University of Oulu

Kivioja, A., Toivonen, E., Tyrmi, J., Ruotsalainen, S., Ripatti, S., Huhtala, H., Jääskeläinen, T., Heinonen, S., Kajantie, E., Kere, J., Kivinen, K., Pouta, A., Saarela, T., & Laivuori, H. (2022). Increased risk of preeclampsia in women with a genetic predisposition to elevated blood pressure. Hypertension, 79(9), 2008–2015.

Increased risk of preeclampsia in women with a genetic predisposition to elevated blood pressure

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Author: Kivioja, Anna1,2; Toivonen, Elli1,2; Tyrmi, Jaakko2,3,4,5;
Organizations: 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Finland
2Center for Child, Adolescent, and Maternal Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Finland
3Computational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland
4Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland
5Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Finland
6Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, Helsinki Institute of Life Science, University of Helsinki, Finland
7Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA
8Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, Finland
9Medical and Clinical Genetics, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland
10Obsterics and Gynaecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland
11Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Health and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
12Public Health Promotion Unit, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland
13Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland
14PEDEGO Research Unit, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Finland
15Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden
16Department of Government Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
17Department of Clinical Genetics, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Wolters Kluwer, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-06-01


Background: Preeclampsia causes significant maternal and perinatal morbidity. Genetic factors seem to affect the onset of the disease. We aimed to investigate whether the polygenic risk score for blood pressure (BP; BP-PRS) is associated with preeclampsia, its subtypes, and BP values during pregnancy.

Methods: The analyses were performed in the FINNPEC study (Finnish Genetics of Pre-Eclampsia Consortium) cohort of 1514 preeclamptic and 983 control women. In a case-control setting, the data were divided into percentiles to compare women with high BP-PRS (HBP-PRS; >95th percentile) or low BP-PRS (≤5th percentile) to others. Furthermore, to evaluate the effect of BP-PRS on BP, we studied 3 cohorts: women with preeclampsia, hypertensive controls, and normotensive controls.

Results: BP values were higher in women with HBP-PRS throughout the pregnancy. Preeclampsia was more common in women with HBP-PRS compared with others (71.8% and 60.1%, respectively; P=0.009), and women with low BP-PRS presented with preeclampsia less frequently than others (44.8% and 61.5%, respectively; P<0.001). HBP-PRS was associated with an increased risk for preeclampsia (odds ratio, 1.7 [95% CI, 1.1–2.5]). Furthermore, women with HBP-PRS presented with recurrent preeclampsia and preeclampsia with severe features more often.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that HBP-PRS is associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia, recurrent preeclampsia, and preeclampsia with severe features. Furthermore, women with HBP-PRS present higher BP values during pregnancy. The results strengthen the evidence pointing toward the role of genetic variants associated with BP regulation in the etiology of preeclampsia, especially its more severe forms.

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Series: Hypertension
ISSN: 0194-911X
ISSN-E: 1524-4563
ISSN-L: 0194-911X
Volume: 79
Issue: 9
Pages: 2008 - 2015
DOI: 10.1161/hypertensionaha.122.18996
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: The FINNPEC study (Finnish Genetics of Pre-Eclampsia) was supported by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, Juho Vainio Foundation, Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation, Academy of Finland, research funds of the University of Helsinki, government special state subsidy for the health sciences for the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Finska Läkaresellskapet, Liv och Hälsa Foundation, NovoNordisk Foundation, Finnish Foundation for Pediatric Research, Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Sigrid Juselius Foundation, and the Finnish Foundation for Laboratory Medicine.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Hypertension is published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited.