11 New Genes Influence Blood Pressure

11 new DNA sequence variants to affect high blood pressure and heart disease

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London say discovering the new genes contributes to better understanding of the nature of blood pressure.

Identifying the new genes will support the development of new blood pressure treatments and will help to assess the efficacy of existing medications for cardiovascular diseases, which cause nearly 16.7 million deaths per year worlwide.

Essential Hypertension (Raised Blood Pressure) in the USA high blood pressure across the US; source: kff.org

Nearly 3.2% of the US population is affected by essential high blood pressure, which brings approximately 13.75 million patients each year. The average patient age is 56 years among males and 63 years among females. Reported symptoms include headache, back pain, dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath in most cases. High blood pressure is a special risk factor in patients with endocrine, nutritional, metabolic or immunity diseases; diabetes mellitus; arthritis; ischemic heart disease or asthma. Interestingly, high blood pressure is most common in the Amerindian Alaska native, Pacific Inslander and black subpopulation, as 8.7, 7.7 and 5.3 percent of people are diagnosed with hypertension yearly among these ethnic groups.

Raised Blood Pressure Worldwide

Raised blood pressure is estimated to cause 7.5 million deaths, which is nearly 12.8 percent of the total of all deaths. Obesity (BMI > 30), salt intake and genes are all significant risk factors.

New discovery provides better insights into how the body regulates blood pressure, which may lead to the development of new blood pressure and heart disease treatments and and may help to assess the efficacy of existing drugs for cardiovascular diseases

Blood Pressure Drugs Prescribed at Visit

Most common antihypertensive drugs include angiotension converting enzyme inhibitors, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, cardioselective beta blockers, antihyertensive combinations and calcium channel blocking agents.
Michael Barnes, Director of Bioinformatics, Barts and the London NIHR cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, Queen Mary University of London, comments: „By highlighting several existing drugs that target proteins which influence blood pressure regulation, our study creates a very real opportunity to fast-track new therapies for hypertension into the clinic."

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