Genetic predisposition to hypertension is associated with preeclampsia in European and Central Asian women

Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 25;11(1):5976. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19733-6.


Preeclampsia is a serious complication of pregnancy, affecting both maternal and fetal health. In genome-wide association meta-analysis of European and Central Asian mothers, we identify sequence variants that associate with preeclampsia in the maternal genome at ZNF831/20q13 and FTO/16q12. These are previously established variants for blood pressure (BP) and the FTO variant has also been associated with body mass index (BMI). Further analysis of BP variants establishes that variants at MECOM/3q26, FGF5/4q21 and SH2B3/12q24 also associate with preeclampsia through the maternal genome. We further show that a polygenic risk score for hypertension associates with preeclampsia. However, comparison with gestational hypertension indicates that additional factors modify the risk of preeclampsia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO / genetics
  • Asia, Central / epidemiology
  • Blood Pressure / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Datasets as Topic
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 5 / genetics
  • Genetic Loci / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / epidemiology
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / genetics*
  • MDS1 and EVI1 Complex Locus Protein / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Multifactorial Inheritance*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / genetics*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • FGF5 protein, human
  • MDS1 and EVI1 Complex Locus Protein
  • MECOM protein, human
  • SH2B3 protein, human
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 5
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO
  • FTO protein, human