Genetics, Ancestry, and Hypertension: Implications for Targeted Antihypertensive Therapies

  • Nora FranceschiniEmail author
  • Daniel I. Chasman
  • Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff
  • Donna K. Arnett
Antihypertensive Agents: Mechanisms of Drug Action (ME Ernst, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Antihypertensive Agents: Mechanisms of Drug Action


Hypertension is the most common chronic condition seen by physicians in ambulatory care and a condition for which life-long medications are commonly prescribed. There is evidence for genetic factors influencing blood pressure variation in populations and response to medications. This review summarizes recent genetic discoveries that surround blood pressure, hypertension, and antihypertensive drug response from genome-wide association studies, while highlighting ancestry-specific findings and any potential implication for drug therapy targets. Genome-wide association studies have identified several novel loci for inter-individual variation of blood pressure and hypertension risk in the general population. Evidence from pharmacogenetic studies suggests that genes influence the blood pressure response to antihypertensive drugs, although results are somewhat inconsistent across studies. There is still much work that remains to be done to identify genes both for efficacy and adverse events of antihypertensive medications.


Genetics Hypertension Genome-wide association studies Ancestry Pharmacogenetics 




NIH U01- GM074492 (to RKCD)

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Nora Franceschini and Daniel I. Chasman declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff has received research grants from NIH and Abbott Laboratories. She also has received a patent for clinical trial software and royalties from the University of Florida Foundation.

Donna K. Arnett has received a grant from the NIH.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nora Franceschini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel I. Chasman
    • 2
  • Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff
    • 3
  • Donna K. Arnett
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public HealthChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Division of Preventive MedicineBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research and Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Colleges of Pharmacy and MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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