Genetic studies of cation tests and hypertension

R. R. Williams, S. J. Hasstedt, Steven Hunt, L. L. Wu, K. O. Ash

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Several tests of cation concentration and transport are being studied among members of large Utah pedigrees as part of a study of the genetic and environmental determinants of essential hypertension. Corrected urinary sodium excretion and plasma sodium concentration correlated well in spouses and siblings (r = 0.21-0.54, p < 0.001), suggesting the effects of shared family environment (e.g., sodium intake). Intraerythrocytic sodium concentration and sodium-lithium countertransport showed no significant correlation in spouses and very significant correlations between siblings and between parents and offspring (r = 0.34-0.58, p < 0.001), suggesting mostly genetic determination. Using maximum likelihood tests of different genetic models, both sodium-lithium countertransport and intraerythrocytic sodium showed predominantly polygenic determination (H2 = 70%) and some possible major gene determinants (H2 = 18-25%) for a total heritability of 89 to 95% for these characteristics. These data suggest both genes and shared family environment contribute to the familiality of cation tests. They also illustrate the need and utility of quantitative methods for objective analysis of pedigree data.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5 II SUPPl.
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

Williams, R. R., Hasstedt, S. J., Hunt, S., Wu, L. L., & Ash, K. O. (1987). Genetic studies of cation tests and hypertension. Hypertension, 10(5 II SUPPl.).