A variant of the angiotensinogen gene, M235T, has been associated with essential hypertension in selected subjects from Paris, France and Salt Lake City, Utah. In the present report, we studied a population-based sample consisting of 104 subjects diagnosed with hypertension before age 60 and 195 matched normotensive individuals from Rochester, Minnesota. We determined whether there was a relationship between the M235T polymorphism of the angiotensinogen gene and the occurrence of essential hypertension using two methods. First, a contingency chi-square analysis was carried out to test for an association between the M235T polymorphism and hypertension status. Second, multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to determine whether variation at the M235T polymorphism was a significant predictor of the probability of having essential hypertension. We detected no statistically significant association between the M235T polymorphism and the occurrence of essential hypertension. In particular, the association was not significant in either gender or in a subset of severely hypertensive subjects requiring two or more anti-hypertensive medications. Furthermore, variation in the number of M235T alleles did not make a significant contribution to predicting the probability of having essential hypertension, either alone or in conjunction with other predictor variables. These results suggest that the contribution of variation in the angiotensinogen gene to the occurrence of essential hypertension is less than initially suspected, or may not be constant across populations.
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