Increased genetic risk of hypertension in glomerulonephritis?


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Abstract

The present study was carried out to test the hypothesis that the familial risk of hypertension is elevated in individuals with glomerulonephritis. Sixty-three parents of 39 consecutive patients below the age of 50 years who were admitted with biopsy-confirmed primary glomerulonephritis (excluding familial glomerulonephritis) were examined. Of these parents, 57% had blood pressure ≥ 160/95 mmHg and/or were taking antihypertensive medication (81% of hypertensives). In 138 parents of 87 controls (age- and sex-matched patients admitted to a surgical ward for trauma), hypertension was found in 32.6% (of whom 73% were on antihypertensive medication). Age, sex ratio and body mass index were comparable in both groups of parents. A similar proportion of parents of patients with glomerulonephritis (27%) and parents of controls (25%) had already died. There was no evidence of excess cardiovascular or renal mortality in either group of parents. Urinary abnormalities were found in a similar proportion of the parents of patients with glomerulonephritis (5%) and controls (8%). Although the effects of a shared environment are not formally excluded, the data are consistent with a possible increased genetic risk of hypertension in patients with primary chronic glomerulonephritis

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