Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 August 2012
Aggarwal Baniyas were found to have a high prevalence of high blood pressure. Genetic and environmental influences may be implicated for this risk factor of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential for common genetic and environmental influences on blood pressure measures (systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP)). The population-based sample was comprised of 309 Aggarwal Baniya families, including 1214 individuals (271 fathers, 307 mothers, 311 sons and 325 daughters) from New Delhi, India. The prevalence of obesity in this community was found to be high (BMI: fathers, 26.1 kg/m2; mothers, 29.4 kg/m2; sons, 16.9–22.4 kg/m2; and daughters, 16.3–22.7 kg/m2). Correlation and heritability were estimated. Most sibling–sibling correlations were larger than the parent–offspring correlations, and all parent–offspring and sibling–sibling correlations were larger than the corresponding spouse correlation (SBP=0.026; DBP=0.029). The maximum heritability was estimated as 44.6% for SBP and 62.8% for DBP. The lack of a significant spouse correlation is consistent with little or no influence of the common familial environment. However, the high heritability estimate for both SBP and DBPs reinforces the importance of the non-shared environmental effect.