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Genetic code linked to high blood pressure

12th September 2011

Scientists have discovered over 20 new sections of genetic code which have been associated with blood pressure.

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The research, published in Nature and Nature Genetics, showed that almost every person would have at least one type of genetic variant.

The researchers said they hoped their discovery could lead to new ways of treating blood pressure disorders.

Hypotension - high blood pressure - can be inherited in addition to being caused by obesity, diet and lack of exercise.

Although lifestyle factors have been explored, scientists had previously been uncertain as to how exactly the condition was inherited.

The new study, which was carried out by an international team, looked at information from over 200,000 people.

They found 16 new points on the genome which were associated with hypotension. 

Lead researcher  Professor Mark Caulfield, from Barts and The London Medical School, said each genetic variant was found in a minimum of 5% of the population, while other types were far more prevalent.

"This is having an influence across the population," he said.

He added: "There is substantial potential for moving the findings from the lab to the clinic. There are, in development or in existence, drugs which could be considered."

Another study, published in Nature Genetics, found another six sections of genetic code. 

 

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