The Role of Obesity in Preeclampsia

Pregnancy Hypertens. 2011 Jan 1;1(1):6-16. doi: 10.1016/j.preghy.2010.10.013.


The incidence of obesity is increasing at an alarming rate. There is compelling evidence that obesity increases the risk of preeclampsia about 3-fold, and in developed countries is the leading attributable risk for the disorder. In this presentation we explore this relationship and propose targets for future studies guided by the much more extensively studied relationship of obesity to cardiovascular disease. We further address the hypothesis that asymmetric dimethyl arginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, may be one convergence point for the mechanism by which obesity increases the risk of preeclampsia. We conclude with consideration of the clinical implications of this information.