An international team of more than 300 researchers reports on the completion of a project to search for genetic causes of high blood pressure. Scientists managed to find 28 genes, mutations in which lead to violations in its regulation.
Approximately one billion people suffer from high blood pressure. If you consider that the slightest changes in its magnitude increase the risk of cardiovascular disorders and can lead to a heart attack, it is the increased pressure that should be called the number one disease in the modern world.
It is known that blood pressure depends on many factors - both genetic and conditioned way of life. But if the second is more or less clear, then the genetic causes of the abnormal pressure are almost completely unknown: some guesses and assumptions.
The search for relevant genes was conducted with the participation of 351 researchers from 234 scientific centers around the world. Analyzing about 2.5 million DNA more than 69 thousand people in Europe, scientists found several chromosomal sites, whose genes could potentially affect the value of blood pressure. At the second stage of the search, more than 130,000 people were examined; as a result, it was possible to identify 28 genes associated with the regulation of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. To confirm that these same genes are valid also among other races and nationalities, an analysis of the genomes of 74 thousand inhabitants of South and East Asia and Africa was carried out.
12 of these genes were previously suspected of involvement in anomalies in the cardiovascular system; 16 of the described genes have so far been excluded from the field of view of the researchers. Following the results of the work were published two articles - in the journals Nature and Nature Genetics.
Mutations in some of the identified genes lead directly to aortocoronary insufficiency, structural changes in the heart muscle and other unpleasant things. However, some of these genes, perhaps, will open up to scientists one more, hitherto unknown method of regulation of blood pressure. The three genes of the twenty-eight described are part of a system that controls the turnover of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). CGMP participates in the relaxation of the muscular wall of the vessels and sodium metabolism in the kidneys. Management of blood pressure directly depends on one and the other, that is, before the doctors opens a new opportunity for normalization of pressure.
I would like to hope that the practical consequences of this colossal work will not slow to appear: knowing the genetic map of the patient, it is much easier to make predictions concerning his cardiovascular system and individualize the treatment regimens.
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