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Gene alteration observed in children turning into adults

by Medindia Content Team on March 5, 2006 at 12:39 PM
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Gene alteration observed in children turning into adults

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When children turn into adults, some genes involved in controlling their blood pressure change as well. This is as per a study of more than 500 pairs of twins. Black and white identical and fraternal twins was done and it showed that changes in gene expression between ages 14 and 18 accounted for up to one third of the blood pressure variation that occurred by age 18. This was told by Dr. Harold Snieder, genetic epidemiologist at the Medical College of Georgia.

Dr. Sneider said, 'This is a period of great change, between 14 and 18 years of age, as children are growing, hormones are raging and the stability of adulthood has not yet been reached.'

Researchers found genetics played a moderate to high role, explaining between 25 and 64 percent of the individual differences in blood pressure and hemodynamics, Dr. Snieder says.

A substantial part of the individual differences between the twins were due to new genetic effects between this period of age 14 and 18. There are new genes being switched on that are involved in blood pressure and factors underlying blood pressure. I think that is the most interesting finding: the large amount of new genes that come into play.' told Dr. Sneider

'The next step is following these kids for a long period of time to see whether the genetic effects stabilize or, after another three or four years, there is another large jump in new genetic effect. We need to know what the genes are to develop new medications and treatments and this shows that at different ages there appear to be different genes,' says Dr. Snieder, who already is working to identify some genes that may influence unhealthy increases in blood pressure that occur over time.

If factors negatively influencing blood pressure in blacks can be identified, it could contribute to solving health disparities such as blacks tending to have higher rates of hypertension that start at a younger age. This research could significantly help hypertensive patients and maybe fond a preventive cure.

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