Interaction between genes, gender and blood pressure

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Blood Pressure and Genes

In surprising results, a study of more than 1,200 patients with extremely low or high blood pressure by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine showed that the influence of genes on blood pressure may vary based on gender.

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"Sex is like a prism that refracts the effects of the gene very differently for men and women," said Daniel T. O'Connor, M.D., UCSD professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, whose study is now on-line in advance of publication in the January issue of the journal Hypertension.

The research team found that the gene-by-sex interaction was the rule, not the exception in their study of a large, community-based sample of primary care patients in Southern California. They set out to discover whether gender interacts with genes in contributing to extremes of blood pressure, by looking at the medical records of 611 male and 656 female aged-matched, Caucasian patients whose blood pressure (BP) readings fell in the top and bottom five percent among 53,000 patients.

"Our findings show that specific genetic variations

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