11 new genes behind high BP identified
Researchers have discovered 11 new DNA sequence variants in genes that are capable of influencing high blood pressure and heart disease.
Identifying the new genes contributes to our growing understanding of the biology of blood pressure and, researchers believe, will eventually influence the development of new treatments. More immediately the study highlights opportunities to investigate the use of existing drugs for cardiovascular diseases.
The study examined the DNA of 87,736 individuals to discover genetic variants associated with blood pressure traits. Validation of these sequence variants was performed in a further 68,368 individuals. This analysis led to the identification of 11 new genes.
Patricia Munroe, Professor of Molecular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said that discovering these new genetic variants provides vital insight into how the body regulates blood pressure.
She said that with further research, they are hopeful it could lead to the development of new treatments for treating blood pressure and heart disease - a leading cause of death worldwide.
The study has been published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
(Posted on 21-02-2014)