High blood pressure is defined as a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high.Scientists have identified over 500 new gene regions that influence people's blood pressure. The researchers said that high blood pressure is highly heritable through genetics.
For the study that was published in Nature Genetics, researchers analysed the DNA of more than one million people, and the results more than triples the number of genetic regions linked to blood pressure to over 1,000.
The findings suggested that all of the genetic variants raise a person's risk of high blood pressure by 3.34 times.
These gene regions also make an individual 1.52 times more likely to suffer a related complication, such as a heart attack or stroke. Some of the newly-discovered gene regions are also involved in other diseases and could therefore be treated with existing drugs, the scientists revealed.
"With this information, we could calculate a person's genetic risk score for high blood pressure in later life," said Mark Caulfield, Professor at the QMUL.
"Taking a precision medicine approach, doctors could target early lifestyle interventions to those with a high genetic risk, such as losing weight, reducing alcohol consumption and increasing exercise," he added.
"Knowing which genes cause high blood pressure may help us to spot the people who are at risk, before the damage is done. Those at risk can be treated - either with medication or lifestyle changes - potentially preventing thousands of heart attacks and strokes every year," said Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation.
People with high blood pressure need to be very careful of what they eat. A hypertension diet should have foods with high magnesium, potassium and fibre content in it. It should necessarily be low in sodium.
Here are some foods for managing blood pressure:
All berries are loaded with heart-healthy compounds called flavonoids. The antioxidant rich fruit may help lower blood pressure, as per a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You can add them to your salads, oatmeal, smoothies.
According to a study presented at the American Heart Association (AHA), women who consumed five or more servings of yogurt a week had a lower risk of developing high blood pressure than similar women who hardly ever ate yogurt.
Sweet potatoes are not only high in potassium but in other heart-healthy nutrients as well like magnesium and manganese. Potassium in an important electrolyte that helps regulate blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium in the body.
Spinach is packed with lutein which prevents thickening of walls of arteries, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks and blood pressure. Moreover, spinach is packed with potassium, folate and magnesium, which further ensures that your blood pressure levels are in check.
(With inputs IANS)