Studying the multiplex genetic basis of blood pressure regulation can help with elucidating the etiology of hypertension and related diseases as well as with the development of more efficient prevention and treatment strategies. This study aims at investigating the genetic and environmental backgrounds for blood pressure variation as well as for phenotype correlation between systolic and diastolic blood pressure by fitting bivariate models to Danish and Chinese twins and comparing ethnic difference between the two samples. The Danish sample consists of 756 twin pairs (309 monozygotic or MZ pairs, 447 dizygotic or DZ pairs) and Chinese sample includes a total of 325 pairs of twins (183 MZ twin pairs and 142 DZ twin pairs). Our parameter estimates revealed moderate to high additive genetic and unique environmental influences on both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and on their correlation with an overall pattern of higher genetic regulation in Danish than in Chinese twins while higher contribution by unique environment in Chinese than in Danish twins. The estimated genetic components in blood pressure and in blood pressure correlation could serve to guide new researches aiming at looking for heritable genetic variants that affect systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure. Meanwhile, the estimated high contribution to blood pressure by unique environment suggests that promoting healthy lifestyle could provide an efficient way for the control of hypertension especially in the Chinese population.
twin; blood pressure
Main Research Area:
American Society of Human Genetics 2013 Annual Meeting