Analysis of different inheritance patterns in preeclampsia/eclampsia syndrome

Reynir Arngrímsson*, Hólmgeir Björnsson, Reynir T. Geirsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate how well various inheritance models would explain the familial tendency of the preeclampsia/eclampsia syndrome. Methods: The prevalence among seven groups of women with definite probabilities of exhibiting the disorder from six different family studies was used to obtain maximum likelihood estimates of the contributions to disease liability from major genes and multifactorial transmission. Results: Models involving a single major gene with incomplete penetrance or multifactorial inheritance offered considerably better fit to the observed data than no familial transmission at all or autosomal dominant and recessive inheritance models with complete penetrance. Of the major gene models, a dominant mode of transmission was preferred. From the extremes of the joint 95% confidence region for the gene frequency (p) and penetrance (f), the corresponding confidence limits for the best estimates were 0.06 < p < 0.16 and 0.38 > f > 0.23, respectively. Conclusions: These results indicate that the prevalence of the disease is not best explained by simple Mendelian inheritance as previously suggested. A major dominant gene model with reduced penetrance or multifactorial inheritance should be considered the best working hypotheses at present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
JournalHypertension in Pregnancy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study has been supported by the Icelandic Science Foundation, the Research Fund of the University of Iceland, and Birthright. R.A. is a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow.

Other keywords

  • Eclampsia
  • Genetics
  • Hereditary diseases
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Pregnancy


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