EH (essential hypertension) is a major public health problem in many countries due to its high prevalence and its association with coronary heart disease, stroke, renal disease, peripheral vascular disease and other disorders. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that EH is heritable. Owing to the fact that blood pressure is controlled by cardiac output and total peripheral resistance, many molecular pathways are believed to be involved in the disease. In this review, recent genetic studies investigating the molecular basis of EH, including different molecular pathways, will be highlighted.

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