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107 new genes linked to blood pressure
Scientists have found 107 new genes which are linked to blood pressure, paving the way for more personalised prevention of heart disease and stroke
Scientists from Imperial College London and Queen Mary University of London have identified more than 100 genes which are involved in blood pressure, almost doubling the number identified.
The researchers looked at the genes of over 140 000 people in the UK Biobank, along with their blood pressure, to identify the genes. They developed a risk score based on these genes, and showed that the higher a person’s risk score, the higher their blood pressure and the higher their risk of heart disease and stroke – especially for people aged 50 or over.
The discovery, published in Nature Genetic, could lead to a better understanding of how high blood pressure develops and lead to changes in the way it’s prevented and treated. It could be possible to target drugs to these genes - either by developing new treatments for high blood pressure, or by selecting the best available treatment for each individual.
It could also be possible to develop a genetic test to have early in life, to identify people who are genetically predisposed to developing high blood pressure. This would mean health professionals could make sure those individuals get the right advice or treatment to keep their blood pressure under control, lowering their risk of heart disease and stroke.
Find out more
You can read an interview with Dr Helen Warren, Lecturer in Statistical Genetics at Queen Mary and one of the authors of this study in the Summer issue of our member’s magazine, Positive Pressure.