Genes Under Pressure
Posted on Dec 30, 2008
While heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of people in the U.S., researchers have found that we can help explain a large part of these cases through one’s genetic makeup. In fact, one in five white people are believed to have the “blood pressure gene,” where the genetic variance that controls salt in the kidneys changes to affect individuals’ blood pressure.
One in five white people carries a gene fault which could raise their risk of high blood pressure, research suggests.
The STK39 gene variant was found after scanning the entire genetic code of hundreds of people in the US and Europe.
Those with the variant had raised blood pressure compared with those carrying other versions.
The US research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A map of heart disease death rates by county across the U.S., with the darker shades of red indicating the highest rates.