Identified New Genes can Influence Blood Pressure Regulation
Researchers at the University of Georgia identified several new genes that influence the regulation of blood pressure, which might help in development of novel blood pressure treatments or prevention strategies for individuals depending upon their genes.
Gene-environment interaction analysis technique helped researchers to use potassium environmental marker to detect unknown areas within the human genome associated with blood pressure. According to various clinical trials, dietary potassium has ability to reduce blood pressure. The study examined different points of the human genome to detect site for interaction of genetic sequence with potassium and blood pressure.
This study uses external factors for detecting genes associated with blood pressure regulation. The point of interaction acted as the “X” to mark the spot on the genetic sequence where genes regulate blood pressure. “One of the major drawbacks of previous genetic studies of hypertension is that these studies did not explore the interactions between genes and environmental factors,” said Changwei Li, an assistant professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at UGA’s College of Public Health and lead author of the study.
Li and his team collected potassium and blood pressure measurements from 1,876 Chinese participants from the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Salt Sensitivity study or GenSalt and performed statistical tests to find points of interaction. The analysis showed two loci, one of which had never been identified and six individual genes, all significantly associated with the regulation of blood pressure in the body. The interactions identified in this study were limited to Chinese participants. Future research is required to understand the effect of interaction across different societies.
According to Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Devices Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, genetic testing can assist in determining gene interactions, which are linked with regulation of complex and multi-factor diseases such as high blood pressure. This approach may also contribute to the growing field of precision medicine.
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