Epidemiology and genetics of hypertension.
The major decline in cardiovascular mortality during the last 20 years may be related to improved hypertension control, but a causal relationship has not been proven. Fundamental epidemiologic associations between age, sex, race, socioecomonic class, and blood pressure (BP) have been well characterized. Risk of coronary heart disease and stroke mortality and morbidity is linearly related to BP or to categorically defined hypertension. Weight is a major correlate of BP at all ages and in most populations. The relationships between hypertension and other nutritionally related factors are not so well defined. The Framingham Study (both cohort and offspring components) provides information about other BP correlates such as heart rate and clinical chemistry values as well as evidence suggesting a genetic influence on BP variability in families. Combined with observations from other studies, it appears that heredity plays a very important role in human hypertension.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association