown how the genes regulate blood pressure," Zhu added, "our findings contribute to better understanding of blood pressure pathways that can lead to future development of drug target for hypertension and may guide therapy for clinical care."

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, coronary heart disease, 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.

The next phase of study involving the newly discovered gene mutations will investigate their function using human blood samples at the molecular level. Zhu and his colleagues have begun conducting additional research to determine whether the newly identified genes respond to existing hypertension medications. Individuals typically respond differently to a given medication depending on which gene mutation they carry. The more information researchers gather, the greater opportunity clinicians will have prescribed the drug that is most efficacious based on the patient's specific mutation.

"The research findings do not have immediate implications for treatment, but the hope is that discovering genes associated with disease risks will bring scientists closer to biological pathways and may suggest useful targets for new treatments," said geneticist Brendan J. Keating, DPhil, one of co-senior authors of the paper, of The Center for Applied Genomics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and faculty at the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.


Contact: Jessica Studeny
Case Western Reserve University

Related biology news :

1. Vigorous physical activity linked to lower incidence of obesity in young African-American women
2. Body mass index of low income African-Americans linked to proximity of fast food restaurants
3. African-American, Caucasian women should take identical vitamin D doses
4. Cancer risk for African-American women with benign breast disease factors Wayne State finds
5. Abuse during childhood linked to uterine fibroids in African-American women
6. Abuse during childhood linked to adult-onset asthma in African-American women
7. Levels of hepatitis C virus higher among African-Americans and males
8. Therapy slows onset and progression of Lou Gehrigs disease, study finds
9. Cytos Biotechnology Presents Additional Results From Phase 2a Study of CYT003 for the Treatment of Allergic Asthma
10. LSUHSC researchers develop new system to better study behavior, cell function
11. 400-year study finds Northeast forests resilient, changing
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/5/2015)... ) releases ... (NASDAQ: NXTD ), a biometric authentication company focused ... ) releases the following market and ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile ... ) releases the following market and ...
(Date:10/1/2015)... Oct. 1, 2015  Biometrics includes diverse set ... body characteristics, such as fingerprints, eye retinas, facial ... of biometrics technology has been constantly increasing in ... five years. In addition to the most prominent ... recognition, other means of biometric authentication are rapidly ...
(Date:9/30/2015)... , Sept. 30, 2015  The U.S. Court of ... another key ruling in favor of Crossmatch ™, ... fingerprint scanner company Suprema and its U.S. partner Mentalix ... a trade provision that declares it unlawful to engage ... infringing two of Crossmatch,s patents, the 5,900,993 patent and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015 VolitionRx Limited ... a completed clinical study of its NuQ ® blood-based ... the online issue of Clinical Epigenetics , the official ... conducted in collaboration with Lund University, ... Andersson , MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery and Vice-Dean, Faculty ...
(Date:10/11/2015)... ... October 11, 2015 , ... ... has been officially launched and multiple surgeries have been completed with this new ... of the Neuroscience & Spine Center of the Carolinas. The Revolution™ Spinal ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... -- Governor Tom Wolf announced today that ... developing T-cell receptor cancer immunotherapy treatments, will create at ... project. Pennsylvania , and today,s ... new, high-paying jobs will be created with this project," ... includes sustained funding for the life science sector and ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... October 09, 2015 , ... From blood to food ... those cells from their surroundings for research, diagnostics, and cell therapy—also known as ... this, Ann Arbor-based startup Akadeum Life Sciences is developing a radically ...
Breaking Biology Technology: