Genome-Wide Association Studies of Hypertension: Have They Been Fruitful?
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Over the last two decades candidate gene association studies and genome-wide linkage scans have met with little success in characterizing risk variants for hypertension. Several factors could be responsible for the relative lack of success, although our understanding of the genetics has evolved to support the belief that there are multiple common risk variants, which are associated with hypertension with modest effect sizes. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully identified risk loci for several complex polygenic disease states. Until recently, the productivity of GWAS with respect to identifying risk loci for hypertension was limited. In this paper we describe the recent success of GWAS of hypertension in identifying over a dozen loci associated with essential hypertension. We will review these findings, and place these results in the context of the future potential of pharmocogenetics of hypertension.
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