Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

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

Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Largest study of its kind finds multiple ethnicities impacted by the genetic variations.

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.

Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Colon Cancer Blocked in Mice
Case Western Reserve University Researchers block common type of colon cancer tumour in mice, laying groundwork for human clinical trial.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Tiny Magnets Used to Detect Breast Cancer
Considered a step toward earlier detection and treatment.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Link between Mitochondrial Protein and Heart Failure Uncovered
Case Western Reserve discovery explains KLF4 and mitochondrial connection in heart failure.
Thursday, August 06, 2015
Stem Cells Hold Keys to Body’s Plan
Case Western Reserve researchers have discovered landmarks within pluripotent stem cells that guide how they develop to serve different purposes within the body.
Monday, June 09, 2014
Case Western Reserve University Receives $5M for the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
The funding will help support new stem cell technologies including two commercial, four emerging and three pilot projects.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Scientific News
How it Works: Advanced Data Analysis Using Visualization
Visualisation of data can be used to help molecular biologists tackle the vast datasets their experiments create.
Unravelling the Role of Key Genes and DNA Methylation in Blood Cell Malignancies
Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center have demonstrated the role of Dnmt3a in safeguarding normal haematopoiesis.
Epigenetics and Neural Cell Death
Researchers demonstrate how deregulation of an epigenetic mechanism active in early neurogenesis phases triggers neural cell death.
Molecular Origins of Dust Mite Allergy Discovered
Scientists have identified molecules of house dust mites that are targeted by the immune system of children, developing allergic rhinitis and asthma.
Gene-Editing Cures Genetic Blood Disorder in Mice
New technology may offer minimally invasive treatment for genetic disorders of the blood.
Influential Cancer Researcher Receives Agilent Thought Leader Award
Biologist Scott Lowe receives award in recognition for his contributions to cancer biology.
New Compound Shows Promise in Treating Multiple Human Cancers
The research presents a new way to efficiently kill these cancerous cells and holds promise for the treatment of all cancers.
ALS Study Reveals Role of RNA-Binding Proteins
The findings are a significant step forward in validating RNA-based therapy as a treatment for ALS.
Observing Direct Inheritance of Gene-Silencing RNA
Research has allowed for the observation of double-stranded RNA molecule being passed from parent to offspring in roundworms.
Using CRISPR to Accelerate Search for HIV Cure
Gene-editing platform makes it easier to create HIV-resistant immune cells.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,200+ scientific videos