Hypertension, or elevated arterial blood pressure is a substantial public health problem, affecting about 25 % of the adult population. This disorder is a major risk factor for common causes of morbidity and mortality including stroke, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and end-stage renal disease. Despite the morbid consequences of hypertension, its pathogenesis remains to be fully elucidated. Difficulties in defining the causes of hypertension from physiological studies alone have motivated studies to search for genetic factors in the etiology of hypertension. Identification of genes influencing blood pressure variation may confer more insight into the physiological mechanisms underlying blood pressure variation and reveal pathways and targets for therapeutical intervention. In recent years, several genes responsible for rare Mendelian forms of hypertension have been identified.

Boehringer-Ingelheim, Sanofi-Synthelabo
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam