Introduction to hypertension:
Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a significant health challenge both worldwide and particularly in South Africa. Hypertension, a widespread chronic condition, affects millions, leading to heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. It is a major contributor to cardiovascular health issues in adults.According to the latest World Health Organization data published in 2020, hypertension deaths in South Africa reached 12,789, accounting for 2.81% of total deaths. The age-adjusted death rate was 33.86 per 100,000 of the population. This ranks South Africa 36th in the world in this regard.
The Challenge of Hypertension Treatment
Hypertension treatment often involves a range of medications, including hydrochlorothiazide, captopril, benazepril, candesartan, atenolol, amlodipine, and many others. While these medications can be effective, their efficacy varies greatly among individuals. This variability can lead to a “try and fail” approach, where patients might go through several medications before finding the one that works best for them. Research shows that this process can be lengthy and frustrating, affecting the patient's quality of life and adherence to treatment.
The Promise of Pharmacogenetics
Pharmacogenetics offers a more personalized approach to hypertension treatment. This field of study focuses on how an individual's genetic makeup affects their response to drugs. Pharmacogenetics uses genetic insights to tailor drug treatments, enhancing their effectiveness and reducing side effects. BioCertica's pharmacogenetics report is a step towards this personalized approach, offering insights into how patients with hypertension can better manage their condition.
For a better understanding what is pharmacogenetics, let's consider Aunt Mary, who has hypertension. Traditionally, her doctor might have to try several different medications before finding the right one that works for her without causing severe side effects. However, with pharmacogenetics, a simple genetic test could reveal how Aunt Mary's body processes various hypertension drugs. This information helps her doctor to immediately choose the medication most likely to be effective and least likely to cause adverse reactions. Essentially, pharmacogenetics is like having a roadmap that guides doctors to the best treatment option based on a person's unique genetic makeup.
Gene-Drug Interactions in Hypertension
Genes such as YEATS4, NEDD4L, KCNJ1, and others play a crucial role in determining how a patient responds to hypertension drugs. For instance, genetic variations in the ACE gene can influence how a patient responds to a class of drugs known as ACE inhibitors like enalapril and ramipril. BioCertica’s pharmacogenetics test analyzes these genes to predict responses to various hypertension medications. It helps in guiding doctors and patients in choosing the most effective treatment. An example is shown in the figure below.
The BioCertica Advantage
BioCertica's pharmacogenetics report comprehensively analyzes genes related to hypertension medication response. This report can be a valuable tool for healthcare providers in prescribing medication that is most likely to be effective and have fewer side effects. It empowers patients with knowledge about their bodies, enabling a more active role in their healthcare decisions.
Think of BioCertica's pharmacogenetics report as a personalized guide to managing hypertension, tailored just for you. Imagine not having to go through the guesswork of finding the right medication – that's what this report does. It uses your unique genetic makeup to pinpoint the most effective treatment for your hypertensio Why not give it a try? Click here to get started, or visit our Learning Center for a friendly guide on how pharmacogenetics can make a difference in your life.
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- Pharmacogenetics of Antihypertensive Drug Responses." American Heart Association Journals. 2019
Personalized Medicine and Pharmacogenetic Biomarkers: Progress in Molecular Oncology Testing." Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics. 2021.
- Djuzic, N., Fernandez, J., Moller, J., & Hamzic, E. Unlocking the potential of pharmacogenetics in South Africa. S Afr Gen Pract, 2023(4):153-155. 2023.