Study Reveals the Genetics of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is known as “the silent killer” because it has no symptoms and is the leading cardiovascular cause of death worldwide. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that nearly one-half of all adults in the US suffers from hypertension, meaning approximately 100 million Americans have it. What’s worse: many of them don’t even know they have it.

Despite the significant resources have been used to increase awareness of hypertension, and despite the development of new medications and protocols, the AHA has found that the number of US deaths caused by hypertension rose by almost 38% between 2005 and.

Such an giant problem demands a giant response, and that’s what hypertension just got. More than 300 researchers collaborated on a massive project to identify the genetic risk factors of hypertension.

While some risk factors for high blood pressure can be changed, like physical activity, smoking, alcohol, and diet, there are also genetic factors that predispose people to high blood pressure. It is hoped that if people are aware that they are genetically predisposed to the disease, they may more easily be convinced to make the lifestyle changes that will prevent it.

The study analyzed data about systolic, diastolic, and pulse blood pressure in more than 1 million people, and cross-referenced it with their genetic data. The results, published in Nature Genetics, reveal the more than 500 gene locations that are associated with hypertension.

The study’s authors also found “new biological insights into blood pressure regulation,” which will now guide research into new methods for regulating blood pressure, as well as improved ability to prevent cardiovascular disease.

At Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ, we take a team approach to hypertension. Our physicians, nurses, therapists, nutritionists, and dietitians work together with our residents to lower their blood pressure. And we maintain constant communication with the patients’ personal physician, a crucial component of clinical success. Our thorough, collaborative efforts allow us to achieve the best outcomes for our residents.

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