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Hypertension. 2010 Dec;56(6):1021-5. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.156190.

Genome-wide association studies will unlock the genetic basis of hypertension.: con side of the argument.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA. KurtzT@Labmed2.ucsf.edu


Over the past few years, it has been asserted that genome-wide association studies would open the door to identifying primary genetic mechanisms underlying a variety of common clinical disorders, including essential hypertension. Great hope was expressed that such research would ultimately lead to improved clinical outcomes by facilitating the discovery of novel targets for therapy and by spawning a new era of personalized medicine in which the results of genetic tests would be useful for guiding customized risk assessment and individual patient management. In this Controversies in Hypertension series, I contend that genome-wide association studies have failed, and will continue to fail, to unlock the genetic basis of essential hypertension and the research dollars being devoted to genome-wide association studies should be shifted to other strategies and technologies that may hold greater chance for advancing our understanding of the genetic factors that influence population variation in blood pressure and risk for hypertension.

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