Genome scans for hypertension

Published on February 4, 2014   49 min

Other Talks in the Series: Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease

Hello. My name is Patricia Munroe, and I'm the Professor of Molecular Medicine at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom. My research interest is finding the genes for hypertension, subsequently determining the function of these genes, and then exploring their potential as new therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease.
In this lecture, I'm going to describe what hypertension is and why it's important for us to study, then leading onto the strategies for finding genes for hypertension. And these are primarily focused on using linkage analysis and genome-wide association studies. I will then describe some of the primary results from the genome scans, leading to short descriptions of some of the new candidate genes and pathways, and then finishing with an overview of ongoing work in the area.
So the World Health Organization and International Societies define hypertension or high blood pressure as a blood pressure recording of greater than or equal to 140 over 90 millimeters of mercury. So measure analysis of over a million individuals from prospective studies have indicated that increasing levels of blood pressure lead to increases in the risk of cardiovascular disease, for example, the rate of heart attack, stroke, and renal disease. And hypertension is common. It affects over a billion people worldwide. And a couple of years ago, the World Health Organization showed that hypertension causes 4 and 1/2% of the global disease burden. Gene discovery is seen as an important root for finding out about blood pressure mechanisms. And also, it has the potential for identifying new therapeutic targets.