Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a number of common variants associated with blood pressure homeostasis and hypertension in population. In the previous study, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the SLC4A4 gene have been reported to be associated with hypertension in Han Chinese population. We aimed to confirm whether the genetic variation of SLC4A4 gene influence the susceptibility to blood pressure and hypertension in Korean population. We genotyped variants in or near SLC4A4 in a population-based cohort including 7,551 unrelated Korean from Ansan and Ansung. Here, we performed association analysis to elucidate the possible relations of genetic polymorphisms in SLC4A4 gene with blood pressure traits. By examining genotype data of a total of 7,551 subjects in the Korean Association REsource (KARE) study, we discovered the SLC4A4 gene polymorphisms are associated with blood pressure and hypertension. The common and highest significant polymorphism was rs6846301 (β=0.839, additive P=0.032) with systolic blood pressure (SBP), rs6846301 (β=0.588, additive P=0.027) with diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and rs6846301 (OR=1.23, CI: 1.09~1.40, additive P=1.2 × 10-3) with hypertension. Furthermore, the SNP rs6846301 was consistently associated with both blood pressure and hypertension. Consequently, we found statistically significant SNPs in SLC4A4 gene that are associated with both blood pressure and hypertension traits. In addition, these results suggest that the individuals with the minor alleles of the SNP in the SLC4A4 gene may be more susceptible to the development of hypertension in the Korean population.
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