Genes for Preeclampsia
An Opportunity for Blood Pressure Genomics
See related article, pp 408–416
Preeclampsia is a special case of hypertension with proteinuria, complicating 3% to 8% of pregnancies1: It is induced by pregnancy and always vanishes with the delivery of the placenta. The dreaded complications are progression to eclampsia, a life-threatening condition in which grand mal seizures occur in a woman with preeclampsia, or hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets syndrome that might be considered a severe form of preeclampsia. Overall, there is significant mortality because of preeclampsia with ≈1 death per 100 000 pregnancies, even in high-income settings.
Although preeclampsia likely follows a separate pathophysiology, analogies can be drawn to primary hypertension as risk factors partly overlap: older women, women with chronic kidney disease, and women with higher body mass index are at increased risk; preeclampsia is rigorously monitored and followed because of …