Genetics point to serious pregnancy complication
New research at the University of Adelaide has revealed a genetic link in pregnant mums - and their male partners - to pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening complication during pregnancy.
Pre-eclampsia involves high blood pressure and fluid retention and can cause damage to the kidneys and liver. About 7% of pregnancies are affected by pre-eclampsia.
In a paper now online in the journal Placenta ahead of print publication, the researchers say they have found a genetic variant involving the AGT2R gene, which may predispose women to pre-eclampsia.
However, the genetic variant is only associated with pre-eclampsia when the pregnant mother is overweight or obese.
"Being able to predict which women are at risk of pre-eclampsia is a very important goal in obstetrics," says Professor Claire Roberts from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute.
Professor Roberts, Dr Ang Zhou and Professor Gus Dekker from the Robinson Institute studied data from the SCOPE study, involving more than 2000 women and their partners in Adelaide, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand.
Women who developed pre-eclampsia who were also overweight or obese were twice as likely to carry the AGT2R gene variant than the common form of the gene. The male partners of women with pre-eclampsia were also twice as likely to carry the variant gene. Their babies were three times more likely to carry the variant.
"This is a condition that can run in families," Professor Roberts says. "With both the mother and the father passing on their variant genes to their children, this places the child at greater risk of parenting a pre-eclamptic pregnancy."
Professor Roberts says the genetic variant is linked with restricted blood flow to the placenta.
"Impaired blood flow in the uterine artery is characterized by a 'notching effect' that appears on a Doppler ultrasound at 20 weeks gestation. Uterine artery notching has previously been associated with pre-eclampsia, and this restricted blood flow is due to impaired placental development," Professor Roberts says.
The researchers say the genetic variant has only a subtle effect in women of normal weight, but in overweight and obese women it appears to independently contribute to the risk of pre-eclampsia.
"Understanding this association could help to predict which women are likely to develop pre-eclampsia," Professor Roberts says.
"However, it also helps to reinforce the message that a normal weight prior to pregnancy will lower the risk of serious complications - being overweight or obese increases the risk of complications."
Provided by University of Adelaide
- Miscarriage and infertility treatment increase pre-eclampsia risk Dec 18, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Stroke risk in pregnant women 2.4 times higher Jul 08, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- New study suggests dietary supplement can protect against pre-eclampsia May 20, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Nottingham researchers lead world's largest study into pre-eclampsia May 16, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Pre-eclampsia linked to thyroid problems Nov 18, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Specific Exergy vs Specific Flow Exergy
1 hour ago I'm having some difficulty understanding exactly what the difference between the definitions of these values are. As I understand it, in terms of...
The Durability of Bone: Long Falls
10 hours ago I am doing a paper on the physics in Valve's Portal and got interested in the "Long Fall Boots" that prevent any damage no matter how far you fall. I...
Is energy convertible to matter?
11 hours ago Can we convert energy to matter?
Rotating electron as a dipole is this right?
14 hours ago An electron as shown by the Stern Gerlach experiment behaves like a dipole (albeit only in one of two states). I have been trying to figure out how...
Dipole term in multipole expansion
18 hours ago Hi. I'm having some difficult in understanding something about the dipole term in a multipole expansion. Griffiths writes the expansion as a sum of...
Bubbles in a Pre-Boiling/Boiling pot of water
19 hours ago How is it that bubbles form on the bottom of a surface of a pot of boiling water? I think that there is probably an elementary answer to this...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
A study of around 1,000 UK mothers and their children, published in The Lancet, has revealed that iodine deficiency in pregnancy may have an adverse effect on children's mental development. The research raises concerns that t ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Nearly three out of four pregnant women experience constipation, diarrhea or other bowel disorders during their pregnancies, a Loyola University Medical Center study has found.
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
New research indicates that women's reproductive function may be tied to their immune status. Previous studies have found this association in human males, but not females.
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Elsevier today announced the publication of a recent study in Reproductive BioMedicine Online on 5-day old human blastocysts showing that those with an abnormal chromosomal composition can be identified by the rate at whic ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
While global attention has for decades been focused on reducing maternal mortality, population-based data on other causes of death among women of reproductive age has been virtually non-existent. A study conducted by researchers ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Medical researchers discover new ways to target, develop and design drugs to prevent and treat viral infection
Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a new drug target, developed a new drug and identified a new way to design drugs—all of which could be a winning combination in the battle against viruses.
3 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Italian lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a law that allows limited use of a controversial type of stem cell therapy which has been condemned by many scientists but has given hope to families of terminally-ill ...
43 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Beta-blockers, normally used for high blood pressure, could enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapies in treating neuroblastoma, a type of children's cancer, according to a new study published in the British Jo ...
13 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Cancer survivors are no more likely to stop smoking, cut down on alcohol, or exercise more often than the general population, according to new research published in the British Journal of Cancer today (Wednesday)
3 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Do ethicists engage in better moral behavior than other professors? The answer is no. Nor are they more likely than nonethicists to act according to values they espouse, according to researchers from the ...
2 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
A Japanese cancer specialist said Wednesday she has started the world's first clinical trial of a powerful, non-surgical, short-term radiation therapy for breast cancer.
23 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0