Researchers have found a genetic variant involving the AGT2R gene which may predispose women to pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening complication during pregnancy that affects about 7% of pregnancies.
The study looked at more than 2,000 women and their partners in Adelaide, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand.
Female participants 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 it.
Being able to predict which women are at risk of pre-eclampsia is important to obstetricians as a forewarner of the kind of medical treatment their patient may require.