Is High Blood Pressure in the Genes?

In a recent study funded by the Welcome Trust, scientists identified eight new genes that can affect blood pressure.  The researchers claim that the findings will help in the understanding of underlying causes of hypertension and might also offer clues to possible new treatments for the condition. The researchers compared variants in genetics from the genomes of over 34000 people as well as comparing their blood pressure measurements.  They then went on to check the same types of genomes in a further 70 thousand white Europeans and 12 thousand people of South Asian decent.

The scientists found eight specific variants that are linked to either high or low blood pressure.  Alone, they each only have a small effect but the researchers say that ‘together they have an important influence on a population’s risk of stroke or heart attack’.  It is suspected that some of the genes may be connected to the production of steroids within the body that affect how the kidneys process salt, or influence how blood pressure is controlled by the blood vessels.

High blood pressure affects over 16 million people in the UK and over one billion people world wide.  Prevention, management and awareness of the condition could help to save countless lives from the silent killer. First Aid Warehouse is the UK's premier supplier of medical equipment and accessories. The one-stop shop for high quality First Aid Kits, Blood Pressure Monitors and Medical Equipment.

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