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Twin Res Hum Genet. 2005 Oct;8(5):499-508.

Heritability and stability of resting blood pressure.

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  • 1Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. jj.hottenga@psy.vu.nl

Abstract

We examined the contribution of genetic and environmental influences to variation in resting systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure in participants from 4 twin studies carried out between 1986 and 2003. A total of 1577 subjects (682 males, 895 females) participated. There were 580 monozygotic twins, 664 dizygotic twins and 333 of their siblings. The 4 studies sampled subjects in different age groups (average age 17, 32, 37, 44 years), allowing for comparison of the relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors across the first part of the life span. Blood pressure was assessed under laboratory conditions in 3 studies and by ambulatory monitoring in 1 study. Univariate analyses of SBP and DBP showed significant heritability of blood pressure in all studies (SBP h(2) 48% to 60%, DBP h(2) 34% to 67%). Overall, there was little evidence for sex differences in blood pressure heritability, and no evidence for differences in heritability due to measurement strategy (laboratory vs. ambulatory). For 431 subjects there were data from 2 or more occasions that allowed us to assess the tracking of blood pressure over time and to estimate the genetic and environmental contributions to blood pressure tracking. Correlations over time across an average period of 7.1 years (tracking) were between .41 and .70. Multivariate genetic analyses showed that blood pressure tracking was entirely explained by the same genetic factors being expressed across time. It was concluded that whole genome scans for resting blood pressure can safely pool data from males and females, laboratory and ambulatory recordings, and different age cohorts.

PMID:
16212839
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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