Led by Professor Anne Barden and PhD student Venus Chavez, from UWA’s School of Medicine and Pharmacology, the study will focus on whether having certain genes affects blood pressure in a different way when people eat different amounts of salt.
Professor Barden said while it was known that genes could affect the risk of heart disease, how this process worked was not well understood.
A dietitian would counsel participants about how to reduce their salt intake and low-salt foods would be provided, she said.
“The results of this study will help doctors choose more effective treatments based on an individual’s genetic make-up,” Professor Barden said.
The researchers are seeking overweight but otherwise healthy men and post-menopausal women aged 20 to 70, who are non-smokers, not diabetic, not taking cholesterol or blood pressure lowering drugs and willing to participate in an eight-week study that alters their salt intake.
The study is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.