Blood pressure is the exertion of blood pushing against the sides of blood vessels as it circulates. Elevated blood pressure or hypertension means an increase from the normal blood pressure which exerts added strain on the walls of the blood vessels. Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Untreated high blood pressure damages the arteries.
Hypertension and high blood pressure lead to premature death, constituting an increase in the global burden of disease. Uncontrolled hypertension can damage heart in various ways, such as development of Coronary artery disease, enlarged heart and heart failure.
There are nearly one billion people affected by hypertension across the world and research on the genes associated with increased blood pressure could aid in better management through targeted therapy.
Discovering more genetic regions linked with the condition allow us to map and understand new biological pathways through which the disease develops and also highlight potential therapeutic targets.
Scientists have identified 31 new genes, out of these, only three genes that occur rarely have a significant effect on blood pressure.
Genes identified include COL21A1 which is involved in the formation of collagen including heart and aorta; RBM47 is the protein responsible for modifying RNA, RRAS involved in cell cycle processes and had been implicated in Noonan Syndrome that is associated with abnormalities in the heart.
ENPEP gene codes for an enzyme that is used as a therapeutic protein as it play a role in controlling circulatory strain by contracting and relaxing blood vessels
Identifying the genes that are responsible for elevating blood pressure and hypertension help in understanding the mechanism involved in the disease pathway, it gives a better understanding of the prognosis involved and genetic variation and also provides new targets for therapy.