The sickle gene: a marker for blood pressure?

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Blood pressure patterns were studied in 224 Nigerians comprising 22 families with at least one child with sickle cell anemia (SS) and 18 families without sickle cell anemia (AA) in a community with a high frequency of the sickle trait (AS). Among the offspring (n = 162; mean age: 10.1 years), systolic blood pressure did not differ between the SS, AS, or AA groups. However, the SS group had significantly lower diastolic blood pressure than the AS or AA groups (60.6 versus 66.5 and 65.4 mm Hg, respectively; P < .01). After controlling for genotype, age, body mass index, and sex, regression analysis revealed that age was the only independent correlate of blood pressure.

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