Y Chromosome Linked to Blood Pressure Regulation

Association seen before, during and after pubertal growth

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Genes on the Y chromosome affect blood pressure in pre-pubertal boys, and the effect continues after puberty, at least in black males, according to the results of a new study presented at the American Heart Association's annual high blood pressure research meeting, in Washington, D.C.

Fadi J. Charchar, Ph.D., of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and colleagues collected DNA from 105 black and 156 white boys.

The investigators looked at the effect of genotype on the age at which the boys experienced their biggest spurt in growth. In addition, they measured the duration of the growth from two years before the growth spurt until growth fell to less than 2 centimeters per year.

Charchar's team found that boys with the HindIII(-) gene on the Y chromosome had the growth spurt earlier than boys with the HindIII(+) polymorphism. Furthermore, boys with the HindIII(-) gene had longer growth spurts, an average of 4.9 years compared with an average of 4.5 years for boys with the HindIII(+) allele.

Moreover, boys with the HindIII(-) allele had higher blood pressure in the pre-pubertal period (systolic 2.6 mmHg higher, diastolic 2.3 mmHg higher). This difference in blood pressure continued during puberty and after puberty. In addition, the researchers found that among blacks, an early growth spurt was associated with higher postpubertal blood pressure.

Abstract (P.17)

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