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Can J Cardiol. 2017 May;33(5):601-610. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2016.11.023. Epub 2016 Dec 7.

The Future of "Omics" in Hypertension.

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Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. Electronic address:


Despite decades of research and clinical practice, the pathogenesis of hypertension remains incompletely understood, and blood pressure is often suboptimally controlled. "Omics" technologies allow the description of a large number of molecular features and have the potential to identify new factors that contribute to blood pressure regulation and how they interact. In this review, we focus on the potential of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics and explore their roles in unraveling the pathophysiology and diagnosis of hypertension, the prediction of organ damage and treatment response, and monitoring treatment effect. Substantial progress has been made in the area of genomics, in which genome-wide association studies have identified > 50 blood pressure-related, single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and sequencing studies (especially in secondary forms of hypertension) have discovered novel regulatory pathways. In contrast, other omics technologies, despite their ability to provide detailed insights into the physiological state of an organism, have only more recently demonstrated their impact on hypertension research and clinical practice. The majority of current proteomic studies focus on organ damage resulting from hypertension and may have the potential to help us understand the link between blood pressure and organ failure but also serve as biomarkers for early detection of cerebrovascular or coronary disease. Examples include signatures for early detection of left ventricular dysfunction or albuminuria. Metabolomic studies have the potential to integrate environmental and intrinsic factors and are particularly suited to monitor the response to treatment. We discuss examples of omics studies in hypertension and explore the challenges related to these novel technologies.

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