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Ethn Dis. 2012 Spring;22(2):155-61.

Gene-environment effects of SLC4A5 and skin color on blood pressure among African American women.

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Yale University, School of Nursing; 100 Church St. S., Rm 295; New Haven, Connecticut 06536, USA.



To determine the relationship between genetic polymorphisms and environmental factors (skin color) on blood pressure among African American women.


A descriptive study, consisting of 137 African American women from a Midwestern, metropolitan area was conducted. Blood pressure was measured using a digital blood pressure monitor. Self-reporting methods were utilized to obtain information on skin color. Buccal swab saliva samples were obtained for genotyping.


Of the four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on the sodium bicarbonate co-transporter gene (SLC4A5) examined in this study, only one SNP (rs10177833) and skin color interaction was found to be associated with systolic blood pressure. The additive effect of rs10177833 on systolic blood pressure is statistically different between women with dark skin color and women with medium skin color (P = .0153). No SNP and skin color interaction was found to be associated with blood pressure readings in other SNPs tested (rs8179526, rs6726450 and rs6731545).


These findings of genetic and skin color relatedness to blood pressure is important when considering appropriate diagnostic and treatment plans for African American women with hypertension. African American women with darker skin color may require further assessment for risk factors such as discrimination related stress when being seen by health professionals for hypertension.

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