Genetic Predisposition to Dyslipidemia and Risk of Preeclampsia

Am J Hypertens. 2015 Jul;28(7):915-23. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpu242. Epub 2014 Dec 17.


Background: Large epidemiologic studies support the role of dyslipidemia in preeclampsia; however, the etiology of preeclampsia or whether dyslipidemia plays a causal role remains unclear. We examined the association between the genetic predisposition to dyslipidemia and risk of preeclampsia using validated genetic markers of dyslipidemia.

Methods: Preeclampsia cases (n = 164) and normotensive controls (n = 110) were selected from live birth certificates to nulliparous Iowa women during the period August 2002 to May 2005. Disease status was verified by medical chart review. Genetic predisposition to dyslipidemia was estimated by 4 genetic risk scores (GRS) (total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides) on the basis of established loci for blood lipids. Logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the relationships between each of the 4 genotype scores and preeclampsia. Replication analyses were performed in an independent, US population of preeclampsia cases (n = 516) and controls (n = 1,097) of European ancestry.

Results: The GRS related to higher levels of TC, LDL-C, and triglycerides demonstrated no association with the risk of preeclampsia in either the Iowa or replication population. The GRS related to lower HDL-C was marginally associated with an increased risk for preeclampsia (odds ratio (OR) = 1.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.99-1.07; P = 0.10). In the independent replication population, the association with the HDL-C GRS was also marginally significant (OR = 1.03, 95% CI: 1.00-1.06; P = 0.04).

Conclusions: Our data suggest a potential effect between the genetic predisposition to dyslipidemic levels of HDL-C and an increased risk of preeclampsia, and, as such, suggest that dyslipidemia may be a component along the causal pathway to preeclampsia.

Keywords: blood pressure; dyslipidemia; genetic epidemiology; genetic risk score; hypertension; preeclampsia..

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Pressure
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / complications*
  • Dyslipidemias / diagnosis
  • Dyslipidemias / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Iowa
  • Logistic Models
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis
  • Pre-Eclampsia / etiology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides