Genetic predisposition to hypertension is associated with preeclampsia in European and Central Asian women

FINNPEC Consortium, GOPEC Consortium, Unnur Thorsteinsdottir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Preeclampsia is a serious complication of pregnancy, affecting both maternal and fetal health. In genome-wide association meta-analysis of European and Central Asian mothers, we identify sequence variants that associate with preeclampsia in the maternal genome at ZNF831/20q13 and FTO/16q12. These are previously established variants for blood pressure (BP) and the FTO variant has also been associated with body mass index (BMI). Further analysis of BP variants establishes that variants at MECOM/3q26, FGF5/4q21 and SH2B3/12q24 also associate with preeclampsia through the maternal genome. We further show that a polygenic risk score for hypertension associates with preeclampsia. However, comparison with gestational hypertension indicates that additional factors modify the risk of preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5976
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Research leading to these results was conducted as part of the InterPregGen study, which received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no. 282540 and was supported by Wellcome Trust grant 098051. Some data used for the research were obtained from THL Biobank. We thank all study participants for their generous participation at THL Biobank. Part of this work was conducted using the UK Biobank Resource under application number 24711. A full list of acknowledgments appears in Supplementary Note 3.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Other keywords

  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / genetics
  • Multifactorial Inheritance
  • Pre-Eclampsia / genetics


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