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J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2018 Mar;20(3):485-495. doi: 10.1111/jch.13225. Epub 2018 Mar 9.

Genetic factors contributing to hypertension in African-based populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa.
Diabetes Research Center and Diabetes Clinic, Department of Internal Medicine, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Wellness Science, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa.
Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon.
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Department of Internal Medicine and Specialities, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon.
Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Non-Communicable Diseases Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa.


In a systematic review, the authors explored genetic association studies of essential hypertension in African populations. Studies reporting on the association of polymorphism(s) with hypertension in African populations were included. Appropriate studies were pooled using random effects model meta-analysis, under six potential inheritance models. In all, 46 polymorphisms in 33 genes were investigated for their association with hypertension or blood pressure levels. Meta-analysis was possible for three single nucleotide polymorphisms: rs4340, rs699, and rs5186. An association was found between rs5186, rs699, and hypertension under allele contrast and homozygous codominant models (odds ratio, 1.63 [95% confidence interval, 1.04-2.54] and 4.01 [95% confidence interval, 1.17-13.80] for rs5186, respectively; and 1.80 [95% confidence interval, 1.13-2.87] for rs699). Findings were mostly robust in sensitivity analyses. According to the systematic review, there is currently insufficient evidence on the specific polymorphisms that pose the risk of hypertension in African populations. Large-scale genetic studies are warranted to better understand susceptibility polymorphisms that may be specific to African populations.


Africa; blood pressure; diastolic; genetics; hypertension; systolic

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