First Genetic Test for High Blood Pressure and Sensitivity to Salt

Researchers led by University of Virginia Health System pathologist Robin Felder, Ph.D., have demonstrated that looking for several variations of genes that control blood pressure can predict the risk for high blood pressure caused by high levels of salt.
When a subject had three or more variations in these genes, the new genetic test correctly predicted risk for salt-induced high blood pressure in 94 percent of cases. Health is adversely affected by high salt intake in up to half of Americans.

The researchers also determined that the increase in subjects' blood pressure and inability to eliminate excess salt from their systems was directly related to how many variations were found in the participants' salt regulating genes, a phenomenon called a gene dosing effect. The more gene variants, the bigger the health problems.

Salt Sensitivity

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