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 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ 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

“Sixth Sense” More Than a Feeling
NIH study of rare genetic disorder reveals importance of touch and body awareness.
Monday, September 26, 2016
The Genetics of Blood Pressure
Researchers have identifed areas of the genome associated with blood-pressure including 17 previously unknown loci.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Catalogue of Human Genetic Diversity Expands
The largest data set of human exomes to date has been assembled to better study seqence variants and their consequences.
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
$12.4M Awarded to Neural Regeneration Projects
The National Institutes of Health will fund six projects to identify biological factors that influence neural regeneration.
Friday, September 02, 2016
New Inflammatory Disease Discovered
NIH researchers have discovered a rare and potentially deadly disease - otulipenia - the mostly affects children.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Public Support for National Study
Survey shows the majority of respondents support or show willingness for national precision medicine study.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Schizophrenia, Autism Share Genetic Causes
Monkey brain developmental atlas pinpoints when, where genes activate.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
How Breast Cancers Resist Chemotherapy
Researchers discovered an unexpected way that breast cancers cells with mutant BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes acquire drug resistance and evade chemotherapies.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Mutations Linked to Immunotherapy Resistance
Researchers uncover mutations in tumors of three patients with advanced melanoma that allowed the tumors to become resistant to the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda®).
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Genetic Cause of Rare Pediatric Neuropathy Identified
NIH mouse study identifies the mechanism responsible for a rare form of pediatric neuropathy.
Thursday, August 04, 2016
Depression Genetics Insight from Crowd-Sourced Data
Genome sites liked to depression have been discovered from data shared by people who had purchased their genetic profiles online.
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Uncovering a New Principle in Chemotherapy Resistance in Breast Cancer
The NIH study has revealed an entirely unexpected process for acquiring drug resistance that bypasses the need to re-establish DNA damage repair in breast cancers that have mutant BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
NIH Funds Million-Person Medicine Study
NIH announces $55million in awards to build foundations for ambitious Cohort Program that aims to engage 1 million participants in lifestyle, environments and genetics research.
Friday, July 08, 2016
Largest-Ever Study of Breast Cancer Genetics in Black Women
The study will identify genetic factors that may underlie breast cancer disparities.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
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
Scientific News
ReadCoor Launched to Commercialize 3D Sequencing Tech
ReadCoor will leverage the Wyss Institute’s method for simultaneously sequencing and mapping RNAs within cells and tissues to advance development of diagnostics.
NCI Collaborates with Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
NCI collaborates with MMRF to incorporate genomic and clinical data into NCI Genomic Data Commons database.
Epigenetic Clock Predicts Life Expectancy
New research finds 5 percent of population ages faster, faces shorter lifespan.
Modified Yeast Shows Plant Response to Key Hormone
Researchers have developed a toolkit based on modified yeast to determine plant responses to auxin.
Death-or-Repair Switch Protein Identified
Researchers have identified a protein that plays a key role in the decision process of cell damage repair or cellular suicide.
Blood Pressure Drug May Boost Effectiveness of Lung Cancer Treatment
Researchers at Imperial College London have suggested that the blood pressure drug may make a type of lung cancer treatment more effective.
Regulatory RNA Essential to DNA Damage Response
Researchers discover a tumour suppressor is stabilized by an RNA molecule, which helps cells respond to DNA damage.
Wearable Microscope Can Measure Fluorescent Dyes Through Skin
UCLA research could make monitoring disease biomarkers easier and more cost-effective.
Crispr Toolbox Expanded By Protein
Researchers have shown a newly discovered CRISPR protein has two distinct RNA cutting activities.
Genetic Impact of Endurance Training
Research has found that endurance training changes genetic activity in thousands of genes, giving rise to large number of altered RNA variants.
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
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!