440 research outputs found

    Advances in the genetics of hypertension: The effect of rare variants

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    Worldwide, hypertension still represents a serious health burden with nine million people dying as a consequence of hypertension-related complications. Essential hypertension is a complex trait supported by multifactorial genetic inheritance together with environmental factors. The heritability of blood pressure (BP) is estimated to be 30–50%. A great effort was made to find genetic variants affecting BP levels through Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS). This approach relies on the “common disease–common variant” hypothesis and led to the identification of multiple genetic variants which explain, in aggregate, only 2–3% of the genetic variance of hypertension. Part of the missing genetic information could be caused by variants too rare to be detected by GWAS. The use of exome chips and Next-Generation Sequencing facilitated the discovery of causative variants. Here, we report the advances in the detection of novel rare variants, genes, and/or pathways through the most promising approaches, and the recent statistical tests that have emerged to handle rare variants. We also discuss the need to further support rare novel variants with replication studies within larger consortia and with deeper functional studies to better understand how new genes might improve patient care and the stratification of the response to antihypertensive treatments

    Smoking, DNA Adducts and Number of Risk DNA Repair Alleles in Lung Cancer Cases, in Subjects with Benign Lung Diseases and in Controls

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    Smoke constituents can induce DNA adducts that cause mutations and lead to lung cancer. We have analyzed DNA adducts and polymorphisms in two DNA repair genes, for example, XRCC1 Arg194Trp and Arg399Gln genes and XRCC3 Thr241Met gene, in 34 lung cancer cases in respect to 30 subjects with benign lung cancer disease and 40 healthy controls. When the study population was categorized in base to the number of risk alleles, adducts were significantly increased in individuals bearing 3-4 risk alleles (OR = 4.1 95% C.I. 1.28–13.09, P = .009). A significant association with smoking was noticed in smokers for more than 40 years carrying 3-4 risk alleles (OR = 36.38, 95% C.I. 1.17–1132.84, P = .040). A not statistically significant increment of lung cancer risk was observed in the same group (OR = 4.54, 95% C.I. 0.33–62.93, P = .259). Our results suggest that the analysis of the number of risk alleles predicts the interindividual variation in DNA adducts of smokers and lung cancer cases