Blood pressure is a complex trait of pivotal biological importance, in which 20-50% of interindividual variation is genetically determined. Whereas genes have been identified in several rare Mendelian forms of hypertension, little progress has been made in understanding the genetics of blood pressure variation in the general population. Recently, we screened the human genome using rural Chinese sibling pairs with extreme blood pressure and identified suggestive linkage for two chromosomal regions. By refining the trait definition and genotyping additional markers, we detected significant linkage (maximum lod score = 3.77) near D15S203 in lower extreme diastolic blood pressure sibling pairs. Using a second independent data set from the same geographical area, we marginally replicated ( P = 0.05) this result, suggesting that this locus is very likely to be involved in the regulation of diastolic blood pressure.