Wednesday, September 26, 2018
High Blood Pressure Breakthrough: Over 500 Genes Uncovered
High blood pressure is one of the leading cause of cardiovascular death worldwide. In the United States alone, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggest that more than 100 million people are diagnosed with high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to many life-threatening conditions such as strokes and heart attacks and risk factors for high blood pressure falls into two categories: modifiable and non-modifiable. “A lack of physical activity, smoking, an unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol intake, stress, and being overweight are some factors that heighten risk but that can be changed or modified. However, race, sex, genes, and age can also influence risk, and such factors cannot be modified.”
Recently, Queen Mary University of London and the Imperial College London published a research paper that “reviewed genetic data of over a million people and found more than 500 genetic regions that could be responsible for high blood pressure.” The discovery of these regions allow researchers to identify genetic signals that influence high blood pressure which in turn allows for doctors to take “a precision medicine approach, targeting early lifestyle interventions to those with a high genetic risk.”
The amount of research and information obtained from such a significant study like this is truly life changing for future generations. With over 100 million people in the United States having high blood pressure, it’s very concerning. Although the ability to obtain high blood pressure falls into the modifiable and the non-modifiable categories, the research done by Queen Mary University and the Imperial College London allows researchers to be able to take note of the genetic signals linked to high blood pressure, and this will allow doctors to take precautionary actions and help patients with high blood pressure. This discovery gives people the ability to be more aware of their health and in turn, that can save many lives.