The Kidney's Tale: Of Salt and Hypertension
High blood pressure, or hypertension, contributes to heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. Since many factors regulate blood pressure, it has been difficult to determine the cause of hypertension. Molecular genetic approaches have identified genes that, when mutated, cause either increased or decreased blood pressure. Interestingly, all the genes identified to date function by regulating the amount of salt and water retained by the kidney.