A genetic variant, AGT2R, in mothers, fathers, and neonates is associated with a significantly increased risk of preeclampsia in mothers with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m² or more, according to a study published online in Placenta.

Ang Zhou, MD, of the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,121 Caucasian parent-infant trios, 123 of whom had preeclamptic pregnancies; 1,185 uncomplicated pregnancies served as controls. DNA was extracted from buffy coats and genotyped for polymorphisms in AGT1R and AGT2R. Doppler sonography was performed at 20 weeks of gestation on the uterine arteries.

The researchers identified four polymorphisms in AGT1R and AGT2R genes (AGT1R A1166C, AGT2R C4599A, AGT2R A1675G, and AGT2R T1134C), with significant associations observed for AGT2R C4599A. For women with a BMI of 25 kg/m² or greater, maternal and neonatal AGT2R C4599A AA versus CC genotype correlated with a twofold and threefold increased risk for preeclampsia, respectively. In the same subset of women, the paternal AGT2R C4599A A allele versus the C allele correlated with a twofold increased risk for preeclampsia and uterine artery bilateral notching at 20 weeks of gestation.

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