Moms May Pass Hypertension Risk to Kids

(WebMD) — Mothers with a certain genetic mutation may pass the tendency to develop high blood pressure on to their children, according to a new study.

Researchers from the U.S., China, and Austria made the discovery after focusing on a five-generation Chinese family. Many of its members who descended from the same female ancestor had high blood pressure.

The researchers found in these people a genetic mutation that affects the mitochondria. These are the ”powerhouses” of the cells that convert energy into useable forms. The discovery suggests that a mitochondrial DNA mutation could be the basis for high blood pressure in some people.

“This mutation can reduce the cellular energy production,” says researcher Min-Xin Guan, PhD, a professor of genetics at Zhejiang University in China. That increases the production of free radicals, substances which can be damaging to cells, his team found.


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