Researchers have found a genetic link that may explain why the effectivenessof blood pressure (BP) medications varies between patients. The findingbrings researchers closer to developing targeted therapies for patients withhigh BP. Identifying genes that determine a person's response to BP medicationsis vital for more effective therapies and for understanding the causes ofhigh BP.
Researchers have discovered a region in chromosome 2 that is linked to aspecific type of high BP that does not respond to angiotensin-convertingenzyme (ACE) inhibitors or beta-blockers, 2 of the most commonly prescribedBP medications. The report of these findings was presented on September 23,2005, at the American Heart Association's annual high BP research conference.
The study included 2142 Caucasian families with severe hypertension. Thedrugs the patients were currently using were noted, as well as the results oftreatment. Researchers found 89 pairs of siblings who did not respond to ACEinhibitors and beta-blockers. Using DNA samples from these patients, theresearchers were able to locate an area on chromosome 2 that appeared to bekey in causing high BP in these patients. Researchers hope that identifying thegenes that are implicated in drug resistance will assist physicians in treating certainpatients by avoiding the therapies resisted by the genetic difference.