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Genetic data related to sodium-regulating hormone may help explain hypertension risk

Date:
October 14, 2010
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
New research points to the existence of a gene on chromosome 5 that influences how much aldosterone is produced -- which may be excessive in African-descended populations.

New research points to the existence of a gene on chromosome 5 that influences how much aldosterone is produced -- which may be excessive in African-descended populations.

"Aldosterone was very important to their early ancestors living in the arid climate of Africa," said J. Howard Pratt, study co-author. "Dietary intake of sodium in today's world is much higher, and there may not be the need for the amount of aldosterone produced, leading to a level of sodium balance that places individuals at risk for hypertension."

Among people of African descent, plasma concentrations of the sodium-regulating hormone, aldosterone, are under genetic influences and are associated with higher diastolic blood pressure readings, new research shows.

Aldosterone is produced by the adrenal gland. It regulates a region in the kidney called the distal nephron, which is critically important for controlling sodium balance and blood pressure.

The study examined genetic data from families on the Caribbean island of Tobago. Researchers determined that the population has about 94 percent African ancestry.

After adjusting for the effects of age, gender and body mass index on plasma aldosterone concentration and blood pressure, genes account for 34 percent of the variation in aldosterone concentration among individuals, and about 25 percent of the variation in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, according to Candace M. Kammerer, study co-author.

This research was presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure research 2010 Scientific Sessions in Washington, D.C. Oct. 13-16, 2010.


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The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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American Heart Association. "Genetic data related to sodium-regulating hormone may help explain hypertension risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014144229.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2010, October 14). Genetic data related to sodium-regulating hormone may help explain hypertension risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014144229.htm
American Heart Association. "Genetic data related to sodium-regulating hormone may help explain hypertension risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014144229.htm (accessed August 31, 2014).

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