Genetic risk of hypertension linked to pre-eclampsia

11 January 2021

Researchers have found that the genetic predisposition to hypertension and increased BMI is related to the risk of pre-eclampsia.

The research, published in Nature Communications, was part of the InterPregGen study, in which obstetricians and geneticists from the UK, Iceland, Finland and other nations assessed the genetic make-up of 9515 pre-eclamptic women and 157,719 control individuals.

Researchers pinpointed DNA variants in genes previously associated with blood pressure and BMI as risk factors for pre-eclampsia. They also found that, overall, genetic predisposition to hypertension is a major risk factor for pre-eclampsia.

Hypertension and obesity are already known maternal risk factors.

‘The new insights from this study could form the basis for more effective prevention and treatment of pre-eclampsia in the future, and improve the outcome of pregnancy for mother and child,’ said UK author Lucilla Poston.

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