Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease in the United States, affecting up to one-third of adults. When compared to other ethnic or racial groups in the United States, African Americans and other people of African descent show a higher incidence of hypertension and its related comorbidities; however, the genetics of hypertension in these populations has not been studied adequately. Several genes have been identified to play a role in the genetics of hypertension. They include genes regulating the renin-aldosterone-angiotensin system (RAAS), such as Sodium Channel Epithelial 1 Beta Subunit (SCNN1B
), Armadillo Repeat Containing 5 (ARMC5
), G Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 4 (GRK4
), and Calcium Voltage-Gated Channel Subunit Alpha1 D (CACNA1D
). In this review, we focus on recent genetic findings available in the public domain for potential differences between African Americans and other populations. We also cover some recent and relevant discoveries in the field of low-renin hypertension from our laboratory at the National Institutes of Health. Understanding the different genetics of hypertension among various groups is essential for effective precision-guided medical therapy of high blood pressure.
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