High blood pressure is one of the most common health problems in the United States. There
are many drug treatment options for high blood pressure, but these medications are not
always effective. People with treated high blood pressure can still suffer from other
serious cardiovascular health problems, including heart attack, sudden death, or stroke.
Genetic variations may cause some people to be more susceptible to these cardiovascular
outcomes despite treatment. This study will identify new gene regions that may influence the
effectiveness of high blood pressure drugs in preventing the above mentioned cardiovascular
High blood pressure affects nearly one in three individuals in the United States. There are
many factors that can cause high blood pressure, including family history and genetic
traits, kidney disease, stress, diabetes, and diet. If left untreated, high blood pressure
can increase one's risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. There are four major
classes of drugs used to treat high blood pressure, which include diuretics, beta blockers,
angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and calcium antagonists. Each class works
differently in treating high blood pressure, and certain gene regions may affect the
effectiveness of the various high blood pressure drugs. The purpose of this study is to
identify new gene regions that may influence the effectiveness of the four major high blood
pressure drug types in preventing a heart attack, sudden death, or stroke.
This study will draw upon specimens and data from three large population-based studies: the
Group Health population, the Cardiovascular Heart Study, and the Jackson Heart Study. New
samples of DNA and laboratory data will only be collected from participants in the Group
Health population. The remaining samples will be pre-existing samples from the other two
studies. Through a whole-genome study of the DNA samples, researchers will distinguish
genomic regions of interest for the four major drug classes to identify associations between
the drugs and genes in the population. Researchers will further genotype the "interesting"
genomic regions discovered in the whole-genome study. Ethnic-specific genetic variations
will also be identified to fully characterize the genetic variations. The study will be
replicated to assess the validity of the findings.
- Experience of a first heart attack, stroke, or sudden death
- Member of the Group Health Center (GHC) treated for high blood pressure
- Enrolled at least 1 year in one of the three study populations
- Treated for high blood pressure with one of the four major classes of high blood
pressure drugs (diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, or calcium antagonists)