In order to examine the chronological changes in genetic variance and heritability of arterial systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) of Chinese infants in Taiwan, a total of 339 same-sexed twin neonates born in four major general teaching hospitals in Taipei City were studied. Based on placentation and 12 red blood cell antigens, 274 monozygotic (MZ) and 65 dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs were identified and followed up to the age of one year. Both SBP and DBP were measured by Doppler blood pressure monitor. Within-pair mean squares of SBP and DBP were consistently smaller in MZ than DZ twins at ages one month and over. The findings remained unchanged after the adjustment for the effects of age, sex, gestational age, placentation and physical state during blood pressure measurement. Falconer's heritability indices for adjusted SBP and DBP at ages two months and over ranged from 0.29 to 0.55 and from 0.27 to 0.45, respectively. The study indicates an important genetic influence on blood pressure during infancy.
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