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Genetic Loci and Novel Discrimination Measures Associated with Blood Pressure Variation in African Americans Living in Tallahassee.

PLoS One; 11(12): e0167700, 2016.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28002425
Sequencing of the human genome and decades of genetic association and linkage studies have dramatically improved our understanding of the etiology of many diseases. However, the multiple causes of complex diseases are still not well understood, in part because genetic and sociocultural risk factors are not typically investigated concurrently. Hypertension is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and afflicts more African Americans than any other racially defined group in the US. Few genetic loci for hypertension have been replicated across populations, which may reflect population-specific differences in genetic variants and/or inattention to relevant sociocultural factors. Discrimination is a salient sociocultural risk factor for poor health and has been associated with hypertension. Here we use a biocultural approach to study blood pressure (BP) variation in African Americans living in Tallahassee, Florida by genotyping over 30,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and capturing experiences of discrimination using novel measures of unfair treatment of self and others (n = 157). We perform a joint admixture and genetic association analysis for BP that prioritizes regions of the genome with African ancestry. We only report significant SNPs that were confirmed through our simulation analyses, which were performed to determine the false positive rate. We identify eight significant SNPs in five genes that were previously associated with cardiovascular diseases. When we include measures of unfair treatment and test for interactions between SNPs and unfair treatment, we identify a new class of genes involved in multiple phenotypes including psychosocial distress and mood disorders. Our results suggest that inclusion of culturally relevant stress measures, like unfair treatment in African Americans, may reveal new genes and biological pathways relevant to the etiology of hypertension, and may also improve our understanding of the complexity of gene-environment interactions that underlie complex diseases.