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High heritability of ambulatory blood pressure in families of East African descent.
We estimated the heritability of ambulatory systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and pulse pressure (PP) in east African families with at least 2 hypertensive siblings and living in the Seychelles islands (Indian Ocean). The sample consisted of 314 individuals (147 men and 167 women), both normotensive and hypertensive, from 76 pedigrees (mean+/-SD of 4.1+/-2.8 persons per pedigree). After a 2-week off-treatment period, daytime and nighttime ambulatory blood pressure (BP) was monitored. Office BP was measured with a standard mercury sphygmomanometer. We estimated by maximum likelihood the age- and sex-adjusted heritabilities from the additive polygenic component of the variance of the traits allowing for the presence of other familial correlations. We also adjusted for ascertainment (ie, for the fact that 2 siblings had to be hypertensive) and examined the effect of adjusting for body mass index, 24-hour urinary excretion of sodium and potassium, plasma renin activity, and plasma aldosterone concentration. Heritability estimates (+/-SE) for ambulatory SBP, DBP, and PP were, respectively, 0.37+/-0.12/0.24+/-0.12/0.54+/-0.12 for daytime and 0.34+/-0.13/ 0.37+/-0.15/0.47+/-0.12 for nighttime measurements (P<0.05 for all estimates). Heritability estimates for office SBP, DBP, and PP were, respectively, 0.20+/-0.11, 0.05+/-0.09, and 0.37+/-0.12. Heritability estimates for SBP varied markedly according to whether participants were treated for hypertension at baseline. The present data show that ambulatory BP and PP have a high heritability in families of African descent. They also demonstrate that antihypertensive treatment and the number of BP measurements have a major influence on the heritability estimates.
Adult, Africa, Eastern, African Continental Ancestry Group, Antihypertensive Agents, Blood Pressure, Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory, Diastole, Female, Humans, Hypertension, Likelihood Functions, Male, Middle Aged, Seychelles, Systole
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