High blood pressure (hypertension) could be inherited due to a genetic defect
in the mother's genes. This study was conducted on a Chinese family.
According to the study hypertension is passed on to the baby through the mother's
mitochondria DNA. The defect takes place when reproductive cells come together
for the formation of an embryo. The substitution of a single DNA 'base' for
another during replication of mitochondria causes this defect. During the study
15 members of a particular Chinese family were studied who were among the 27
descendants from the same female ancestor. Even after treatment their blood
pressure was 140/90 mm Hg. This family was compared with other 341 Chinese
people. Eventually scientists found that mother-child inheritance link for high
blood pressure was due to mitochondrial inheritance.
This study has been published in the Journal of the American Heart