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Int J Hypertens. 2015;2015:734586. doi: 10.1155/2015/734586. Epub 2015 Jan 26.

CYP17A1 and Blood Pressure Reactivity to Stress in Adolescence.

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The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1X8.
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 0G4.
Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 2B4.
Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, QC, Canada G7H 2B1.
Community Genomic Centre, Chicoutimi Hospital, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada G7H 5H6.
Rotman Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M6A 2E1.


Adolescents who exhibit exaggerated blood pressure (BP) reactivity to physical and mental challenges are at increased risk of developing hypertension in adulthood. BP at rest and in response to challenges is higher in males than females, beginning in early adolescence. CYP17A1 is one of the well-established gene loci of adult hypertension. Here, we investigated whether this gene locus is associated with elevated BP at rest and in response to physical (active standing) and mental (math stress) challenges in adolescence. We studied 496 male and 532 female adolescents (age 12-18 years) who were recruited from a genetic founder population. Our results showed that the variant of CYP17A1 rs10786718 was associated with enhanced BP reactivity to the mental but not physical challenge and in males but not females. In males, BP increase in response to math stress was higher in major versus minor allele homozygotes by 7.6 mm Hg (P = 8.3 × 10(-6)). Resting BP was not associated with the CYP17A1 variant in either sex. These results suggest that, in adolescent males but not females, CYP17A1 enhances BP reactivity to mental stress. Whether this effect contributes to the higher prevalence of hypertension in males than females later in life remains to be determined.

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