Image1_Systematic Review of Genomic Associations with Blood Pressure and Hypertension in Populations with African-Ancestry.pdf
Background: Despite hypertension being highly prevalent in individuals with African-ancestry, they are under-represented in large genome-wide association studies. Inclusion of African participants is essential to better understand genetic associations with blood pressure-related traits in Africans. This systematic review critically evaluates existing studies with African-ancestry participants and identifies knowledge gaps.
Methods: We followed the PRISMA protocol, HuGE Review handbook to identify literature on original research, in English, on genetic association studies for blood pressure-related traits (systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse and mean-arterial pressure, and hypertension) in populations with African-ancestry (January 2007 to April 2020). A narrative synthesis of the evidence was conducted.
Results: Twelve studies with African-ancestry participants met the eligibility criteria, within which 10 studies met the additional genetic association data criteria (i.e., reporting only on African-ancestry participants). Across the five blood pressure-related traits, 26 genome-wide significantly associated SNPs were identified, with six SNPs linked to more than one trait, illustrating pleiotropic effects. Among the SNP associations, 12 had not previously been described in non-African studies.
Discussion: The limited number of relevant studies highlights the dearth of genomic association studies on participants with African-ancestry, especially those located within Africa. Variations in study methodology, participant inclusion, adjustment for covariates (e.g., antihypertensive medication) and relatively small sample sizes make comparisons challenging, and have resulted in fewer significant associations, compared to large European studies. Regional variation in the prevalence and associated risk factors of hypertension across Africa makes a compelling argument to develop African cohorts to facilitate large genomic studies, using African-centric arrays. Data harmonisation and comparable study designs, such as described in the H3Africa CHAIR initiative, provide a good example toward achieving this goal.
Other relevant information: SS and J-TB were funded by the South African National Research Foundation. MR is a South African Research Chair in Genomics and Bioinformatics of African populations hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand, funded by the Department of Science and Innovation, and administered by the NRF. This review was registered at PROSPERO (registration number: CRD42020179221) and OSF (registration DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/QT2HA).
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