Discovery of 11 Genes that Affect Blood Pressure

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Scientists made a discovery of 11 new genes that affect blood pressure.  This new breakthrough enhances our understanding of the biology of blood pressure and will potentially result in new treatments for high blood pressure.  Moreover, this new finding will also offer opportunities for health professionals to uncover new variations for the current drugs used for cardiovascular disease.

Discovery of 11 new genes that affect blood pressure

New DNA sequence variants in genes were recently discovered at Queen Mary University of London.  The purpose of this large international study was to determine genetic variants associated with blood pressure traits.  The results of this study were published in an issue of American Journal of Human Genetics.

Researchers examined 87,736 individuals; they validated the sequence variants of an additional 68,368 individuals, which resulted in the discovery of 11 new genes.  The discovery of 11 new genes that affect blood pressure and how they have an influence on heart disease provides more insight to our understanding of the biology of blood pressure.

The potential for new treatment of high blood pressure and heart disease

Patricia Munroe, Professor of Molecular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, offers this observation:

“Discovering these new genetic variants provides vital insight into how the body regulates blood pressure.  With further research, we are hopeful it could lead to the development of new treatments for treating blood pressure and heart disease—a leading cause of death worldwide.”

Furthermore, Michael Barnes, the Director of Bioinformatics, Barts and the London NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London explains,

“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.”

Globally, close to 7.5 million people die from high blood pressure.  The risk factors that cause raised blood pressure are obesity, a person’s lifestyle, the amount of salt consumption, and genes.  However, with the discovery of 11 new genes that affect blood pressure, it looks as though new treatment for high blood pressure and heart disease is on the way.  Visit the American Heart Association’s website for more information on high blood pressure and heart disease.

Read more of George Zapo’s articles pertaining to public, global, and environmental health at his website: Healthy Habits.

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George Zapo, CPH is certified in Public Health Promotion & Education. George focuses on writing informative articles promoting healthy behavior and lifestyles. Read more of George's articles at his website: http://georgezapo.com.