A multinational project led by the Universities of Dundee and Glasgow has identified a genetic mutation, present in 40% of the population, which increases a person's chance of developing hypertension.
It is hoped the study, released yesterday, will help create new wonder drugs. Hypertension is a commonly inherited condition caused by a mix of genetic factors and the environment. However, the genes underlying this have proved difficult to identify.
Professor John Connell, vice-principal of the University of Dundee who led the project, said: "This shows that a gene variation in around 40% of the population is a significant factor."