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J Hum Hypertens. 2016 Aug;30(8):467-78. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2015.114. Epub 2015 Nov 26.

Renin angiotensinogen system gene polymorphisms and essential hypertension among people of West African descent: a systematic review.

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Global Health Section, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Section of Metabolic Genetics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


This systematic review investigates the high level of hypertension found among urban dwellers in West Africa and in the West African Diaspora in the Americas in relation to variants within the genes encoding the renin angiotensinogen system. For comparison, the results from the Caucasian populations are reviewed as well. Through a PubMed search, 1252 articles were identified and 28 eligible articles assessed in detail of which 13 included a Caucasian population. The results suggest that among the people of West African descent and among the people of Caucasian descent, hypertension is partly related to a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes in the renin gene, the angiotensinogen gene, the angiotensinogen I-converting enzyme gene and the angiotensinogen II type 1 receptor gene. Concordance between these two populations was found for some SNPs. However, for others, it was found that the SNPs associating with hypertension and the disease allele frequencies differed between these populations. Understanding the importance of these variants in a modern life setting may assist our understanding of the increased risk of developing hypertension among West Africans. Because of inconsistency in the results, low statistical power and methodological differences between studies, these results can only be taken as indicative of an association.

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