Washington: Scientists have identified at least 16 new genes which are linked to blood pressure, a key breakthrough they claim could pave the way for new treatments for hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
An international team, led by the University of Western Australia, says that out of the 16, 10 genes could provide new clues to how the blood is regulated, the `Nature` journal reported in its latest edition.
The research used information based on 200,000 people of European descent.
Team member Matthew Cooper said the research improved understanding of the genetics of blood pressure which may lead to new treatments for hypertension and the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
In a follow-up study of 120,000 people, five gene regions were identified which had not yet been linked to pulse pressure and three with mean arterial pressure. The team also identified 24 gene regions for these two traits that are associated with blood pressure.
The initial study was the basis for an ongoing series of surveys. These surveys have established a unique bank of population health data spanning several generations and which has become a valuable resource for researchers in WA, Australia and throughout the world.
Over one billion people worldwide suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure with the potential to cause heart failure.