Familial aggregation of resting blood pressure and heart rate in a sedentary population: The HERITAGE Family Study

Ping An, Treva Rice, Jacques Gagnon, Ingrid B. Borecki, Louis Pérusse, Arthur S. Leon, James S. Skinner, Jack H. Wilmore, Claude Bouchard, D. C. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The familial aggregation of resting systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and heart rate (HR) was assessed in 98 white families, who participated in the HERITAGE Family Study, and were selected to be sedentary, and primarily nonobese and normotensive. In the present study, 522 family members were sedentary at baseline examination, and resting SBP, DBP, and HR measured during this examination were investigated. If physical activity level is a potent environmental factor, then we expected that the relative contribution of environmental factors to the familial aggregation of blood pressure (BP) would be somewhat reduced, because activity was controlled for in this study. Using a familial correlation model, maximal heritabilities were estimated to be 54%, 41%, and 32% for resting SBP, DBP, and HR, respectively, in these families; and they were 51%, 42%, and 34% for resting SBP, DBP, and HR, respectively, when the data were adjusted for body mass index. The estimates are somewhat higher for BP but similar for HR to those reported in previous family studies, suggesting that the distribution of the underlying etiologic factors in these sedentary families may be similar to those in the general population. There was substantial spouse resemblance in this study, which may be explained by a higher concordance for correlated lifestyle factors including diet, similar activity levels, or by assortative mating for relative weight or dietary preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-270
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • HERITAGE Family Study
  • Heritability
  • Resting blood pressure
  • Resting heart rate
  • Sedentary


Dive into the research topics of 'Familial aggregation of resting blood pressure and heart rate in a sedentary population: The HERITAGE Family Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this