April 27, 2009

Genes Identified Connected With Chronic Diseases

Genes connected to key indicators like blood pressure and bone density that have an effect on chronic diseases such as hypertension and osteoporosis have been identified by a South Korean research team, Reuters reported.

Scientists examined the DNA of nearly 9,000 individuals in South Korea and were able to distinguish genes that regulated indicators such as blood pressure, bone density, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, height and pulse rate, an article said in a publication of Nature Genetics.

Hyung-Lae Kim of the National Institute of Health in Seoul, South Korea, told reporters, "We found some genes affecting systolic blood pressure, bone density etc."

Diabetes, hypertension, obesity and osteoporosis are serious wide-spread problems in many countries.  The bodily measurements discovered affect these chronic diseases. 

With knowledge and better understanding of which genes are responsible for these chronic diseases, in the future we can potentially pave the way for better prevention, management and control of these conditions.

Genetic studies of this nature have commonly been observed in Caucasian populations, but very rarely among Asian groups. 

"The study also found new gene variants that either confer health risks specific to Asian ancestry or which show greater effects in combination with environmental factors prevalent in Asia," the researchers informed in a statement.


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