Hypertension (HTN) is the major preventable cause of premature death worldwide and is a well-recognized risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), causing each year 3.9 million deaths in Europe. In patients under antihypertensive treatment, blood pressure (BP) should be regularly monitored to adjust the dosage and avoid end-organ damage caused by inadequate BP control. While certain demographic factors such as age, gender and race may help guide the selection of one antihypertensive agent over another, only about half of hypertensive patients achieve appropriate BP control and the treatment they receive is mostly based on trial and errors.
Pharmacogenomics, namely the use of genetic biomarkers to assess response to medications, integrated with other ‘omics’ approaches could help to overcome such issues, by identifying useful biomarkers for a more personalised antihypertensive treatment.
Since current guidelines include limited information and no firm recommendations about genetic testing for any antihypertensive drug, the innovativeness of the HyperGene project is the development of a genetic-guided approach for selecting polymorphisms that could affect BP response to antihypertensive agents. The challenging ambition of the HyperGene project is to demonstrate the potential for a personalised antihypertensive drug therapy through a novel integrated approach, which could help to select, for each patient, the antihypertensive drug regimen with the greatest efficacy and the lowest risk of adverse cardiovascular effects.
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