Beyond genome-wide association studies: New strategies for identifying genetic determinants of hypertension

Xiaoling Wang, Bram P. Prins, Siim Sõber, Maris Laan, Harold Snieder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Genetic linkage and association methods have long been the most important tools for gene identification in humans. These approaches can either be hypothesis-based (i.e., candidate-gene studies) or hypothesis-free (i.e., genome-wide studies). The first part of this review offers an overview of the latest successes in gene finding for blood pressure (BP) and essential hypertension using these DNA sequence-based discovery techniques. We further emphasize the importance of post-genome-wide association study (post-GWAS) analysis, which aims to prioritize genetic variants for functional follow-up. Whole-genome next-generation sequencing will eventually be necessary to provide a more comprehensive picture of all DNA variants affecting BP and hypertension. The second part of this review discusses promising novel approaches that move beyond the DNA sequence and aim to discover BP genes that are differentially regulated by epigenetic mechanisms, including microRNAs, histone modification, and methylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-451
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Association analysis
  • Blood pressure
  • Epigenetics
  • GWAS
  • Genome-wide association study
  • Histone modification
  • Hypertension
  • Linkage analysis
  • Methylation
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Post-GWAS analysis
  • microRNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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