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

NIH Study Links Family Structure to High Blood Pressure in African-American Men

Published: Monday, December 16, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Children of two-parent homes grow up to have lower rates of adult hypertension.

In a study of African-American men, researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that boys who grew up in two-parent homes were less likely to have high blood pressure as adults compared to those raised by a single parent.

Reported in the Dec. 12, 2013, issue of the journal Hypertension, this is the first study of an African-American population to document an association between childhood family living arrangements and blood pressure.

"Family structure is among a slew of environmental influences that, along with our genes, help determine our health as adults," said Dan Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). "This study makes important observations about home life that may affect susceptibility to complex diseases later on in life."

Researchers from NHGRI and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), both parts of NIH, conducted the study.

The researchers analyzed blood pressure rates and the incidence of hypertension, a persistent state of high blood pressure, in a group of 515 African-American men enrolled in the Howard University Family Study (HUFS).

The NIH-funded study conducted in the 2000s produced a repository of health history information about a group of African-American families from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

According to the study, African-American men who grew up in a household with both parents had a significantly lower blood pressure as adults compared with African- American men who grew up in a household with a single parent, regardless of whether the parent was a mother or father.

The researchers saw the most positive health effects in men who lived with both parents for one to 12 years. This group of adults had a 46 percent lower chance of being diagnosed with hypertension compared to adults who for those years were raised by a single parent.

Hypertension underlies an array of life-threatening conditions, including heart disease, stroke, heart attack and kidney disease. Diet, sedentary lifestyle and obesity all contribute to risk of hypertension, but researchers also think genetics plays an important role.

About one-third of U.S. adults suffer from hypertension. The burden is considerably greater in the African-American community, in which the condition affects 39 percent of men and 43 percent of women.

Among several possible explanations for their findings, the researchers offered that compared with children who reside with two parents, those who live with their mothers alone are about three times more likely to live in poverty. Other studies have linked blood pressure rates with socioeconomic aspects of childhood, including household income and parents' education and occupation. The findings reported in the current study held up, however, after Debbie Barrington, Ph.D., the lead author and an NIMHD senior research fellow, accounted statistically for those factors.

"Being raised by a single parent really puts kids at a disadvantage in terms of resources that would be available to them," said Charles Rotimi, Ph.D., co-author and senior investigator in NHGRI's Inherited Disease Research Branch and director of the trans-NIH Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health (CRGGH). "Our study is not an indictment of single-parent homes. Single parents, however, may struggle more to keep things together, and this may be impacting children in ways that later manifest as adult onset diseases."

The authors suggest that living with both parents early in life may represent a critical opportunity when children develop biologically protective mechanisms that last throughout life. In an attempt to shed light on the potential molecular mechanisms, the investigators are conducting research to understand the role that incremental DNA fine tuning, or epigenetics, impacts the way various cells behave or are transformed throughout the lifespan of an individual.

More research is needed in different settings to confirm that family living arrangements negatively affect children's health outcomes later in life. The researchers hope their study will be replicated on a larger scale in populations of ethnically diverse men and women.


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 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,700+ 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 TechnologyNetworks.com 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

Significant Expansion Of Data Available In The Genomic Data Commons
Cancer genomic profile information from 18,000 adult cancer patients will be added to the database.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Predicting Effective Drug Combinations For TB
Researchers analyzed gene regulatory networks to explain the effectiveness of an experimental drug combination against drug-resistant tuberculosis bacteria.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Genomic Data Commons Launched
Part of the National Cancer Moonshot, the GDC will centralize and standardize accessible data.
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Drug Might Help Treat Sepsis
A DNA enzyme called Top1 plays a key role in turning on genes that cause inflammation in mouse and human cells in response to pathogens. A drug blocking this enzyme rescued mice from lethal inflammatory responses, suggesting a potential treatment for sepsis.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
NIH Funds New Studies on Ethical, Legal and Social Impact of Genomic Information
Four new grants from the National Institutes of Health will support research on the ethical, legal and social questions raised by advances in genomics research and the increasing availability of genomic information.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Researchers Identify Genetic Links to Educational Attainment
Researchers at NIH have suggested that the large genetics analyses may be able to help discover biological pathways as well.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Submissions Open for the Cancer Moonshot Program
NCI opens online platform to submit ideas about research for Cancer Moonshot.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
NIH Sequences Genome of a Fungus
Researchers at the Institute have sequenced genome of human, mouse and rat Pneumocystis that cause life-threatening Pneumonia in immunosuppressed hosts.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Decoding Ties Between Vascular Disease, Alzheimer’s
NIH consortium uses big data, team science to uncover complex interplay of factors.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Researchers Find Link Between Death of Tumor-Support Cells and Cancer Metastasis
Researchers at NIH have found that the lifespan of supportive cells in a tumor may control the spread of cancer.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Tick Genome Reveals Secrets of a Successful Bloodsucker
NIH-funded study could lead to new tick control methods.
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Genomic Signature Shared by Five Types of Cancer
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a striking signature in tumor DNA that occurs in five different types of cancer.
Monday, February 08, 2016
Cancer Drug Target Visualized at Atomic Resolution
New study using cryo-electron microscopy shows how potential drugs could inhibit cancer.
Thursday, February 04, 2016
Genome-Wide Study Yields Markers of Lithium Response
An international consortium of scientists has identified a stretch of chromosome that is associated with responsiveness to the mood-stabilizing medication lithium among patients with bipolar disorder.
Monday, February 01, 2016
Schizophrenia’s Strongest Known Genetic Risk Deconstructed
Suspect gene may trigger runaway synaptic pruning during adolescence – NIH-funded study.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Scientific News
Supplement May Switch off Cravings for High-Calorie Foods
Propionate is made by bacteria in the gut after they digest fiber, with researchers finding higher levels of the substance can curb cravings for junk food.
New CAR T Cell Therapy Using Double Target Aimed at Solid Tumors
Researchers at Penn University have described how antibody, carbohydrate combination could apply to range of cancer types.
Erasing Unpleasant Memories with a Genetic Switch
Researchers from KU Leuven and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology have managed to erase unpleasant memories in mice using a 'genetic switch'.
New Method Detects Telomere Length for Research into Cancer, Aging
UT Southwestern Medical Center cell biologists have identified a new method for determining the length of telomeres, the endcaps of chromosomes, which can influence cancer progression and aging.
Assessing the Effectiveness of Genome-Editing Technologies
Researchers have developed a cost-effective and rapid method for assessing edits generated by CRISPR-Cas9 and other genome-editing technologies.
New Cancer Drug Target Found in Dual-Function Protein
Findings from a study from TSRI have shown that targeting a protein called GlyRS might help to halt cancer growth.
Alzheimer's Genetics Point To New Research Direction
A University of Adelaide analysis of genetic mutations which cause early-onset Alzheimer’s disease suggests a new focus for research into the causes of the disease.
Contagious Cancers Are Spreading in Shellfish
Direct transmission of cancer among some marine animals may be more common than once thought, suggests a new study published in Nature by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
Contagious Cancers Are Spreading in Shellfish
Direct transmission of cancer among some marine animals may be more common than once thought, suggests a new study published in Nature by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a fix that allows RNA to accurately proofread for the first time.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
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
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!