Inherited predisposition to preeclampsia: analysis of the Aberdeen intergenerational cohort

Abimbola A. Ayorinde, Sohinee Bhattacharya

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To assess the magnitude of familial risk of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension in women born of a preeclamptic pregnancy and those born of pregnancy complicated by gestational hypertension while accounting for other risk factors.


An intergenerational dataset was extracted from the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank (AMND) which records all pregnancy and delivery details occurring in Aberdeen, Scotland since 1950. The analysis included all nulliparous women whose mothers’ records at their births are also recorded in the AMND. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the risk of having preeclampsia or gestational hypertension based on maternal history of preeclampsia or gestational hypertension.


There were 17302 nulliparous women included, of whom 1057(6.1%) had preeclampsia while 4098(23.7%) had gestational hypertension. Furthermore, 424(2.5%) and 2940(17.0%) had maternal history of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension respectively. The risk of preeclampsia was higher in women who were born of pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia (adjusted RRR 2.55 95% CI 1.87–3.47). This was higher than the risk observed in women whose mothers had gestational hypertension (adjusted RRR 1.44 95% CI 1.23–1.69). Conversely, the risk of gestational hypertension was similar in those who were born of preeclamptic pregnancies (adjusted RRR 1.37 95% CI 1.09–1.71) and those whose mothers had gestational hypertension (adjusted RRR 1.36 95% CI 1.24–1.49).


There was a dose response effect in the inheritance pattern of preeclampsia with the highest risk in women born of preeclamptic pregnancies. Gestational hypertension showed similar increased risk with maternal gestational hypertension and preeclampsia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37–41
Number of pages5
JournalPregnancy Hypertension
Early online date6 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • preeclampsia
  • intergenerational
  • gestational hypertension
  • risk factors


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