New insight into genetic causes of high blood pressure revealed

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

A new study into genetic material in the human kidneys has revealed new findings about the underlying causes of high blood pressure.

Led by Dr Maciej Tomaszewski of the University of Leicester's department of cardiovascular sciences, the study examined key genes, messenger RNAs and microRNAs in the kidneys to find material with links to hypertension.

Through this process, two microRNA molecules have been identified that play a key role in the regulation of renin, a hormone that contributes to blood pressure control.

This is the first time genes regulating this important hormone have been discovered, which could provide a route for the creation of antihypertensive medications targeting this area in future.

Dr Tomaszewski said: "We will continue using this unique research resource in our further studies to decipher the genetic background of human hypertension."

According to figures from the NHS, around 30 percent of people in England are thought to be affected by high blood pressure, although many are unaware.

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