Association of an Apolipoprotein B Gene Marker With Essential Hypertension

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We designed an association (retrospective, case control) study aimed at evaluating associations between genetic variations of the human apolipoprotein B (apoB) gene and clinical diagnosis of essential hypertension. Our approach was to compare the distribution of the alleles of a highly polymorphic variable number of tandem repeats localized 3[prime] to the human apoB gene, the apoB 3[prime] hypervariable region (HVR), in a group of normotensive and a group of hypertensive individuals. We collected DNA samples from 437 unrelated nationals (215 normotensives and 222 hypertensives) from the United Arab Emirates (UAEs), and we determined their apoB 3[prime] HVR allele and genotype status with a polymerase chain reaction-based assay. In the UAE population, we found 18 alleles underlying a total of 51 genotypes. The distribution of these alleles was significantly different between normotensive and hypertensive UAE nationals. The main peak of the distributions occurred at 35 repeats among hypertensives (with a relative frequency of 25.7% versus 19.6% in normotensives) and at 37 repeats among normotensives (28.8% versus 20.3% in hypertensives). Alleles with 21, 23, 25, 49, and 55 repeats were found in hypertensives only (with a combined relative frequency of 7.6%). We conclude that variations of the apoB gene, or of a nearby gene, that may be in linkage disequilibrium with these alleles play a role in the development of essential hypertension in the UAEs. (Hypertension. 1999;33:1052-1056.)

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