Segregation analysis of systolic and diastolic blood pressure in Middle Dalmatia Island population

Tatjana Škarić-Jurić, Emil Ginsburg, Eugene Kobyliansky, Ida Malkin, Maja Barbalić, Marijana Peričić, Jasna Miličić, Nina Smolej Narančić, Pavao Rudan

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A complex segregation analysis of systolic and diastolic blood pressure has been performed on pedigree data from rural populations inhabiting Middle Dalmatian islands of Brač, Hvar and Korčula and the Pelješac peninsula. The purpose of the performed analysis was to possibly elucidate a signal of a large-effect gene responsible for high prevalence of hypertension present in this population (the age-adjusted prevalence of developed hypertension being 31.82% in males and 28.23% in females). The analysis was performed on a sample of 389 two- and three-generation families consisting of 2 to 19 observed individuals (1126 examinees in total, 526 males and 600 females, aged 17 to 83). Since the examinees were randomly selected from census data encompassing 22.6% of the total population - the family relations having been established afterwards - the selected sample can be considered representative for the examined populations. By applying the usual transmission probability tests, the major gene model has been accepted for systolic as well as for diastolic blood pressure. The most parsimonious models showed that: a) inheritance of blood pressure in the Middle Dalmatia population can be attributed to the effect of a major gene responsible for 34% (systolic) and 36% (diastolic) blood pressure variation; b) alleles of that major gene act in co-dominant fashion; c) allele frequency for high blood pressure (A2) is 18% (systolic) and 15% (diastolic blood pressure); and d) the residual (non-major gene) familial correlation is negligible and can be constrained to zero. Since the results are also indicating heterogeneity within the sample in the genetic determination of the systolic blood pressure, the obtained results thus justify further search for the most promising subpopulation for incoming genetic epidemiological investigations of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalCollegium Antropologicum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Blood pressure
  • Complex segregation analysis
  • Croatia
  • Family data
  • Island population


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