Objective: To estimate the heritability of ambulatory blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and beat-to-beat office BP and HR in an isolated, environmentally and genetically homogeneous Omani Arab population. Methods: Ambulatory BP measurements were recorded in 1,124 subjects with a mean age of 33.8 ± 16.2 years, using the auscultatory mode of the validated Schiller ambulatory BP Monitor. Beat-to-beat BP and HR were recorded by the Task Force Monitor. Heritability was estimated using quantitative genetic analysis. This was achieved by applying the maximum-likelihood-based variance decomposition method implemented in SOLAR software. Results: We detected statistically significant heritability estimates for office beat-to-beat, 24-hour, daytime, and sleep HR of 0.31, 0.21, 0.20, and 0.07, respectively. Heritability estimates in the abovementioned conditions for systolic BP (SBP)/diastolic BP (DBP)/mean BP (MBP) were all significant and estimated at 0.19/0.19/0.19, 0.30/0.44/0.41, 0.28/0.38/0.39, and 0.21/0.18/0.20, respectively. Heritability estimates for 24-hour and daytime ambulatory SBP, DBP, and MBP ranged from 0.28 to 0.44, and were higher than the heritability estimates for beat-to-beat recordings and sleep periods, which were estimated within a narrow range of 0.18-0.21. Conclusion: In this cohort, because shared environments are common to all, the environmental influence that occurs is primarily due to the variation in non-shared environment that is unique to the individual. We demonstrated significant heritability estimates for both beat-to-beat office and ambulatory BP and HR recordings, but 24-hour and daytime ambulatory heritabilities are higher than those from beat-to-beat resting levels and ambulatory night-time recordings.
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