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BACKGROUND: -Our aim was to identify genetic variants associated with blood pressure (BP) in childhood and adolescence.
METHODS AND RESULTS: -Genome-wide association study data from participating European ancestry cohorts of the EAGLE ( EA: rly G: enetics and L: ifecourse E: pidemiology) Consortium was meta-analysed across three 'epochs'; pre-puberty [4-7 years], puberty [8-12 years] and post-puberty [13-20 years]. Two novel loci were identified as having genome-wide associations with systolic blood pressure across specific age epochs; rs1563894 (ITGA11, located in active H3K27Ac mark and transcription factor CHiP and CpG methylation site) during pre-puberty (p = 2.86 × 10(-8)) and rs872256 during puberty (p = 8.67 × 10(-9)). Several SNP 'clusters' were also associated with childhood BP at p < 5 × 10(-3). Using a p-value threshold of < 5 × 10(-3) we found some overlap in variants across the different age epochs within our study, and between several SNPs in any of the three epochs and adult BP related SNPs.
CONCLUSIONS: -Our results suggest that genetic determinants of blood pressure act from childhood, develop over the lifecourse, and show some evidence of age-specific effects.