ReviewsSodium excretion as a modulator of genetic associations with cardiovascular phenotypes in the European Project on Genes in HypertensionKuznetsova, Tatianaa,b; Staessen, Jan Aa; Brand, Evac,d; Cwynar, Marcine; Stolarz, Katarzynaf; Thijs, Lutgardea; Tikhonoff, Valérieg; Wojciechowska, Wiktoriaf; Babeanu, Sperantah; Brand-Herrmann, Stefan-Martini; Casiglia, Edoardog; Filipovský, Janj; Grodzicki, Tomasze; Nikitin, Yurib; Peleška, Jank; Struijker-Boudier, Harryl; Bianchi, Giuseppem; Kawecka-Jaszcz, Kalinaf on behalf of the European Project on Genes in Hypertension InvestigatorsAuthor Information aStudy Coordinating Centre, Hypertension and Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Unit, Department of Molecular and Cardiovascular Research, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium bInstitute of Internal Medicine, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation cDepartment of Endocrinology and Nephrology, and Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Benjamin Franklin Medicel Centre, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany dDepartment of Internal Medicine D (Nephrology and Hypertension), University Clinic Münster, Münster, Germany eDepartment of Internal and Gerontology fFirst Cardiac Department, Medical College, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland gDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Padova, Padova, Italy hSan Luca Hospital, Bucharest, Romania iDepartment of Molecular Genetics for Cardiovascular Disease, Leibniz-Institute for Arteriosclerosis Research, University of Münster, Münster, Germany jDepartment of Internal Medicine II, Charles University Medical School, Pilsen, Czech Republic kGeneral Faculty Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic lDepartment of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands mCattedra e Scuola di Nefrologia, Universitá Vita e Salute San Raffaele, Milano, Italy Received 31 March, 2005 Revised 7 September, 2005 Accepted 12 September, 2005 Correspondence and requests for reprints to Jan A. Staessen, MD, PhD, FAHA, Studiecoördinatiecentrum, Laboratorium Hypertensie, Campus Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium. Tel: +32 16 34 7104; fax: +32 16 34 7106; e-mail: [email protected] Sponsorship: The European Project on Genes in Hypertension was supported by the European Union (contract numbers IC15-CT98-0329-EPOGH and QLGI-CT-2000-01137-EURNETGEN) and is endorsed by the European Council for Cardiovascular Research and the European Society of Hypertension. The studies in Belgium and Poland were also supported by research grants G.0291.98 and G.0424.03 from the Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Vlaanderen (Brussels, Belgium), special research grants (OT/99/28 and OT/00/25) from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) and the International Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Poland and Flanders (contract number BIL 00/18). The Czech Ministry of Education (Prague, Czech Republic) and the Ministero Universitá e Ricerca Scientifica (Rome, Italy) provided additional funding to J.F. (OK 375 and OK 376) and G.B. (FIRB RBNE01724C-001 and PRIN 200206779-001), respectively. *See Appendix. Journal of Hypertension: February 2006 - Volume 24 - Issue 2 - p 235-242 doi: 10.1097/01.hjh.0000194115.89356.bd Buy Metrics Abstract Hypertension is a chronic age-related disorder, affecting nearly 20% of all adult Europeans. This disease entails debilitating cardiovascular complications and is the leading cause for drug prescriptions in Europeans older than 50 years. Intensive research over the past two decades has so far failed to identify common genetic polymorphisms with a major impact on blood pressure or associated cardiovascular phenotypes, suggesting that multiple genes each with a minor impact, along with gene–gene and gene–environment interactions, play a role. The European Project on Genes in Hypertension (EPOGH) is a large-scale, family-based study in which participants from seven different populations were phenotyped and genotyped according to standardized procedures. This review article summarizes the initial 5-year findings and puts these observations into perspective against other published studies. The EPOGH demonstrated that phenotype–genotype relations strongly depend on host factors such as gender and lifestyle, in particular salt intake as reflected by the 24-h urinary excretion of sodium. The EPOGH therefore highlights the concept that phenotype–genotype relations can only be studied within a defined ecogenetic context. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.