Chinese scientists develop new mechanism to screen patients for gene variants linked to high blood pressure

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15th March 2023 – (Beijing) Chinese scientists have developed a new mechanism to screen patients for gene variants linked to high blood pressure. This scientific breakthrough could lead to more personalised treatment options in the future.

Despite the existence of drugs to control hypertension, a key risk factor for heart diseases, millions of patients worldwide still fail to achieve effective blood pressure control. To address this, researchers at the Institute of Chemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences have modified a commonly-used fluorescent detection technique to detect 10 gene variants called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with hypertension.

The test is designed to detect two SNPs with one reaction, making it simple and efficient. In a retrospective study, the mechanism successfully detected several disease-linked SNPs in 150 blood samples from hospitalized patients with hypertension in China.

In a week-long clinical trial involving 100 patients with hypertension, the researchers used the test results to personalize medication choices for 50% of the participants based on drug class-associated risks. The precision medicine group achieved better blood pressure control in less time compared to those who received standard hypertension therapy, decreasing from 5.82 days to 4.06 days.

The researchers believe that this system could be applied to maximise the efficacy of hypertension medication and reduce rates of uncontrolled hypertension. The study was published recently in the journal Science Translational Medicine.